Controversy Prevails In Canada

10 July 2012 09:45 - Phoebe Robinson

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Controversy Prevails In Canada

Controversy in Canada prevails between the government and leading scientists as the country’s PM Stephen Harper is being threatened by a revolt from Canada’s top scientists. The Threats are a result of the government’s plans to make significant cuts to government research labs and pro-industry policies. The scientist’s rebellion is said to come in the form of a march on Tuesday through the centre of Ottawa with all of the scientists marching in white lab coats. This march is not the first protest against the Harper government’s science and environment plans. It will in fact be the second biggest protest in a month.

In the eyes of the scientists the government is trying to enforce policies that will weaken and some will even abolish environmental protections. It is believed these policies are being pushed with the aim of expanding development of natural resources such as the Alberta tar sands.

Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, said
"It's not about saving money. It's about imposing ideology.  What's happening here is that the government has an ideological agenda to develop the Canadian economy based on the extraction of oil out of the Alberta tar sands as quickly as possible and sell it as fast as it can, come hell and high water, and eliminate any barriers that stand in their way."

There are also worries that the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) will be shut down. Scientists say this will greatly endanger Canada’s scientific reputation. The ELA is a research station that produced crucial evidence to help stop acid rain.

“In my view there are a lot of attempts in this country, and other countries too, to push through resource-based economies, People working at ELA are constantly finding reasons why you can't just put a pipeline here, or an industry there, because there are going to be environmental costs." said Prof John Smol, a freshwater lake biologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Despite the a spokeswomen for the minister of state for science and technology said the government remained committed to funding science, government officials seem to be saying different. It has indirectly be confirmed by government officials that The Canadian Prime Minister is more interested in funding research related to industry rather than funding pure science of environmental research. 




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