When science goes silent

With the muzzling of scientists, Harper’s obsession with controlling the message verges on the Orwellian

Chris Wattie/Reuters

As far as the government scientist was concerned, it was a bit of fluff: an early morning interview about great white sharks last summer with Canada AM, the kind of innocuous and totally apolitical media commentary the man used to deliver 30 times or more each year as the resident shark expert in the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). So he sent an email off to Ottawa notifying department flaks about the request, and when no response had been received by the next morning, just went ahead and did it.

After all, in the past such initiative was rewarded. His superiors were happy to have him grab some limelight for the department and its research, so much so they once gave him an award as the DFO’s spokesperson of the year. But as he found out, things have changed under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Soon after arriving at his offices, the scientist was called before his regional director and given a formal verbal reprimand: talk to the media again without the explicit permission of the minister’s office, he was warned, and there would be serious consequences—like a suspension without pay, or even dismissal.

“He can’t understand it. The interview was of no consequence and had absolutely no relevance to government policy,” says Gary Corbett, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union that represents 30,000 government researchers, technicians and science support workers. “It really burst his bubble. They’ve taken away the impetus to educate the public.” Corbett shared details of the incident for the first time with Maclean’s but not the scientist’s identity, for fear he might face further sanction. It’s just one of many such stories of muzzled federal scientists and suppressed research that are being brought to the union’s attention, he says. All against the backdrop of sweeping cuts to water, air and wildlife monitoring programs, a total restructuring of federal environmental reviews, and the downloading of responsibility for lakes and rivers to the provinces. “It’s almost like this government doesn’t want any of this stuff to be open to public discussion,” says the union leader. “What we’re seeing is a total lockdown.”

Since taking power in 2006, Stephen Harper’s government has rarely been caught on the wrong foot. Disciplined on the hustings, in the House, and above all with the media, Tory ministers and MPs have largely avoided the gaffes and unvarnished opinions that used to plague the conservative movement. But to many of its critics, Ottawa’s obsession with controlling the message has become so all-encompassing that it now threatens both the health of Canada’s democracy and the country’s reputation abroad.

And the principal battleground—where the micromanaging impulse seems to have taken on a zeal fuelled by ideological distrust—is the environment. Since Harper pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, citing skepticism about the cost and efficacy of international efforts to halt climate change (and saving the country as much as $14 billion in penalties for non-compliance) his government has been stuck with an unenviable sales job: trying to promote the expansion of Alberta’s oil sands—a significant driver of the national economy—while downplaying the sector’s rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions and the government’s own inaction. One strategy was to brand the bitumen as an “ethical” alternative to oil from corrupt or repressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere. Another was to go on the attack. Environmental groups opposing pipeline plans have been denounced as “radicals,” accused of taking funding from “foreign special interests” and subject to special audits regarding their charitable status from the Canada Revenue Agency. And just this past week, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver picked a fight with NASA’s James Hansen, accusing the recently retired climate scientist of “crying wolf all the time” and exaggerating the oil sands’ contribution to global warming.

Neither approach has borne much fruit. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would pump Canadian crude to refineries along the Texas Gulf coast, remains mired in the U.S. approval process, while activists and even some policy-makers make it the focal point of their fight against “dirty oil.” Meanwhile Canada’s global reputation on green issues has taken a beating. (A January 2013 report card on international environmental performance based on indicators like air quality and biodiversity ranked Canada 15th among the world’s 17 most developed nations.) And all those audits—almost 900, at a cost of $5 million—resulted in just one group, Physicians for Global Survival, losing their tax-deductible status for exceeding the limits on political spending.

But if Ottawa hasn’t found a way to manage the activists or foreign public opinion, it’s shown remarkable resolve—and success—in denying its opponents federally funded ammunition. According to internal Environment Canada documents, obtained by Climate Change Network Canada via Access to Information, the amount of attention the media paid to federal climate change research dropped precipitously—80 per cent fewer stories—once the procedures for gaining access to government scientists were tightened during Harper’s first mandate. In the first nine months of 2008, for example, the department’s four leading researchers were quoted in a total of 12 newspaper stories, versus 99 over the same period the year before.

Meanwhile, the list of cases where government scientists have been effectively gagged from speaking about peer-reviewed research—sometimes even after its publication in prestigious international journals—grows.

• David Tarasick, an Environment Canada scientist, was prevented from doing interviews about a Nature paper on an unprecedented hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic in the fall of 2011. Reporters were instead provided with “media lines” he had no hand in creating. (Tarasick was eventually given permission to talk two weeks later, well after interest had died down.)

• Scott Dallimore, a Natural Resources geologist, was denied permission to talk about 2010 work for the same journal on a massive flood that inundated northern Canada 13,000 years ago—despite his attempts to assure his bosses via email that it was “a blue sky paper,” with no links to “minerals, energy or anthropogenic climate change.”

• Kristi Miller, a salmon researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, produced a 2011 paper raising the possibility that a mysterious virus was responsible for the rapid decline of the sockeye population in the Fraser River. It took eight months before government minders finally freed her to discuss her findings in an appearance before the Cohen commission, a federal judicial inquiry into the dwindling fish stocks.

• Mary Waiser, an Environment Canada water researcher, was denied permission to speak about two papers she’d written for the department disclosing the presence of chemicals and pharmaceuticals in Saskatchewan’s Wascana Creek, downstream from Regina’s sewage treatment plant.

Sometimes, the efforts to silence scientists verge into the Orwellian. In one widely reported 2012 incident, Environment Canada researchers attending the International Polar Year conference in Montreal were shadowed by media handlers tasked with squelching any impromptu conversations with reporters about climate change or dying polar bears.

At first, federal researchers reacted to the restrictions with bewilderment and anger. Last summer, hundreds of them gathered in their white lab coats on Parliament Hill to protest what they see as Stephen Harper’s “war on science,” staging a mock funeral to mark the death of evidence. But now, with funding cuts and program closures that were buried in two successive omnibus budget bills starting to bite—close to 1,900 scientists have received layoff warning letters as part of wider cuts across the public service—morale has hit an all-time low. “To call the current environment ‘dysfunctional’ would not be overstating things,” one federal scientist, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, told Maclean’s. “Your bosses are only ever following marching orders, so people are made to feel that there’s no use in complaining because we are so far away from the level at which decisions are made that there’s no hope our concerns will ever make it anywhere.”

Another researcher, who is scheduled to lose his job this summer, but fears speaking out will hurt his severance, laments how the current government has “politicized” the role of public servants. “It’s almost as if that job we had as scientists to explain things to the Canadian public is gone.” The scientist says he and his colleagues always understood that certain lines couldn’t be crossed when they dealt with the media—stepping outside your area of expertise or criticizing government policy were both definite no-nos, for example. But soon after Harper won his first minority in 2006, it became clear that the minister’s office viewed every media interaction as a minefield—to be entered into only if absolutely unavoidable. The interview requests he received from national media were routinely denied by political staff in Ottawa, he says, while even the most low-key local demands would take as long as four weeks to be approved. “They’re just not keen on having any expert knowledge delivered from Canadian government scientists to the outside world,” he says. Lately, he finds the media have stopped even trying to seek his input.

To be fair, governments of all stripes have been known to spar with the scientists on their payroll, especially when economic priorities come into conflict with conservation goals. Jeff Hutchings, a former DFO biologist, now a Killam chair at Dalhousie University, recalls an incident in the early 1990s where he and some federal colleagues were prevented from giving a paper at an international conference because their findings—that seals weren’t impacting cod stocks —were at odds with official department policy. But that was an exception, he says, not the rule. Current policy doesn’t just seek to dampen the odd controversial story, it passes every bit of information through a political filter from which almost nothing emerges. “All the government scientists I know tell me that it’s never been worse,” says Hutchings. “It’s like an Iron Curtain has been drawn across the communication of science in this country. And I think there’s reason for all of us to be worried about that.”

A recent report compiled by the University of Victoria’s environmental law clinic details a variety of ways in which government scientists are being muzzled. There’s the growing use of “approved lines” or sometimes full-on scripts—crafted by everyone but the researchers—to cast findings in the least controversial, and often most boring, way. And then there are the now-institutionalized delays, where interview requests aren’t necessarily denied, but put off so long that stories appear without comment from federal experts, and the media moves on. Part of that may just be the bureaucracy catching the no-news-is-good-news zeitgeist. After the National Research Council denied an interview request about a study of snowfall patterns last March, Ottawa Citizen reporter Tom Spears filed an Access to Information request and discovered that 11 government employees had spent the better part of a day worrying about what he might write, exchanging more than 50 emails. It was a sharp contrast to what happened when he called NASA—also a party to the study. It took the U.S. agency just 15 minutes to put him in contact with one of their climatologists.

The creeping level of paranoia within the government is even apparent in the training materials its departments hand out to designated spokespeople. Meeting the Media, a 2008 DFO publication, stresses vigilance at all times—even the most banal interaction can be twisted into a story. “You may be situated on an ice floe when the questions pop up on your handheld device from someone in a warm newsroom many kilometres or even continents away.” As a consequence, says the pamphlet, it’s always better to “stay inside the box,” reverting to prepared “anchor answers” and “top line messages.” And on the odd occasion where scientists or bureaucrats end up face-to-face with reporters, they should treat it like an encounter with a bear. Loss of eye contact shows discomfort, crossed arms appear defensive, says a section on non-verbal communication. If trapped in a scrum, it instructs, keep your responses brief, then at first opportunity excuse yourself, leaving “at a regular pace, not a run.”

