Science Policy

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. 
Examining Canada’s scientific footprint
Publish Date: 04-JUL-2014 08:50 AM
Science is serious business. Governments, companies and charities invest hundreds of billions to fuel research efforts worldwide. The results, they hope, will increase knowledge, drive economic growth, improve lives and create new possibilities for people in the future. But which science matters most and who’s doing it? Those are the questions underlying a new list of the world’s top researchers compiled by the data and media company Thomson Reuters. 
No Canadian at space station before 2017
Publish Date: 02-JUL-2014 08:44 AM
Unless Canada makes a lot more contributions to the International Space Station, it could be a while before another Canadian astronaut visits the giant orbiting space laboratory.For the moment, what's clear is that no Canadians will be heading up to the space station before 2017 - at the earliest. 
Keystone XL: un discours de John Baird a semé la panique à Ottawa (French)
Publish Date: 27-JUN-2014 08:20 AM
Un récent discours livré à Washington lors duquel le ministre canadien des Affaires étrangères John Baird a demandé des développements rapides dans le dossier de l'oléoduc Keystone XL semble avoir provoqué beaucoup d'anxiété à Ottawa.  
Scientists Call for Tar Sands Moratorium
Publish Date: 25-JUN-2014 08:26 AM
In a groundbreaking Nature Journal article, a group of economists, policy researchers, ecologists, and scientists make the case for a moratorium on new pipelines in North America until a “more coherent approach” can be developed to evaluate tar sands projects in the context of a broader energy and climate strategy, taking into account the long-term and cumulative consequences of multiple projects or of global carbon pollution. 
Manitoba lake the first freshwater fishery in North America to be certified sustainable
Publish Date: 24-JUN-2014 08:15 AM
Waterhen Lake, in Manitoba, is a modest speck on Canada’s vast freshwater landscape. The lake produces a modest amount of commercially caught walleye and northern pike. As of Tuesday, Waterhen Lake will boast an immodest label: the first sustainably certified freshwater fishery in the Western Hemisphere.  
Evidence-based Union? A new alliance for science advice in Europe
Publish Date: 23-JUN-2014 02:15 PM
David Cameron’s increasingly forlorn efforts to block Jean-Claude Juncker continue to generate the heat in European politics, but today sees the launch of a welcome effort to bring light to the sometimes murky recesses of EU policymaking. This afternoon, at the Euroscience Open Forum in Copenhagen, a new pan-EU network of government science advisers will hold its first meeting. Senior scientific representatives from twelve member states, including the UK’s Sir Mark Walport, will discuss how to strengthen the use of evidence in EU policymaking and improve coordination between national systems, particularly during emergencies, such as when clouds of volcanic ash from Iceland grounded flights across Europe in 2011.  
Fix the link where science and policy meet
Publish Date: 23-JUN-2014 08:22 AM
The connection between science and public policy within the federal government is broken, and the consequences for Canada are becoming disastrous. We propose four ways to fix this problem. But first, how is the connection broken, and why should Canadians care? 
Turning salmon waste into biodiesel
Publish Date: 23-JUN-2014 08:17 AM
Dr. Dave is leading the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development’s (CASD) marine biodiesel research team in creating biodiesel and other value added products from salmon waste. 
Shuffle sees new top bureaucrats at Energy, Environment
Publish Date: 20-JUN-2014 02:08 PM
Serge Dupont is leaving his job as deputy minister of Natural Resources Canada to become the IMF’s executive director. Environment Canada deputy minister Bob Hamilton got the nod to replace Dupont at Natural Resources. The shuffle at the energy and environment portfolios come on the heels of the Conservative government’s approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline, subject to Enbridge meeting the 209 conditions laid down by a federal review panel.  
Censorship of government scientists bad for Canadians
Publish Date: 19-JUN-2014 09:58 AM
Canadians can pride themselves for living in one of the most reputable countries in the world, but they should also regret that such respect exists in spite of the Harper Conservatives. Their censorship of government scientists is now infamous abroad, which first received international attention when Nature magazine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science called for greater Canadian scientific freedom. 
Ottawa répond aux désirs des géants pétroliers (French)
Publish Date: 18-JUN-2014 10:52 AM
Malgré l’ampleur de la controverse soulevée par le projet Northern Gateway, le gouvernement Harper a approuvé mardi la construction de ce pipeline d’Enbridge qui permettra d’exporter du pétrole des sables bitumineux vers l’Asie. Une bonne nouvelle pour l’industrie de l’énergie fossile, mais une décision dénoncée par les partis d’opposition et les groupes environnementaux. 
Government silent as questions mount about asbestos danger
Publish Date: 17-JUN-2014 10:57 AM
The federal Conservative government is refusing to join the rest of the developed world in declaring that there are no safe uses for asbestos, even though the material is the top workplace killer in Canada and deaths from exposure are expected to rise. 
5 signs your Prime Minister doesn't like public servants
Publish Date: 16-JUN-2014 10:47 AM
Stephen Harper wants public servants to know he cares. That's the point of this week's National Public Service Week to celebrate those "Proudly Serving Canadians." But public servants aren't buying it. In fact, they're boycotting the whole thing.