The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government's long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn't believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.

As is occasionally my habit, I have pulled together a chronology of sorts. It is a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I've been able to dig up. Each of them represents a single shot in the Canadian Conservative war on science. It should be noted that not every item in this chronology, if taken in isolation, is necessarily the end of the world. It's the accumulated evidence that is so damning.

Most of the items come from various links I've saved over the years as well as various other media articles I've dug up over the last week or so. This series at The Huffington Post has been particularly useful as has this article at the Wastershed Sentinal.

A long list of various environmental programs that the Harper government has discontinued or slashed funding to is here. I haven't found individual media stories about all of them, so they aren't in the list below. If you can help me find stories about some of those programs, etc, please let me know. As well, some stories are treated multiple times, with perhaps an initial story telling the big picture or introducing a large series of cuts and later stories fleshing out details.

Update 2013.05.27: Undated list of science or environmental libraries closed is here: Natural Resources Canada is set to close six of fourteen libraries in 2012-2013, Parks Canada will consolidate 5 libraries into one, Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. Undated list of women's programs cut since 2006, including many science or health-related, including: Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health


This list is no doubt incomplete. There may also be link errors or duplications.

In particular, if you have updates on any of the stories, including reversals or reprieves, I want to hear those too.

Please feel free to make suggestions and corrections in the comments or to me at jdupuis at yorku dot ca.

Update 2013.05.23. I've noticed the large number of posts linking to this one and even a few basically republishing my list, links and all. Since a number of people seem to be finding the spreading of the information in this post useful, please consider it CC0. To the extent possible under law, I am waiving all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this post, The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment. This work is published from Canada.

Update 2013.05.27. Over thirty new items added to the list. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions either in the comments or via email.

Additionally, two quick points.

First, as to why this extended series of posts is named the way it is. I am mindful that this blog is hosted on a US-based site so my main aim is to make "The Canadian War on Science" both catchy and mostly meaningful to a broad audience. In that spirit, something like "The Canadian Conservative Government's War on ..." at least initially seemed to me to be too wordy. It's also fairly common parlance to refer to the government of a foreign country, no matter the internal situation, just by that country's name. When I say that "France is doing this" or "Japan is doing that," I of course mean the French or Japanese governments. It's a kind of shorthand, if you will, that makes more sense on a non-Canadian site where I'm talking about Canada. So, I'm sort of accepting that while this usage will be somewhat annoying to Canadians, it's both a useful shorthand and the precedent I've set for myself.

Second, on scope. I've mostly stuck to the natural sciences, environment and some public health topics here rather than looking more broadly at how the Conservative government treats the humanities, social sciences, memory and heritage institutions and just generally any sort of evidence-based policy- or decision-making. That's purely for reasons of focus and time. It was quite time-consuming to compile this list initially so I was quite aware of just getting it finished. I've also received a huge number of suggestions both in the comments and by email and checking and adding those has also been a significant task. While I have in the past blogged about the challenges at, say, Library and Archives Canada, I decided that that would be out of focus for the purposes of this list. I would definitely encourage anyone out there to tackle creating a broader or a differently focused one. I have put this list under a CC0 licences so please feel free to take what I've done as a starting point.

Update 2013.10.06. Fifty-two new items added to the list, as detailed here. If I've missed anything or there are any errors or if I've duplicated some items, please let me know.

Update 2014.10.24. Update with 140 new items, as detailed here. Please let me know if there are any errors or omissions.


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Wow. Impressive list. I searched for some of the things I was familiar with (Kluane, PEARL, DFO) and you have them already listed (just thought of the CBC one, and yep, you have that too).

There was something about muzzling of librarians that I didn't see on your list, but perhaps that is covered within one of the articles. And Stats Canada has undergone some drastic cuts, and another round is supposed to be going on right about now (May 2013).

I'm bookmarking this article for reference. Thank you for bringing it together into one place. As I remember other things I'll check back and see if you have them listed already.

By Dan J. Andrews (not verified) on 20 May 2013 #permalink

All researchers were fired at the Canadian Space Agency.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 May 2013 #permalink

Damn good work. I can find no omissions that I know of. I have an immediate use for this in a conference talk I am preparing, will link to it, and will credit you accordingly. Thanks so much for compiling this.

Not all of the Harper Government's anti-science activities are program cuts. I wonder if you should include Oliver's accusations of exaggeration against James Hansen, or his accusation that foreign-funded radicals are behind the fight against the Gateway pipeline, or that there is doubt that climate change will be severe. Or what about the Yukon MP who tried to pass off an unreviewed climate-denialist paper in support of a claim that polar bears are in no danger from global warming? Nah -- that would be too sadistic.

By Dave Mayhood (not verified) on 20 May 2013 #permalink

Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. If possible, I'd really appreciate it if people would add a citation to some sort of government or media source for the new items you suggest.

The plight of our environmental scientists is well known at home and abroad. Even our friends at StatsCan have received attention...but there are others, another comment alluded to it. In fact Harper does not want us 'committing sociology' or, social science research to be more accurate, if it might reveal inconvenient truths. The Addictions Research Centre, created in 1999, was also a victim of the 2012 budget. It is slated to close in 2014. The ARC is a research division of Correctional Service Canada where projects focused on drug use/abuse, mental health, addiction, & security-related issues at federal penitentiaries. It also was the centre of Aboriginal research for CSC, and the Service's Aboriginal research champion position was cut as a result of the closure. Googling 'Addictions Research Centre' and CSC will produce a list of references, but all references to its existence have been removed from CSC's website. Some can still be accessed through archived links (with the google search).
I would be interested to know how many social scientists have been affected by the 'war on science'...
Thanks for the list and for your website; it's great, I'll be checking back in!

Funding cuts like these do not prevent waste -- THEY ARE WASTEFUL. They interrupt highly productive, groundbreaking research before it is finished.

My former employer, the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (University of Guelph) was especially hard-hit when the Harper government de-funded its funding sources. BIO is the de facto home of DNA barcoding, and in itself a major triumph of Canadian science; it has long attracted systematists, ecologists, and laboratory methods specialists from around the world. But, the cuts to BIO devastated the International Barcode of Life project halfway through its existence, leaving both internal staff and external collaborators scrambling for funds to continue their work.

DNA barcoding certainly has applications to industry. But, organizations like BIO/iBOL do the basic research that industry cannot do without -- no one will make money from a technology unless the hard, unprofitable work of understanding the science and developing the methods is done first. The Harper government's redirection of funds from basic research to industry is insidiously destructive in two ways. First, of course, it starves the basic science at its source -- but second, it outsources corporate R&D to universities at a fraction of the cost. Where's the incentive for industry to hire scientists and engineers if they can farm out the work to graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty at little or no cost?

By drjuliebug (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

This is a push to end evidence-based policy making. Policy is to be based on political philosophy and religious views, although the latter has been kept bottled up for now...

By John Weriuk (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

This is such a sad story. We pay more attention to actors/actresses than our scientists. Steve please stop this behaviour.

Further to my post above, here are just a few links supporting the claims, along with comments in some cases explaining why they should be included. My apologies for not including them in the original post, but as you can see, the numbers are many, and this is only a very small sample of them.