The 128-page UVic report, prepared at the behest of Ottawa-based Democracy Watch, formed the basis of a February complaint to federal Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, charging that the government is systematically obstructing the rights of the media and the Canadian public to timely access to scientific information. In early April, Legault’s office launched an investigation, notifying seven departments—including Environment Canada, DFO, Natural Resources and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency—that it expects full co-operation.

Calvin Sandborn, the law professor who oversees the clinic, says he’s pleased that the complaint is being taken seriously. “I don’t think there are many more important issues than this question of concealing scientific information from the general public,” he says. “It’s such a threat to the democratic process.” The information chill that has settled over government reaches far beyond the media, he argues. Even in his own work, he’s noticed that regulatory questions that used to be answered via a quick phone call now must be submitted in writing, with the responses often arriving weeks later.

The Harper government hasn’t offered any official reaction to the information commissioner’s investigation, but its general response to the charges that scientists are being muzzled has been to deny that any problem exists. Maclean’s requests for interviews with Keith Ashfield, the minister of fisheries, was denied. And there was no response from the office of Peter Kent, the minister of the environment. A promised interview with Gary Goodyear, the minister of state for science and technology, never materialized. His spokeswoman provided a brief statement: “There have been no recent changes to the government’s communication policy for federal civil servants,” it reads. “Government scientists and experts are readily available to share their research with the media and the public.” It goes on to note the 500 studies published last year by Natural Resources Canada, and the “nearly 1,000” scientific papers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. And it states that Environment Canada participated in more than 1,300 media interviews in 2012. (Although how many of those were weather-related—the department’s meteorologists are free to speak to reporters without seeking approval, unlike the rest of their colleagues—is unclear.)

The government also points out that it has been supporting Canadian science in very tangible ways, steadily increasing investments in research and technology—more than $11 billion in the current budget—even as it has tightened its belt in other areas.

To its critics, however, that funding boost—which has favoured applied science and commercialization over basic research and “pure” sciences—only serves to underline what they say is the government’s true agenda. “They’re all for science that will produce widgets that they can sell and tax,” says David Schindler, a professor of ecology at the University of Alberta. “But it’s clear that environmental scientists are lumped right down there with Greenpeace in their view.”

Such distrust of Conservative motives seems to be spreading, even beyond our borders. Nature, the BBC and most recently The Scientist have all raised the alarm about the soundness of federal research in Canada. And foreign scientists are becoming increasingly leery of collaborating with their Canadian government counterparts. This past winter, Andreas Muenchow, an oceanographer at the University of Delaware, revealed details of a sweeping new non-disclosure agreement he was asked to sign before embarking on a joint study of Arctic waters. “I feel that it threatens my academic freedom and potentially muzzles my ability to publish data and interpretation and talk timely on science issues,” he wrote in a blog posting. And a new publication procedure that will see all DFO collaborations vetted by bureaucrats before the manuscripts can be submitted to journals is causing similar consternation. Anna Kuparinen, a fisheries researcher with the University of Helsinki, told Maclean’s that she’s currently reconsidering a project with a DFO scientist. “There’s a possibility that something in our research could cause problems,” she says. “And for a young scientist, not being able to put your work into an article is a nightmare scenario.” With funding from the Finnish government already in hand, she thinks it might be wiser to move the project to a different country.

Of course, such threats are unlikely to change Ottawa’s course. Harper has a lengthy record of picking fights with number-crunchers of all varieties—firing the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, provoking the resignation of the chief statistician of Canada, and repeatedly refusing to play ball with Parliament’s independent budget officer. One recent Ipsos Reid poll suggests that combative approach might be chipping away at the Prime Minister’s reputation—69 per cent of respondents called the Harper government “too secretive,” while 63 per cent said they weren’t living up to past promises to be “ethical, open and transparent.”

But other surveys indicate that the party can still yield political gains from positions that are at odds with a majority of Canadians. An Angus Reid survey on global warming, released earlier this month, found that 58 per cent of Canadians now accept climate change as a fact, attributing it to man-made activities. But that’s a position that’s endorsed by just 42 per cent of Albertans, and only 38 per cent of Tory voters.

The approach the Harper government is taking to its scientists isn’t that dissimilar to that of George W. Bush during his two terms as U.S. president, when there were frequent charges of muzzling on climate and environmental issues. “Information control is an explicit form of power,” notes Heather Douglas, a chair of science and society in the University of Waterloo’s department of philosophy. Douglas, an American who has only been in the country for 15 months, is still a little shocked by the naked and unapologetic manner in which the Harper government is going about it all, as well as the muted response of most Canadians. “If this was happening in the States, we’d be well past the tipping point,” she says. “This is the kind of thing that makes Americans go crazy.”




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When science goes silent

  1. Harper wake up! Science can not be controlled, and info is to be shared so we can learn together and make a better world. If Harper has decided to fritter our science into a big black hole, then as citizens we should fund our own science, which we would own and would be free to publish and broadcast. There are lots of us retired scientists out there, with lots of time and knowledge to do this ….. and ready to make a better world. This will be the issue that takes Harper down.

    • This muzzling is all about CHEMTRAILS, people. Look up in the sky. See those
      persistent jet contrails which linger and spread out and cause a blue,
      sunny day to become a grey, chemical mess? Well, the fallout is showing
      up everywhere and it’s making people sick. The gubbermint doesn’t want the people to know this. They need to maintain plausible deniability to avoid class action lawsuits. There should be protests in the streets about this! This is happening in San Fran and Europe. People are waking up. We are being sprayed with chemicals and it is destroying life and health. This is no conspiracy theory, my friends. Just look up, and watch the planes.

      • Personally, I’d be far more concerned about the chemical exposure from sitting in rush-hour traffic for 90 minutes than the diluted exhaust from a few aircraft, but each to his own I suppose.

        • It’s not diluted exhaust, I’m afraid. We are being purposely sprayed, globally. Sounds crazy, I know — I didn’t believe it at first. But it’s happening. And the public has been kept in the dark. Until now.

          • It’s not diluted exhaust from a few aircraft. It’s real chemicals – who knows what – being released high in the atmosphere with, it looks like, the express purpose of trying to control the weather, and it’s been going on for years now. I first noticed them in the early 2000s in Richmond. And yes, there were and are those who thought I was a crazy conspiracy theorist or something. However, it can hardly be said to be a coincidence when beautiful, sunny days without a cloud in the sky become entirely overcast with a flat sheet of clouds within hours of planes leave trails in a criss cross pattern across the sky. The trails would visibly expand – not disperse – into a solid sheet of cloud cover and, voila, within a few yours there was complete overcast sky – no rain though.

          • Hyperbole?

          • “Who knows what?”

            So you admit that you don’t have ANY idea what they are. You claim that it’s not exhaust, which is true, it’s not. It’s water vapor.

            If you do not know what it is then how can you claim to know that it’s chemicals?

            If such “chemtrails” existed then there would be good evidence available. Spectroscopy would be able to detect and identify the substances. Show me the evidence.

            Your “reasoning” is ridiculous. How is it that people can believe such nonsense and actually think that such illogical arguments are sensible?

          • “Chemist” — how much do they pay you to post disinformation? We know that government agencies hire brilliant psy-op shills to engage on social media and thumb comments up and down to try to manipulate public opinion. They know that most people cannot think for themselves and will simply believe what they think the majority of others believe. Anyone with two eyes and a few brain cells can see that Chemtrails are real. We can even see Earth’s wobble now. Even major corporations are pre-programming us with Second Sun and Chemtrails in their advertising blitzes — even Tim Hortons! We have the truth on our side — you only have lies and deceit. I don’t care if it’s classified under “National Security” — we the people — the taxpayers — do have a right to know.

          • Your response is typical of a conspiracy theorist. You assume that since I disagree with you that I am paid to disagree with you. I’m not. I disagree with you because I skeptical, educated in chemistry and I don’t see any evidence to support your claims.

            Speaking hypothetically, your attempt to dismiss by arguments by calling me a “shill” is logically invalid anyway. Whether or not someone is paid to make an argument does not determine the logical validity or soundness of the argument. If you actually have good evidence of “chemtrails” then you would probably be able to make a good argument to support your claims, rather than making logically invalid attempts at simply dismissing my criticisms.

            So, returning to the topic at hand, how do you know what “chemtrails” are? Where is the evidence and what is the nature of the evidence?

            All I’ve seen from chemtrail believers is the same thing over and over: assertions without any evidence and logically invalid rhetorical attempts at ignoring or dismissing criticism and skepticism.

            Where is the evidence?

          • Let’s ask the muzzled scientists, then.

          • Dude show some research results or shut up already ! If you have any hard evidence then show it or shut up!

          • What are we being sprayed with?

          • The contrail is condensation forming on particulates from the jet exhaust. Another word for it is a cloud. Can we focus on the main point of the article and not dilute this important issue with nonsense.

          • At least someone has a clue what the vapor trails are ! I was reading the previous comments in disbelief and wondering on what planet they get their information…

          • These are the same people we’re supposed to listen to about “global warming”? The level of scientific, if not outright, illiteracy is staggering.

          • Yeah, seriously. Is it any wonder that approximately 1/3 of Canadians still support the Conservative government when you have people posting gibberish about “chemtrails.”

