Environment Minister John Baird Moves to Protect Environmental Programs



    GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Environment Minister John Baird
today assured Canadians appropriate funding would be provided to priority
environmental programs and services by Environment Canada.
    "Like all Canadians, I care deeply about the state of our environment and
this country's ability to monitor, manage and protect our precious natural
resources. Environment continues to be a top priority of this Government as
demonstrated by our $38 million increase to the main budget of Environment
Canada," the Minister said. "This Government is also committed to ensuring
that taxpayers' hard earned dollars are invested and spent wisely and
efficiently."
    "In recent days there have been a number of stories written about
financial pressures within my department. I want to assure all Canadians that
priority programs related to all areas of the environment are maintained," the
Minister said. "I have instructed my department to provide the financial
flexibility required to programs and services in critical areas, such as the
Canadian Wildlife Service and the Meteorological Service of Canada so that
they are maintained, and that there are no layoffs of indeterminate staff."
    "The current financial pressures come from many sources, but a major
factor was the $17.1 million cut agreed to by former Environment Minister
Stéphane Dion in 2005."
    The Government of Canada has invested $375 million in funding for
conservation programs, which is the largest investment in conservation ever.
This includes $225 million for sensitive species and ecosystems with the
Nature Conservancy of Canada, $30 million for the Great Bear Rainforest, and
millions for Stanley Park in Vancouver and Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. In
addition, the government announced the expansion of Nahanni National Park
Reserve and Sahoyué - ehdacho/Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories.
    "Our work helps to protect the Leatherback Sea Turtle, the Peregrine
Falcon, the Woodland Caribou, and the Piping Plover. Canadians demand that
this work continues," declared Minister Baird. "We have invested an additional
$110 million to protect of species at risk as well as $10 million for
protected areas in the Northwest Territories."
    "Canadians should make no mistake that this Government does what it says.
The environment is critical to all of us and so is the financial stability of
Environment Canada," the Minister stated.

    For more information, please visit www.ec.gc.ca

    (Egalement offert en français)




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada, Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008


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