Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group 2000 (cont'd from eloerg.tripod.com/waupoos)

Canada Centre for Inland Waters decimated, October 2012
Slide to Extinction, Chris Humphrey, letter to Globe, October 31, 2018
Peter Galbraith, FRCP, obituary, October 2017
White Pines on Death Bed, Bruce Bell, Intelligencer, July 17,2018
Thucydides Trap, letter to Globe, May 2018
Great Lakes toxics down, SUNY Oswego/Clarkson U, April 2018
Machine subversion of democracy, letter to Globe, April 2018
Air Pollution overrides Ancestral Genes, Globe, March 2018
Olympian Cathal Kelly, letter to Globe, March 2018
Environmentalists seeking unemployment, letter to Globe, February 2018
Less is more on Bike Lanes, National Post, January 2018
Tramadol, 10 years on, Globe and Mail, November 2017
White Stripes: Belleville bicycle lanes, letters, November 2017
Occupational Cancers, CCO research results, Globe and Mail, October 2017
Big Pharmoney and Canadian Drug Use Guidelines, Globe and Mail, June 21, 2017, Kelly Grant
Oxycontin, 20 years on, letter to Globe, May 2017
Lake Ontario wind turbines to remain on hold? Feb 2017
Obituary, Raold Serebrin, September 2016
Sartorial slip or signal? letter to Globe editor, October 2016
Weapons of mass distraction, letter to Globe editor, Oct 2016
Point O turbines 99% Down the Drain, CCSAGE, July 7, 2016
Point O turbines Dead and Damned, PECFN, July 6, 2016
Rabid diplomat, letter to Globe, May, 2016
More on bats: rabid rocker? letter to Globe, January 2016
Lighthouses of eastern Lake Ontario, new book by Marc Seguin, March 2016
Continuing corporate windpower malfeasance: Windstream and Trillium Corp, Feb 2016
Amherst Island: the next fine mess, Feb 2016
Valerie Langer: Thirty years of effort pays off on the B.C. coast, Feb 1,2016
Trillium log, 6th annual ELO expedtion, September 2015
Trillium Wind Corp intent on Spoliation of eastern Lake Ontario and Main Duck Isle, June 2015
Turtles rule? Ontario Court of Appeal Decision: Turtlegate, April 2015
Obituaries, Mary Terrance (Luke) Hill, January 2015; Valerie Ingrid (Hill) Kaldes, July 2015
Ontario Court of Appeal turtle hearing, December 2014
Trillium Log, 5th annual ELO expedition, September 2014
Planetary public health manifesto, The Lancet, March 2014
Ostrander Bioblitz, butterfly inventory walk, August 10, 2014
Victory at Cape Vincent: British Petroleum withdraws turbine proposal, February 2014
Stay of execution granted by Ontario Court of Appeal, March 2014
Never say die: Will the Court of Appeal let the Ostrander Phoenix fly free again? March 2014
Divisional Court ruling in Ostrander: turtles belly up, Trojan horses win, February 2014
Lafarge 2020, pushing the air envelope again, Hazardous waste as cement kiln fuel proposal, Jan2014
Another fine mess in Port Hope: municipal waste incinerator proposal, January 2014
Ostrander: fiasco, or snafu? you decide, December 2013
Ostrander rises again, Noli illegitimi carborundum, December 2013
British Petroleum backing off Cape Vincent after a decade of aggression? December 2013
Turbines best Bald Eagles in U.S law, December 2013
SARStock 10 years after, letter to editor, August 2003
Trillium log September 2013: Surfin' USA: Hanging Ten in a Hughes 29
ERT Post mortem: Garth Manning lets it all hang out, August 2013
ERT post mortem: Cheryl Anderson lets it all hang out, August 2013
ERT Post Mortem: Ian Dubin lets it all hang out, August 2013
Great Lakes United turns thirty, goes down, RIP GLU, July 29, 2013
ERT decision, Ostrander turns turtle, goes down, July 3, 2013
PECFN Thankyou, and Appeal for funds, July 6, 2013
Minister of Env on Lake Ontario Off shore wind turbine status, June 2013
Lake Ontario water level control plan, June 2013
Play by Play, Part II, APPEC Ostrander ERT Appeal, June 2013
Ostrander ERT June 2013, Appendix VI, an indirect cause of human morbidity and mortality ?
ELOERG Presentation to Ostrander ERT, Part II, Human Health, May 2013
The Dirty E-Word, Terry Sprague, Picton Gazette, April 2013
Toxics in Great Lakes Plastic Pollution, April 2013
Bill Evans on Birds and Wind farms, April 2013
Mayday, Naval Marine Archive, April 2013
Experimental Lakes Area, Kenora, Closing by Federal Gov't, March 2013
Fishing Lease Phase out on Prince Edward Point, March 2013
Windstream makes $1/2 Billion NAFTA claim, March 2013
Play by Play, PECFN Ostrander ERT Appeal, March 2013
Offshore Wind turbine moratorium 2 years later, The Star, Feb 2013
ELOERG ERT submission on Ostrander: Appendix V: Pushing the Envelope of the MoE SEV, Feb 2013
Wente on Wind and Bald Eagle mugging, Globe and Mail, February 2, 2013
Sprague on Wind and Bald Eagle mugging, Picton Gazette, Jan 25, 2013
Cry Me a River over a Few Bats: Submission to Env Review Tribunal, ELOERG, January 2013
Lake Ontario's Troubled Waters: U of Michigan GLEAM, January 2013
Letter to Minister of Environment re: Ostrander, January 2013
No Balm in Gilead: Ostrander IWT's as Trojan Horses, January 2013
Ostrander Turbines: another Christmas gift by the MoE, Dec 2012
Occupational carcinogens: Ontario Blue Collar breast cancer study, November 2012
Fresh water fish Extinctions, Scientific American,November 2012
Great Lakes Toxics revisited, November 2012
Frack the What ? November 2012
$ 2 1/4 Billion Trillium Power lawsuit knockback Appeal, November 2012
Canada Centre for Inland Waters decimated, October 2012
Birds, Bats, Turbines, and the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, October 2012
Ecological public health, the 21st centurys big idea? British MedicalJournal Sept1,2012
Trillium log, Sept 2012
George Prevost, Saviour of the Canadas, 1812 - 1814. June 2012
The Victory at Picton: Bicentennial Conference on War of 1812-1814, Differing Perspectives, May 2012
Carleton Island and the 1812, letter to the Globe, October 2011
Queen's Fine Arts Department Succumbs, letter to Principal, December 2011
Mr. Kumar and the Super 30, November 2011
Letters, Articles and Projects from the Nineties
Alban Goddard Hill, web site manager