          • Don’t put this paranoid know nothing in the same boat or you’ll end up looking just as stupid as he does! If you can’t put up any research (evidence ) then you should be quiet as well!

          • Denial is one of the strongest human drivers. Contrails, which have been around since jet travel itself, last for a minute or two at most and dissipate, just like they did 50 years ago. Chemtrails last for hours. Please, please, just open your mind and do some research.

            Chemtrails have been analysed and they contain aluminum and barium, among other things.

          • “Chemtrails have been analysed and they contain aluminum and barium, among other things.”

            ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.

            I saw the Youtube video where the news reporter claimed that the particulate matter had something like 10X the amount of barium which was supposed to be present according to the EPA. First of all, there was no good reason to think that the particulate matter actually came from the alleged “chemtrails.” The reasoning is ridiculous. Someone saw contrails in the sky, collected some kind of particulate matter which he claims rained down from the sky and had it analyzed.

            It has been pointed out MANY times in comments on that Youtube video that the reporter confused the units when talking about the amount of barium. He said something like “milligrams per (volume)” when the units were in MICROGRAMS (per volume). The value he reported was inflated 1000X because he didn’t understand what he was reading. So, instead of the concentration of barium in the unknown sample being 10X ‘over the limit’ the concentration of barium was actually 100X UNDER the limit. This has been mentioned OVER and OVER in comments on that Youtube video, but everyone who believes in chemtrails simply ignores the mistake.

            I’ve not seen anything about aluminum. However, what you’re saying is simply false. Nobody has EVER provided solid evidence to show that alleged “chemtrails” are anything other than water. The really silly thing is that spectroscopy is advanced enough that if “chemtrails” were anything other than water that it would be easy enough to collect a lot of evidence to show that alleged “chemtrails” are something other than condensation trails, but there isn’t any evidence. The video you’re talking about is some unknown particulate matter which some guy believes came from condensation trails in the sky and his reason for believing that is because he saw condensation trails in the sky on the same day that he collected the sample.

          • If you actually take a look at that report, you’ll see that the barium level reported is off by 100 times! The report claims 6.8 ppm, but 68.8 micrograms / L is 68.8 micrograms / 1000 grams = 0.0688 micrograms / gram which is 0.0688 parts per million or 68.8 parts per billion. The reporter got the number wrong by 100 times. He reports that’s more than 3 times the toxic level set by the EPA, but since his math is wrong, the concentration is actually 33 times LOWER than the set level.

          • All this worry about chemtrails but nothing on the past 2000 plus nuclear detonations and their long term effects on this planet!

          • Absolute nonsense.

            I have a German paper dating to 1918 that describes a condensation trail which lasted for hours. The paper described how the trail was moved around by the wind.

            Condensation trail took off after the second world war because condensation trails lasted so long that often they interfered with a second bomber wave’s ability to find targets.

            You ask people to do research but you’re making claims that are totally nonsensical. Saying that condensation trails go away quickly is not correct. I’d be HAPPY to cite the 1918 paper describing a persistent condensation trail which lasted for hours and hours. Would you actually read it or would you simply dismiss it? Every time I’ve ever pointed it out to “chemtrail” believers they simply ignore it.

          • These authors describe PERSISTENT contrails. You should be able to find the papers. Some of the titles have umlauts which I haven’t bothered using but it shouldn’t be hard to find these papers. Weickmann even draws a diagram showing how a persistent contrail was blown around by the wind. Note the publication dates are from shortly after the end of the first world war, almost 100 years ago.

            Schmauss A. (1919) Bildung einer Cirruswolke durch einen Flieger. Randbemerkugen IV. Meteorol Z. 36: 265.

            Weickmann I. (1919) Wolkenbildung durch ein Flugzeug. Naturwissenschaften. 7: 625.

            Wegener A. (1920) Frostubersattigung und Cirren. Meteorol Z. 37: 8 -12

          • Jim why don’t you post any links to this so-called evidence instead of creating evidence through proclamation!

          • The fact of the matter is that there is a celestial object — a Brown Dwarf? — which orbits our Sun and is now in our Solar System. Nibiru/Planet X/Wormwood/Destroyer has historically caused Pole Shifts on Earth in the past. Our North and South Poles did not always used to be where they are now. We are due for another Pole Shift and most humans on Earth could perish when meteors, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, massive tidal waves and floods occur. The Elite — which includes gubbermint scientists, I’m afraid — are going to disappear into Underground Bunkers while the rest of us useless eaters will be left on the surface to fend for ourselves. They can spray the sky all they want — at 5 O’clock to the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere — but they won’t be able to hide it forever. The good news for us is that things might not go according to their plan.

          • That’s not what causes ‘Pole Shifts’ – neither the axial precession (which has an approximately 26,000 year cycle during which the northern axis points to different stars, right now it’s Polaris) nor the magnetic reversals related to the hot iron core of the Earth.

          • It’s not just chemtrails in the sky sheeple!!

            The Harper government together with Monsanto, the Zionists, the Illuminati and the Koch brothers are also spreading genetically altered viruses in aircraft exhaust. These viruses are engineered to deliver DNA packets to human cells which will predispose people to evangelical X-tianity and mimic the effects of reverse vampires.

            Billionaire speculator George Soros has been gobbling up media in order to warn us. Unfortunately Al Gore is a secret plant (trained by Pat Boone and the Nazi’s) who’s undermining the anti-chemtrail/virus/jet exhaust movement from the inside.

            This is the real secret behind their “anti-science” efforts.

          • I don’t believe, for a second, that you have ANY evidence to support your claim.

            Please provide evidence of these genetically engineered viruses in aircraft exhaust.

            What nonsense.

            How is it that people come to believe such things without any evidence whatsoever?

          • Chemist, I believe your obvious sarcasm/satire detector may be broken.

          • Anonymous has an opp for Mossantos!

          • Nonsense. Absolute nonsense. It’s pathetic that 7 of 17 people actually voted “up” to your comment.

        • Take a bus, train, streetcar, subway or be the first in your neighbourhood to have an Electric or Hybrid car… It starts with you changing your ways… Live were you work, work where you live… duh!

          • I gave up my fuel burning money pit 5 years ago ,now i bike run walk or take city transit to which i moved to ,just to avoid driving long distances burning fossil fuels! I recycle everything and am pushing for our community housing to get off the grid!

      • Plus Chemtrails are killing the bees that pollinate our food. So population control is happening by poisoning the people & reducing the food supply by killing the bees etc. Sounds like Monsanto & governments are plotting… but to what end?

        • So true about the bees. This coverup runs deep! Try asking your MD for a blood/hair analysis for heavy metals and a Vitamin D test, before they try to make these tests illegal or inaccessible. They have to cover their tracks, after all. Then, compare the results to geoengineering patents for “Solar Radiation Management” and “Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering.” Don’t even get me started with “Climate Change” — Chemtrails are used in conjunction with HAARP to manipulate and control the weather. Yes, climate change is happening — they are manipulating it! Silly gubbermint! Don’t be afraid to do your own research before “committing science” becomes a crime.

          • come on you guys. this person is trolling you. chemtrails, brown dwarfs, now bees? fuck off. don’t feed the trolls.

          • No, these people aren’t trolls. There are plenty of people who believe this “chemtrail” nonsense. They’re serious.

        • The Chemtrails are also causing the Montreal Canadiens to suffer from unexplained injuries and poor performance in the playoffs. My G-d, where will it all end…

        • Mossantos is killing the bees ,this hard factual information can easily be found on the net!

      • Ever heard that fuel is burning to CO2 and H2O? Well that H2O is condensing in certain layers of the atmosphere and leaves trails.
        If you sit in the plane, you can see even the disturbance of the wings forming those “chem-trails” at times.

        I doubt that any government is keen losing voters and taxpayers :-) some actually pay their people for their progeny …

      • It hasn’t been that long ago since people in the area that I grew up in sued the government for intentionally spraying radioactive in their area. They were spraying these chemicals and then monitoring the health of the affected individuals to see what effect those radioactive sprays were having on them. Bottom line, it was killing the people. This was was back in the 50′s/60′s.

        • Yes they did that to find out how much radiation would end up in dairy cows milk. They are a bit smarter now because they realized they breath the same air as we do. Those are not chem-trails. The reason the vapor trails are seen for a longer period of time than before is the jet engines are massive compared to the old ones and spew out much more exhaust. More vapor means it takes longer for it to dissipate. Simple as that.

      • Ugh. It’s tin foil hat types like you that are holding us back from dealing with the real issues. Let’s focus on what we KNOW is happening. Free the scientists, increase funding to the basic sciences, stop this slippery slope to corporate control of research and development. Making baseless claims about chem-trails, weather control, water fluoridation (etc) allows those in power to lump us all together in the group of nut-jobs. Free, well funded science will bring the truth to the surface without the need for speculation that forms the basis of these types of “theories”.

      • The jet engines we use now are massive compared to the old ones. They spew out more vapor so it takes longer for it to dissipate. Simple as that.

        Besides they would need millions of gallons of chemicals and that would leave a trail people could follow and bust their ass. Those government guys breath the same air as we do so I don’t think they are about to poison it. Oh by the way I’m Canadian too but I use common sense.

      • You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        Condensation trails have been around since the early part of the 20th century. Chemtrails is a gibberish conspiracy theory.

        It’s ironic that you post such nonsense in a story about science.

        There is NO good reason to believe in “chemtrails.” You have NO evidence to support your absurd claims.

