Environmental monitoring group faces steep funding cut
Dec 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm in Business, News by tyler.king
A group that studies the environmental impact of the oil sands says it’s not going to be able to do as good a job with recent funding cuts.
The Cumulative Environmental Management Association, or CEMA, says it’s only getting 5 million dollars from the Oil Sands Developers Group, barely half of what it hoped for, and fifteen percent less than last year.
Executive director Glen Semenchuk says it means less money for very important work.
“There’s been some suggestion that CEMA is finished with its mandate,” he said. “Well, far from it. Things, when CEMA started ten years ago, weren’t even envisioned — issues that we’re dealing with today.”
He says they weren’t expecting everything they wanted.
“For the last few years, they [the OSDG] haven’t funded 100% of our ask, which is to be expected,” he admitted. “But it’s somewhat puzzling in that our budget is put together by our working group, and industry is very involved in our working group, so our numbers and our budget would not have been a surprise to them.”
Semenchuk says they’ll now have to find other funding to make up the shortfall.
“One would be to go to some of the federal agencies that are part of CEMA,” he suggested. “We want to also look at outside agencies.”
“There’s a lot of agencies that seem to want to fund anti-oilsands things. We’re going to approach some of them and say ‘how about funding some of the positive things happening in the oilsands?’”