The Conservative government is planning a second wave of cuts to climate-change programs and is asking public servants to help manage the ?fallout? by explaining why their positions should disappear.
Government officials who manage the programs in various government departments were told this week that climate-change programs extended by one year in April will not be renewed.
The officials are being asked to compile information as to who would most likely be affected and what their public reaction would be.
The project is being described internally as ?government-wide? and The Globe and Mail was able to confirm that at least two departments, Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture Canada, were submitting reports this week.
Environmentalist John Bennett of the Climate Action Network, who has met in the past with those in charge of Agriculture Canada’s climate programs, said it is inappropriate to involve them in such a communications plan.
?They were all very committed to the programs they were working on,? he said. ?So for them to be asked to explain why they should be cut, really it’s right out of [George Orwell’s] 1984. It’s telling bureaucrats to come up with lies to justify government policy.?
Five climate-change programs at Agriculture Canada will be shut down. They include:
A $5-million Model Farms program to develop estimates of how much carbon can be removed from the atmosphere through new farming practices;
A $21-million project called the Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture, meant to involve farmers in the government’s campaign to reduce greenhouse gases;
A $4-million Shelterbelts Enhancement Program that aims to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging farmers to line their fields with trees to reduce wind and help control snow piles;
A program dealing with manure management and a fifth program dealing with the role of farmers and ?future fuels.?