For the first time in, well, eons (at least in my personal experience), the CBC was like the old CBC again. The Fifth Estate had an hour-long report entitled Silence of the Labs, on the Harper’s government’s assault (there really is no better word) on the integrity of federally supported science in Canada.
There was very little in the report that I have not previously read about, but then again, my interest in science policy is probably not that of the average viewer. Which is why I am glad that the CBC did this, bringing awareness of what is going on to a broader audience.
No doubt what they did will be denounced by the Harper government and their supporters. And, as the program mentioned, technically they have a point: federally employed scientists do not have a legal entitlement to speak their minds or indeed to complain if research they happen to like is no longer funded.
However… as a citizen, I would like… no, scratch that, I demand that my government uses unbiased, factual science as its guide and that they do not muzzle honest scientists who try to bring these facts to the public with no government minder present.
This is a very significant reason why I hope that Mr. Harper will be defeated in the upcoming elections. Just to be clear, I don’t dislike Harper… how can I dislike a fellow cat lover? I also have no reason to doubt his personal integrity. However, I dislike his policies and his autocratic style of government. I sincerely hope that our next government will undo at least some of the harm that this government inflicted upon us.