Yukon Conservative MP accused of peddling ‘bogus’ information on polar bears (in which he uses climate denialist propaganda from a non-peer-reviewed paper, long discredited)…

Peter Kent refuses to correct Conservative MP's crackpot views on polar bears…

Do the oilsands threaten our safe climate? Hansen's "game over" vs Oliver's "minuscule amount"…

Canadian oil minister Joe Oliver condemns climatologist James Hansen…

Defending Keystone, Canadian official rips top US climate scientist…

Joe Oliver slams scientist's oilsands claims as 'nonsense'…

Joe Oliver beats back accusations of climate change denial (you decide how successful that was)…

Oliver’s musings on climate science lead to testy exchange…

Academics warn Canada against further tar sands production…

Canadian economist takes his anti-oil sands message to Europe (in which Oliver describes climate scientists as "unrealistic")…

Allowing tar sands oil into Europe would be a victory for ‘profit-before-planet’ politics warns Lorna Howarth (in which Oliver & Peter Kent lobby against the proposed European Fuel Quality Directive labelling tar sands fuels as "highly polluting" while Hansen & Mark Jaccard argue that it is)…

Meet the ex-Bay Streeter leading Tory charge against oil-sands opponents (in which Oliver only reluctantly admits that climate change is a serious issue)…

'Radical' groups working against oilsands (in which Oliver fails to recognize that many opponents are scientists whose opposition stems from the high CO2 footprint of the tar sands)… also see the follow-up, in which Oliver & Harper emphasize the alleged foreign funding of these "radicals"…

Energy industry letter suggested environmental law changes (in which science-based environmental laws are changed in favour of, and at the behest of the oil industry)…

Environmental charities 'laundering' foreign funds, Kent says… I suggest that this and many, many other other attacks on environmentalists, including some of those noted above, are veiled attacks on science because many people conflate environmentalism with environmental science. I beileve the Harper Government is well aware of this, and takes advantage of it to discredit environmental science.

Joe Oliver, Conservative Cabinet Minister, Says People Aren't As Concerned About Climate Change (in which the people he refers to are climate scientists)…

And while I'm at it, here's an extra. As an aquatic ecologist, I would argue that it would be difficult to find a less scientifically-justifiable place to dump toxic mine tailings than into lakes, because they then become a threat to everything downstream. Lakes across Canada face being turned into mine dump sites

By Dave Mayhood (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

Making the case for the benefit of advanced scientific research can be controversial even amongst scientists. Often, the importance of research for research's sake is seen as a luxury that can't be afforded and which should be passed up in order to solve more pressing problems. But this is a short sighted point of view that would lead to a drying up of the well-spring of knowledge made possible by advanced scientific research on which more applied science relies. The following web-site a video tries to make that case with regard to a facility in New York:

Thanks everyone. Keep the suggestions coming. I'll likely update the post in a day or two.

A couple of notes.

First of all, to reiterate from above, any citation you can provide will save me time and energy.

Second, I am trying to reign in the scope of this and focus on science rather than just the CPC's more general war on evidence. So some suggestions I may not end up incorporating in the master list.

Another little thing to add to the list...Environment Canada was charged, since 1995, to run the Biosphere, Environment Museum in Montreal - the ONLY environment museum in North America. This year, the government decided to save money and shut down the museum and all it's educational programs. The programs included on site programs for school groups, as well as for the public...and videoconferences offered across the country and abroad.

John Dupuis: Kudos for putting this chronology together. The series of News Bulletins about the Alberta Tar Sands and Keystone XL pipeline that I have created for and posted on might contain some articles that you may wish to add to list.

By John Hartz (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

Astonishing here in the 21st century - devastating here in Canada - pathetic to the point of evil anywhere and anytime. BTW, hi Dave

By Norman Conrad (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

Welcome to the neoliberal agenda folks - as a humanities scholar I'm used to seeing this kind of stuff; although it's horrible, it's fair time the rest of you got to see how ideologies operate when they're connected to finance. What is baffling is that on the one hand the Con government lauds a 'knowledge based economy' as the means to long term economic and social stability, while on the other making these kinds of cuts. Then you remember it's the word 'economy' which is the key - this is not an intellectual's notion of economy as the entire process of cultural exchange and production, of which capital-based exchanges are merely a part - but only that which makes money. So knowledge is firmly entrenched in utility and money making without any connection to long term knowledge production and discovery. This is big business folks; government run like a crap corporation. In the humanities we're used to doing nothing with nothing - doesn't mean it's right. I'm running an afternoon conference that involves c. 50 researchers and 4 universities tomorrow on about $200. Why? because that's all we've got.

And they wonder about the brain drain? Seriously, lists like these need to be compiled and published, but they need to be communicated effectively. They mean nothing to the blood 905 that sways the last election: you, scientists, and I, humanist, are simply 'intellectuals' whose work has no real impact or connection to the 'lives of ordinary, "hard working", canadians'. Until we're able to beat THAT line, we're doomed. Let's turn our research eyes to the effects this kind of crap is having on canadian society as a whole - that knowledge for knowledge's sake - in any form - is worthwhile, and that research culture with its peer review has the means to monitoring the crap without any help from the vacant world of corporate sleaze.

Unless of course, you want to study gazebos, or are able to get grants from the PMO's office if you misclaim expenses...

By DoingStuffOnline (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

Is there any legal way for the public to force an election??? If not, I think that is a huge mistake in any democratic country. I'm ashamed of this government these are all the things that I did not like Bush for. How do we fix it???
I'm starting to worry about my job which is publicly funded working with radioactive drugs....

April 2012 - Closure of departmental libraries at PWGSC and HRSDC, and possibly others.

By Mike Bleakney (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

What about the spring 2012 cuts to Library and Archives Canada? I think it was sometime in April.

By Mary Sanseverino (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

It's not enough to just keep the links. This gov't is doing away with the information attached to them. Is anyone saving and compiling a hard-copy of each link?

I don't disbelieve this list for a second. BUT... in the interest of completeness, what happens if you extend it back to before 2006? The Liberals certainly weren't actively muzzling scientists and pushing an anti-science agenda like the Conservatives have been since then, but did they not cut any science funding/departments at all while they were in power? I'd expect to see a few cuts in the Liberal Era, but that the number would ramp up significantly once the Cons got in.

By Constantine Thomas (not verified) on 21 May 2013 #permalink

good article, good list. #HarperMustResign ...I get it that so many Canadians can not believe Harper could be so clearly in the pocket of Oil and Big money. He thinks politics is a game that does not actually do real or lasting damage; he thinks truly that his insight is better then all the science on the planet, and better then a majority of Canadians themselves. His word is the Economy-translation $ for those who are already rich; it trumps the needs and rights of people, the science, the rights of the environment, it trumps the future. For that he should not just be immediately fired, but also tried publicly for treason.

And working in these science departments has become intolerable. I fled to a US university. There are many people like me who are just quitting or taking early retirement. In fact, laying off all those people is a very costly undertaking with many getting more than one year of severance pay and additional training.

Oddly, Harper is all about cutting etc yet his government can't account for $3 billion dollars AND there is plenty of cash for his pet project: Office of Religious Freedoms!!

