The Muzzling of Science in Canada

Photo from Science for Peace

By Margrit Eichler, Science for Peace, 21 September 2012

(…) So who is being muzzled? The overall funding for science and technology has increased since the Harper government took power in 2006 (ix), so the muzzling is highly targeted. Only those organizations and individuals which are promoting inconvenient views (inconvenient from the perspective of the federal government) are de-funded, severely curtailed, or completely shut down, or, in the case of individual scientists, fired, demoted, or prohibited from speaking freely—or at all—to the media. (…)

The muzzling of scientists must be put into the context of the systematic and system-wide silencing of dissent by the Harper government. Between 2006 and 2011 at least seventy-nine organizations that work in some way on the climate crisis or for human rights, both nationally and internationally, including women’s, immigrants’ and Aboriginal rights, have either been shut down or their funding has been dramatically curtailed. (…)

The identification of types of muzzling described here is only a beginning. There are certainly other forms that need to be added to this tentative typology of government muzzling. (…)

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