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18. Prevention of Muzzling and Political Interference of Federal Scientists

WHEREAS nine out of 10 federal scientists do not feel that they can speak freely to the media about the work they do and 86% do not believe they could share their concerns with the public or media without censure or retaliation from their department;[1]

WHEREAS over one-third of federal scientists report they were prevented from responding to questions from the public and media by public relations staff or management over the past five years;1

WHEREAS half of federal scientists report being aware of actual cases in which the health and safety of Canadians or environmental sustainability has been compromised because of political interference with their scientific work;1

WHEREAS 48% of federal scientists are aware of actual cases in which their department or agency suppressed information, leading to incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading impressions by the public, regulated industry, the media and/or government officials;1

WHEREAS the international community has taken note of the muzzling and political interference with federal scientists and has condemned it;[2]

BE IT RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada will significantly strengthen whistleblower legislation to protect the freedom of federal scientists to communicate publicly funded science;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Liberal Party of Canada will ensure the protection of evidence based science and policy decisions from political interference.

Liberal Party of Canada (Saskatchewan)