By Canuck in the US (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Please do not forget the entire AECL fiasco that lead to the sale of this valuable agency to a criminal organization for a pitance. The firing of Linda Keen for doing her job by the odious Gary Lund was among the first tell-tales of how the Conservative Party of Canada regards Science:

What about the Communications Research Centre? Did you know that more than 100 researchers on 400 were cut and they amalgamated the organization under the umbrella of the Department of Industry? They muzzled this organization under the name of reorganization.

By Satellite (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Another area I didn't see in your list was the Aboriginal-specific services that were cut, such at the National Aboriginal Health Organization. Although they were not funded to engage in primary research, they and other bodies were excellent points of research dissemination for those of working in Aboriginal health fields.

By Nancy Stevens (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Thank you. Thank you.

By Linda Leon (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Constantine Thomas - "I don’t disbelieve this list for a second. BUT"

John Dupuis is not making this stuff up. It is your precious Reform/Conservative Party of Canada at work. So, go look in the mirror.

I sent this blog to a friend now living in the UK who holds a Masters of Engineering in Alternative Energy Technology. His reply:
"That [list] below reads like catastrophic road accident, where all of those involved and many a bystander die. Canada produces some excellent research and science, yet it's sycophantic cabal of politicians and industry lobbyists are doing their utmost to undermine matters at the expense of the majority and future generations, so that they can line their pockets and feather their nests. Who on Earth votes for these philistines?

Depressing stuff."

By John Weriuk (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

How about all the action trying to shut down InSite in Vancouver?
I guess that is health but it is science as well.

Cutting a budget is NOT anti science. Most of the points in the actual list are BUDGETING, not a war on science. Basically this article is an attack on math and a war on finance.

Thank you for compiling this list.

Thank you for doing this...I am a retired chemist/science teacher who has been shocked and dismayed about this terrible travesty in our country. I am glad that you are publicizing this and making people aware of the cutbacks and closures that have decimated our science programs and scientific research particularly in the Environmental field. The general public is not aware of this and will be shocked when it finally impacts their way of life: quality of water, air and food supply. I am worried that we will never be able to mend the damage that this Conservative government (ie: Harper) has done.

Very impressive list............

But it should have included the elimination of the current
P.M.' s JOB.................

Ongoing hiring freeze on all "non-essential" science positions.

Despite knowing we're anticipating a high retirement rate over the next few years, all junior positions are considered non-essential, so senior positions are retiring without time to transfer knowledge to (non-existent) incoming juniors. While thankfully the emeritus scientists are proving to be very friendly about answering questions post-retirement, the problem is going to escalate with the true impact of knowledge loss showing up when it's too late to reverse or fix the problem.

History will remember Harper as an environmental criminal. He is setting the stage for disaster by preventing Canadians from learning the truth about the environment. He gives lip service to Climate Change then takes actions that will make it far worse. Every oil spill should carry the moniker Steven Harper Oil Spill number 1, 2, 3... etc.

All oil spills will ultimately be the fault of Steven Harper because he shepherded building the infrastructure that made the spill possible.

By Doug Webb (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

I appreciate awareness being brought to many of the issues and also that there are many changes happening to environment and science in Canada, however; many of the linked articles do not list their sources and therefore lacking the facts that support the enclosed claims.

I advocate that, to stop the threat of Climate Change, environmentalists lead human changes by example. That's what people take notice of most. First, they should spread the word via the Internet that they are voluntarily going to have themselves sterilized. Second, that they publicly state that they absolutely refuse to further participate in the consumerist society by giving up anthing that isn't hand made or organically grown. Finally, they should make a final, collective statement that achnowledges the massive use of electricity the global Internet uses, and they are formally rejecting its further use because it is harming nature. Other people all around the world do it, so there is zero reason why doing this, and not just talking about it, can be done. A global statement like this can be made and follwed if people start doing this in groups at a time, until the masses follow the intellectual leadership, again , and by necessity, by example. This is the only way to succed at saving the planet.

By Kevin G Haskell (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Once again, thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will get around to add all the new and relevant ones to my list as soon as I get a chance.

Thank you for compiling this.

By Nilima Nigam (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

You can add the cut at the Mont Mégantic Observatory. The uproar was so intense (the was even a motion at the Québec National Assembly) that some as been found elsewhere.

By Yvan Dutil (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Great job John!

By Libi Lancia (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Good article, you captured so much.

But it's also due to one party: Harper's Conservative party, which in spite of winning a majority government only represents a minority of Canadians--most voted for other parties. The Conservatives have carried out an incredibly destructive strategy to the positive Canada of old.

One thing, the title of this post is a little misleading as this is not a Canadian war on science but Harper's Conservatives' war on science and most Canadians are opposed (if you follow party lines).

By Joshua Chalifour (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Ever wonder where the Conservative government's cuts to Science and environment went?

- $4.2 Million to the Newman Theological College
- $3.2 million to Youth for Christ in Winnipeg
- $192,000 to the world of Truth Christian Center
- $495,600 to Wycliffe Bible Translators
-$357,146 to Chakam School of the Bible Inc.
- $198,951 to National Evangelical Spiritual Baptist Faith International Centre of Canada
- $84,110 to Eastside Church of God
- $2.9 million to Redeemer University College
- $2.614 million to Trinity Western University
- $1,0 million to Global Kingdom Ministries Community Center, Toronto
- $544,813 to Crossroads Christian Communications”

Scientific decision making is like blowing atom bombs. From the beginning to the end, it is 99% scientific. But no one asked whether having a monopolistic institution called government is scientific in the first place.

pardon me for being dense but what does closing the kits coast guard station have to do with science? it's unpalatable for sure, but other than that what?

John, this is a brilliant post. Thank you so much for listing all of this in one place. Your work in compiling this is exemplary. I want you to know how much it is appreciated. - Randy

By Randy Reichardt (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

Brilliant compilation John!! Thanks!
Here are a couple more items that you might include in your list.

Stuffed into omnibus Bill C-38

The Harper government is in the process of dismantling the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA – a division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), terminating its programming, and selling off its assets, like Community Pastures and the Tree Farm.

The Tree Farm (Agroforestry Development Centre), established as a tree nursery in 1901 by the Laurier gov’t at Indian Head, SK, produces trees and shrubs (provided at no cost) for agroforestry plantings (shelter belts) on agricultural land in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and in the Peace River region of British Columbia. It is further dedicated to producing new knowledge and better understanding of trees and agroforestry practices through research projects at regional, national and international levels.

The Community Pastures System is a federal program that has worked well for over 75 years to the benefit of farmers, wildlife habitat, and prairie ecology in numerous ways.
It covers 87 pastures, including approximately 2.3 million acres, of which 62 pastures, including 1.78 million acres, are in Saskatchewan. See…. Also see Trevor Herriot’s Globe and Mail piece from April 6, 2013 at…

March 27, 2013
Decision to legally withdraw from the UN Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification (UNCDD) makes Canada the only nation on the planet not to be part of the multilateral effort to help farmers deal with drought.…

I see twice where you have asked for links, so I'm following up on my earlier post about the Correctional Service Canada's Addictions Research Centre, which is the only one of its kind worldwide:…………………

Canada’s only facility dedicated to investigating the connection between criminality and addiction is closing.……

The role of the Addictions Research Centre is: advance the management of addiction issues in criminal justice towards the goal of contributing to public protection. The Centre is committed to enhancing corrections policy, programming and management practices on substance abuse through the creation and dissemination of knowledge and expertise.………

“Staff at the facility have been undertaking key research into addictions within the Aboriginal population, which remains a serious problem in Aboriginal communities across the country,” she says. “Eliminating this key work will do nothing but cause further hardship for Aboriginal communities and families struggling with addictions."…

The same funding cuts that affected the ELA affected the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (…) - actually on that page (as I think you know) there are other articles linked.

