OTTAWA The Harper government is refusing to permit fully funded freshwater research to occur this summer at the remote Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario.
A group of researchers from Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., was told this week they are barred from Cheap Nike Air Max Canada
the site, despite starting the work they do last summer and spending thousands of dollars on an approved trip to one of the ELA lakes as recently as last month.
Ottawa is currently negotiating with the Ontario government and others to take over the Experimental Lakes Area, that has been conducting worldclass science since 1968 into from acid rain and climate change to mercury exposure.
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federal government says the decision to close the facility, part of last Parajumpers Kodiak Coat
year's budget cuts, will save it about $2 million a year although sources say the actual operating price of the facility is about $600,000 annually, of which a third comes back in user fees.
And even though the federal agreement doesn't expire until September and negotiations for the transfer are continuing, a spokeswoman for that Belstaff Mens Jackets Uk
Department of Fisheries and Oceans says no researchers are Supra Tk Society Red
allowed on the 60 lakes this summer because the facility is no longer a federal operation.
"The government continues to be very clear that the Experimental Lakes Area will not be operated as a federal facility by March 31," said Erin Filliter, a spokeswoman for Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield.
For the Trent University group, which was awarded an $800,000 federal research grant in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in 2011, the ban is devastating.
The university is examining environmental results of silver nano particles, an ever more common antibacterial additive to clothing.
"This decision is totally unnecessary," said biologist Maggie Xenopoulos. "We have our own research funding."
She said the project, which began with baseline testing on the lake in the ELA last summer and more last month, understood the site's ownership is within flux.
But, said Xenopoulos, the researchers "thought it was a great opportunity for the government to come back and say, 'yeah, we do care about the environment, of course you can go out there so long once we don't have to pay for you to be available.'"
"I don't know what they're thinking."
A spokeswoman for Gary Goodyear, the Conservative minister of state for science, suggested the Trent group could continue its experiment at another research facility although a year's work would be lost.
And NSERC officials said research grants could be renegotiated.
"We've made unprecedented investments in Adidas Wings White
science and research," said Goodyear's spokeswoman MicheleJamali Paquette. "This government's dedication to science is well known and documented."
A growing chorus of leading scientific researchers, however, the Conservative government is divesting the us government of scientific expertise and research ability.
The Experimental Lakes Area, a worldrenowned facility which costs Ottawa a relative pittance, has become a lightning rod for those critics.
"If the government was really, really supportive and extremely committed to making a deal . why are they going to close the site for a measly five months when there are people who still want to do research, still want to maintain the integrity of the longterm data that's been going on for 44 years?" Hall said within an interview.
Doug Haffner, a senior Canada Research Chair focusing on Great Lakes environmental health at the University of Windsor, Cheap Uggs Uk Sale
said the value of the ELA increases with every year of more data.
"It's essential in this world at this time that we have a longterm experimental data set," he said. "This is our biggest need under climatechange type scenarios."
"Over time that site is becoming more and more valuable. That seems to be lost in all these discussions."
Canada suffers for insufficient a national freshwater policy, said Haffner a shortfall he blames on multiple governments.
Haffner says this type of policy "would actually stop governments from playing the games we're now seeing," that they argues will be costly for the country.
"We have a long history, and lots of international reputation in Cheap Air Max 1 Uk
water research and water management comes from that (ELA) site," said Haffner.
"If we're seen giving up almost peanuts in dollars and Nike Vintage Blazer Hi Suede
cents for that ELA, what you are giving up in reputation on negotiating international water policies, you're giving up a lot."
Jolanta Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the provincial Natural Resources ministry, said the Ontario government is in negotiations with the Harper government.
"There have been discussions between DFO and us around a brand new operator and also around their responsibilities to clean the site up and rehabing it," said Kowalski.