        Contrails are caused by condensation of water vapor. That’s all. You can find reports about this dating back to 1918. I’d be happy to cite some early papers. You can find images from WWII showing contrails which are the same as alleged “chemtrails” today.

        To say it’s not a conspiracy theory is absurd. I can’t believe that people actually believe this chemtrail nonsense. Where’s the evidence? There is none. It’s all just people taking pictures of condensation trails and saying, “That’s a chemtrail and I know because I can tell.” It’s pure opinion based on nothing.

        • Please do cite papers from 1918 and WWII. I’m sure persistent contrails were highly effective in wartime. And let’s not forget about Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. That was a game changer, lol. I’m done arguing with you. You are a highly brilliant individual with excellent rebuttals and arguments. But let’s not get distracted from the real story here. Scientists are being muzzled. The public wants to know why. What are they hiding? Who are they protecting? This thread is obviously touching a nerve. Lawyer talk all over here. Liability issues. Information Wars. What a sad country we live in.

        • Let us not forget — scientists and pilots are people, too. They have families, they have mortgages, bills to pay. They are required to sign legal documents which effectively prevent them from speaking out on issues of “National Security” when they get involved in gubbermint projects. What scientist or pilot would be willing to risk coming forward just to be labelled a crazy conspiracy theorist, a nutjob, someone caught drinking the Kool-Aid? They might not ever work in their field again. Fear and ridicule is used to ensure compliance and silence. A life’s work could go down the drain when lips are unzipped. Financial ruin. Perhaps imprisonment if they know too much. All of these factors ensure that the public remains in the dark. Seriously — what scientist or pilot is going to come forward to confirm that our gubbermint is spraying us with toxic chemicals like we are a bunch of insects?

    • “as citizens we should fund our own science, which we would own and would be free to publish and broadcast.”

      Dale, that’s what the CIHR and the NRCC are about : people funding research that is free for all to share.

      • Exactly! These scientists being muzzled are not Harper’s employees, they are our employees. I do wish that our scientists would collectively grow a pair (ovaries or balls, I’m not fussy) and stand-up to this. One would hope that our educated class would have the guts and brains to organize themselves to protect the principles of free speech and open government (remember when Harper ran on a platform of open and transparent government, wasn’t that a laugh!).

    • …but the citizens did, that’s the point. Another thing, stop! saying ‘climate change’-switch back to “Global Warming”. And as we are aware, ‘splintering’ scientists like splintering or weakening Labor is requisite for looting finite natural resources regardless of the rhetoric or sophistry applied.

  2. This is messages from Comrade Harper to Macleans. Please stop saying he is not nice person about climate change which is useless, not patriot, propoganda scientists. He fights against bad Al-Qaeda terrorist blowing up Via Rail trains, makes good free trade agreements for many things, and plays pianos and sings sometimes to entertain us. Long live our Great and Glorious Leader. Long live Canukistan.

    • you sound brainwashed from propaganda my friend… Hitler was a beautiful painter you know?

      • god I hope this is a joke

        • Think sarcasm.

        • Oh, I see. Sorry.

  3. Government payroll scientists who critcise Harper are freedom loving, free-speech supporting, doing it all for the children good heros!

    There are no governments payroll scientists who agree with Harper, or if there are then they don’t count as they are just sheep.

    Private or even (GASP) industry funded scientists (even if funded means that they once in their life went to a conference with expenses paid) are nothing but shills for their big daddy and should shut-up, unless big daddy is Big Green. If so, then see part above about heros.

    This article also comments that even americans would be shocked at the state of affairs in Canada, well – isn’t that interesting – macleans saying we should be more like America. I thought we were supposed to hate America!

    So all in all, this article reads like another poor leftie being punished by big old bad harper.

    Hmmm, wonder why I don’t spend good money on reading this trash!

    • Yes. Of course. But you’re here for a good reason aren’t you Frenchfry? You and BillyBobby are the last of the really rabid rightwingnut ranters. You’re here because it’s free and you get to promote your version of democracrazy. Yada. Yada.Yada.

      • Democracrazy? LOL
        Love it.

      • poeple like you give left wingers a bad name – you are not helping your cause any

    • Yawn. Hyperbole much?

    • Time is money and you spend plenty of time here sharing your conbot views. Advertisers pay online via click through, so they’re still making some money from you.

      • Someone making money of my clicks or my intelligent comments doesn’t bother me, is it a problem for you? Stop clicking then…

        • This comment was deleted.

          • No, I said I wasn’t, and wouldn’t, pay for reading macleans.
            If someone else is dumb enough to read or advertise here, so be it.

    • so true!!! but the left won’t admit it – you see they seem to think that free speech only applies when it is to their own agenda – and if anything else is bought up then it’s a nefarious plot!!! – Harper is right – we taxpayers pay for research we wan research and neutral conclusions not left wing loonie politcial agendas promoted by their unions

    • It’s despicable of you to generalize about scientists in such a manner. Not all privately funded scientists are shills. Do you know all of them?

  4. “the union that represents 30,000 government researchers, technicians and science support workers.”

    30,000?……………………..WTF………..30 freakin’ thousand!

    And just what are all of these taxpayer costing “researchers, technicians and science support workers” actually doing?

    Studying fruit flies?

    Time to make some cuts……….what a waste of taxpayer dollars.

    • So you admit you don’t know what they’re doing, and yet you want to cut them without finding out. Even here you can’t be bothered with evidence-based decision making? Sheesh guy.

    • “And just what are all of these taxpayer costing “researchers, technicians and science support workers” actually doing?”

      Studying fruit flies?”

      Spoken like a true ignoramus. Guess how scientists discovered sex-linked inheritance (very important with respect to various human diseases) and genetic crossover (extremely important for various forms of genetic engineering). Fruit fly research.

      • Phi, that was 100 years ago. Drosophila, the Lambda phage and C. elegans have played their tune, they can leave the stage now.

        • I’ll give you that those discoveries were made 100 years ago but scientists would happily challenge the notion that we can simply ‘leave’ that kind of research alone.

          For instance the US is also planning on setting up a massive Brain Activity Map (BAM) project to create a human neurological map which is going to use almost all of the models you say we’d abandon.

          “The planning documents for the project take a much more reserved approach than The New York Times article implies. After 5 years, scientists suggest that they will be able to monitor the equivalent of the whole brain activity of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, which has 302 nerve cells and roughly 7000 connections. After 10 years, they expect to complete the whole brain map of the fruit fly model Drosophila, about 130,000 nerve cells. After 15 years, they predict that they will be able to observe the function of the zebrafish brain, or several areas from the mouse cerebral cortex.”

          http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/02/brain-project-draws-presidential.html

          Perhaps you feel this research is useless?

    • you notice that eh? – the union hmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!

    • The science done in Federal research centers is mediocre. Why? because they do not need to compete for grant money.

      Harper should fire them all and put that money into the CIHR and NRCC, the two Federal agencies that fund REAL scientists who are FREE to speak.

    • Just goes to show that the real problem in this country is a lack of science education. The fact that people do not know that basic science research is an INVESTMENT, even though the benefits are not seen at the moment, is a travesty. We would not have MRI machines if THEORETICAL physicists did not explore the atom, we would not have the INTERNET without particle physicists needing to share information. There are many benefits society gains from “Studying fruit flies” and similar seemingly useless research, and the fact that Canadians don’t see that plays a big part in our slippery slope back into the dark ages.

    • What about all those medical researchers playing with their pet mice? What a bunch of losers–fire ‘em all!

  5. For whatever reason Disqus is being dickish about allowing me

    to post links but you could check out Dave Weigel or The Monkey

    Cage to see that Republicans and Connies are one big unhappy
    family. They don’t like science in general but those political scientists
    are especially icky.

  6. Scientists silenced. Don Cherry unchained. What a poor, pale mockery of a Country HarperGov is creating/destructing

    • I unfortunately had a hard time not laughing at “Don Cherry unchained” and imagining a really ineffectual version of a recent popular movie of a similar title.

  7. All Harper cares about is Power, for the sake of Power. Anyone who gets in his way is going to be silenced.

    • Yes, harper is all about power and trudeau is all about love, flowers and chocolate rivers for the children.

      Do you even read what you write, or is it on full auto?

      • She wrote nothing about Trudeau, and I for one believe what she wrote, and I bet she does too. So you disagree. Meh.

        • I simply extended the thought, which is just as realistic and logical.

          • Maybe for you!

          • You can’t logically pretend to know what someone else is thinking and claim to speak for them.

      • I think she is dead on. She didn’t mention the liberals. Do you ever read what you write?

  8. Quite apart from the direct harm of exchanging a flawed democracy for fascism, and the somewhat less direct harm from policies that hide problems rather than solve them, there is an indirect problem which will be evident in the near future: no one with any skills or insight will any longer want to work to do scientific research for the Canadian government, and possibly other Canadian institutions. Why would someone want to do research on public policy issues of import when they knew in advance that their research would not be seen, heard or published?

    • Stephen, you are correct, and this is a very good thing. Because the truly good science is not done in Federal facilities, it is done in Universities and commercial labs.

      • Two things Manny: 1) If you were correct about the research in Universities and commercial labs being of a notably higher quality than in the government; it would still not be as good as having both types of research; 2) your statement assumes a dichotomy which doesn’t exist

        It pains me to read these reflexively libertarian-flavoured empty statements, because they reduce discussion to a child’s game. The assumption that all government is evil neglects to take into account that everything is governed. Our choice is not whether to govern or not, but HOW to govern.