The cuts to Parks Canada budgets should be listed- drastic and significantly affecting research in Parks (no cite at hand...)

thanks - great list


By DH Morgan (not verified) on 22 May 2013 #permalink

I like this. I think you should make a list of all the "for" science policies implemented by the conservative government as well. This would balance out the perspective a bit more and make everyone more informed.

Oh man, fantastic work. PLEASE keep this around, and continue to build it!! Break this out come the next Federal Election! Our country needs this evidence thrown in our faces to remind us what we're doing to ourselves!

Hey John, thanks for this!
I've taken the liberty of charting the numbers from the list in this post (I couldn't actually locate a similar larger list at the link you included). Anyway, if you have any suggestions or corrections, shoot them along:

You have done a great service compiling this list, as depressing a task as it surely was. I hope it gets wide distribution. I am sending it to the Save Ocean Science group in St. Andrews, NB, which is trying to save the DFO marine sciences library from closure.

By Peter G. Wells (not verified) on 23 May 2013 #permalink

Your readership may find my article in the Marine Pollution Bulletin (Editorial, April 2013) of interest. It is not as comprehensive as portrayed in your list but attempts to point to the crisis in the aquatic sciences we are facing under this government. It is time for another major protest!!

By Peter G. Wells (not verified) on 23 May 2013 #permalink

Harper! or as we call him here in the States "Bush Light" and his quasi religious conservative fruitcake administration (thanks in no small part to the selfishness south of you) is going to ruin your otherwise beautiful country.....DO NOT LET these fools out....and if that does not work, quit being pussies and get out into the street and take your country back. We here south of you are just now beginning to step up to the plate and are slowly getting offended by the stupidity, arrogance, and selfishness of the previous administration. I know that Canadians in general are easy going, polite folks....but, now is not the time for that....God damnit.....GET F*CKING MAD ALREADY!

There we substantial reductions (25-50%) at Parks Canada in May of last year, large numbers of park ecologists, resource management technicians, and support staff were either terminated or reduced to season employment.

Depressing. But thank-you for the compilation.

I think you should include the changes to the Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program, that have reduced it's effectiveness in helping Canadian companies innovate.

Thank you so much!

I've been talking about this since Harper started muzzling climate scientists, now I have my backup at one location.


By Terry Moran (not verified) on 25 May 2013 #permalink

Excellent compilaton........ Keep it up.... Everyone..... ! ! ! ! !

An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you should write much more on this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but usually individuals are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

By micro job (not verified) on 26 May 2013 #permalink

Great list, would love to see this in the US as well. BTW, what does women's health have to do with a "war on science" ?

This Topsy website is handy to search out out twitter hashtags, though I'm not sure the date sorting works properly when you are looking at the tweets for all time:
has 3516 tweets using #unmuzzlescience

3092 for #deathofevidence

Other hashtags include: #saveELA (over 6000) #savePEARL (150)

By V. Jobson (not verified) on 27 May 2013 #permalink

This is off on a tangent but I think anything in politics & Arctic science should be watched: Charles Monnett is an American scientist who was under investigation for handling gov't money, or maybe for reporting on dead polar bears - it's complicated. Defenders said he was being harassed; and he was mostly cleared except for having released some documents he shouldn't have:…

Some allegations had a Canadian connection, that he helped U of Alberta scientist Andrew Derocher write a proposal for a government contract:…

Which caused a delay in Derocher's project funding:…

I don't know if there is a specific Canadian government connection in this case, but climate change deniers like WUWT have criticized Derocher for saying polar bears are in danger, and I think the Harper Conservatives tend to listen to deniers.

By V. Jobson (not verified) on 27 May 2013 #permalink

Given the digital nature of so much of the record of the work of shut-down, cut and muzzled individuals and organizations, Sandy's 22 May question:
" It’s not enough to just keep the links. This gov’t is doing away with the information attached to them. Is anyone saving and compiling a hard-copy of each link?" provokes another:
Is the CPC deliberately also at war against the HISTORY of Canadian science?

I don't even know what to say! It is shocking - but those of who have been watching, have known how much damage the Harper Gov't has done - but I didn't realize the whole extent!
Yes, this needs drastic action to make an effort to reverse the trend - that'll take a few years!
What to do?
I agree with Michael from Arizona that "Canadians in general are easy going, polite folks….but, now is not the time for that….God damnit…..GET F*CKING MAD ALREADY! " Please!

By Ursula Easterbrook (not verified) on 28 May 2013 #permalink

As a Canadian expat abroad I find this heartbreaking, and am baffled that 'noone' seems to notice or care. Where is the outrage? I'm shocked, saddened and ashamed that there's so little effective political opposition.

thanks to John for this incredible blog ! I am with an organization called Scientists for the Right to Know ( currently compiling a time line and saving all the links John provided as PDF's ( I already came across links which disappeared). I urge concerned people to become members of our organization as we are planning a series of events starting this fall in Toronto to bring the issue of the muzzling of science to the community at large. Thanks

By Pieter Basedow (not verified) on 30 May 2013 #permalink

Pieter Basedow in #108 Your website lacks some important information such as who you are and any evidence that you are a legitimate organization.

Why would anyone pay a substantial fee to join your group when there are no board members or member organizations listed?

By V. Jobson (not verified) on 30 May 2013 #permalink

V. Jobson, Scientists for the Right to Know is a new advocacy organization. A lot of the members are from Science for Peace at University of Toronto ( We will shortly re-arrange the website as our primary concern was to even have a website. Thank you for your much valued feedback !

By Pieter Basedow (not verified) on 31 May 2013 #permalink

Pieter Baselow, thanks for your response. It pays to be wary, because there are so many astroturf groups out there, especially about climate science. I do support your group's aims.

If your group is a registered charity that issues tax receipts for donors, there is probably certain information that should be on your website; but if it is for advocacy, can it be a registered charity?

I've run across this website which is new to me, but which looks legitimate to me, and which may have some useful information for you in setting up things:

By V. Jobson (not verified) on 03 Jun 2013 #permalink

Hi V.Jobson,
I have taken your advice and our website for Scientists for the Right to Know is now updated !
We are in the process of incorporating as a not for profit corporation not as a charity since our aim is advocacy work.

By Pieter Basedow (not verified) on 07 Jun 2013 #permalink

Pieter Basedow, that looks great! Good luck with it!

One minor thing, on the About page the link to the May 29, 2013 article needs fixing

By V. Jobson (not verified) on 08 Jun 2013 #permalink

Thanks for compiling this list, hopefully, it can be used as a touchstone for the media to bring this issue to the voters of Canada. Serious issues like this are being discarded in the press lately in favour of tabloid journalism for various scandals, that are really not important and only offer distraction.
I would add the planned reformation of the CIHR grants program to that list. as it will contribute to a serious setback in biomedical research in Canada.

