CBC News’ Nicole Mortillaro reports on how American scientists are facing communications restictions similar to those imposed on Canadians during the Harper government.
Under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the federal government made it progressively more difficult for Canadian government scientists to communicate their findings to the public.
Efforts by journalists to communicate directly with scientists to obtain information about something as benign as “rock snot” ran into roadblocks. Funding was cut to various scientific agencies, including Environment Canada, and thousands of scientists were laid off.
The scientists’ counterparts in the United States quickly rallied to their defence. Op-eds were penned in major scientific publications lamenting the lack of independence for Canada’s science community. Petitions were signed.
Today, it’s the Canadian government scientists — now free to speak directly to the press without pre-approval by intermediaries after changes implemented by the Trudeau government — battling on behalf of American scientists.
Just days after Donald Trump became president of the United States, alarms were raised after it was revealed that he had emailed several government departments advising them to refrain from posting anything to social media.