Wednesday May 20, 2015

Canadian scientist Steve Campana quits over government muzzling

Leading Canadian scientist Steve Campana says the stifling of science is hurting Canada. He says the federal government is even keeping the good scientific news from the Canadian public.

Leading Canadian scientist Steve Campana says the stifling of science is hurting Canada. He says the federal government is even keeping the good scientific news from the Canadian public. (CBC)

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"It's time to stop cutting science government jobs. It's time to stop cutting funding to world class research programs and facilities, it's time to stop basing decision making on ideology rather than on evidence. They've muzzled scientists, they've defended research and they've excluded experts, ignored, denied and eliminated evidence. it's clear they are no friends of the facts." - Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, on Parliament Hill, yesterday

About 100 people protested working conditions in the public sector yesterday, especially regarding the issues being faced by government scientists. Debi Daviau, president of the Profssional Institute of the Public Service of Canada says a climate of fear kept more people away.

As public sector workers get on with contract negotiations this week, they've picked up the cause of scientific muzzling and are demanding "scientific independence" be written into their new collective agreement.

Freedom from being muzzled is exactly what scientist Steve Campana was looking for when, after a long career with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, he finally left. We reached Steve Campana in Reykjavik, Iceland today. 

We requested a response from the federal government through the Prime Minister's office, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of the Environment and the Secretary of State for science and technology. They all turned down our request for an interview today.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kathleen Goldhar.