Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Breaking Harper's Siege on Science
Could the courts force Sideshow Steve Harper to take his gags off federal government scientists? Democracy Watch and the University of Victoria's Environmental Law Clinic may soon test the legality of Harper's abuse of democracy.
The Information Commissioner of Canada is being asked to investigate whether "federal government policy forcing scientists to jump through hoops before speaking with the media" breaches the Access to Information Act.
"In sharp contrast to past Canadian practice and current U.S. Government practice, the federal government has recently made efforts to prevent the media and the general public from speaking to government scientists,” said Tyler Sommers, coordinator of Democracy Watch, in a statement.
He noted that the scientists conduct research that is paid for by taxpayers who therefore have a right to learn the results.
Calvin Sandborn, legal director of the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic, said in a statement that "Canadians cannot make smart choices about critical issues such as climate change, oil sands development, and environmental protection if the public does not have full, timely access to the government’s best scientific knowledge on those issues.
"This is why we’ve filed this complaint and why we are asking for a full investigation."
It's time Harper and his political commissars in the PMO were brought to heel. By blocking public access to Canada's civil and armed services they have transformed both into Harper's partisan political agencies. This crap has gone on far too long thanks to the complacency of our corporate media cartel and our cowed opposition parties.