Science

Goodbye, glorious nerds

By 2016, Harper will have slashed $2.5 billion from research funding, and laid off over 5,000 public scientists — so top Canadian talent, especially those working on stuff related to climate change, are now fleeing to work in other countries. It’s a win for the rest of the world, who may notice a puzzling influx of overly apologetic people with white labcoats in their airports.

Could you explain it with dance

Canadian scientists are now forbidden from discussing their research findings with reporters. 90% of 4,069 scientists surveyed by The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada said they can’t speak freely to the public or the media about their research. Still unknown is whether our researchers can express their findings via interpretive dance, sock puppets or mime.

Putting on makeup without a mirror

Harper killed off the Long Form National Census, so now we don’t know what the hell we’re doing because we don’t have any deep, accurate insights about current Canadians. What ethnicities and religions are in Canada? How employed are we? How educated are we? We don’t know. We’re just swiping lipstick all over our faces and hoping something lands.

By reducing our ability to gather information by cancelling the census and hundreds of environmental assessments, Stephen Harper seems hell bent on stopping voters from making adult decisions based on facts instead of ideology. And in case that wasn’t good enough, he kneecapped the places that analyze that information, with many, many, many, many, many cuts to environmental programs.

And if any pesky “science” is still left lying around, scientists are prevented from talking about it to the press and the public (this has happened lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of times).

Gag

Standard issue Environment Canada uniform

Why is Harper doing this? Because information is power. If we don’t understand the effects companies are having on the environment, we can’t do anything about it. It’s like he watched Idiocracy and thought “Yeah, that’s my kinda country!”

Burn it to the ground, he whispered

With the giddy relish of someone deactivating a soul-sucking Facebook account (highly recommended, FYI), Harper tried to scrap the decades-old Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) facility — one of the few facilities with the data to tell us what’s happening with Canada’s freshwater. (Due to public outcry, it was saved. Thanks, Ontario!) Harper’s regime also closed seven Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries, destroying their irreplaceable research data, and severely irritating the international scientific community, who kind of expected us to keep our shit together.

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