Capacity for Climate Change Action Diminishes in Canada, Grows in the U.S.

More cuts to Environment Canada were made public with the release of the annual departmental Plans and Priorities document for 2014-2015 in March. Although almost all programs are targeted for reduction, the 69% cut to climate change programs between now and 2016/17 speaks volumes about the current government’s attitude to climate change. See Environment Canada Plans and Priorities 2014-15 document at: https://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=024B8406-1. Read commentary at the Toronto Star at: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/03/12/environment_canada_braces_for_belttightening.html, or at The Tyee at: http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/03/15/Environment-Canada-Cuts/.

Cuts to Statistics Canada are also on the books amidst talk of “alternative data sources”. In contrast, the U.S. White House announced on March 19th that “we are launching the Climate Data Initiative, an ambitious new effort bringing together extensive open government data and design competitions with commitments from the private and philanthropic sectors to develop data-driven planning and resilience tools for local communities….Data from NOAA, NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Defense, and other Federal agencies will be featured on climate.data.gov, a new section within data.gov that opens for business today”. See http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/03/19/climate-data-initiative-launches-strong-public-and-private-sector-commitments.

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