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Mr. Todd Panas National President Union of Environment Workers Public Service Alliance of Canada 2181 Thurston Drive Ottawa ON K1G eCG
Dear Mr. Panas: Thank you for your letter of May 24,2012, regarding Environment Canada's Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section. I am also responding to the letter you sent to the Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, on this same issue. As you are aware, the Government of Canada is making significant efforts to reduce the deficit and return to a balanced budget. To assist in that regard, Environment Canada made a decision to withdraw from research and testing associated with the development of methods to measure and chemically analyze emissions from industrial stacks. Due to Cabinet and budget confidentiality, the Department was unable to consult with managers or staff about this decision. Employees in the Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section are not responsible for developing emissions limits, conducting emissions monitoring, or for anyenforcement orcompllancs testing. Their mandate is the development, evaluation and updating of analytic or testing methods. In working on methods, their.results may make contributions to these areas, but it is not the intent of their work. Our decision to discontinue these functions remains unchanged. Going forward, Environment Canada will rely on alternative sources of method development and information, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to provide specific analytical methods associated with certain industrial air emissions. One FTE (ENG05) will be assigned an advisory role to evaluate information acquired through alternate sources.
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-2As you and the employees of the Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section know, we are working on a plan to divert,affected:employees to provide technical support for the oil sands implementation plan.· Ms. Karen Dodds, Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, and her management team remain available to work with you and the employees to resolve any further issues as they arise. With respect to your concerns surrounding the lack of consultation in other areas of Environment Canada's workplace, I am not aware of the particular situation you describe in your letter. I would recommend that you raise your issues with the branch head concerned, who will be in a better position to provide details on the situation and resolve issues as needed. In closing, I would like confirm that science remains the foundation of Environment Canada's work-central to our performance as a world-class regulator-and accounts for the majority of our budget. Last year, the Department spent approximately $600 million on science and technology and had more than 3200 employees, as measured in full-time-equivalents, engaged in science and technology activities. Research produced by the Department's scientists informs our policy decisions, supports the delivery of environmental services, and helps enforce the laws and regulations that protect Canada's environment. Environment Canada will continue to employ leading experts across a range of environmental science fields, including water, wildlife, climate and atmospheric science, pollution prevention and environmental toxicology. We are extremely proud of the world-class science produced by the Department. I trust that my comments help to address your concerns, and extend my best wishes. Sincerely,
UNION OF ENVIRONMENT WORKERS
2181 Thurston Drive' Ottawa, Ontario' K1G 6G9
Thurston· Ottawa, Ontario'
May 24, 2012 Paul Boothe, Deputy Minister, Environment Canada, Deputy Minister's Office, r 0 Wellington Street, Gatineau, Quebec KIA OH3 Dear Mr. Boothe:
I want to personally thank you for arranging a special meeting with the affected employees of the
Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section and also for emphasizing the fact that you did not want to lose their expertise. UEW is taking this opportunity to communicate with you and express its concern, once again, about a lack of consultation, These employees were recently provided letters identifying their positions as a discontinuance of a function. This announcement is contrary to Environment Canada's two priorities; i.e., safety of Canadians and the well-being of its employees. Furthermore, questions still remain unanswered with respect to why three recent reports - National Inventory Rep011, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program and Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators - have been released and announced by the Minister of Environment Canada, Peter Kent. As you are aware, DOE has eliminated staff who develop the emissions' limits, witness the data collection, and audit and validate the data collected by third party companies and by the industries themselves. Who, then, will be tasked with delivering these functions? With the Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section identified as a "discontinuance of a function", who will the Envirorunental Enforcement Officers rely on for technical support and guidance when compliance and enforcement orders and charges are laid against emission limit infractions?
Te!ITtJ/ (613) 738·5533.
FaxlTfJlec (613) 736-5537
During a meeting with Charles Lin, UEW and the affected group and managers of the group, several issues came to light including the fact that managers were not consulted, UEW was surprised to hear that consultation only occurred at the Regional Directors-General level and higher. At the National LMCC meeting held on January 9, 2012, I asked why the employees were not consulted on the August 3rd cuts or even asked where efficiencies could be found to minimize any job losses. Again, let me emphasize the importance of consultation and the need to consult at the working level. UEW has also recently become aware that some associated job duties are being re-assigned, new workplans and job descriptions are being developed without any discussion, dialogue or consultation with the employees who perform the duties! It is also disappointing to hear that some of these employees will be downgraded to lower positions and will be red-circled during this transformation period. I'm hopeful that this internal staffing decision can be revisited and the impact of employees quality of life can be minimized. Again, we urge DOE to initiate consultation at the employee level with respect to these discussions and work assignment changes and include union representatives in these discussions. UEW awaits your response to the concerns as expressed above and hopefully we can work together to resolve some of these issues before the next NLMCC meeting.
Todd Panas, National President. Union of Environment Workers. cc Karen Dodds, ADM, S&T Regional Vice-President, John Col tess Local 70712
May 22,2012 Peter Kent, Minister, Environment Canada, Minister's Office, 10 Wellington Street, Gatineau, QC KIA OH3 Dear Mr. Kent: The Union of Environment Workers (UEW) represents the employees within the Department of Environment working in administrative and regulatory support and scientific support positions. It is out of concern both as a Canadian citizen and as an employee representative that this letter is being sent to your attention. Three recent reports - National Inventory Report, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program and Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators - have been released and announced by you. What you failed to mention is that Environment Canada is eliminating staff who develop the emissions' limits, witness the data collection, and audit and validate the data collected by third party companies and by the industries themselves. Again, it seems that your government is not concerned with obtaining the facts and is ignoring the environmental impacts in lieu of paving the way for industry to self-regulate and manage its environmental affairs. The Source Measurement, Emissions Research and Measurement Section, a Section identified by the Canadian Government as a "discontinuance of a function", resulted in the lay-off of several employees who were vital to the ability of the Environmental Enforcement Officers who rely on technical support and guidance when compliance and enforcement orders and charges are laid against emission limit infractions, to name but a few. When queried, DOE officials responded with blank looks and provided differing points of view. They seemed to be somewhat disconnected from any knowledge of what vital role this Section provides in maintaining a safe environment for all Canadians.
-2UEW is requesting that when reductions in expenditures are sought, then sound decisions affecting the impact to jobs and the environment need to take place amongst all stakeholders. Reconsideration of these discontinuance of a function notices need further investigation during a time when any environmental impact to Canadians is most critical. Yours truly,
Todd Panas, National President, Union of Environment Workers. cc Paul Boothe Deputy Minister, Environment Canada National Executive
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