  9. Canada’s Report Card on Fukushima

    Summary: There is no ongoing disaster. Everything is fine.

    To assist all Canadians in understanding the importance of the triple reactor melt-through in Japan we propose to:

    - withdraw radiation monitors at crucial times

    - give false data

    - muffle scientists

    - refuse to explain testing procedures

    - fail to provide daily radiation levels

    - continue importing goods from Japan when other countries are blocking them

    - continue as the largest provider of uranium to the global weapons industry

    - lie to Canadians by telling them nuclear is green (when it isn’t)

    • You forgot “Blame the Liberals”.

      • lol

  10. ” Scott Dallimore, a Natural Resources geologist, was denied permission to talk about 2010 work for the same journal on a massive flood that inundated northern Canada 13,000 years ago”
    Of course he was. According to many in the CPC, the world simply isn’t that old – so how could this be good science?

  11. Canada…the new N.Korea of message control.

    Interesting dichotomy going on. Which is yielding the better results: suppressing the message, or calling negative attention to the suppressor through these actions? One obviously feeds the other. At some point the law of diminishing returns must kick in; hopefully at that point Harper has nowhere to go but out of office. It’s just sad to see that it kicks in so much slower and with so little of the power of outraged citizens in the US. Maybe we’re just slower to anger? I’d hate to think it was because we’re even more politically apathetic or submissive to authority.

  12. The sad fact is that until the next election in 2015, nothing can be done. That’s a big problem in our democracy.
    To correct this, we should do away with First Past The Post system and have proportional representation. A coalition government is always better than a majority government because of better representation. Why should a 39 percent support government dictate to the 61 percent?

    • If Ignatieff had won a majority with 39% of votes, you would have defended our great electoral system.

  13. This
    muzzling is all about CHEMTRAILS, people. Look up in the sky. See those
    persistent jet contrails which linger and spread out and cause a blue,
    sunny day to become a grey, chemical mess? Well, the fallout is showing
    up everywhere and it’s making people
    sick. The gubbermint doesn’t want people to know this. They need
    plausible deniability to avoid class action lawsuits. There should be
    protests in the streets about this! This is actually happening in Europe and San Francisco right now.

    • “See those
      persistent jet contrails which linger and spread out and cause a blue,
      sunny day to become a grey, chemical mess?”

      I have NEVER seen that happen before.

      You’re also assuming, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that what you’re seeing is a “chemical mess.”

      I have never seen a condensation trail “spread out” and cause a blue day to get totally cloudy.

      Let me ask you this: suppose it’s a clear day and there is a condensation trail in the sky, then it gets cloudy. How do you know that the condensation trail caused the clouds? Do you think the mere presence of a condensation trail is evidence?

      • Maclean’s has good connections and deep pockets. Why don’t we ask them to do a cover story on the Chemtrail phenomenon? Hire the best journalists and the most respected scientists. Then we can settle this once and for all. In Britian, the BBC did a documentary on this as the public was crying out for information. However, all they did was test the jet fuel from commercial airlines and tell the public that there was nothing to worry about. The thing is, it’s not the jet fuel. It’s retrofitted spray nozzles. I read your other posts. Interesting how you allude to 1918 and WWII being times of noted persistent contrails.

  14. In one widely reported 2012 incident, Environment Canada researchers attending the International Polar Year conference in Montreal were shadowed by media handlers tasked with squelching any impromptu conversations with reporters about climate change or dying polar bears.

    Stories used to abound about citizens of countries behind the Iron Curtain being similarly escorted and monitored in their interactions with foreign nationals.

    So, ironically, the Conbots who contemptuously refer to Canada as Canuckistan are actually onto something.

  15. It makes Canadians crazy too, believe me. It’s no fun at all watching one’s country devolving into a totalitarian state. And now that protestors are being equated with terrorists, the options for Joe Ordinary to get out there and speak against it are waning.

    • Scientists on Federal payroll are bound by the regulations that apply to ALL public servants. By firing them, Harper is freeing them. They will join the 90% of Canadian scientists that are free to speak.

      Look up “totalitarian” in the dictionary. I believe you are inverting the meaning of this word.

      • Guess you missed the part of the article where meteorologists employed by the government are given free reign to talk to the press about the weather.

      • The gagging of scientists and other public servants is new. You speak of “regulations” applying to all public servants as though those regulations have always existed. Having several generations of federal public servants in my family, I can assure you these dictums are new with Harper. Public servants traditionally didn’t speak out against whatever government was in power; they didn’t need to be disrespectfully shut up by Harper

        If you’ve been around as long as you say you have, you know what I say is true.

        This is all about keeping information from the scientists’ employers, that is the people, not the governing Party, that may in any small way interfere with the energy industry. God forbid the people should be allowed to be informed.

        If Harper believed that his policies would be supported, he wouldn’t have to shut people up abut the truth.

  16. Has anyone considered that Harper’s religious beliefs might be anti-science?

    • Bigot!

    • Harper’s religious beliefs ARE anti science, that is why religion is supposed to have no representation in a democratic government, so that clear heads will rule instead of heads raised and brainwashed with religious dogma.

      Remember Galileo and the vatican? Add to that the thousands of people who have discovered or invented wonderful things over the centuries who have been tortured and executed simply for saying something that contradicts church dogma.

      Seeing any parallels yet kiddies?
      You should be by now, open your eyes and stop listening to the published propaganda.

      This is why fascists always rape the media, to control the flow of information.the Internet is next on Herr Harper’s list.

      • “religion is supposed to have no representation in a democratic government”.

        Can you find me a source for that? Because that sounds awfully ANTI-democractic to me. The people are represented by who they elect, no matter what their religion is or isn’t.

        Which other groups of people do you think shouldn’t be allowed to participate in Canadian democracy?

        • Well maybe the voters who voted for him would be a good start.

        • He’s not saying that you can’t believe whatever religious beliefs that you want.

          He’s saying that religion is not supposed to be what informs government policy decisions.

          I thought it was pretty obvious, but I hope that clears it up.

        • @ Rick Omen

          Democracy cannot function properly if the process of representing the will of the people is corrupted by an intervening influence within government.

          Any pure democracy must exclude any and all special interests from direct representation within government, those interests must be represented by the vote of the public only.

          When religious influences are allowed to dictate public policy from “within” government then immediately, the very basic premise of equal representation is violated and the democratic process is perverted because the opinions and values, however well intentioned OR twisted, of a small or elite group, takes precedence over the will and the needs of the general public.

          For everybody to be, as you say, “allowed to participate in Canadian democracy” requires that religious and business interests be excluded from directly meddling in government decision making.

          The democratic process allows the individual to express their political, ethical, moral and business opinions via their own individual vote, allowing any and all church groups to have special representation within any government gives those groups “more” representation that the average voter, which expressly violates the basic premise of equal representation.

          Religion MUST be kept separate from the process of government or the historically proven inevitable result is fascism.

          One need only look at the second world war, which was the last war fought on this planet against a genuine, tyrannical fascist threat to the entire free world.

          Hitler and Mussolini both publicly claimed to be devout Christians in order to foster support from the religious community, as all extreme right wing regimes do.

          Hitler went so far as to print and post thousands of posters representing his image in a suit of shining armour and touting himself as a Christian paladin, a knight of the crusades supposedly defending and promoting the rights and interests of Christians all over the world, all purely to support his efforts to literally, take over the world, we all know what Hitler was truly about and how truly UN Christian he was.

          I am surprised Rick, that your basic understanding of democracy is so skewed that you think religion and special interests of any kind being given special precedence and priority within government is in any way acceptable.

  17. “I feel that it threatens my academic freedom and potentially muzzles
    my ability to publish data and interpretation and talk timely on science
    issues,”

    What a joke! This scientist chose a salary and pension from the Feds instead of fighting with other scientists for research grants, he chose safety over freedom, and now he cries over his lack of freedom? Quit, buddy, quit. It’s that simple.

    But until then, shut the f*** up because we, the free scientist who can talk all we want, are all jealous of your fat paycheck and pension.

    • If you would have read the article more carefully you would have known the person saying this was Andreas Muenchow, the oceanographer at the University of Delaware, referring to the NDA he was asked to sign before embarking on a joint study of Arctic waters.

      But I suppose that would have prevented you from ranting some conbot talking points.

    • hahahaha!

      I don’t believe, for a second, that you are a scientist

  18. “It’s like an Iron Curtain has been drawn across the communication of science in this country.”

    False. About 10% of Canadian scientists work for the Feds or the provinces, i.e. are salaried public servants with a gag order, like ALL public servants. The other 90% are free to speak, free to do whatever they want.

    Funny, all the 90% talks about is how to get a job with the Feds.

    • Yes, it actually IS like an iron curtain.
      Considering the very sketchy nature of your comments I very much doubt that you are a scientist of any kind, you sound much more like one of Derr Harper Regime’s paid online trolls.

  19. I have been a scientist all my life, and a Canadian scientist for 37 years. I have been gagged by only one employer, my provincial LIBERAL government.

    • And depending on which province you are from, your provincial LIBERAL government probably has nothing to do with the federal Liberal Party.

    • I don’t believe you for a second, but that doesn’t matter. Even if you are a scientist, that doesn’t mean your opinion is valid. If you were a scientist then I suspect you’d know about the logical fallacy known as “appeal to authority.”

