The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada

By Chris Turner

A passionate and meticulously researched argument opposed to the Harper government's battle on science

In this arresting and passionately argued indictment, award-winning journalist Chris Turner contends that Stephen Harper's assault on simple technological know-how, technology conversation, environmental laws, and the environmental NGO group is the main vicious attack ever waged through a Canadian executive at the primary ideas of the Enlightenment. From the closure of Arctic examine stations as oil drilling starts off within the excessive Arctic to slashed learn budgets in agriculture, dramatic alterations to the nation's fisheries coverage, and the muzzling of presidency scientists, Harper's govt has successfully dismantled Canada's long-standing medical culture. Drawing on interviews with scientists whose paintings has been halted by means of price range cuts and their colleagues in an NGO neighborhood more and more handled as an enemy of the country, The struggle on Science paints a shiny and damning portrait of a central authority that has deserted environmental stewardship and severed a nation.

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It wasn’t really Daniel within the lions’ den,” Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells wrote a number of days later, “but it had a whiff of Nixon to China approximately it. the following was once a senior Conservative cupboard minister placing the boots, at the least rhetorically, to Alberta’s WarScienceInteriorFinal. indd seventy six 2013-08-15 12:41 PM From sunrise to nightfall  seventy seven oil sands. ” Wells famous that the tone shifted a few times during the speech, yet after all “Angry Jim” held sway in a speech notable for its pointed feedback. “It was once surprisingly robust language coming from Prentice,” Wells concluded. “Indeed it may possibly even finally end up that means anything major. ” a number of months later, in June 2010, Jim Prentice travelled to Haida Gwaii, off the northwest coast of British Columbia, to devote a brand new nationwide Marine Conservation zone. the hot reserve used to be being hailed by means of the govt and environmental teams alike as a landmark, since it safe either the waters that lapped the shorelines of Haida Gwaii and the land itself, spotting the immutable interconnectedness of the full atmosphere. much more impressive used to be Prentice’s vacationing companion—famed environmentalist and outspoken Harper critic David Suzuki. In a documentary that later aired at the cbc, Suzuki and Prentice explored the hot marine park with Haida chief Guujaaw as their consultant. As they sat on makeshift driftwood benches at the seashores of Haida Gwaii, Suzuki chastised Prentice for the disasters of cop15. “We want a new approach,” Prentice answered, toeing the govt line. Suzuki conceded that environmentalists had to discover ways to interact in much less divisive discussion. yet company and political leaders, he argued, nonetheless lacked “an overriding experience of urgency. ” Prentice started to flow towards obscure pronouncements in regards to the ardour of Canadians for “the outside. ” Suzuki: “Please inform me that you simply needless to say weather is an pressing factor. It can’t be simply . . . ” Prentice: “Oh, I absolutely have fun with it’s an pressing factor. ” Later in the summertime, Prentice clowned for newshounds in a braided toque at a photograph op within the Arctic. “I’ve received the easiest activity within the government,” he stated. WarScienceInteriorFinal. indd seventy seven 2013-08-15 12:41 PM 78  t he wa r on s cience because the summer time ended, Prentice reverted to stiff-lipped party-line statements as he ready for the following around of un weather talks in Cancún. In an interview with the Canadian Press in past due September, he admitted that he was once now not positive that there will be a brand new overseas deal that 12 months. simply weeks later, on November four, 2010, Jim Prentice without notice resigned from cupboard and from his seat in Parliament. Bruce Cheadle of the Canadian Press known as the resignation an “astoundingly well-cloaked exit,” noting that fellow cupboard minister Tony Clement in basic terms realized approximately it on Twitter 5 mins sooner than it used to be introduced. “Why Prentice is leaving now doesn’t appear one of these mystery,” Cheadle wrote. His portfolio “is flat-lining. ” “Stephen Harper has misplaced his most sensible political fixer,” was once how columnist Don Martin summarized Prentice’s departure.

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