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Author Topic: Whats Our Country Coming To?  (Read 4459 times)

Sandman

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 09:10:03 PM »

Is anyone really surprised by this?  There was a reason why Canadians resisted giving Harper a Majority government for so long.  Now we all see why our fears were justified.
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Not all those who wander are lost

TacoChris

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 12:21:41 PM »

This seems to be a pattern with the Harper Gov. Act now think latter. Ignore any inconvenient science that does not agree with your fundamentalist views.
Avoid questions and scrutiny. Harper's recent visit to BC was a shinning example of that. Advertise your agenda at the taxpayers expense with manipulative info. Control the message. I have a lot of support for some things Harper's Gov has done but the way they do it is poor. They do not listen to any one that disagrees.

The incandescent light regs are another expample. They have discovered almost half of us throw fluorescent light in our home garbage. These light contains mercury. Have they attempted to educate the public yet? Note BC is guilty of this as well.

What will be the state of BC'S fishery 20 years from now? We are going backwards from what I can see. We need more science not less. We need to find better ways to safely do business.
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Fish Assassin

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 01:28:50 PM »

Short sighted move by the Harper government. Going to cost the taxpayers in the long run to redo the research they've already done
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norton

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 09:37:22 PM »

Conservatives have been governing too long, time for a change.
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sandy999

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 09:15:06 AM »

Conservatives have been governing too long, time for a change.

"Change"--now that`s a interesting subject. I am not in support of the Conservatives, but sadly often when we get the change we are asking for we are simply jumping from the fat into the fire. Good luck to us all!
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Bavarian Raven

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 10:51:43 AM »

Quote
"Change"--now that`s a interesting subject. I am not in support of the Conservatives, but sadly often when we get the change we are asking for we are simply jumping from the fat into the fire. Good luck to us all!

Sadly this - in this day and age it really doesn't matter what party we get in, they're all going to screw us over in one way or another  :-X
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chris gadsden

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Re: Whats Our Country Coming To?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2014, 06:26:41 PM »


Appeared in my e mail today.



 Prime Minister Stephen Harper's War on Science

Do No Science, Hear No Science, Speak No Science

For anyone interested in the degree to which Stephen Harper's ongoing anti-science evangelical agenda has decimated environmental oversight and scientific research in Canada, read Christ Turner's shocking  "The War on Science :Muzzled Scientists and Willful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada ".

 

It's a national scandal. Stephen Harper is the quintessence of much of what is wrong with our current world, a man of mediocre intelligence, no moral compass, authoritarian and holding to a bronze age anti-science world view, namely Christian fundamentalism. Moreover, he has surrounded himself with idiots he can manipulate.

 

Here is an excerpt from a piece Turner wrote in Nov 2013 :

Harper’s true agenda, pretty much all along, has been to dismantle the government’s great traditions of natural science and environmental stewardship, which until recently made Canada a world leader in both fields. This is a government waging a quiet legislative and administrative war on science — especially those fields of science dedicated to gathering and analyzing data on the health of Canada’s natural environment — and it has undone a century of good work with alarming efficiency since the passage of its sweeping omnibus budget bill in June 2012. Whatever is in this week’s throne speech, that budget remains the government’s most forceful statement of intent and clearest articulation of its overarching agenda.

Christopher Plunkett, the government’s U.S. spokesperson, explained the aim of the bill to the Washington Post at the time with refreshing candour. “The idea is simple and straightforward: to make Canada the most attractive country in the world for resource investment and development.”

Plunkett added that the bill would “enhance our world-class protection of the environment today for future generations of Canadians.” But this was rhetorical window-dressing, a bit of finery to provide the illusion of balance. And it was laughably transparent stuff at that, given that the government was in the process of slashing funding to numerous research facilities and programs, crippling many of the agencies responsible for monitoring environmental health and responding to environmental crisis, and rewriting the Fisheries Act so recklessly that four former Fisheries ministers (including two Tories) publicly campaigned against it.

The government’s war on science was well underway by the time of the omnibus budget bill — the long-form census long gone, a crime bill passed with little recourse to the data gathered by criminologists, scientists publishing papers on environmental topics already being muzzled — but the bill was its full-scale launch. It has proceeded apace since — and inspired the unprecedented scene of lab-coated scientists marching through the streets of Canadian cities in protest from Ottawa to Victoria.