By Ray Truant (not verified) on 11 Jun 2013 #permalink

Good work John. Thank you.

By Clay Eccles (not verified) on 11 Jul 2013 #permalink

Government's priorities are all mixed up. Billions more for big businesses, under the pretense of it being repayable and creating jobs. Transparency in Ottawa is at an all time low. See "The Harper Tories’ multibillion-dollar transparency problem"

By Name Withheld (not verified) on 18 Jul 2013 #permalink

It is important to keep Insite in this list. It is one of the most heavily and carefully researched health facilities in the world and the Tories are not only completely ignoring the peer reviewed data, they have set up a bogus health pr organization to send out phony rebuttals. Serious stuff.

Thanks for the article but it is so sad to read. What are those of us unemployed, passionate scientists to do? All I want to do is learn and improve the world, why isn't that valued anymore?

Don't know if you'd want to put this under the war on science as it may seem less than far-reaching, but they're cutting funds to a BC observatory (link below). This is possibly the result of the government's stance that they're going to focus on science that results in a short-term monetary gain (as opposed to "blue-sky" research where applications of a discovery may not be fully realized till years to decades after the discovery...e.g. Rutherford would be amazed to see what his discoveries led to).…

By Dan J. Andrews (not verified) on 26 Aug 2013 #permalink

We should put the end of this government at the next election, this is terrible . How can a country that is suppose to be a free country have this done to its science projects, this is a WAR on science.

An impressive (and useful for future reference) account of Harper's accomplishments in the gradual dismantling of Canada in so many dimensions. Work needs to be done on distilling and compressing the most egregious issues into twitter length punchy sound bites, ready to be brought out for the next election. We have to capture the attention of normally docile and politically shy Canadians, with this kind of shock doctrine.
I would also add another to the list of Harper's sins: maybe I missed it, but I don't recall seeing mention of the vicious attacks on the CBC--another professional/scientific messenger of inconvenient truths for the Harper agenda.

By Judith Nagata (not verified) on 22 Sep 2013 #permalink

This is scary and beyond criminal, I stopped reading after 2011 sick to my stomach. Why this is not known as the biggest failure of the Harper government is beyond me. I mean you feel disgruntled when you hear a little bit on the news but when it is all put together it is clear there is a war on science in it prime Webster definition.
knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

Was just led here and am so grateful to see someone compiling some of the disaster Harper's created - hope it gets publicized for any not yet aware!

We need to get the UN in as observers well prior to Federal elections and prevent any more 'smart'-ALEC cheaters from getting in, assuming any Canada remains by then...

By Dorothy N. (not verified) on 27 Nov 2013 #permalink

Fantastic list! I suggest everyone with a twitter/facebook account alert people of the URL. The opposition parties should be linking to it as well.

"Scientists say the closure of some of the world's finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital built by Canadian taxpayers for future generations has been lost forever."

By Shoebutton (not verified) on 24 Dec 2013 #permalink

Very interesting article.
Most likely, as per the crimes they commit, they are making science (knowledge) a matter of National Security in order to further oppress Canada and the world. This along with an unnecessary (illegal?) tax system , Unconstitutional Morality laws [Marijuana laws, Prostitution laws etc (like them or not.)] and a Justice system that spreads Social Injustice and Legal Inequality.
(New Oxford American Dictionary) Constitution - A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. How can a Constitution with a not-withstanding cause be Constitutional in any Country?
As a victim of Government experimentation myself, (Exposed to Mutagens as a fetus, infant and toddler in what the Canadian government called an experiment.) and now old enough to understand that I (my family) have also been (a) victim(s) of Human trafficking, at the hands of Canadian Civil Servants and Canadian Organized Crime. ( And in at least one case - A crown prosecutor and their in-laws, members of Canada's Hells Angels.) Funny how I am facing more Social injustice and legal inequality today in a court (civil), in a city, were this Crown Prosecutor works.

I believe that the war on science, war on drugs, war on terror etc, are actually smaller battles in the War on Freedom and Democracy being waged against humanity by Anarchists Corporations, Government officials, civil servants, unions and organized crime. This does not include all members of the above groups, but enough to influence the majority and to allow the work of a Dr. Joseph Mengele to continue today.(Of course with Science Knowledge and education being for the privileged few)

By Can't Say (not verified) on 03 Jan 2014 #permalink

Yes I really don't know what is up with deniers they don't believe in the loc ness monster or the moon landings or that 9-11 happened and don't get me started on GMO's or vaccine's and really why would anyone be a denier of big foot ?

I welcome these cuts.This planet has to be driven to the brink of disaster before anyone will act. Stephen Harper is pushing as hard as he can and I will support him in every cut to science and knowledge that he makes.

By Maisie Dargos (not verified) on 05 Jan 2014 #permalink

I have been aware on the War on Science for some time now but only this week really was made aware of how badly the dispersion of content in this unique collections has occurred. We have lost a treasure of a few paltry dollars. Thank you for your work on this issue and for the contributions by posters who also aided in this creation of a bibliography of events.

By Carmen Kazakoff-Lane (not verified) on 10 Jan 2014 #permalink

One correction "We have lost a treasure for a few paltry dollars."

By Carmen Kazakoff-Lane (not verified) on 10 Jan 2014 #permalink

TORONTO STAR editorial Dec. 8, 2009

If Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to end funding to KAIROS, one of Canada's well-known organizations promoting social justice, his government owes a better explanation than the feeble one on offer.

KAIROS has a 35-year history of working with Ottawa. It spends about $4 million a year lobbying for social change at home and abroad, supported by members of the United, Anglican, Catholic and other Christian churches. Until last week the Canadian International Development Agency provided about 40 per cent of its budget.

KAIROS's overseas projects include providing health care, schooling, and legal services to Colombian women; lobbying for peace in war-torn Sudan; and helping Congolese rape victims. It also educates Canadians on global aid issues.

But the group has also been active on the domestic front and has criticized the Conservatives' policies on climate change and the Alberta oilsands, aboriginal rights, mining practices, trade and immigration.

Last week we learned that CIDA has rejected KAIROS's bid for $7.1 million for 2009-2013. KAIROS was told only that its longtime work no longer meets "CIDA's current priorities." In fact, says KAIROS, CIDA staff found the bid met their criteria and sent it to International Development Minister Bev Oda for approval.

Canada's aid priorities are shifting, to be sure. Ottawa has refocused our $4.7 billion foreign aid budget on three critical areas: boosting food production, promoting economic growth and improving the lives of young people. CIDA's partners will have to adapt. Yesterday, facing pointed questions in Parliament, Oda lamely noted that that CIDA still funds other church groups that deliver health care, schooling, food and water. "Tough decisions will have to be made," she added.

Maybe so. But organizations such as KAIROS deserve a credible explanation, a fair shake, and time to reshape or wind down programs. Otherwise Oda's "tough choices" will look like "payback" from a government that brooks no criticism of its agenda.

Vern White
Office of Jean Crowder, MP

By Gillian Butler (not verified) on 11 Jan 2014 #permalink

You have done a great service, John!! Canadians owe you a debt of gratitude for your efforts and I certainly thank you personally for it!. Further, I will share it at every opportunity I get. I do hope someone has taken up researching the areas you did not have time to (areas you mentioned near the end).

Keep up the good work, it is very important!

