#CBC: « It’s official — the Harper authorities muzzled scientists. Some say it is nonetheless occurring  » #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada

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This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar well being and medical science information emailed to subscribers each Saturday morning. 

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It took 5 years, however  the outcomes of an investigation by the Information Commissioner of Canada have been launched and the decision is in: the Harper authorities did muzzle scientists.

The investigation by Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault started in 2013, based mostly on a grievance by the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Clinic and the advocacy group Democracy Watch. The teams submitted a report detailing a sequence of examples of Harper authorities officers blocking media entry to scientists.

In one case, a authorities scientist was ordered to get permission from the Minister of Natural Resources earlier than be may speak to reporters a couple of flood that occurred 13,000 years in the past, despite the fact that his analysis had simply been revealed within the journal Nature.

In one other instance, it took 11 authorities workers and 50 emails to determine the right way to reply a reporter’s request to interview a Canadian authorities scientist who was a part of a NASA staff finding out regional snowfall patterns.

Most of the muzzling concerned scientists researching local weather change and different politically delicate points.

Two University of Alberta scientists got a script telling them the right way to reply media questions on their very own analysis that discovered proof of air and water air pollution from Alberta’s oilsands.

In one other case, an assistant deputy minister and different authorities officers crafted solutions to a reporter’s inquiry about revealed analysis on an ozone gap. The reporter was informed to attribute the written responses to the scientist. Later, paperwork obtained beneath entry to info revealed the scientist saying he hadn’t submitted any responses.

Legault investigated these instances and got here up with a couple of of her personal. She additionally interviewed journalists, scientists and authorities media officers. She concluded that the complaints about muzzled scientists have been « well founded. » »This is a very troubling finding against the Harper government, » Calvin Sandborn, authorized director of University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre, stated. « What we need to make sure is no future government can do it. »

Legault made a sequence of suggestions to the Trudeau authorities, which took workplace in 2015, to make sure that authorities science is offered to the general public and that scientists should not afraid to talk freely to the media.

Meanwhile, some federal scientists say they nonetheless really feel muzzled by the present authorities.

More than half of the three,000 scientists who answered a survey final 12 months stated they didn’t really feel they might « speak freely and without constraints to the media about work I do at my department/agency. » The survey was performed by the union representing greater than 15,000 federal scientists.

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Note: « Previously Published on: 2018-03-22 19:01:27, as ‘It’s official — the Harper authorities muzzled scientists. Some say it is nonetheless occurring

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