The Current

Is there a War on Science in Canada?

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....
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.

Last Word - George Takei on Bill Shatner

Later today, William Shatner will be honoured with this year's legacy award from the Stratford Festival. Before he ventured into space, Mr. Shatner boldly tread the boards as an actor with the Ontario theatre company for three years, beginning in 1954. We'll hear from him tomorrow.

You don't get to command a starship unless you're pretty sure of yourself. This can inspire admiration among the crew -- and other feelings as well. Fellow Trek actor George Takei gets today's Last Word.

 

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