By Allan Beveridge (not verified) on 13 Jan 2014 #permalink

Good Grief --------- speechless...................!

By Juliet Wakelam (not verified) on 15 Jan 2014 #permalink

Along the lines of the bitter irony in the words "government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science" (science is knowledge, not belief) it seems the Canadian government is a "guiding light into an age of darkness". Unfortunately we seem to have the same disease in Australia now since our change to a "conservative" government.

By John Harvey (not verified) on 19 Jan 2014 #permalink

January 22, 2014
MANDATED COPY (of December 30, 2013)
Minister of Veterans Affairs
Bantrel Tower 
7th Floor - 700 6th Avenue Southwest 
Calgary, Alberta

Re: ”...regardless of law ... anything but justice...VRA Board vindictively set out to...”

Attn.: Hon. Mr. Julian Fantino

Previous Ministers of Veterans Affairs (VA) have done nothing to settle this veteran's claims (nor those claims of other veterans) as Mr. Coward’s lawfully supported attempts concerning the practical and equitable evaluation of other veterans’ claims (see included) have enumerated over the past years. While Mr. Coward’s demonstrated professionalism and equitable treatment of Wallace J. Fowler is yet un-matched (nor even approached, by gov't depts. and/or reps) with the same level and standard of honesty and integrity) and even the Min. of VA has completely ignored the respectful direction of the very Hon. Mr. Justice William D. Nichol (Executive Officer of the "Canadian Justice Review Board"), it is becoming more and more evident to Canadian veterans and citizens alike that Canadian governments and their elected representatives (I.e., MPs) are less than lawful and obedient to the same laws and legislative terms that they (i.e., those governments) force upon all other Canadian veterans and citizens alike.  Where is there law and order in a country when the very precepts of justice are completely ignored by those legislators who construct and/or enact such laws.

While successive Canadian governments have ignored their legislated obligations to all veterans of both the CF (Canadian Forces) and RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), government deception appears to be continuing despite noble efforts to the contrary of the veterans listed herein.  As both governments and their allegedly duly elected representatives (e.g., MPs) continue to unlawfully deny their legislated obligations to all Canadian veterans, where can one find the legitimate truth and direction promised by these same MPs as part of their electoral platforms?  The blatant disregard of the Canadian governments and all of it's incumbent MPs (as outlined by Mr. Coward et al. in the attached) is far from intolerable - it has finally evolved to the point of bering without conscience.

Along with the extensive documentation referred to and/or listed herein, which both attests to the legitimacy of this veteran's claims and supports the claims of other veterans (such as those outlined in Rocky's attached documentation), this veteran has provided independent professional assessment of the history of my claims (refer to enclosed letter from the very Hon. Mr. justice W.D. Nichol), which historically identify the blatant unlawfulness of the Min. of VA’s office in dealing with both this veteran's claims and that of thousands of other veterans.  While outlaws are either hung and/or criminally hunted in other cultures until something resembling the service of justice is affected, what would you suggest we Canadians do with the aforementioned outlaws?  As this same documented history demonstrates how the Federal (Fed.) department of VA, it's present ministers and support staff have all stepped over the line separating lawful from criminally unlawful Canadian citizens, when will the Fed. office settle this veteran's claims along with the thousands of other veterans like this veteran? 

“When we unquestioningly accept the structures, habits, and bureaucracies of our various communities and organizations as if they had an absolute reason to be there, we’re trapped outside time.” (Smolin, 2013, pp. xv-xvi)

In coming back to our time, Mr. Coward and learned veteran so eloquently stated: 

“The mendacious coverup by DND senior brass on the ill treatment of our Veterans has indeed reached epic proportions. Accordingly, my response ( as an advocate for Wally J. Fowler) to Major-General Millar, Chief of Personnel, National Defense Ottawa reveals that they have been busted - wide open by their own web of lies, deceit, deception, collusion and conspiracy to cover the truth and much more... Consequently,  I am therefore calling on all fair-minded Canadians, including Veterans to write to your Member of Parliament (MP) to demand a "Public Inquiry" and justice for Wally and countless other Veterans that have been subjected to similar unconscionable acts by our Government Officials.” (Fowler/Millar [MGen D.B.], via Registered Mail [dated Dec. 25, 2013]; signed for 9 Jan. 2014),

From the beginning of Canadian history and the election of representatives (i.e., elected reps) at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, a number of provisional conditions have been forced upon all Canadians, all of which questionably include the following:
If in other contemporary world cultures, liars and deceitful elected individuals would be hung before a trial, honest Canadians just continue to give our hard-earned tax dollars to these same elected reps in payment of nothing;
If deceit, countless lies and misrepresentations are evident in an MP’s record, an elected representative is identified;
If Canadians start to bring these issues to the attention of their existing elected representatives and demand a dollar of service for every tax dollar, there will be more morally and financially bankrupt elected representatives; and
If elected representatives can continue to misrepresent their constituents on 11 out of 10 instances, they questionably remain elected representatives.

While Canada continues to deteriorate towards a lawless entity of unknown designation and description, when will this same country initiate MPs’ realisation of it's legislated obligations to it's veterans and, for once and for all, stop this same aforementioned and detailed deterioration?  Will your office be the first to both initiate and implement equitable procedures in meeting these legislated obligations to all Canadian veterans?

Your response to that above questions is eagerly awaited by both this veteran as well as all Canadian veterans and citizens.

Peace be with you & yours,

Brian Bradley
#33 - 9520 Bonaventure Dr., S.E.
Calgary, AB  T2J 0E5

Coward/Millar [MGen. D.G.]. Dec. 27, 2013; registered mail.
Smoulin, Lee (2013) Time Reborn: from the crisis in physics to the future of the universe, Toronto: Alfred A. Knoff (Random House); ISBN 978-0-307-40071-0; 319p.

cc.:Hon. Mr. Jason Kenney, Member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast;
Fax: (403) 225-3504
Hon. Peter Gordon MacKay (Minister of Justice), [Sean Casey (Liberal Dept. of Justice critic)] (fax: [613] 996 - 4714)

ccc.: very Hon. Mr. W.D. Nichol, CEO, Canadian Justice Review Board
local MP: Min. of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism; Fax: (403) 225-3504


encl. Nichol/Blaney letter, Feb./Mar. 2012 (as attached) 
DRAFT/SENT Feb. 6, 2012/Mar. 2012      
The Honourable Steven Blaney
Minister of Veterans Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

Veterans Affairs Canada 
14th Floor 
66 Slater Street 
Ottawa, ON K1A 0P4

Dear Minister;
The Canadian Justice Review Board has received a complaint from Brian C. Bradley of Calgary Alberta.
We can find no better words to describe Mr. Bradley’s situation than quoting his honour Mr. Justice J.E. Hershfield of the Federal Court of Canada.
“[3] The battle with the [Veterans Review and Appeal Board ] VRA Board has, according to the Appellant’s testimony, been going on for more than a decade which included four judicial reviews of the Board’s refusal to recognize a disability pension entitlement. In all review cases, I am told that the Federal Court Trial Division sent the matter back to the Board for reconsideration.

[4] One certainly has the impression listening to the Appellant that he has not
been properly dealt with by the VRA Board and that his fight to establish his
disability pension rights has resulted in his losing his home and become
economically ruined.

