The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy
(NRTEE) was created 25 years ago to advise the Canadian government
how to achieve a sustainable economy. It operated as an arm's
length policy advisory agency with multi-stakeholder, cross Canada
representation. The NRTEE took its job seriously, and its reports,
especially on climate change, repeatedly embarrassed the
Conservatives. Last May, they announced that NRTEE funding would
cease at the end of March 2013. That time has come.
Not content with preventing the NRTEE from issuing any new
reports, the Conservatives have also taken steps to minimize future
access to its existing reports, which are so critical of them.
NRTEE had arranged to transfer its documents to the website of Sustainable Prosperity, a think-tank based at
the University of Ottawa, where the documents would have been
easily searchable and accessed.
Instead, at the last moment federal Minister of the Environment
Peter Kent forced the NTREE to transfer its
documents only to Library And Archives Canada ("LAC"),
where he "intends" that the information will be made
available "in accordance with Government Canada Information
and Publications Policies". The LAC was established in 2004 by
the Library and Archives of Canada Act, with
its stated purposes including preservation of Canada's
documentary heritage, being a source of enduring knowledge that is
accessible to everyone, and serving as the "continuing
memory" of the federal government.
Unfortunately, the "continuing memory" of the federal
government doesn't seem to include sharing knowledge with the
public or media. Documents on that website site are not Google-able (why on earth not?)
and generally very hard to access. Very recently, the new LAC Code of Conduct came into force. The Code has
been roundly criticized as an instrument that will muzzle LAC
How ironic, sad, frightening and infuriating, that Mr. Kent, a
former journalist, would go so far to hide NRTEE documents from the
public. So here we are, in a "free" democracy, where our
government is methodically shutting down environmental research,
silencing environmental scientists, and hiding existing reports. Is
it all to keep us quiet about the adverse effects of the tar
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).