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Is there a War on Science in Canada?

posted Oct 22, 2013, 2:38 PM by SOS SaveOceanScience   [ updated Oct 22, 2013, 2:39 PM ]

the current 
with Anne Maria Tremonti
CBC-radio  
Monday, October 21, 2013 

A sign during a 'Stand Up for Science' demonstration calling on the federal government to support and fund scientific research, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 16, 2013. (Reuters/Chris Wattie)

A sign during a 'Stand Up for Science' demonstration calling on the federal government to support and fund scientific research, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 16, 2013. (Reuters/Chris Wattie)

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Prime Minister Harper's critics say he has been swatting down science with political criteria in a slow and steady erosion for years. From the defunding of scientific research, to the rewriting of legislation, to take away the need for scientific evidence. Author Chris Turner calls it The War on Science.



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Protesters take part in an Evidence for Democracy demonstration in Vancouver, Sept 16/13. The group is protesting recent federal government cuts in scientific work and rules regarding releasing of information to the public. (Reuters/Andy Clark)

The author of a new book suggests the Canadian government treats science in a unique way -- it dismantles it

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A mass of white coats on Parliament Hill protested during the summer of 2012 was part of a protest that made headlines around the world. Scientists said they were mourning what they called the "Death of Evidence" in Canada.

According to our next guest, the scientists had been in mourning for some time before they went on their march. Chris Turner is a Calgary writer and the author of a new book called The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Willful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada. He also ran as the Green Party's candidate in a Calgary by-election in 2012. Chris Turner was in Toronto.

Tim Powers is Vice-Chair of Summa Strategies and Conservative commentator. He says is no war on science in Canada because the government is still funding research. Tim Powers was in Ottawa.

We requested interviews with the Prime Minister's Office, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Greg Rickford. No one was available.

What are your thoughts on this discussion? Do you think there the government has an agenda to silence scientists?

Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson.

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