The democratic process requires the ready availability of true and complete information. In this way people can objectively evaluate the government’s policies. To act otherwise is to give way to despotic secrecy. - Pierre Elliot Trudeau
On July 10, 2012 the Canadian scientific community banded together to march on Parliament Hill in a rally condemning the government’s use of ideology to form policies in lieu of solid, scientific evidence. As a former physicist myself, I was happy to be among the group of over 2000 scientists and supporters who took part in the Death of Evidence Rally to promote evidence-based-policy-making. Why “Death of Evidence”? As one of the rally’s organizers, University of Ottawa Biologist, Scott Findlay, said, “[the] federal government has mounted a deliberate and systematic campaign to reduce the flow of scientific evidence to the Canadian public”.
Scientists usually prefer to stay behind the scenes, hard at work in their labs. However the current government’s rejection of facts and evidence has forced these researchers to take action. On July 10th, they took a break from their labs and took to the streets to fight for the voice of researchers to be heard when policy is decided and for a government that isn’t afraid of being embarrassed by acknowledging facts and evidence.
My Liberal colleagues and I, we believe that policy should be based on evidence not ideology. Without listening to the scientific community we believe it is impossible for a government to make smart decisions in the best interests of the Canadian people.
Science accepts criticism, admits and corrects mistakes, and becomes stronger each time it does so. The Government of Canada should start to do the same to build a stronger and smarter Canada.
Here is a Youtube video of my speech:
An article by some of the organizers: http://www.hilltimes.com/opinion-piece/politics/2012/07/23/feds-mount-systematic-deliberate-campaign-to-reduce-role-of/31558
Here is a perspective on the rally from overseas:
And another good article on the big picture: http://www.ipolitics.ca/2012/07/24/jennifer-robson-determining-truth-tougher-without-research-is-that-the-pms-objective/