[5] His submissions reflect a genuine plea for justice which he feels can only be
achieved by someone rectifying the treatment he has had to endure. He wants the
Federal government departments that he holds responsible for the burdens he has
suffered made accountable. He seeks compensation and includes in his plea for it,
just and fair treatment from the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) taxation.

[6] This leads me to direct myself to the taxation issues that have drawn the
CRA into the Appellant’s line of vision as one the government agencies
responsible for his financial regression, as he puts it.

[7] In 2005, the Appellant launched his fourth action for judicial review of the
VRA Board’s refusal to award him a disability pension. He retained the services of
a prominent law firm. He paid a retainer and was quoted substantial fees, namely,
fees in excess of $40,000. His only source of funds was a modest RRSP (currently
valued at some $16,000 which includes a contribution that is at issue in this

[8] To fund the litigation he withdrew $44,000 from his RRSP. That was in
2005. However, his legal fees that year only came to $21,095. Realizing the
withdrawal was excessive, he returned $24,000 to his plan and claimed $23,000 on
his 2005 tax return as a deduction in calculating his net income for the year on the
basis that it was an innocent mistake to have taken it out. In effect, he sought to
treat the excess withdrawal as a non-event. I will note here, as well, that he claimed
the legal fees of $21,095 as a deductible expense on the advice, apparently, of his
legal advisor.

The reassessment being appealed denied both deductions.

[10] Given that the most recent Federal Court review of the VRA Board’s refusal
to award the Appellant a disability pension has resulted in the matter being referred
back once again to the Board and given his hope of finally having his entitlement
to a disability pension confirmed, one might think that the Appellant will finally be
allowed to deduct his legal fees. However, that is not the case, at least not in
respect of the 2005 taxation year. The Appellant has repeatedly acknowledged that
he never received one cent of income from the pension source in respect of which
he incurred the legal expenses at issue. The relevant provision of the Income Tax
Act (the “Act”) allows that deduction only against the source of income in respect 
of which the legal expense at issue is incurred. This leaves the Appellant in the
unfortunate circumstance that his legal expense deduction cannot be taken, at least
not yet.”

Minister, it appears to the Canadian Justice Review Board that on four separate occasions the Federal Court of Canada has found a lack of fairness and due process on the part of  the Veterans Review and Appeal Board in this matter; a deficiency so serious that the Court saw fit to quash each VRA Board decision.  Mr. Bradley appears to have a legal opinion from his federally funded Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocate (BPA) confirming that his claim has merit. This arguably constituting reasonable grounds for him to have believed that, considering the Federal Court judgments against the VRA Board, a pension or compensation would be forthcoming (from which he could then have properly deducted his expenses for tax purposes).

As you can see from Mr. Justice Hershfield’s remarks, Mr. Bradley’s financial resources have been no match for the deep pockets of the federally funded VRA Board. This tends to foster the public impression that the government favours a system of “justice” where the party with the most money wins (regardless of law).  It also creates the impression that the VRA Board has been able to engineer a scheme, and a vicious circle for Mr. Bradley, which effectively ignores the rule of law contained in the Federal Court judgements against it. Considering also that the VRA Board knows, or ought to know, the limited mandate of the Bureau of Pensioners’ Advocate precludes it acting for anyone in Federal Court, Mr. Bradley was put to expenses he could ill afford (to paraphrase Justice Hershfield).  This creates a concern that the VRA Board vindictively set out to bankrupt Mr. Bradley.  Our understanding of Mr. Justice Hershfield’s remarks is that this is anything but justice.

Minister, we ask that you personally investigate this matter and rectify the situation.


William D. Nichol
Executive director

Diary date: February 6, 2012

Mr. Brian C. Bradley, 33 - 9520 Bonaventure Dr., S.E., Calgary, AB  T2J 0E5 
cc. Hon. Mr. Jason Kenney, Member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast. House of Commons
 325 East Block Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6 & 1168 137 Ave SE Calgary, AB  T2J 6T6; Fa: (403) 225-3504/
P.O. Box 4853 Station E, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5J1

By Brian Bradley (not verified) on 23 Jan 2014 #permalink

May be I'm stupid, but I can't understand WHY Canadians are reelecting him???

By YouKnowBestOf All (not verified) on 20 Apr 2014 #permalink

The Canadian Harper government is downgrading the protection of humpback whales off the coast of B.C. under the Species at Risk Act.

The move is being made as the government readies for a decision on the approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would feed oil onto a tanker shipping route that overlaps with what environmental groups describe as "critical habitat" for the whale.…

By T. Reashore (not verified) on 22 Apr 2014 #permalink

Due for an update... Also, is anyone aware of a location where we can see what has been awarded funding (particularly in the area of the sciences) during the conservative governments time under leadership?

By Chris Popoff (not verified) on 03 Aug 2014 #permalink

Yes, very due for an update. In fact, I'm hoping to have one by the end of the summer.


I'm not sure if you've seen our list of "Harper's Crimes Against Ecology" at Alternatives Journal. It's an environmentally-focused version very much inspired by your work here. Might be worth a look, especially if you're working on an update.

By Laura McDonald (not verified) on 02 Sep 2014 #permalink

An excellent list.
Something that should maybe be considered as an addition is this Case in Alberta - - the timing of the legislation RE: the Responsible Energy Development Act, the implementation of the Alberta Energy Regulator, and the date the EnCana finally filed their Statement of Defence to Ernst's claims (years after her first Statement of Claim, when typical Alberta Rules of Court Require a Defence filed within 20 days.)

Looking at that case, it appears clear to me that the government spent nearly 10 years stalling Ms. Ernst's lawsuit in order to rewrite the legislation to make themselves (and Encana) not legally responsible for the Rosebud aquifer being contaminated by hydraulic fracturing activities and inadequate regulatory process. Ernst is hoping to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada after finding no justice in the Calgary Court.

Our family was similarly effected in Alberta and we chose to speak out though the documentary "Burning Water" and our website"

Thank you so much for making your article CCO., and investing so much time and effort on this. You have done a great service for Canadians.
The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Read more:…

By Shoebutton (not verified) on 03 Dec 2014 #permalink

Rather than reading the Archer stories solely as mysteries, thrillers, entertainments, and detective stories (though of course they can exist solely on that level for readers who are interested in them as such), we’d do ourselves a favor to consider them in a few other ways as well. In the massive reference work World Authors 1950-1970, published by the H.H. Wilson Company, Macdonald wrote that The Galton Case and Black Money “are probably my most complete renderings of the themes of smothered allegiance and uncertain identity which my work inherited from my early years.” Of course, in Black Money the smothered allegiance occurs between the lovers Ginny Fablon and Tappinger.…

By Elizabeth (not verified) on 10 Jan 2015 #permalink…

Chief doctor's demotion by Ottawa worries public health community - Health - CBC News

Members of Canada's public health community are expressing concern about intended changes to the authority of the country's chief public health officer, changes that strip the office holder of the responsibility of running the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Several suggest the move to demote the position from its current status as deputy minister to that of an officer or employee of the agency will weaken the office, which was created in the aftermath of Canada's disastrous SARS experience in 2003.