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Tom Muir


Mon Oct 29 2012 00:01:00    


Hamilton Spectator


Ottawa blind to dangers of firing environmental scientists


I read recently that the federal government signed a revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement with the United States. As a retiree of Environment Canada, with friends still inside, I say a new agreement doesn’t matter because the federal government has largely destroyed its capacity to deliver it.

Over the past seven years the two governments spent talking, what was a trickling loss of environmental science capacity in Canada is now a flood. In Burlington, where I worked for 30 years at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW), there about 80 research scientists on staff in 2004. I’m told that by this year, there are about 20.

Making things worse for the Great Lakes scientists remaining is their secondment to the Alberta oilsands. The government has an oilsands study under way, but it is coming out of the Great Lakes program.

More targets in the omnibus budget make things worse. Fisheries and Oceans scientists, doing contaminants monitoring and research across Canada, including the Arctic, are being fired, and their labs closed.

These scientists work with Great Lakes colleagues on overlapping problems, all relevant to the Great Lakes agreement.

These layoffs are particularly alarming as these people are irreplaceable. Their work cannot be contracted out effectively. Their function is early-warning radar — monitoring the canaries in the coal mine. The freshwater and marine fish, mammals and wildlife, are sentinels for humans. But now nobody will be watching.

I guess Canadians don’t need to know that Arctic beluga whales pass many chemical contaminants, like PCBs and flame retardants, to their fetus. Maybe people will get concerned about the same chemicals in their own fetus. This transfer in the belugas was shown by Fisheries and Oceans scientists located in B.C. It won’t happen again. Some of these scientists are fired, and survivors will get the message.

In Winnipeg, Fisheries science finds flame-retardant chemicals in freshwater fish and Arctic marine mammals. These chemicals cause thyroid disease and sex hormone disruption in fish, and act in ways that may contribute to prostate cancer in humans.

I guess Canadians shouldn’t be bothered by concerns about these health effects either. They won’t be again — the entire lab is being closed, and the staff fired.

Downstream, other Fisheries laboratories find similar contamination and effects in St. Lawrence belugas and Atlantic fish. Canadians won’t be bothered with this concern any more — these researchers are fired too.

Is there some kind of disconnect here? Fisheries scientists working on fish health, and ocean scientists working on ocean health, getting fired? With climate meltdown happening in the Arctic, the scientists monitoring health in Arctic fish, mammals, and wildlife are fired?

The dismantling of environmental science in Canada has more stories. The Experimental Lakes Area, in northern Ontario, is to be shut. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Fisheries Act, have been radically reduced in scope and effectiveness. The Species at Risk Act is next, but it has been never used, no one knows how it works.

None of these acts was meant to stop projects, just monitor, make people accountable and try to avoid mistakes.

Now does anyone else see a pattern? Like others, I too see it as positively Orwellian.

Public ignorance is government strength. Remove the right to think by removing the facts to think about; ensure public servants do not serve the public.

These events reflect a war of attrition and suppression waged by the government on environmental science for years, and particularly under Prime Minister Harper’s watch since 2006.

Environment has been politicized and bureaucratized, especially regarding chemicals and climate. Threats, fear, and paranoia are the tools of staff relations.

No scientist can do anything, or say anything, or go anywhere, without running the gauntlet of supervisor, senior management, communications, policy, the deputy minister’s office, the minister’s office and the prime minister’s office. Media inquiries often don’t make it through. Everything is laced with ambiguity.

Like the proverbial three monkeys, science first had its tongue cut out. Now as target of the omnibus budget, the eyes of science are being blinded and its ears deafened. The deaf, dumb, and blind monkey is the governments’ designated spokesperson.

I have to ask if the government understands what it is doing to destroy environmental science?

If this were an enemy of Canada, who wanted to knock out our intelligence capability for early warning of foreseeable threats, they would be hard-pressed to improve on the strikes made by environment and fisheries managers against key positions that comprise this capacity. And under orders from our own government.

Do they want everyone to be in the dark? What is next?

These are terrible mistakes, that can bring terrible harms. But it is not too late to reverse these cuts.

If not, then whose side is the government on?

Tom Muir lives in Burlington, and worked for Environment Canada at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters from 1974 to 2004, when he retired. Since then he has remained professionally active working as an independent researcher.



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Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group