Science Policy

The Royal Society of Canada Issues a Position Paper on the Importance of Research in Canada
Publish Date: 20-OCT-2014 03:11 PM
The Royal Society of Canada has published the first in a series of position papers intended to serve as constructive additions to policy conversations about research and scholarship in Canada. 
 
New Ebola guidelines: Testing in Ontario labs for quicker results
Publish Date: 17-OCT-2014 02:42 PM
When Ottawa went through an Ebola scare earlier this week samples from the suspected cases had to be sent to a national laboratory in Winnipeg for examination before the all-clear was given. 
 
Ebola: WHO admits it botched response to outbreak
Publish Date: 17-OCT-2014 02:39 PM
Texas health care workers who were exposed to the deadly Ebola virus are being asked to sign legally binding documents agreeing not to go to public places or use public transportation. 
 
REUTERS SUMMIT-Global climate deal should be legally binding in parts: U.S
Publish Date: 14-OCT-2014 03:00 PM
The United States wants to broker a global agreement on climate change that would contain some legal elements but would stop short of being legally binding on an international level, the country's top diplomat on climate change issues said. 
 
Leona Aglukkaq is silent on altered evidence in frog memo
Publish Date: 04-OCT-2014 11:32 AM
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is offering no explanation for a mysterious memo sent from a senior bureaucrat to the environment minister that incorrectly summarized scientific evidence from a secret report. The memo, released through a court challenge, contradicted the warnings from an Environment Canada scientist about “imminent” danger from a major residential real estate project near Montreal that is threatening the survival of a critical population of western chorus frogs, protected under federal endangered species legislation. 
 
Scientists rail against imposed ignorance: Goar
Publish Date: 02-OCT-2014 11:18 AM
A year ago, a handful of Toronto scientists decided they could no longer watch helplessly as the government of Canada systematically stifled information on everything from climate change to drug safety. They formed a collective called Scientists for the Right to Know. This week, they held a public forum at the Munk School of Global Affairs. It was called Imposed Ignorance, a panel discussion highlighting what Canadians are losing and why it matters. 
 
What the Franklin expedition says about Canadian research priorities
Publish Date: 24-SEP-2014 08:31 AM
The discovery of one of the long-lost Franklin ships is surely big news, archaeologically speaking. But it is also highly political. Not simply because Franklin is used as a symbol of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, but also in the context of what has happened in recent years regarding federal science. 
 
Labelling GMOs about transparency, not health say advocates
Publish Date: 22-SEP-2014 09:04 AM
Advocates pushing for the government to adopt mandatory labelling regulation of genetically-modified foods may have received a boost, ironically, thanks to a recent Health Canada study. On June 10, Health Canada released a report, “Consulting Canadians to Modernize and Improve Food Labels: What We Heard,” detailing what Health Canada has learned about Canadians’ priorities on modernizing and improving food labelling. Within the grander nutrition and clarity concerns, a desire to better detail how and where food was made also emerged, including “labelling genetically-engineered or genetically-modified ingredients in food products and declaring the presence or use of pesticides, agricultural chemicals, antibiotics or growth hormones.”  
 
Canada missing out on green energy revolution, report says
Publish Date: 22-SEP-2014 08:50 AM
At a time when investment in clean energy technologies is growing worldwide, Canada is “looking the other way” and risks missing out on trade and growth opportunities, according to a new report from an advocacy group for green energy. The study from Clean Energy Canada was released Monday to coincide with the United Nation Climate Summit in New York City. It says Canada spent $6.5 billion on the renewable energy transition last year. That is minuscule compared to the $207 billion spent worldwide, including $55 billion in China alone. 
 
Stephen Harper’s climate change timeline
Publish Date: 19-SEP-2014 08:41 AM
A labour union representing federal scientists, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, would also estimate that the Canadian government was in the middle of a three-year purge, cutting nearly $3 billion in spending and up to 5,000 jobs from its science-based departments, including many scientific research positions and programs in charge of monitoring air, water, and wildlife. 
 
Canada needs a stronger stand on climate change
Publish Date: 19-SEP-2014 08:41 AM
Canada is running a sustainability deficit. But our politicians aren’t taking this seriously — they seem to believe that balancing a green and sustainable economy is less important than balancing its budgets. As British Columbian researchers who study sustainability and impacts of climate change, we believe Canada needs strong federal climate change policies and actions. 
 
Stephen Harper’s Conservatives Champion Democracy for Ukraine – for Canada, Not So Much
Publish Date: 19-SEP-2014 08:38 AM
Enthusiasm for fundamental democratic principles at home is under increasing threat, from social activism to scientific research. Perhaps the longest and most complete muzzling of freedom of expression has befallen federal government scientists, particularly those working in the areas of the environment and natural resources, in other words, the tar sands. 
 
Une étude pour rendre le réseau de la santé plus efficace (French)
Publish Date: 17-SEP-2014 03:37 PM
Un groupe de travail mis sur pied par l'Institut sur la gouvernance (IGOPP) propose des changements au réseau de la santé afin de le rendre plus efficace et, surtout, plus axé sur le patient. 
 
When it comes to science, Canadians care more than ever
Publish Date: 17-SEP-2014 08:35 AM
It was reassuring to hear the essential message of a report released last week by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) that aimed to assess the state of Canada’s science culture: that Canadians know and care more about science than ever, and they know and care more than the citizens of many other developed countries. 
 
The Canadian response to Ebola : a new science diplomacy ?
Publish Date: 16-SEP-2014 09:40 AM
In early August, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development (DFATD) announced that Canada would provide $3.6 million dollars to both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to help the international Ebola effort. This was not the first Canadian contribution; as early as April 18th, three ministers (International Development and La Francophonie, DFATD, and Health) had pledged nearly $1.3 million to address the Ebola outbreak. 
 
Oil and gas pollution committee quietly silenced
Publish Date: 16-SEP-2014 09:24 AM
Environment Canada appears to have quietly ended key discussions that were intended to tackle carbon pollution from the oil and gas industry. A committee made up of representatives from Environment Canada, the Alberta government and oil and gas companies was created in the fall of 2011 to develop options to reduce industrial greenhouse gases from the oilsands sector, the country’s fastest growing source of carbon emissions. 
 
The science minister seems to be in denial
Publish Date: 10-SEP-2014 11:40 AM
It’s not unusual for any government to deny the unpalatable until it finally becomes too counterproductive or absurd to do so. The government of Stephen Harper, however, has taken the practice of naysaying to breathtaking heights. Take, for example, the reaction of Science and Technology Minister Ed Holder to an editorial in The Telegram on Aug. 29. (Science Inc.). Faced with the fact that his government has systematically undercut any scientific pursuit that hinders its pro-business agenda, the minister has adopted the tried and true head-in-sand tactic. 
 
Canadian beekeepers sue Bayer, Syngenta over neonicotinoid pesticides
Publish Date: 08-SEP-2014 02:11 PM
Canadian beekeepers are suing the makers of popular crop pesticides for more than $400 million in damages, alleging that their use is causing the deaths of bee colonies.  
 
Scientists urge government to fund basic research
Publish Date: 05-SEP-2014 11:22 AM
A survey of 12 countries, including Canada, shows that scientists are concerned about the drop in government support of basic science in favour of applied research that leads to short-term benefits. While applied science is valuable and necessary to keep up in a competitive global economy, we need basic science as well to open new possibilities for true innovation. 
 
Put focus back on basic research, say science unions
Publish Date: 03-SEP-2014 02:03 PM
Geneviève Fioraso, France's minister for higher education and research, denies trade unions' claims her government wants science to have immediate economic returns.An unrelenting political push towards economic returns and short-term targets for research is endangering scientists' academic freedom in many countries around the world, the leading French researchers' union has warned…Canadian scientists, in particular, face a unique set of challenges as the government puts a squeeze not only on their funding, but also on their freedom of expression.