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Environment Canada scientists axed in federal 'assault on knowledge'

Silence of the Labs” produced by The Fifth Estate on CBC news, aired January 2014

As the Canadian federal government continues to scale back its funding for research, Environment Canada scientists are among the first to take a hit, losing 20 top scientists in the past year.

With more than 2000 scientists losing jobs in the past five years, more and more researchers fear the repercussions that this scale back will have on the nation as their government hinders access to crucial information.

In an interview with the CBC, James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers said:

What’s important is the scale of the assault on knowledge, and on our ability to know about ourselves and to advance our understanding of our world.

Among other cutbacks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada intends on shutting down seven out of 11 libraries by 2015 offering minimal reassurance on what will happen to the 660,000 scientific documents housed in these nationwide facilities. As Canada pushes for a marginalization of scientific funding, Tom Siddon, former federal fisheries minister is among those left feeling uneasy. He told the CBC:

I call [closing libraries] Orwellian, because some might suspect that it’s driven by a notion to exterminate all unpopular scientific findings that interfere with the government’s economic objectives.

Despite the federal government’s attempt to muzzle environmental scientists, it still isn’t enough to camouflage Canada’s poor emission records on the world map.

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