Monday, November 19, 2007
Hon. John Baird, PC, MP
I wrote to Minister Ambrose on November 15, 2006 to express concern over the closure of several government websites with climate change related content. Although I’ve not had a response from Minister Ambrose, I see that two of the three sites have been restored. However the most extensive and useful one has not. The National Climate Change Process (NCCP) website (www.nccp.ca) remains closed to this day.
I am perplexed. The website presented the work of some 450 “experts” from government, industry, and environmental groups. They, with input from consultants, evaluated Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and ways to control them. It was a huge and expensive effort undertaken from 1998 to 2003. I estimate it cost a few hundreds of millions of dollars. It was a balanced and credible source of information on greenhouse gas management. Closure of the website means the information collected and developed is not readily available to the public and researchers.
Having participated in the NCCP, I recognized elements of the work when I read the recent report “The Cost of Bill C-288 to Canadian Families and Business” published by Environment Canada in April 2007. It made use of the methodology and expertise developed by the NCCP and demonstrated the major economic shock that would be needed to bring about the Kyoto goals. Unfortunately, without reference to the earlier NCCP supporting analysis and modeling, doubt was cast on the veracity of the report you commissioned.
Perhaps the closure of the site is just a result of confusion or carelessness on the part of government employees. Still it has happened under the watch of the current government. It is most unfortunate so much money spent to educate Canadians has been wasted. It is not too late to remedy this. Likely the information is still available somewhere in government archives. I think a review would determine that the National Climate Change Process website should be restored to operational status. Canadians and Conservatives believe in open and transparent government and the return of this information collection to the public domain would help reconfirm our government’s commitment to keeping us informed.
Duane Pendergast, Ph.D., P. Eng.
cc. Hon. Gary Lunn, PC, MP, Hon. Rick Casson, MP