This is in response to the News story, Canada’s Only High Arctic Research Lab Shuttered.
It has been no more than 11 months since our most recent federal election where we saw Arctic cheerleader Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives win a majority government.
He said: “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty in the Arctic; either we use it or we lose it … And make no mistake this government intends to use it. Because Canada’s Arctic is central to our identity as a northern nation. It is part of our history and it represents the tremendous potential of our future.”
Apparently, words have an expiry date. I’ll tell you what doesn’t and that’s simple math.
When Canada has one in only three research stations in the world that can perform the type of work that’s being conducted at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Lab, it isn’t hard to call the decision to close up shop and lessen our presence in the region ridiculous.
Why is our government afraid of leading on a world stage? Why is it afraid of science, development, understanding and advancement? Why is $1.5 million out of a multi-billion-dollar budget, which the government controls, too much? Apparently, a little over a third of Canadian votes is enough to make it so our government can say and do whatever it wants, but a third of an incredibly important Arctic research stake isn’t enough to open its eyes to this great potential resource at our disposal.
It’s embarrassing that the government’s words will expire before its naivety about the environment and the changing Arctic does. It’s embarrassing that its words will expire before its term in power. It’s embarrassing that “our future” can fade within only nine months.
University of Guelph, Ont.