Researchers marched on Ottawa this week as they protested the Canadian government's planned cuts to research and the scientific agenda, reports The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg. Critics say Prime Minister Stephen Harper is "pushing through a slew of policies weakening or abolishing environmental protections" in order to drill for oil in the Alberta tar sands, and is "jeopardizing Canada's scientific reputation" by shutting down a research station that has produced evidence on the dangers of acid rain, Goldenberg says. In an imitation of a May protest by UK scientists on unfair funding regulations, the Council of Canadians staged a mock funeral procession to express "concerns about the deliberate erosion of the capacity of Canadian institutions to gather evidence for informed policy decision-making," ScienceInsider says.
Researchers also say that Harper is more interested in funding research that could have direct industrial applications than in funding basic research. A recent budget bill passed by the Canadian parliament cut government science jobs, defunded several research projects and research grant programs, and wiped out pollution control programs, The Guardian's Goldenberg adds.