It is to be hoped that the closer we move to next year's election, more and more Canadians will be wagging their fingers at Stephen Harper for his various acts of destruction in this country. For now, let's enjoy the fact that this group is doing it for us:
An organization known for its efforts to improve scientific integrity within the U.S. government is taking aim at Prime Minister Stephen Harper over policies and funding cuts that it says are detrimental to Canadian public science.The letter, signed by over 800 academic researchers working outside of Canada,
In an open letter released Tuesday, the Union of Concerned Scientists urged Mr. Harper to lift a communications protocol that prevents federal researchers from speaking with journalists without approval from Ottawa. The letter also refers to barriers that it says inhibit collaboration with colleagues in the broader scientific community.
was released jointly with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union that represents more than 15,000 scientists employed within a range of government departments and agencies. It includes a reference to a PIPSC survey, conducted in 2013, which found that 90 per cent of more than 4,000 of the federal scientists who responded felt they could not speak freely about their work.Dennis Hansell, chairman of the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of Miami and one of the signatories, said:
“As a global scientist I need Canadians to be involved so I can get my work done too. If there’s any threat to that, that’s a problem,” said Dr. Hansell, who is in the midst of proposing a project in the Arctic that would require the co-ordination of U.S., German and Canadian research teams.Much of the world seems aware of the autocracy and fear that exists in Canada. Let's hope that sufficient numbers of Canadian voters will soon become similarly enlightened.
UPDATE: Of course the Harper regime, used to such international disparagement, said black is white:
In a statement responding to the letter, Scott French, a spokesman for Ed Holder, minister of state for science and technology, said the government has made "record investments in science, technology and innovation."As usual, everyone else is wrong, and the Harper regime leads the world in all that is sacred and holy.
With regard to the freedom of federal scientists to communicate, French said, "While ministers are the primary spokespersons for government departments; scientists have, and are readily available to share their research with Canadians," he said. He added that federal departments and agencies produce over 4,000 science publications per year, including 700 peer-reviewed articles last year alone.