  20. Scientist: “Mr Harper, our water is being polluted in Alberta. I think this important we address this and find the root causes”

    Mr. Harper: “No, I dont give you permission to talk about this to people it concerns. Lets just leave it at that”

    • That’s an interesting conversation happening in your head.

  21. I love the advice contained in “Meeting the Media” a 2008 DFO publication. Over the years, my interactions with journalists have been annoying most of the time, infuriating sometimes and very scary once. I cannot understand why some scientists seek media attention.

    Real scientists publish in scientific journals; journalists (and everyone else) are free to read these journals. The reason why Journalists want to speak to the scientist is because they did not understand a word from the article and hope the guy will give them a nice soundbite. Almost always, both parties walk out of the interview frustrated.

    • Frankly I doubt you are a scientist. Your earlier comment shows you don’t carefully read and analyse what is in front of you, and this posting shows a misunderstanding of the role of media; sure, papers are published and journalists will read them and report on them if they think its of interest to their target audience. But if I was the author of the paper I would welcome the opportunity to explain what’s in the paper in layman’s terms. If I was the journalist I would surely seek the insight of the author who obviously would know the subject much more deeply.

      Basically what you are saying doesn’t ring true.

    • Clearly Manny, you have missed the point, Canadian scientists are no longer allowed to publish in scientific journals without permission and censorship from the Prime Minister’s office and the ruling junta that serves it.
      THAT is why the public has become concerned and is speaking out regarding Canadian scientists being “muzzled” by the current ruling regime, because it is the truth.

  22. I would really like to see these men and women gather up their courage and defy Harper. That’s how you defeat this kind of fascistic control, you have the courage to speak out and thwart it while you still can, while the cost is just your job, and not yet your life. Scientists of Canada, please, do not play by these unCanadian, totalitarian rules any longer. You are working for the Canadian people, not the Conservative Government. Speak-out, risk loosing your job for the greater good. If you start speaking out, on the record, in large enough numbers, the spell Harper has woven will be broken, just like a phantom from a Harry Potter movie.

    • Come on, this isn’t a movie, and people have to support their kids, pay for their homes, eat food now and then. I don’t think we should expect these people to lose their livelihoods — why don’t the rest of us demand better for ALL of us, the scientists and all Canadians?

      • I am assuming at this point that patchouli is a paid troll working for Herr Harper, nobody with even a TV and an antenna could possibly be so dense.

        • I think it’s stupid to assume that someone with an opinion different from your own is a “paid shill” or whatever. I also think you need to keep in mind that being a “paid shill” isn’t actually relevant: it’s whether or not the argument is logically sound that matters. It is entirely possible to be paid to write logical arguments, so whether or not someone is a “paid shill” isn’t a valid way of judging their argument. I do, however, just think it’s stupid to say things like, “oh he must be a paid shill” because you can’t actually know that (and as I said, it really doesn’t have anything to do with the logical validity or soundness of the argument).

          • @ chemist

            patchouli’s comments are neither logical nor relevant, his argument merely supports not doing anything, that nothing bad could possibly be going on behind the scenes, that the current government is, in effect, not doing anything wrong, which is clearly a blatant lie as anybody with a TV and an antenna, a radio of (God forbid) an internet connection can see.

            patchouli’s “opinion” does not differ from Carlyn’s or mine, it disregards them as fantastic and unbelievable, these are the signs by which one identifies a paid troll.

            These are the types of bland, “leave everything the way it is and don’t rock the boat” comments that online trolls, paid for the most part by right wing extremist and outright fascist governments are making on a daily basis.

            It is also notable and very clearly damning evidence that both patchouli and chemist do not have actual accounts on this forum but are using “guest” accounts.

            It is always the extreme right who indulge in and depend on propaganda, on censoring and controlling the media and the flow of information on “Dictating” public policy and public morality based on their own twisted and perverted ideologies.

  23. Harper has been stripping our civil liberties, selling us out, silencing our scientists, educators and media. Check out what he’s trying to do to the CBC. He is following the pattern practiced by all of our infamous dictators… SOS! SOS! Harper has to go.

    • Can CBC employees speak out against their employer? Absolutely not!!!

      • Actually, employees at the CBC have always been free to criticize their employer so long as they have evidence to support their allegations.
        Whistlblowing is something that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has always supported, regardless of who the whistle is being blown on.
        The CBC has also published apologies to the public many times in the past when it has found itself to be in error.
        In other words, the CBC “used” to be run in an ethical, open and transparent manner, unlike Herr Harper’s Regime.

    • Which dictators are those? Chretien? Martin? Trudeau?

  24. Name the orgs that allow their employees to trash talk them in public.

    • The government of Canada is not an “org” my friend, it is a structure that is supposed to serve the will of the people and provide the services that our taxes pay for.
      We in Canada have a constitution that states in very clear and simple terms that we have the right to free speech and free public demonstration, The Harper Regime is taking those rights away without consulting the public and without answering the continuous demands by the public for explanations as to why they are violating the highest laws of the land.
      This is fascism, pure and simple, what this government is and has been doing is not a demonstration of “possible signs” of right wing extremism, what this government is and has been doing are clear evidence that they are steering Canada towards a dictatorship, pure and simple.

      • It bears mentioning that our org, er, government, even used to have a Charter Challenges program whereby people were able to challenge Canadian laws that may have violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, funded by the public. Of course this government has terminated that program and also chose not to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Charter; clearly the War of 1812 was so much more important to commemorate.

    • Those scientists work for one giant “org,” namely: THE PEOPLE OF CANADA.

      What kind of silly org actively blocks their employees from speaking to their employers? That makes absolutely no sense.

    • We paid for those facts with our tax dollars and we deserve unfettered access to them without interference from anonymous PMO party functionaries. Last time I looked, this was Canada, not the Soviet Union.

      • And you probably think you’re entitled to any person’s tax returns as well, just because it’s government data? Give your head a shake.

        • Strangely off-topic, Rick. The article was about public access to tax-payer funded science research, not the need for security of personal tax records, which has never been at issue. But if you really believe political party functionaries in the PMO have a legitimate role in accessing and protecting your personal tax returns, you might want to consider giving your own head a shake.

          • It’s not off topic. You’re claiming that tax payers should have access to any data that was found by the federal government. That would include tax records, army planning, etc. Clearly that’s nonsensical.

            Or is scientific data “special” in your mind?

          • Get with program! We are talking about the rights to research you brought up personal data.

          • He did NOT say that tax payers should have access to “any data that was found by the federal government” nor did he imply it. Your argument is a poor attempt at a straw man.

        • Well that was a stupid thing to say

        • What kind of ridiculous analogy is that? We’re not talking about private information here. Scientific facts shouldn’t be confidential.

    • Canada, 8 years ago.

  25. “Ethical, open and transparent,” my foot. We have allowed our government to, in plain sight of the world, become sick and evil by policy, disgracing us all. And we can’t even say we don’t deserve the stigma they’ve placed on us: we are enabling these enemies of scientific truth and openness by our failure to put them on unemployment where they belong.

  26. Next comes the funny salute and fancy uniforms.
    Our Beloved Leader must be obeyed.

    • More like academic scientists have to be obeyed. That’s the trouble isn’t it? You want message control.

  27. The volume of obvious astroturfer comments here is testimony to how sensitive an issue this is for the Harper Government.

    The position that taxpayers should be censored from scientific research they fund is indefensible and absurd. This practice is clearly anti-democratic.

    • Do you want to know what federal accountants do, as well? How about the cleaning people? Are you interested in their statements? Federal scientists are government employees just like every other government employee. They are salaried and their work is considered to belong to the Government of Canada. Would IBM or Microsoft allow their developers to present their work or speak to the press? No. What everyone confuses here is the difference between academic scientists and those that work for NGO’s and government scientists. The first lot are heavily politicized and rely on grants to produce the right research to back up the political message. They publish and present their own work The second group are salaried. Their work belongs to the Government of Canada and the Government does get a say on where its research is presented.

      • The IBM Research website has the names, publications, phone numbers, and email addresses of their researchers right there in public, for anyone to call.

        The Microsoft Research website regularly posts presentations, links to media interviews with their researchers, and even blog posts by their research teams.

        I think you’re the one who is confused.

  28. Hey suckers! Will you elect Harper for another mandate…suckers?

    As a Canadian expat now living Down South, gotta admit that I’m glad I left.

      • It’s pathetic how many people support the Conservative government. If this trend continues then there will be a brain drain from Canada and all that will be left are, to be blunt, is people like you.

  29. Is PM Harper in bed with the Koch Bros?
    Will Creationism next be taught in Science class in CN Schools?
    Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Petroleum Wars!

  30. :”Verges on Orwellian”?

    I think the writer is about 8 years behind the times with that particular opinion.

    Canada is already wallowing in fascism my friends, what with the Harper regime’s recent meddling and ongoing with the CBC, the arts councils, the Canada Research Council and pretty much any organization in this country that might have the capacity to publish information or opinions that might not agree with the this government’s official policies and opinions on, pretty much everything.

  31. I see the trolls have cleverly succeeded in taking the conversation away from the issue of censoring scientists plus turning Science into a partisan thing. Will sharks influence people to vote Liberal or NDP? lol

    Stay on topic folks.

    This just shows how nuts the Harper government is: The trolls are using their right to free speech, while vociferously approving Harper taking away free, innocuous speech from scientists.