The changes, included in the current omnibus finance bill making its way through Parliament, give authority for running the agency to a president, a newly created position. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already named the new president: Krista Outhwaite, a career bureaucrat who has been the agency's chief operating officer. [...]

Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia's chief medical officer of health, said when the position of chief public health officer was envisaged, the decision to make the office holder a deputy minister was deliberately made.

The idea of having the agency run by a bureaucrat, not the chief public health officer, was considered and rejected, Kendall said.

"There is a rank and rank matters," said Kendall, who will retire next March after 15 years as B.C.'s chief doctor.

"And I am a little concerned that the chief public health officer does not have a deputy minister status to make him or her the equivalent to the deputies around the table. It makes a difference."

The position of chief public health officer of Canada was created on the recommendation of a report on the handling of the SARS crisis commissioned by the federal government of the day.

"The Government of Canada should create the position of Chief Public Health Officer of Canada," said the report, written by a committee of experts headed by Dr. David Naylor, who was then dean of medicine at the University of Toronto.
"The Canadian Agency for Public Health should be headed by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada who would report directly to the federal minister of health and serve as the leading national voice for public health."

The new proposed structure would shift responsibility for the budget of the agency to the president. As well, the president would be responsible for staffing the institution.

Concerned observers wondered how much authority this will give the chief public health officer to set the agency's public health agenda or direct its responses to infectious disease outbreaks.

Steven Hoffman, a global health law expert at the University of Ottawa, said the agency could have a bureaucrat as a manager without placing that person over the chief public health officer.

"It doesn't make sense. We had a good model that at least provided some measure of independence for the chief public health officer. And moving towards a model that's maybe more comfortable for the current political leadership and cabinet is not helpful for public health," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said the move is reflective of the current federal government's distrust of scientists. "There's been a pretty systematic effort by this government to silence science and ensure that scientists are not saying things that run against the government's political agenda."

Kendall said he has discussed the planned change with a number of colleagues in the public health community and all agree stripping the chief public health officer of the responsibility of running the agency will undermine the role and the agency.

"In our view it will significantly weaken the agency and the position and the influence of the chief public health officer and his or her independence," Kendall testified.

"The move seems retrograde to us and ignores the lessons of the past."

Other Links

Remarks by Steven J. Hoffman to the
House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance:……………

Dr. Kellie Leitch, PC, MP Canada's Minister of Labour and Minister of State for the Status of Women will be delivering a lecture titled "Why Stephen Harper is Good for Science," Thursday February 5th, 2015, Dunning room 11 at 5:30pm. It would be great if anyone in the Kingston area could come and bring along some of the information listed here.

By Annette Burfoot (not verified) on 04 Feb 2015 #permalink

We have just learned that the lecture by Dr. Kellie Leitch, "Why Harper is Good for Science" has been cancelled.

By Annette Burfoot (not verified) on 04 Feb 2015 #permalink

Welcome to the conservative dark ages.

In studying the Lew Archer novels of Ross Macdonald I’ve tried to identify certain characteristics, themes, motifs, images – call them what you like – that crop up frequently throughout the various books. I don’t claim that the following are particularly important or have any special significance or meaning; nor do I say this is a comprehensive list. They are simply some things I’ve noticed in more than one of the novels. Some of these appear in quite a few of the Archers. In time I hope to post the results of reading through each of the books individually while searching for these ‘repeaters’.…

By Elizabeth (not verified) on 28 Feb 2015 #permalink

In studying the Lew Archer novels of Ross Macdonald I’ve tried to identify certain characteristics, themes, motifs, images – call them what you like – that crop up frequently throughout the various books. I don’t claim that the following are particularly important or have any special significance or meaning; nor do I say this is a comprehensive list.…

By Elizabeth (not verified) on 08 May 2015 #permalink

Please circulate

Apply today to be selected as one of the 20 Concordia University Summer Research Institute Fellows.
The Fellows will be housed in Concordia's Grey Nun's Residence at no charge. Additionally, breakfasts and lunches will be provided. Fellows are responsible for their own transportation to Montreal, and for dinners other than on the closing night.
Register by May 15th, 2015 to secure your spot!

By Lorena Marzitelli (not verified) on 12 May 2015 #permalink

In relation to all of this, it is not coincidental that the Long Form Census was scuttled by the Harper government and replaced by the equivalent of a colouring-book data gathering methodology that weakens our public policy strategies for facing social, economic and scientific challenges everywhere in Canada. The ideological continuum of Harper's conservatism leads to national ignorance.

By James Guy (not verified) on 22 May 2015 #permalink

I'm not sure if this should go under "war on science" but it most certainly fits under "war on anything that is bad for business - science included". It also shows the close ties between government and the corporate milieu. The Canadian Embassy in Bucharest has been actively involved in the extremely aggressive lobby to support the environmantally and archeolocically disastrous gold-mining project of Canadian company Gabriel Resources in Rosia Montana (Romania) to the outcry of the local scientific community:…
It has emerged that GR (who later offered a comfortable seat in the board to former Canadian envoy to Romania who had lobbyed for them) has bought the sympathy of media outlets, public servants, politicians and academics who turned a blind eye to the countless clues that Rosia Montana was being served a rotten deal. The director of the Romanian Institute of Geology Ștefan Marincea, who said the geological surveys upon which GR based the minig project were forged to fit the GR needs was sacked abruptly and breifly forcibly confined to his office :…

A big change in 2012 was an official and unofficial reduction to the scientific research and experimental development tax credit (SR&ED). The credit was officially reduced for larger businesses. Unofficially, the bureaucratic demands became so cumbersome that a lot of small (and large) businesses stopped claiming the credit since more time was spent on dealing with the CRA than on actual development and innovation.
Two things that are now evident: [1] The CRA does carry out political work on behalf of the government as seen by the aggressive audits of environmental not-for-profit groups. [2] The government said they would go to direct funding model rather than a tax credit, and they did increase their budget for the NSERC IRAP program. However, two issues with this: (a) The current regime has shown they will only support projects and companies in ridings where their party members are MPs and (b) Whenever the government cuts a check, the company takes the money and then lays off all the works and move to Mexico. The Caterpillar plant in London, ON is a great example of this.

Very informative post! I encourage you to re-post it to, a social media website in Canada for current affairs, so we can share it with our audience. Its free to use. We promote all post on our social media channels and put a minimum of $5 toward each to ensure they reach an interested audience.

By James O'Grady (not verified) on 19 Aug 2015 #permalink

I've been trying for a while to find out more information about the harper inequities and have now found too much. I couldn't read your whole list as it made me sick with anger.
But I will come back to it. No pain, no gain.

We will get a stronger Canada out of this nightmare of a government.

By Dennis Brown (not verified) on 30 Aug 2015 #permalink

Now that Harper is gone, I strongly encourage the keeper of this list to continue it so that we can see how many of these changes Mr Trudeau reverses. We need to make sure that Trudeau keeps his promise on the re-establishment of science in Canada, and a list like this can be a measure of his response.

By Ronald Isaac O… (not verified) on 21 Oct 2015 #permalink

I need to speak from a personal standpoint on the consequences these cuts have had. My sister lost her position with the closure of her library. As someone who gave so much to her career, the devastation of this loss created such stress and grief that she recently passed away suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. This loss has been enormous to her family and perhaps was avoidable

By Annonymous (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink