Silencing science in Canada

Is the Canadian government censoring scientific research?

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  1. The Harper-led government announced last week that it would be closing seven of the 11 Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries by 2015 as part of federal spending cuts. Although 30,000 departmental publications have been digitised, scientists and campaigners fear that valuable scientific content would be lost forever.

  2. Many Canadians criticised this measure as a grave mistake by the Harper government and called the move a ‘war on knowledge’.

  3. Canadian scientists argue that the Conservative government is prioritising industry-specific research by choosing economic and corporate gain over science and knowledge.
  4. Some feel that the cuts are a result of the government’s pursuit of oil and gas resources such as the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and resource development in oil sands of Alberta, which has sparked opposition from environmentalists as well as Canada's First Nations. 


    The Stream reported on Alberta's oil sands in 2013:

  5. The Stream - Canada's dirty dividends
  6. In 2011, Canada became the first country to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, a move that environmentalists say shows how the Harper government is abdicating its environmental responsibilities.
  7. Clay Jarvis writes in:
  8. The only thing propping up Canada's economy is the oil industry, and the only thing propping up Harper's government is the economy. It's not an ideological anti-science trend like in the States, but it's just as backward and harmful.
  9. In addition, over 2,000 federal scientists and researchers have been laid off over the past five years and hundreds of research programmes, such as those focused on ozone depletion and climate change, have either lost their funding or been shut down. More over, scientists still working for the government are not allowed to discuss their research publicly without prior federal approval.

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