To the Editor:
During Monday’s question period I asked the Minster of the Environment, Peter Kent, a simple question. I wanted to know if he knew what ozone is. Basically, I gave him an opportunity to make me look foolish. As the Minister of the Environment for this Conservative government, he should know. Canadians have led the charge in the banning of ozone-depleting substances and ozone depletion research. We have a strong legacy that is recognized internationally and it’s a legacy we should be proud of.
“But does the minister know what ozone is?” I asked. Mr. Kent didn’t answer. And that, in a very unfortunate way, makes a lot of sense to me. Mr. Kent is not concerned with the depletion of the ozone, or even the environment in general. He doesn’t care that the largest hole ever discovered is right now hanging above the Arctic. Mr. Kent’s concerns, and the concerns of this Conservative government, rest solely on an ideologically-driven agenda of slashing budgets—and they are starting with the things they don’t understand, and don’t care about.
Canada’s role in the world for monitoring the ozone layer is vitally important. Everyone seems to know this except for the Conservatives. And after the Conservative axe falls, there may be nothing left. Research jobs are being eliminated en masse and institutes around the world are being informally told that the Canadian network will be completely shut down. If it is shut down, Mr. Kent won’t miss it. As far as we can tell, he doesn’t even know what ozone is.
Concerned? I am. You should be, too.
Justin Trudeau, MP/Député, Papineau