A Canwest New Service story just hit the wire reporting that all Environment Canada scientists now must refer all media queries to Ottawa where communications officers will help them respond with “approved lines.”
According to documents obtained by Canwest, this new policy is in place to “ensure there are no “surprises” for Environment Minister John Baird and senior management when they open the newspaper or turn on the television.”
We can only speculate, but this might relate back to a year or so ago, when Prime Minister Harper opened his morning paper to discover the shocking revelation that global warming is a serious problem.
UVIC climate scientist, Andrew Weaver, is quoted as saying:
They've been muzzled. The concept of free speech is non-existent at Environment Canada. They are manufacturing the message of science.” It looks like Stephen Harper's Conservative government has ripped another page out of George W. Bush's war on science play book.
Just 2 days ago, top NASA scientist, Dr. James Hansen revealed a very similar situation in the United States. Hansen claims that not only has he been severely censored by political appointees over the years, but that the White House Office of Management and Budget reviews all scientific testimony to make sure that it’s “consistent with the President’s budget.”
As they say… like father, like son. Or in this case, like President, like Prime Minister.