    Science isn’t partisan, it just IS. Science produces facts. Oops! That’s the problem for
    this fact-phobic so-called gov’t. I’m not partisan, I’ve voted for every
    Party. I just recognize a secretive, paranoid control freak when I see one.

    • Science may not be partisan, but this gov’t sees everything through a partisan lens. And it sees facts as particularly threatening since they get in the way of skillfully contrived talking points based on the politics of conviction.

  32. Repost from Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize winner and former war
    correspondent for the New York Times) on Canada’s right-wing neocon Prime Minister
    Stephen Harper:

    Harper is a poster child for corporate malfeasance and
    corporate power, just sort of dismantling everything that’s good about Canada. So he’s the kind of species that rises to
    political power and is utterly subservient to corporate interests at the
    expense of the citizenry.

    Yeah, he’s a pretty venal figure.

    http://www.straight.com/article-732826/vancouver/chris-hedges-harper-venal-us-politics-totally-rigged

    .

  33. Wake up Canada!!! What is next?? In over 50 years of watching Canadian politics, I have never seen such a paranoid, repressive government as we have today with Harper and Co. NEVER!!!!

    • Exactly same thing here he is very odd.

  34. Ho hum. Another alarmist piece by CAUT emanating from Andrew Weaver and the activists at UVic. “The interview was of no consequence and had absolutely no relevance to government policy,” says Gary Corbett, president of the Professional
    Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)” – ah but Gary you are being disingenuous here. You know darn well that to allow one scientist to do a talk on something of no consequence in a union shop means that everyone gets to talk even on subjects that may be, er hem, not so innocent. Here’s another one. “All against the backdrop of sweeping cuts to water, air and wildlife monitoring programs, a total restructuring of federal environmental reviews, and the downloading of responsibility for lakes and rivers to the provinces”. Activists and NGO’s reporting to the UN like national policies as does the UN. They can’t stand having to deal with thirteen entities. That is what the problem is here.The Federal government was in talks to hand the Experimental Lakes project to a UN outfit in Manitoba but…wait for it…those muzzled scientists working there felt it would politicize their work too much to have the UN involved.

    “According to internal Environment Canada documents, …, the amount of attention
    the media paid to federal climate change research dropped precipitously—80 per cent fewer stories—once the procedures for gaining access to government scientists were tightened…. In the first nine months of 2008, for example, the department’sfour leading researchers were quoted in a total of 12 newspaper stories, versus 99 over the same period the year before.” Geeze Louise. 2008 – wasn’t that the year Climategate exploded? Ya might think that would have something to do with it?

    Dr. Kristi Miller muzzled scientist. Wasn’t she the one that testified and told the court she wasn’t being muzzled? And furthermore she didn’t want to commit herself to saying that the disease was killing the salmon as her research was not complete? Furthermore the protest against Harper was mostly academic scientists not federal scientists. One federal scientist who commented said there were a few political malcontents in the department but on the whole, they were happy not to have to face a phalanx of reporters at the end of the day trying to wrong foot them.

    This whole tempest in a teapot is being instigated by the climate change community and academic scientists who are seeing their funding dry up and their excuse for draconian public action weaken. The whole object is message control. Their funding demands that there be proof of man made climate change. Democracy to a lot of these people means socialism. If independent salaried scientists are out there able to work independently without the threat of political interference by the activist community all the better. Science is not run by consensus, something Andrew Weaver and his ilk better remember. As for this article – it is boilerplate cut and paste from several similar articles I’ve seen in Huffpo, the Globe and Mail and the National Post. Nothing new here folks, move along.

  35. I’m sick

  36. What is the Harper government afraid of? Why are they terrified of scientists. The truth hurts perhaps?

  37. Party Boss Steve continues his sociopathic ways, taking Canada’s democracy down with it!

  38. Whatever your persuasion, whatever your politics, the fact is this is actually happening. It is real and there are literally hundreds of cases of it within an very small target area.

    You can try and pretend it isn’t happening, but you know you are wrong. You can try and rationalize it, but you know it is wrong.

    There is only one reason for it to be happening and you know it cannot be good for Canada or it’s citizens. The simple question to test it is… if there is nothing wrong with the scientific information, why control it?

    Why sabotage departments and close down facilities if you have increased funding?

    Anyone that has been subject to this sort of bullying and coercion at work knows it is wrong. No one deserves to have their lives threatened for doing the right thing. These people are people, they have mortgages, kids to feed, careers to follow.

    It is criminal for them to be treated this way because a political agenda needs to mislead the people it represents and hide truths to further the interests of a special interest group.

    Don’t bother to ask Mr Harper how he sleeps at night, knowing that he does is all the information a real person needs.

    To quote Alan Parsons.. Mr Harper .. “I wouldn’t want to be like you”.

  39. Harper can only control what cowed Canadians let him control. His science policy offers us a pop-up, button-down coffin called Canada. And I guess we just want to snooze in it.

    When it is too late, the so-called Left will see the need to unite. Right now, the Centre-Left has some buff leaders but absolute-zero potential for defeating the Harper scrum. Coalition, and alternatively, Proportional Representation are our only hope for success. But, hey, we do love that coffin.

    Meantime, a big shout out goes to all those who cared enough to sign the Avaaz petition to unmuzzle the CBC! Thank you.

  40. Harper doesn’t want democracy — he realizes that the majority of Canadians would disagree with his actions and policies if they were fully informed about them — so the obvious solution is to make sure that doesn’t happen. Scientific fact gets in the way of ideological thinking, so you muzzle the scientists.

    Only two things really matter in Harper’s Canada:

    1. Getting re-elected
    2. Using this mandate and hopefully the next to implement the policies of the Reform party.

    Science and scientific fact get in the way of both objectives.

  41. Thank you for pursuing this, but I have to say that, while government attempts to stifle scientific or other debate are certainly troubling, the lack of self-awareness by the media about its own role, evident in many articles including this one is startling:

    For instance you say things like: “Tarasick was eventually given permission to talk two weeks later, well after interest had died down.”
    +
    “And then there are the now-institutionalized delays, where interview
    requests aren’t necessarily denied, but put off so long that stories
    appear without comment from federal experts, and the media moves on.”

    Interest only dies down because of an excessively narrow interpretation
    of what is news. Surely the ozone situation didn’t reverse itself in 2
    weeks and questions about the science are still relevant well after
    the paper was published.

    Why don’t reporters and the organizations they work for see that they are the ones that are being manipulated and silenced and are capitulating to the government strategy when “the media moves on?” Surely it’s reporters and their editors who have a responsibility to do the interviews later and report anyway.

    Or if it’s sensation that floats your boat, why no “Read the interview the government wouldn’t allow until now!” stories?

    It’s news organizations that need to grow a backbone in this country and decide that the game has changed, that they aren’t serving readers and viewers by continuing to do shallow stories based on news releases from today instead of actual information they might not get until the day after tomorrow.

    • The Canadian media is the lazies bunch I’ve ever seen. Tweets and Facebook posts make up half of what these nit-wits “report”, because it’s far easier to sit in front of a computer screen and just watch the “news” fly by.

      Just look at how many Storify “articles” are posted here, or Wherry simply copying-and-pasting a Tweet.

      There aren’t a lot of serious reporters left in Canada anymore.

  42. This left wing drivel that has no basis in fact is getting tiresome. It’s such crass propaganda. Harper’s opponents are the first to dismiss science when it suits their purpose. For instance, they don’t care much about science when it comes to the moment when life is conceived. They don’t care much about science when it’s shown that subsidies to green energy are in fact reducing jobs and living standards and providing no environmental benefits, or that fracking is harmless to the environment. They don’t care much about science when it shows the salmon runs on the west coast are perfectly healthy. They don’t care much about science when it shows that polar bear numbers are increasing. They’re the first people to throw science out the window.

    • They might dismiss science, but Harper is outright censoring it. These scientists get their salaries from the Canadian people, not from Harper. The Canadian people have the right to hear what the scientists are finding out, whether Harper wants to muzzle them or not.

      • yawn

        • Your money went towards research and you don’t care that you’re not allowed to learn about it?

          • I would prefer my taxes went towards government and government functions. Scientific research belongs in academics, universities, and private companies. There is no reason on earth why government should be involved. In the same way I don’t hire a plumber to do interior decorating, I don’t want my taxes going towards things that have nothing to do with government. If I want to support research I’ll donate to my alma mater.
            As for whether I should know the results if what is produced by any and every government employee, no, I expect my government to govern, I don’t expect the chickens to rule the roost. I know that is a recipe for anarchy in any organization, you can’t have everyone doing whatever the heck they want whenever they want. I voted the government in to put them in charge. The people we elect are supposed to be in charge, the unelected civil service are not. If they want to be in charge they should run for office. It’s called democracy. I don’t want to see the public service do everything they can to undermine the legitimacy and the effectiveness of a democratically elected government. I believe in democracy, not anarchy. What you’re complaining about has nothing to do with science, it has everything to do with politics. You and everyone else are just upset you didn’t get what you want in the election. We live in a democracy. Get over it. If these scientists were any good they’d be in a university anyway, that’s why universities have tenure. The same thing in a government is an affront to democracy. In a democracy, the elected are in charge, the elected represent the people, the unelected civil service work for the elected who are our representatives. If you want to run the show, either get elected or work in the private sector.

    • “they don’t care much about science when it comes to the moment when life is conceived.”

      When it comes to abortion, the issue is NOT whether or not cells are alive. The issue is whether or not you can call a small embryo a human being. You’re distorting the issue.

