Budget 2012: Conservatives axe respected, 24 year-old environment and economy panel
Among the shocking anti-environment revelations of yesterday’s federal Budget comes the government decision to eliminate the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, which was a panel of business and environmental leaders who made policy recommendations to the government on a variety of sustainability issues.
A widely respected, non-partisan agency, the NRTEE was founded by the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney in 1988. Its reports of late, however, had irked the government as they were mildly critical of government plans to achieve its stated objective of reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. The NRTEE had offered policy road maps on how to achieve this objective that did not square with official government policy (or lack thereof) on climate change.
The result? The Harper government axed them – not just cut their funding mind you – but eliminated the agency completely. They’re gone along with all the policy and support staff who worked there. And according to reporter Mike De Souza of Canadian Press, the Conservatives seemed to take quite a delight in doing so. De Souza tweeted today that in Question Period, the Environment Minister Peter Kent and others on the front bench “grinned and chuckled when asked a question about the demise of the NRTEE.” Meanwhile, wrote De Souza in another tweet, “Former enviro min Baird applauded when Ndp’s dennis bevington said gov’t had killed NRTEE”.
I will have more comment to come shortly on the astonishingly retrograde assaults of Budget 2012 on the environment. For now, I suppose I will consider myself lucky that I didn’t accept that job offer a couple years ago as a policy analyst at NRTEE.
Click the link below to read more about the demise of NRTEE.
Conservatives cut environment panel, turn to Internet for information.