Muzzle Velocity

Elizabeth May

Kudos to Elizabeth Renzetti for her straight talk on the increasing scandal of muzzling scientists in Canada (Protecting Our Precious Liberties: Let’s Start With Government Scientists – Feb. 23).

In addition to the evidence in her column of restricted media access to government scientists and the new requirements that scientists who collaborate with them accept terms that require permission from the Canadian government before sharing their findings, recent Fisheries and Oceans Canada rules moved to shut down scientific research before it starts.

On Feb. 7, in a DFO e-mail to scientists, it was stipulated that they obtain prior consent before applying for research grants. As well, before submitting research to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, scientists must obtain permission from a departmental superior (who, no doubt, needs permission from the Prime Minister’s Office).

Search as I might, I can’t find suppression of science and research and the strangling of the free flow of information in the Conservatives’ 2011 platform. No one voted for this.

Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party of Canada

(Originally printed in the Globe and Mail)