Canadian scientists suffer from Conservative censorship

This video from Canada says about itself:

22 February 2010

On Dec. 30 Stephen Harper suspended the Canadian Parliament to avoid the investigation into the Afghan detainee abuse scandal. No Prime Minister should be able to stop Parliament because he doesn’t like what it’s doing.

From the Ottawa Citizen in Canada:

Off with the muzzles

September 15, 2010

What is the Harper government afraid of? Scientists at Natural Resources Canada have been told they need “pre-approval” from the minister’s office before speaking to journalists, according to access-to-information documents obtained by Postmedia News.

These new rules, imposed in March, affect not only scientists speaking on controversial topics such as climate change and Alberta’s oilsands, but also those researchers studying pre-historic glacial melting.

These rules are apparently being applied so broadly that a Natural Resources scientist, Scott Dallimore, co-author of a study published in the journal Nature on flooding in northern Canada at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago, was told he needed the approval of the minister’s political staff before discussing his work publicly.

This is asinine. Granted, democratically elected governments have every right to set their policy agendas, and it is not unreasonable of them to expect public servants to deliver programs reflecting that agenda. But there is a big difference between toeing the line on policy delivery and being forbidden from openly discussing scientific information that is of significant public interest — the levels of fish stocks or polar bear populations, for example.

Trying to control the policy agenda — and its attendant message — is prudent politics. But trying to control information Canadians have paid for and that they need to stay informed is, well, bad policy. That the Harper government no longer seems to perceive the difference is troublesome, particularly given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper once made openness and accountability — does anybody in the Conservative caucus remember the Accountability Act? — signature policies of his government.

See also here.

Arctic ice in ‘death spiral’ means civil resistance is our best hope: here.

Polar bears and the US government: here.

2 thoughts on “Canadian scientists suffer from Conservative censorship

  1. Pingback: Native Canadian genocide, new report | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s satire of Conservative prime minister censored | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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