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Former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper had been accused of many things, one complaint is by the federal government scientists who claim that Harper muzzled federal scientists and Trudeau is continuing on with the same policies that Harper left off on.
According to reports, the PIPSC (Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada), which is the union representing thousands of government scientists says that the current government continues to ban scientists from being able to participate in international conferences. And that’s not all, even with a new communications policy that had been issued by the Trudeau government to end the muzzling of science based governmental departments, there have been no changes to the previous policies. The PIPSC is also calling Finance Minister Bill Morneau to hire some 1,500 more federal government scientists along with an appeal to add a clause that will “enshrine the principles of scientific integrity” in the current policy.
The PIPSC states that they were forced towards this action since scientists are still forbidden to discuss their research and attend important academic conferences, with some scientists having to wait for weeks and months to get an approval to speak publicly about their research.
Liberal ministers are in charge of nine federal departments that employ scientists and technicians, and all of them have given in writing that no changes to the current communication policies of scientists have been implemented or made. This is a fact that was also echoed by Health Minister Jane Philpott, who stood in the parliament and said that no memos or directives were sent to any of the federal scientists regarding the approval of scientific communications after the Liberals took office.
At present, the government employs around 39,000 scientists but as some reports have suggested, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is on track to make the largest cut in the number of scientists and technicians her department employs. Under the Harper government, Environment Canada had 3,830 scientists, which has shrunk down to 3,386 scientists in just two years. And with the way things are going, things aren’t going to get any better for Canada’s federal government scientists any time soon.