28 October 2013 - Below is the plain text version of the Government responses to the Petition presented 18 and 21 October 2013 in Parliament.
Each of the three individual responses was signed by the appropriate Minister and all are under the signature of Tom Lukiwski, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and returned by him with a note of transmittal to Alex Atamanenko MP:
From: The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq Minister of the Environment etc.
The long white trails often visible behind jets flying at high altitudes are known as contrails. They are produced by the exhaust of aircraft engines, typically at aircraft cruise altitudes several (8 to 12) kilometres above the Earths surface. The combination of water vapour from the aircraft engine exhaust and low ambient temperatures that exist at these high altitudes allows the formation of contrails. The water vapour in the exhaust freezes into ice crystals which form the clouds that are visible from the surface. The relative humidity in the atmosphere in the vicinity of a contrail is the primary variable that impacts how long a contrail lives. When the relative humidity is fairly high (i.e. near saturation) the contrails can provide sufficient moisture to initiate a long-lived cloud. Strong winds will also affect the lifespan of a contrail by changing their appearance as they move. In some cases, contrails have lasted more than 24 hours. When the relative humidity is low and wind speed is high the contrail clouds of ice crystals quickly sublimate and disappear.
Contrails frequently spread out. This happens when the relative humidity of the atmosphere is fairly high, so that the contrail serves like a cloud initiation mechanism. The ice crystals grow by vapour deposition (the process whereby water vapour molecules deposit onto the surface of the ice crystals) and can also form new ice crystals from the nearby water vapour. These new ice crystals, in turn, can grow and form more ice crystals until the environment is no longer saturated.
There are no materials being dispersed within any contrails other than water vapour and the regular by-products of jet fuel combustion. The increase in air traffic over the last two decades has inevitably caused an increase in the number of visible contrails in the sky, especially in the vicinity of major international airports. However, according to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, persistent line-shaped contrails are estimated to cover, on average, about 0.1 percent of the Earths surface. This is not expected to have a significant effect on weather.
From: The Honourable Rona Ambrose Minister of Health
Health Canada is unaware of any activity related to atmospheric spraying of chemicals such as are described in the petition and which have been characterized as chemtrails. Health Canada has learned in the course of investigating the background of this issue that increased air traffic has led to the increased appearance of contrails in Canadian skies. Contrails are white line-shaped clouds or condensation trails composed of ice particles that are visible behind aircraft. engines typically at cruise altitudes in the upper atmosphere. The Department has no knowledge of any activity which could lead to so-called chemtrails.
From: The Honourable Lisa Raitt Minister of Transport
There is no evidence to support the theory of chemtrails. The long white trails often visible behind jets flying at high altitudes are known as condensation trails, contrails or vapour trails. Despite their visibility, contrails are composed primarily of water and do not pose a hazard to human health. Contrails form when the hot water vapour produced by jet engine exhaust operating at mid to high altitudes comes into contact with the much colder air present several miles above the Earth's surface. This rapid change in temperature causes the water vapour to form ice crystals. Jet engine exhaust makes up only a small portion of the water that forms ice in contrails. Aircraft engines and fuel must meet stringent emissions standards, which are constantly updated to ensure that aircraft manufacturers use the best available technology to reduce adverse environmental effects.
The appearance and duration of contrails depends on many factors, such as altitude, sunlight, temperature and humidity. Depending on atmospheric conditions, contrails may be visible for only a few seconds or minutes, or may persist for many hours. These trails are almost always present behind aircraft although generally only visible from the ground when the sky is free of cloud cover.
For your reference this is the text of the petitioners' 'prayer' that was presented by Alex Atamanenko MP:
WE, the undersigned residents of Canada draw the attention of the Government of Canada to the following:
THAT high altitude aerial spraying has been observed occurring throughout Canada for many years and continues to this day;
THAT this aerial spraying is being carried out by aerial entities at high altitude that create long lasting plumes that do not act as traditional aircraft condensation trails with informed observations indicating that these plumes are laden with a wide variety of unhealthful matter. These long lasting plumes in the sky have come to be widely, commonly and generally referred to as "chemtrails" - that is, according to the current Oxford English Dictionary.
THAT these plumes eventually disperse widely and the contents therein drift down in the atmosphere so adversely affecting the health of the population at large;
THAT this aerial spraying is being carried out without the knowledge or consent of the People of Canada;
THAT all citizens have the inalienable right not to be sprayed from the sky in this manner for whatever purpose that such activity may be;
THEREFORE, your Petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to take the following actions:
(1) to fully inform the People of Canada about this aerial activity occurring high in our skies and to explain why this spraying is being allowed to take place;
(2) to cause this aerial activity to cease forthwith.