In an essay entitled “How Harper froze out scientists, triggered Arctic debacle” (Chronicle Herald, 17 June 2015), Ron Macnab describes the negative ramifications of yet another decision made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper where politics trumped scientific and technical expertise.
The tale begins in the waning days of 2013 when Canada’s prime minister was presented with a submission document, 10 years in the making, that set out the nation’s case for claiming resources of the seabed beyond the country’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) off the Atlantic and Arctic margins.
This work was performed by a project team consisting of legal/diplomatic, scientific and technical experts from three federal ministries: Foreign Affairs (the lead agency), Natural Resources, and Fisheries and Oceans.
When the results were delivered to PM Harper, he refused to sign off on the findings and instead ordered a re-drafting that was unsupported by the legal and scientific evidence. The new text, which did nothing to strengthen Canada’s resource claims, has seriously undermined over 20 years of multilateral cooperation in the Arctic.
Read the full article here: How Harper froze out scientists, triggered Arctic debacle (Chronicle Herald, 17 June 2015).