March 20th, 2013

Statement by Official Opposition Science and Technology critic Kennedy Stewart on the rejection of his motion to protect science

Once again the Conservatives have chosen to persist in their war on knowledge. They have rejected reason and continue to undermine science in Canada.

The NDP introduced this motion to encourage the Conservatives to back down from their attacks on science. We had hoped that they would finally recognise the fact that all Canadians benefit from the open exchange of research, and concretely demonstrate the value Canadians place in basic research, starting by immediately restoring funding to the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area Facility until a new operator is found.

However, tonight Conservatives voted to continue their anti-science policies that muzzle scientists and silence researchers whose work does not serve their ideological agenda. It is disappointing that despite the sustained outcry from the Canadian scientific community, the Conservatives still fail to grasp the value of scientific freedoms and why it must be protected.

New Democrats know Canadians deserve better.

Unlike the Conservatives, we realise that in order for Canada to be home for groundbreaking revolutions in science, researchers in the basic sciences require stable long-term funding. We know that in order for Canada to keep pace with the global push in science and technology, our scientists must have the latitude to conduct their research without fear of repercussions and be able to freely exchange their findings with their peers and concerned Canadians.

Despite the Conservatives’ rejection of this motion, we will not waver in our commitment to defend scientific freedoms, evidence-based policy and basic scientific research from the Conservatives and their reckless policies.