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Government slashes climate change programs

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Issue: 36 Section: Canadian News Geography: Canada Topics: Harper, climate change

April 6, 2006

Government slashes climate change programs

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

Forty per cent of this year's budget for climate change programs has been slashed from the departments of Natural Resources and Environment.

"If it's not in the taxpayers' interest to fund programs that are not effective, then we are not going to," Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn told the CBC.

"Apparently, the federal government has launched a stealth campaign against action on climate change," said John Bennett, senior policy advisor for the Sierra Club of Canada, in response to the cuts. "The Harper minority government has no mandate to destroy more than decade's worth of research programs and knowledge networks needed to provide a science-based response to climate change," he added

Critics argue that the Liberal government did not do enough to address climate change, though it seems that the Conservative government will do even less. Canada's greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise since the signing of the Kyoto Protocol - an international agreement to address climate change - in 1997. Before being elected, Harper told the CBC that a Conservative government would abandon the Kyoto Accord and set new targets that are easier to meet.

A study published in the March issue of Science found that the growing human influence on Earth's climate could lead to a long and irreversible rise in sea levels by eroding the planet's vast polar ice sheets, reports The New York Times

"If we don't like the idea of flooding out New Orleans, major portions of South Florida, and many other valued parts of the coastal U.S., we will have to commit soon to a major effort to stop most emissions of carbon to the atmosphere," " said Dr. Overpeck, a lead author of one of the studies.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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