Politics gets dirty, literally, when politicians play the optics game with the environment when they should be supporting solutions. The New Conservative Government's Environment Minister Rona Ambrose proposes a $300 million, four year, study to review 500 toxic chemicals. However, there are 23,000 chemicals on the official list of problematic chemicals. Just as Minister Ambrose pushed global warming targets out to the year 2050, she is pushing thousands of chemicals off to the side. You know environmental management is in trouble in Canada when a plan - to create a plan - may be underway that misses most of the point.
I've been an industrial scientist and still do some serious scientific work. To deal with dangerous materials there are professional standards such as: Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Standards (WHMIS), Health and Safety Standards, Professional Society Standards, and Environmental Laws. Violating these has financial, professional, legal, and often personal health consequences. Professional approaches to management should be supported and improved.
For decades, Environment Canada and numerous provincial agencies worked to contribute to scientific standards and regularly update them. Today, Minister Ambrose is muzzling her ministry's scientific opinion on gas emissions and she is performing an end-around on both the scientific and professional community that works to manage dangerous materials. The end result: 98% of problematic materials are off the list but Ambrose gets a photo op to claim she is against toxic chemicals. Orwellian double-speak at its best! At a cost of only $300 million, though some might argue it would be better spent through existing professional agencies