Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud of the world-class science produced by Environment Canada. Research produced by Environment Canada 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 employs leading experts across a range of environmental science fields, such as water, wildlife and climate science. We deliver science that is of high impact, collaborative and, of course, transparent.
In support of keeping Canada clean, safe and sustainable, Canadians currently have access to a wide range of Environment Canada monitoring data through the open data portal established by this government. This includes scientific data, such as air quality indicators, greenhouse gas inventories, weather and climate data, as well as the national pollutant release inventory and the data gathered through the Canadian environment sustainability indicators program.
Environment Canada scientists are also actively encouraged to publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The department produces around 700 peer-reviewed publications per year, making it one of the most productive environmental research institutions in the entire world. The scientific impact of Environment Canada publications is well above world average. Its papers are cited 50% more than the world average. They are also published in journals that are more impactful than the world average.
Furthermore, I am proud that the work of three Environment Canada scientists was recognized by the Thomson Reuters 2014 report on The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds as being among the most highly cited scientific works in the world over the past decade. Environment Canada's science is highly visible, recognized and influential in the scientific community.
Environment Canada science is making a difference. Scientists play a key role in understanding our environment and the actions needed for it to remain clean, safe and sustainable for all Canadians. Publicly funded science is being put to use to serve Canadians, and I will highlight a few excellent examples. We continue to take action to keep Canadians and their environment safe from the risks of chemical substances. Canada is a world leader in this area. This government is taking a science-based approach and, as we announced in budget 2015, is investing $491.8 million over five years, starting in 2016-17, to renew the chemicals management plan.
We work hard to protect Canadians from severe weather 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Science is central to providing accurate and timely severe weather forecasts and warnings. Environment Canada scientists and meteorologists develop and run complex weather models on one of Canada's fastest supercomputers. This helps protect Canadians across the country, allowing weather-sensitive businesses and operations, as well as Canadian families and communities, to prepare for and respond to emergencies. We are investing $34 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to renew meteorological and navigational warning services in the Arctic.
We rely upon the valuable and world-class science produced by federal scientists and their collaborators to protect Canada's diverse wildlife. Caribou are an iconic symbol of Canada's boreal forests. The Government of Canada issued a recovery strategy for the woodland caribou boreal population in 2012. The recovery strategy is based on science and of course traditional aboriginal knowledge. This government and our partners in provincial governments, aboriginal communities, industry stakeholders, academics and environmental non-governmental organizations all play a vital role in protecting this important species.
These are only a few examples that demonstrate the department's commitment to a clean, safe and sustainable Canada. Indeed, the department has invested record amounts of money, over $5.3 billion for example, in science and technology since 2006.
Environment Canada scientists do not work alone on these issues. We join forces with key partners to address common environmental issues to make the most of the significant investment. Collaboration is a cornerstone of Environment Canada's science and is key to the high regard our science receives, both in Canada and abroad.
In 2013, for example, nearly 90% of Environment Canada's publications involved at least one author from outside the department.
Nationally, Environment Canada scientists collaborate with colleagues from academia and other federal departments and levels of government.
Internationally, we publish with scientists from more than 70 countries, including leading global institutions, such as the World Meteorological Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
This high rate of collaboration significantly increases Environment Canada's internal science capacity and keeps the department at the leading edge of scientific inquiry.
Environment Canada demonstrates the principles of collaboration and transparency through its action on the open government initiatives
In 2013, our Prime Minister and the other G8 leaders adopted the G8 Open Data Charter, which established open data principles for all member countries and called for specific commitments to release core public sector data.
Our government has since released Canada's action plan on open government 2014-2016, including a new open science commitment. This particular commitment aims to enhance open access to publications and related data resulting from federally funded research, in order to accelerate research, drive innovation, and most important, benefit our economy.
Transparency and accountability are core values that this government has brought to bear on all of its activities, including publicly funded science.
Through the new open data portal, Environment Canada shares its scientific data and research with Canadians. For example, we recently posted a full list of the department's peer-reviewed scientific and technical publications produced in 2012. We monitor and share data on national greenhouse gas emissions, water quality, wildlife population health, and more.
Environment Canada scientists play an important role in informing and assisting ministers in their responsibilities to promote a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for all Canadians.
In keeping with public service values, Environment Canada scientists do not comment publicly on government policy as this is the responsibility of ministers and their designated spokespersons.
Science has always been, and continues to be, the foundation of Environment Canada's work. Scientific and technical professionals represent over half the department's workforce. This workforce possesses the expertise necessary to continually produce cutting-edge science that underlies the department's policies, programs, and services.
I am proud that Environment Canada employs some of the best and brightest minds in the field of environmental science, who are actively producing and communicating research in support of Canada's environmental priorities.
Let us examine, now, Environment Canada's media interactions.
Last year, Environment Canada received close to 5,800 requests for information, from the media. For those 5,800 or so media requests, overall, Environment Canada gave about 4,200 interviews, with subject matter experts and scientists. The bulk of these were operational weather requests.
However, 369 Environment Canada interviews were given to the media in 2014 by other subject matter experts, including scientists, climatologists, and ice forecasters.
This demonstrates that Environment Canada is very responsive to media requests, including for interviews, in the modern 24-7 media cycle environment, which is required from every government department. This is a far cry from the pessimistic scenario described in the motion we are debating here today.
Let us, instead, continue to recognize, champion, and of course celebrate the world-class work performed by so many Government of Canada scientists each and every single day.
Of course, I will be voting against the motion, and I urge my fellow members to do the same.