      You’re trying to say that what Harper’s government does isn’t bad because you think that political groups opposed to the Conservative government do something worse. Just because you don’t like something that another group does, doesn’t mean that what Harper does is okay (or that he doesn’t actually do it). You can’t compare something away.

      “They don’t care much about science when it’s shown that subsidies to green energy are in fact reducing jobs and living standards and providing no environmental benefits”

      That’s economics, not science. Again, you’re confusing the issue. Just because one issue might have effects that you don’t like doesn’t mean that Harper isn’t doing what he’s actually doing. Claiming that someone else is doing something worse doesn’t mean that what Harper does is alright.

      Saying that “fracking is harmless” is false.

      Your post is full of misinformation. You also have the odd habit of suggesting that “X is worse than Y, therefore Y doesn’t really happen” which is gibberish.

      • Thanks for proving my point. When you don’t like it, it’s “distorting the issue”. When you do like it, it’s “science”.
        As for your most ridiculous statement, according to you, abortion is all about the words we use. If we call a fetus “human”, it’s wrong. If we choose some other word, abortion is fine.
        And you claim that I’m distorting the issue? Please. Whether abortion is calling has nothing to do with whether we “call an embryo a human being”. It is a human being, I don’t care what you happen to say, there is no magic moment when an embryo suddenly transforms into something else. It’s human from the beginning, and just because you choose some other word like “embryo” doesn’t change reality.
        In fact, all your comments are ridiculous. No, fracking is not about economics, the reason it has come into existence is because the economics are strong. The only opposition to fracking comes from lunatics who want to claim it’s not safe. Opposition to fracking has nothing to do with economics.
        Thanks for proving my point.

  43. what about Canada’s Bill of Rights? Or is it just so much window dressing?

  44. The best way to put spin on a negative message is to simply prevent it from ever going public.

  45. We are being dumbed down just like George W tried to do in the USA, look what happened to him, the worst modern US president and Harper is trying to be George W. Let’s band together and make our voice heard. I am really interested in science and research and the cons/reformers are stifling it in Canada by muzzling everyone by threats and FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt). Do we really need outsiders to tell us what is happening here, don’t we care. Science, research and technology are our future, not some tarry substance.

  46. This is insane and soooooo disappointing. How did such ignorant corrupt people become the so called leaders?

  47. User Caring Canadian is paid by the oil companies to make environmentalists look stupid.

  48. We need to forbid our gov’t from censoring or interfering (in any way shape or form) with full disclosure of scientific information to the public, or any information people require to be fully informed on ANY subject.

  49. And thank you to all the scientist who are fighting for our right to KNOW**

  50. Now he is muzzling National Research Council – since when did truth become an enemy of the people? This man has singlehandedly destroy equal pay rights, collective bargaining rights, rights to a fair trial ( they can just throw you in jail now and say you’re suspected of terrorism), labelled scientists terrorists because they don’t agree with him. They have cut of funds to abused women support groups and anyone who can prove global warming. There is no longer a true north strong and “free”; there is only the powerful oil companies and “hail Harper”. To vote for Conservatives in the next election will be the same as signing Canada’s death warrant.

  51. Do we know the number of denied publications or interview requests? 3 within this one story.

  52. Heil Harper!

  53. The reason the response by Canadians is muted is because the majority of Canadians are too apathetic to give a damn. (Apathy = lazy) It is hard to feel anything but supreme hatred for Stephen Harper and his supporters. Even more, it is hard to feel anything other than complete contempt for my fellow Canadians because they are too goddamned lazy to give a damn. The truth is, Canadians are too self-absorbed to be anything other than apathetic to greater social issues. (Just try talking to one sometime: all he really wants to do is talk about himself.)

  54. So and so scientist “was prevented…” The passive voice is a shabby and flimsy voice, with no agent. We need rather say: so and so scientist “accepted his/her muzzling (because the government threatened him/her using a subservient boss who failed to be a leader”).
    Or even, more simply, so and so “accepted his/her muzzling.”
    Scientists are now wisely taking collective action; there is strength in numbers, as trade unions discovered when bosses threatened them. Take courage, as people have always needed to do when faced with the threats of those in power.
    Wake up–this is where we are now.

  55. Canada going Stalinist while the USA goes Kafkaesque. Is there *ANYONE* out there at the controls, running North America, who is sane?

    • Please be reminded that Joseph Stalin was an extreme right wing fascist, the Soviet Union was only a truly communist country while Lenin was alive, once he died, Stalin seized power, all the wealth and power went to The Kremlin and stayed there until Mikhael Gorbachev collapsed the union in the interests of the people being represented in a more socialist manner.
      Since then the right wing extremism of the old Soviet Union has been growing with an ex KGB assassin in the president’s seat this is not surprising.

  56. And I thought we Americans had it bad…! Can you say “Lysenkoism?”

  57. Fantastic, well researched and logical article. My hope is that when making decisions about government policy and the environment Canadians whom are not scientifically knowledgeable will rely on both a) those people that are knowledgeable and the specific issue and b) their own common sense. Scientists and the entire scientific process is dedicated to bringing to light objective facts – the closest thing we have to “truth”. Their insight is invaluble when it comes to every aspect of out lives. Just as important, common sense is based on simple perception of a situation, and it is therefore is less likely to be skewed by other people’s opinion. We need it when making decisions about things we do not know much about, and also when there are some people vested in manipulating our decisions.

    Reading this article and then some of the comments here, exemplifies that we need both a) and b) to form an intelligent opinion and informed decision about these and other issues. As well, it is extremely important to recognize that there are some people whom will make silly or outrageous claims seemingly to support one side of an argument, but are actually only trying to discredit that side, so that those trying to gain insight are either forced to disagree or simply give up trying to make sense of the situation. Again, this is where trust in scientist’s knowledge and your common sense are key. I hope that these attributes will make our country the strong, honorable and respected nation we once were.

  58. the canadian scientists are muzzled, while Al Gore is all over “our” country, is the guy a politician or a scientist?

    • lol

  59. There’s an easy lesson to learn from this: If you want to be a rock-start scientist who’s all over the media – DON’T go work for the Federal Government. Go work in the private sector, become a professor and compete for grants with the other 90% of Scientists in Canada.

    If you want to be a scientist for the federal government, be prepared to do the work you’ve been requested to do and don’t expect to be able to publicly promote yourself or your work. It’s not that difficult a concept to understand.

    • Rick, you are wrong, scientific disciplines do not exist merely to support the paid for opinions of government, science exists to uncover the truth of how things work and what is going on in the world and the universe around us.
      The private sector constantly pays for results that they want to hear, to the exclusion of anything else and researchers working for the government were until Herr Harper came along, mandated to do pure research and provide their results to the public, to The people, and specifically NOT to any one government in power at any given time.
      What we are seeing here in Canada are VERY clear signs of a fascist regime attempting to control the flow of information and insure that any legitimate information that conflicts with this particular government’s published opinion is kept under wraps.

    • …or get your own program on the CBC where you can rant a public expense.

  60. Harper, the WHOLE WORLD is watching!!!

  61. Harper doesn’t want to wake up, that doesn’t keep us where he and the cronies in the background want us, enslaved. He most assuredly doesn’t want us to wake up either. His actions are proving that. He is trying to enforce a police state. Why do these carcasses never learn.?! The harder u try to control something the more outa control u become. Harper is way beyond outa control. Guess what Harper?..WE KNOW, and “the cats outa the bag and going to get used”.

  62. Harper is not a voice for the warnings and knowledge of science. He is the voice for big oil and big sellouts of our resources. Too bad we cannot get rid of his conservative majority. We never will as long as the three parties of the left divide the majority of Canadian votes. The Harper government has no respect for the scientists who are environmental stewards. Only science that makes coal, bitumen, oil and gas get sucked out of the earth cheaper is the science of the Harper conservatives.

  63. Government employees all sign a gag document, promising that they will not make public the waste, corruption, and conspiracies that exist in the civil service.

    But make no mistake. Your tax dollars are frivolously squandered every day, the most incompetent are the first promoted. The honest, ethical and hard working are systematically kept in the lower ranks, to support the corruption above.

    It has been this way since Trudeau.

  64. This is one of the best articles I have ever read in Maclean’s. It is even more significant since the magazine is not known for being a ‘leftist’ production. The very idea that scientists must sometimes have government minders and must, along with bureaucrats, follow the memo instructions when around the media is reminiscent of Soviet Russia.

  65. We stand behind you scientists and we will be vocal with you. Harper needs to be shut down…the people will win this battle…and the revolution has begun.

  66. All these arm chair scientist with not a shred of evidence put forth! Show your proof or silence your fingers!

  67. Welcome to Canada! Where democracy has been replaced by a dictatorship. Cuz hey, all those other countries have one and they seem to be doing ok right?

  68. Let us remember that Harper-style fascism was to be expected. The “Conservatives” are NOT CONSERVATIVES – they were the alliance-reform monsters from the west. Obviously any science pointing fingers at the truly life threatening pollution being generated by tar sands, or should I say tsar sands, cannot be tolerated! SO shut the scientists up, screw the public getting ill and the global climate destroying everything so long as the western oil concerns are satisfied.
    Harper is a fascist.

  69. 3 out of 4 Canadians are mentally ill.

    All of them post on here.

    We are losing our science, folks….we are losing our future…..and yet you lot are talking crap!

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