Prime Minister Stephen Harper wasn't kidding when he said Canada would be unrecognizable when he was done with it.
Since its beginnings in 2006, the Harper administration has not only systematically transformed the legal framework of the country to benefit industrial interests, but has also undermined Canada's public reputation for excellence and openness in science around the world. Its actions have made international headlines.
The prestigious scientific journal, Nature, has criticized the government for its media communications protocol, describing it as a "cumbersome approval process that stalls or prevents meaningful contact with Canada's publicly funded scientists."
The international community has also taken notice of the country's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol, designed to fight global warming at the international level, as well as Canada's obstructionist role in international climate talks in Rio, Cancun, and most recently Durban.
When DeSmog asked Weaver what he thought of the steady erosion of Canada's environmental standing, he replied: "I would not use the word erosion...I would use the word elimination. Erosion implies slow and steady. This is fast. We're cutting down institutions that have been around for decades. And we're eliminating them overnight."
Here is a partial list of recent funding cuts to Canadian scientific institutions and research programs:
“If people don’t speak out there will never be any change,” says the University of Victoria’s award-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver.
And the need for change in Canada, says Weaver, has never been more pressing.
“We have a crisis in Canada. That crisis is in terms of the development of information and the need for science to inform decision-making. We have replaced that with an ideological approach to decision-making, the selective use of whatever can be found to justify [policy decisions], and the suppression of scientific voices and science itself in terms of informing the development of that policy.”