CBC’s Fifth Estate aired an important documentary on Sunday night. It was called The Silence of the Labs and it alleges that Harper’s Conservative government has been systematically dismantling publicly financed science in this country.
“This is the story of the bitter conflict between ideology and knowledge,” said the announcer during the intro. “What can happen when factual discoveries raise inconvenient questions for politicians.”
The Conservatives have an agenda—removing any message that doesn’t back up their own policial and economic view of the world.
It is important to Harper and the people who fund his political machine that northern energy development be allowed to proceed as quickly as possible. They believe it is the engine that will drive our economy and secure our future.
Unfortunately this path is going to leave the country far worse off in the decades to come.
The problem with Harper’s way of looking at the world is that he’s not really looking. If he is presented with science that tells him he doesn’t want to hear then he takes quick action—to kill the messenger.
This doesn’t happen in a vacuum—other scientists around the world see this happening and they know that Canada is not a place where research and the search for truth is encouraged.
Public funding of science and enforcement of environmental oversight have both suffered badly under this government.
Oh there will still be jobs for scientists—in the private sector—where their work will be carefully vetted before being made public.
There is some hope though. Thanks to the Internet, the message is still getting out. You can go online and watch that Fifth Estate show and make up your own mind.