Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area - Science Killed by Harper

July 10, 2012 (OTTAWA) – Concerned Canadian scientists and citizens will gather in Ottawa today to mourn the death of Evidence. Until recently, Evidence served a prominent role guiding the decisions of Canadian leaders. Its voice was tragically silenced recently after a series of severe injuries.

In recent months, the role of Evidence in important public decisions affecting Canadians was greatly diminished by:

 (i) unstaunched bloodletting at critical research programs in Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, Statistics Canada and elsewhere;

(ii) the shutdown of irreplaceable systems vital to the health of Evidence, including the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory and the First Nations Statistical Institute; and

(iii) inadequate diet resulting from the loss of such important sources of information as the National Science Advisor, Law Commission of Canada, and National Round Table on Environment and Economy.

Funeral services commemorating Evidence and its historic role in Canadian progress and national leadership will be held July 10, at the Ottawa Conference Centre, beginning at noon. Directing the service will be Katie Gibbs, a PhD student in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa, and Dr. Scott Findlay, Associate Professor and former Director of the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Environment.

The death of Evidence, funeral organizers say, is a cause for national mourning. “There is a systematic campaign to reduce the flow of scientific evidence to Canadians,” Findlay said. “As a result, the public hears and sees only information that supports federal government policy or ideology. That’s not evidence, that’s propaganda.”

A recent victim on the Conservative chopping block is the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA).  "This world-class science program was found guilty of innovative, cost-effective research to protect Canada's freshwater resources", reports Diane Orihel, Leader of the Coalition to Save ELA, "The punishment?  A death penalty from the Harper Government".

WHAT: Funeral Procession for the Death of Evidence

WHEN: 12:00 pm (noon) July 10, 2012

WHERE:                Ottawa Conference Centre.  Funeral procession to Parliament Hill.

WHO:    Scientists and concerned citizens from across Canada.

A number of speakers representing scientists and civil society will deliver eulogies for Evidence, including: Dr. Jeff Hutchings, Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University and President of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution; Dr. Alex MacKenzie, a Pediatric scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario; Diane Orihel, founder of the Coalition to Save ELA; Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and former president of the Law Commission of Canada; Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians; and Dr. Ted Hsu, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands and Liberal Party critic for Science and Technology.  More information on the Death of Evidence rally can be found at www.deathofevidence.ca.

The Coalition to Save ELA is a non-partisan group of scientists and citizens concerned about the future of Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.

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For more information on the Experimental Lakes Area, visit the Coalition to Save ELA website: http://www.saveela.org

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