OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2013) - Five federal scientists represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) were notified yesterday that their services will no longer be required following the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA) decision to close its Winnipeg office. This brings to 5,500 the number of PIPSC members who have received Workforce Adjustment (WFA) notices since the tabling of the 2012 federal Budget.
The CEAA is the only Agency in a position to look at the cumulative impacts of development projects on a regional basis. The Winnipeg office acts as a liaison between industry and government and works to ensure that the right balance is struck between economic growth and environmental protection. As a whole, the CEAA has been subjected to budget cuts of over 6% and 40% in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
"At a time when major development projects are lined up to go across this country, cutting back on the federal government's capacity to apply solid science to assess their impact seems irresponsible", said PIPSC President Gary Corbett. "Does the government simply want to promote resource-based development at any cost?"
Canada's Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development noted, in his fall 2012 report, that environmental protection is not keeping pace with economic development. The Commissioner suggests that weak environmental policies are harming Canada's international reputation and have the potential to harm our trade with other nations.
"It's particularly ironic that the government's stated rationale for gutting environmental protection is to promote economic development", continued Corbett. "The economic and financial risks associated with Canada's increasingly patchwork environmental protections are liable to have significant consequences for Canadian taxpayers."
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector.