Science Policy

E-cigarettes : l’OMS pour une interdiction aux mineurs (French)
Publish Date: 26-AUG-2014 03:55 PM
L'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a recommandé mardi d'interdire la vente des cigarettes électroniques aux mineurs et leur usage dans les lieux publics fermés, estimant que celles-ci présentaient un «grave danger» pour l'adolescent et le foetus. 
An inside look at U.S. think tank ‘s plan to undo environmental legislation
Publish Date: 24-AUG-2014 03:43 PM
Internal documents from this summer’s Dallas meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, leaked to a watchdog group, reveal several sessions casting doubt on the scientific evidence of climate change. They also reveal sessions focused on crafting policies that reduce rules for fossil fuel companies and create obstacles for the development of alternative forms of energy. The meeting, hosted in Dallas from July 30 to Aug. 1, involved a mix of lobbyists, U.S. legislators and climate change contrarians, and was sponsored by more than 50 large corporations, including several that do business in Alberta’s oilsands. 
The Harper government’s lonely struggle against reality
Publish Date: 22-AUG-2014 03:31 PM
In a recent speech to the Canadian Medical Association, Health Minister Rona Ambrose said something no cabinet minister ought to have to say out loud: that her boss, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and his government are firm believers in evidence-based policy. The fact that Ambrose felt the need to assert publicly that her government drafts policy based on facts — not on hunches, hearsay or blind ideology — highlights the Harper government’s essential problem when it comes to getting Canadians to sign on to its program: It does not believe in fact-based policy and seldom feels the need to behave as if it does. The Conservatives believe in ideology over evidence. They believe in belief. For proof, look no further than Ambrose’s own portfolio. 
Where’s the fight for our fishery ?
Publish Date: 20-AUG-2014 03:03 PM
If the government of the U.S.A. and the fishing fleets of foreign countries behaved in their fishery like they do here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Americans would have a civil uprising; it would never be allowed to take place. 
Environnement Canada veut centraliser la collecte de données (French)
Publish Date: 18-AUG-2014 01:58 PM
Environnement Canada procède à une réorganisation de la collecte des données météorologiques, dans le but de répondre à la demande croissante d’information de la population. C’est ce qu’ont expliqué dimanche soir des représentants du service, lors de la Conférence scientifique publique mondiale sur la météorologie (WWOSC) à Montréal. 
Refugee claimants struggling to find health care after cuts
Publish Date: 17-AUG-2014 01:45 PM
Two years ago, the Conservative government made cuts to refugee health care, arguing it would deter “bogus” refugees from coming to Canada and save taxpayers $100-million over five years. The cuts drew outrage from many refugee advocates, doctors, lawyers, and some provinces that found themselves footing the bill. Last month, a Federal Court ruling called the measure “cruel and unusual treatment” and found “no persuasive evidence” the cuts reduced claims and costs. 
Science writers can help raise knowledge
Publish Date: 11-AUG-2014 10:12 AM
Knowledge empowers us to question media coverage, government policy and claims we see and hear every day. We have to rely on effective science communication to help condense, synthesize and translate the ever-increasing body of scientific knowledge into general concepts we can integrate and apply in our daily lives. 
Evangeline Lilly : It’s My Job To Stand Up for Canadian Scientist
Publish Date: 08-AUG-2014 09:40 AM
Lilly first heard about the defunding and muzzling of Canada’s federal scientists when she was reading DeSmog Canada just over a year ago. In a spate of funding cuts, the federal government eliminated some of Canada’s most prestigious scientific institutions, to the dismay of scientists and Canadians across the country. And since the Harper government has been in power, strict communications protocols have prevented scientists from speaking with the public about their research, limiting public awareness of taxpayer-funded science. 
Conference celebrates female physicists, but there’s room for more
Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 08:07 AM
Of all the hard sciences, physics is notorious for having the lowest percentage of female practitioners. That's why hundreds of them get together every three years to discuss how to improve the numbers. This year the International Conference of Women in Physics is at Wilfrid Laurier University, where delegates from 50 countries will discuss national policies, salaries, competition and cultural barriers — some of the reasons why many of them think there are so few females in physics.  
Ted Hsu, Liberal Kinston MP, won’t seek re-election
Publish Date: 07-AUG-2014 08:06 AM
Ted Hsu, the first-term Liberal MP for Ontario's Kingston and the Islands riding, says he will not run for re-election in 2015. Hsu was the party's natural resources critic and served on the Commons' natural resources committee in 2013, but was moved out of the position by Trudeau and appointed Ontario caucus chair and caucus accountability officer. Hsu was also named the party's critic for science and technology, post-secondary education and Ontario economic development, roles he had previously held. 
Lack of scientific R&D funding will leave Canada in the dust
Publish Date: 01-AUG-2014 08:12 AM
Scientific research and development is not a luxury for modern, industrialized countries such as Canada. It’s a necessity that we ignore at our peril. Without it, innovation and new discoveries suffer – and we risk being left behind in an increasingly competitive global economy. Canada falls well behind most other wealthy nations on total spending on research and development. Without solid participation from both governments and businesses, Canadian innovation from scientific research will continue to lag. And that, no doubt, will leave Canada in the dust. 
The starving of Canadian science
Publish Date: 31-JUL-2014 08:10 AM
Not many are aware of the way science is funded, conducted and taught in Canada, and how this has deteriorated over the years to such an extent that this is going to pose a serious problem for the future generations to come. Successive governments have over the years given more money to companies at the cost of stagnation in funding for fundamental research. The approach has been ill conceived, as it is the fundamental research that opens up new avenues, which are then taken over by the biotech sector for knowledge translation. 
Leadership needed in agri-food policy
Publish Date: 29-JUL-2014 08:07 AM
During the last year or so, the agri-food industry has been the subject of enough reports on its economic potential and scope for improvement to fill a respectable bookshelf. Whether from academics, researchers, think-tanks or politicians, the documents focus on virtually all the major issues. Now to keep these tomes from gathering dust. The latest report comes from the Agri-Innovators Committee, a group of well-known farm leaders. “Innovation is needed throughout the entire agri-food value chain,” they say in a report to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. The “industry must drive innovation with governments as supporting players.” Change “innovation” to “agri-food policy” and we would really be making progress. 
Strange things under the Ottawa sun
Publish Date: 28-JUL-2014 08:08 AM
Four "strange things" stand out in actions of the Harper government. The first is its hyper-partisanship; the second is its unwillingness to see science as a necessary aid to good governance or to appreciate the need to seek or accept expert advice; third, its willingness to attack and denigrate the basic institutions of democratic government such as the courts and Elections Canada; and fourth, its zealousness in pushing change, knowing it did not meet or was unlikely to meet the test of fealty to existing laws or to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 
Règlement provincial sue l’eau potable : feu vert à Pétrolia (French)
Publish Date: 24-JUL-2014 10:05 AM
Québec vient d'adopter le règlement provincial sur l'eau potable réclamé à cor et à cri par Gaspé depuis deux ans. Moins sévère que celui de la municipalité, il a pour effet de donner le feu vert à Pétrolia pour forer Haldimand n° 4.  
Québec fixe enfin des règles (French)
Publish Date: 24-JUL-2014 09:54 AM
Québec a finalement dévoilé mercredi son règlement sur la protection de l’eau potable, une mesure qui confirme que Pétrolia pourra poursuivre ses forages dans la ville de Gaspé, malgré la controverse qu’ils suscitent. Le Règlement sur le prélèvement des eaux et leur protection (RPEP) fixe pour la première fois la distance « minimale » qui devra être respectée entre un site de forage et une source d’eau potable. Celle-ci devra être de 500 mètres. 
Conservative government censored memo on environmental group
Publish Date: 23-JUL-2014 09:45 AM
The Harper government heavily censored a memo showing the effectiveness of a non-partisan environmental group that had its funding axed, documents show. The government initially released the censored memo, sent to former environment minister Peter Kent, following a request through access to information legislation. It later released some of the censored passages following a complaint that prompted an investigation by the office of the federal information commissioner. 
What do these PMs know that economists don’t?
Publish Date: 18-JUL-2014 11:41 AM
During Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent visit to Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented on climate change: “No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country. We are just a little more frank about that.” Mr. Abbott, having abolished Australia’s carbon tax, added: “I’ve always been against a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment.” These two prime ministers were saying that a theory we economists have studied all our working lives, based on knowledge that has been accumulated for a century, is all wrong. 
Governments choosing development over conservation, parks group warns
Publish Date: 15-JUL-2014 09:21 AM
An environmental group says its annual review of the state of Canada's parks has left it worried. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society says most parks and proposed protected areas are facing greater challenges than they were a year ago. 
National parks under threat, report says
Publish Date: 14-JUL-2014 09:12 AM
From the caribou breeding grounds in the Northwest Territories to the diverse forests of New Brunswick, the country’s leading wilderness advocate says the integrity of Canada’s parks is being threatened by budget cuts, human activity and, especially, resource extraction.