Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Documenting Stephen Harper's Administration's Attack on Science

Folks that don't like me call me a troll, which is nonsense.  If anything I'm a trawler, always on the lookout for interesting information and new lessons to learn and share.  That's why when I make a claim based on memory, as I did in my earlier post regarding the attack being leveled against the climate research unit of Australian's CSIRO, I like backing it up, as I did sharing John Dupuis' thorough collection that shines the light on the Stephen Harper shenanigans.  While trawling for that information, I found much more worth sharing.  

Such contempt for hard won knowledge and information.
It's the same contempt they show towards the 
planet that made all we have possible in the first place.
How do we help them figure that out?

In this post I share a link to The Harper Watch who have been documenting Stephen Harper's Administration since the man's election.  Then excerpts along with links to the Royal Society of Canada expert panel on the future of libraries and archives.  A well written summation by Erika Thorkelson at Huffington Post, and another thoughtful piece by Penny Pepperell examining implication of the National Energy Board gobbling up a portion of Canada's Oceans and Fisheries.  Then the Canada Center for Policy Alternatives' review of the Harper Administration's 2008-2013 impacts on the full spectrum of the Canadian government and its people.  finish up with Charles Mandel reporting at the aftermath.

It's too late to stop this damage, now Canada is left with mop-up and half-hearted rebuilding.  CSIRO's damage can still be prevented.  Can you help?


For a complete documenting of the Harper Adminstration's destructive actions, visit the website HarperWatch.wordpress

Compiling the Harper Government's Assault on Democracy


December 15, 2013
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)

December 15, 2013
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
CAUT is the national association representing 68,000 academic staff including librarians and archivists at over 120 universities and colleges across Canada.
In the fall of 2010, our members came to us with alarming stories about what was happening at Library and Archives Canada (LAC). We began to investigate and quickly discovered that the situation was more troubling that we had imagined. The situation has deteriorated rapidly since. In the fall of 2011, we launched the campaign, Save Library and Archives Canada, to draw attention to the cuts and reductions to services at our national library and archives and to call for their reversal.
As we advocated against the dismantling of LAC, we began to consider more carefully the context in which these changes are occurring. Recognizing that LAC was one example of a much larger problem, we expanded our campaign to address the impact of federal budget cuts and policies on the ability of Canadians to access our cultural heritage. We launched the Canada’s Past Matters campaign in the fall of 2012, which addresses the dismemberment of LAC, cuts to regional archives and libraries, closures to federal libraries, elimination of Parks Canada programs and staff that maintain our historical sites and archeological artifacts and research, the destruction of the Museum of Civilization, as well as the muzzling of government researchers.
The following is an account of what has been happening to our public libraries, archives, and heritage sites across the country. These invaluable institutions are being devastated by cuts to their budgets, their resources and their services to the public. This is of direct concern to our members. However, CAUT is also concerned about the implications for Canadian society as a whole. The systemic dismantling of our collective cultural heritage does terrible damage to us all, both now and in the future.    LINK

Why is the Harper Administration Throwing Away Entire Libraries?

Erika Thorkelson | Posted: 01/09/2014

There have been many tales over the years of the destruction of books. Sometimes, as with the sacking of the library of Alexandria, it was out of sheer thoughtlessness. Other times, it was with the clear intent of the reigning regime to banish knowledge that didn't fit its worldview. However it happened, it was only in hindsight that we understood to what extent the loss set humanity back.

It's hard not to think of these things when reading stories of the closure of seven of the eleven Department of Fisheries and Oceans libraries across Canada. Local media outlets have reported dumpsters full of books. The Winnipeg-based North/South Consultants brought a flatbed truck to the closure of the library at the University of Manitoba's Freshwater Institute and packed it full with the history of Canadian water. ...

When word first broke that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was closing the libraries, ... In an interview with the CBC, former fisheries minister Tom Siddon called the move "Orwellian, because some might suspect that it's driven by a notion to exterminate all unpopular scientific findings that interfere with the government's economic objectives." ...

A memo uncovered by Postmedia's Mike De Souza said that the closures would only save the taxpayers about $443,000 per year, after millions of dollars had recently been spent renovating the St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick. ...



Penny Pepperell | The Bufflehead  
Nature, Politics, and Science in the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay

Prime Minister Harper’s squeezing of environmental protections continues in its characteristic drip, drip fashion. In the latest example the National Energy Board, responsible for the approval of pipelines, is poised to assume some powers to protect fish and fish habitat, from Oceans and Fisheries Canada in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding posted on the NEB website.

Limiting the regulatory agencies overseeing a project might seem like a admirable move towards increased efficiency that will no doubt please the proponents of energy projects, but it raises serious questions about whether the NEB has the resources and willpower, unsullied by conflicting agendas, to responsibly protect the fish that get in the way of energy projects.

The Harper government talks relentlessly about balancing the budget and lowering taxes—that’s what we got when the Conservatives won their majority, with 38% of the popular vote.  What the government hasn’t admitted to is its assault on science and the weakening of environmental protections, which trundle along behind its cosseting of the oil sands sector. The closing and consolidated of the science libraries, the muzzling of scientists, the abandonment of the Experimental Lakes Area, the cancelling of the long-form census: this pileup suggests that the Conservative government is quietly suppressing, reducing and sidelining evidence-based, science-based challenges to its economic hegemony. This is part of Harper’s stealth agenda.

The Memorandum of Understanding, dated December 16, 2013 ...

... Harper’s slash and burn approach is compounded adversely by changes to the Fisheries Act that were buried inside the 2012 omnibus budget. These eliminated DFO’s responsibility to protect all fish and their habitat and replaced it with a mandate to protect fish that serve some recreational, commercial or Aboriginal purpose. ...

{and on and on it goes, with many links to specifics and documents. 
Beyond that it's an interesting blog, worth your visit.}


For a staggeringly complete accounting see: 

Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2015 (In Press)

The Canada Center for Policy Alternatives has a long history of critically assessing the records of governments — from the Mulroney years, through prime ministers Chrétien and Martin, to the current Harper government. The Harper Re- cord project, both in its first incarnation covering the 2006 to 2008 period and this present volume, continues that tradition.
The Harper Record (2008–2015) was a year in the making. Edited once again by the tenacious Teresa Healy, and joined this time by CCPA Monitor editor Stuart Trew, the book offers a critical assessment of this government’s policies, measured against a progressive yardstick of social, economic and environmental justice values that underpin all CCPA work.

Thirty-seven researchers and activists contributed to this volume — from universities, the human rights community, unions, environmentalists, and the CCPA’s network of research associates and staff. Their contributions are thoughtful, informed, well researched and well reasoned. They expand and deepen our understanding of the latest stage of the Harper government’s record, in particular how the government responded to the 2008 crisis and Great Recession.

Table of Contents
     Labour and Migration
     Social Policy
     Food, Water, Air, Environment
     Security, Foreign Policy & Trade

Harper cut public service. This man thinks he has the fix.

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