So what is the nature of this war on science? Above all else, it is a sustained campaign to diminish the government’s role in evidence-based policy-making and environmental stewardship in three simple ways: reducing the capacity of the government to gather basic data about the status and health of the environment and Canadian society; shrinking or eliminating government agencies that monitor and analyze that evidence and respond to emergencies; and seizing control of the communications channels by which all of the above report their findings to the Canadian public.

The ultimate goal is equally clear: to induce in the federal government a sort of wilful blindness, severely limiting its ability to see and respond to the impacts of its policies, especially those related to resource extraction.

Do No Science, Hear No Science, Speak No Science — this is the essence of the Harper agenda. And its list of alterations and diminutions is alarming in its length and breadth.

The long-form census has been scrapped, replaced by a voluntary “National Household Survey” that spends more money to deliver substantially less reliable data. Canada has backed out of the Kyoto accord, opted out of the UN’s Vienna Declaration on HIV/AIDS (which advocates for evidence-based drug policies), and distinguished itself as the only nation in the UN to drop out of the Convention to Combat Desertification.

The list of environmental science bodies and programs eliminated or reduced is alarmingly long in an age of mounting environmental catastrophe. The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science is gone, as is the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. The Experimental Lakes Area — the world’s leading freshwater research facility — was sent begging to the province of Ontario and a Winnipeg NGO. Omnibus budget cuts forced the summary abandonment of nearly 500 environmental impact assessments nationwide. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Habitat Management Program has been slashed back, and the DFO has shuttered seven of its 11 libraries. This is nowhere near a comprehensive list — more like the greatest budgetary hits.

The National Research Council, meanwhile, is undergoing radical restructuring, thus to become what its executive director, John McDougall, envisions as a “concierge” service for industry. Gary Goodyear, until recently the minister of state for science and technology, described the goal of the new NRC with singular condescension and flailing grammar as “a one-stop, 1-800 ‘I have a solution for your business problem.’”

The list of discarded and shrunken agencies, programs and labs goes on and on. “The kindest thing I can say is that these people don’t know enough about science to know the value of what they are cutting” — this was how David Schindler, the Experimental Lakes Area’s co-founder and one of the world’s pre-eminent freshwater biologists, characterized the Harper agenda for the press as the omnibus budget bill was being passed.

Governments have waxed and waned in their enthusiasm for scientific research and environmental protection for as long as Canada has existed. But there has been general agreement at least since the establishment of the country’s first meteorological research stations in the early 1900s that only the federal government has the stable funding and bureaucratic wherewithal to carry out long-term, comprehensive data gathering. Our weather reports originate with Environment Canada monitoring stations for a reason — because telling us the basic facts about the world around us is one of its essential functions.

The Harper agenda is an abdication of this duty. At a time when the volatile effects of climate change are already upon us and sure to worsen, the government has chosen to reduce our insight into the status of our bountiful swath of the planet.

The government has announced that it will spend $24 million to tout the abominable tar sands around the world, adding to the $150-million-plus it has already spent propagandizing us with our own money by embedding the phrase “Economic Action Plan” in Canadian minds, and yet it can’t find $2 million a year to tell us what all that action planning will do to our freshwater. The implicit wager is that if the message is repeated often enough and the paycheques remain robust enough, Canadians won’t notice what they’ve lost.

If the Harper agenda’s wager succeeds, the result is a diminished Canada, afraid of open-ended questions and speculative science, addicted to a shallow and brittle prosperity, and far out of step with its traditional allies on the 21st century’s defining issue of climate change.

The key message unstated in this week’s throne speech is that Canadian citizens are willing to accept the diminished role of passive consumers and accept this narrow vision of their country in exchange for marginally smaller cellphone bills and a bill of rights to accompany their airplane tickets. The lab-coated scientists in the streets have already rejected this lousy bargain. They have taken to protest, against their every instinct as scientists, because whatever else, the government must not be allowed to mess with the basic facts.

They deserve our support, and we all deserve a more robust vision for this country.

 

 

 

   Visit the JR Freethought Web at:

              www.skeptic.ca
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 06:28:16 PM by chris gadsden »
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