$50 million invoice delivered to Peter KentFriday, March 15, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
COUNCIL OF CANADIANS
Council of Canadians delivers $50 million invoice to Environment Minister Peter Kent for closure of Experimental Lakes Area
The Council of Canadians delivered a mock invoice to Environment Minister Peter Kent's constituency office in Thornhill today for the estimated $50 million it will cost to remediate the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA).
Earlier this month, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced that it wants to terminate its Memorandum of Understanding with the Ontario government, which requires remediation and rehabilitation of the site.
DFO has failed to publish their estimates of remediation costs but ELA staff calculate the costs to be $50 million.
Federal opposition parties have all called on Conservative Members of Parliament to save the world-renowned research centre.
“We find it troubling that rather than providing funding for this critical research facility, the federal government would rather pay 25 times the operating costs upfront to shut it down,” says Emma Lui, water campaigner for the Council of Canadians. “It certainly raises the question of why the Harper government wants to shut it down.”
For the $50 million cost of remediation, the federal government could continue to operate the ELA for another 25 years.
“The federal government is going to allow decades of scientific data to be lost,” says Mark Calzavara, Ontario regional organizer for the Council of Canadians. “Because of Harper’s political agenda, the public is losing out.”
The federal government announced recently that they were going to temporarily close the ELA while searching for another group to transfer it to.
However, activists and community groups raised concerns about the interruption of the ELA’s ongoing studies just as the field season is beginning and that restarting the facility will be more difficult.