Rick Mercer: “My Canada includes weird scientists who are devoted to keeping our water clean”
Last night on ‘The Rick Mercer Report,’ Canadian icon Rick Mercer put the Harper Government, “previously known as the Government of Canada,” to task over the termination of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). In one of his classic rants, Mercer tried to make sense of the senseless closure of the ELA, which will only save the government $2 million a year.
Last May, the Harper Government announced the world-renowned ELA research facility would be shut down and its team of 17 high-caliber freshwater scientists disbanded. This will serve as a major hit to Canada, because “in the world of science, they are rock stars,” proclaimed Mercer. “They’re the people who figured out the acid rain problem.”
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the federal department that ‘no longer requires’ the services of the ELA, is currently mulling over three options for the ELA: transferring the facility to a third party, mothballing the facility, or demolishing the site altogether. The Coalition to Save ELA believes that none of these options would be beneficial to Canada as the ELA functions best as a public program to serve the interests of all Canadians. Additionally, “it will cost $50 million to shut them down,” ranted Mercer. “Wow, someone really doesn’t like freshwater.”
Located in northwestern Ontario, the ELA is comprised of 58 small lakes and their watersheds that have been set aside for research. For over 40 years, the ELA has been the most powerful tool the government has to understand human impacts on freshwater ecosystems and develop strategies that will protect the health of Canada’s lakes and fish populations.
“We really need Canadians to join us in the fight to save the Experimental Lakes Area,” urges Diane Orihel, Director of the ‘Coalition to Save ELA.’
The video of Rick’s rant on ‘drowning research’ at the Experimental Lakes Area is available on the Save ELA YouTube channel.