OTTAWA– Liberal Science and Technology critic Ted Hsu joined hundreds of scientists on Parliament Hill today to promote a fact-and evidence-based approach to governing and to condemn the Conservative government’s hostile attitude towards science and research for the public good.
“To make sound decisions governments need sound data, yet this government prefers to create policy based on ideology that often directly contradicts research and evidence,” said Mr. Hsu. “It was Conservative ideology that motivated raising the retirement age on Canadians when data said that the Old Age Security was sustainable. Unless we can convince the Harper Conservatives that wilful ignorance is dangerous, their wrong-headed approach will undoubtedly hurt Canadians’ long term prosperity and quality of life.”
In 2007, it was reported that then Industry Minister Maxime Bernier bragged to an audience of Conservatives that they had cut Statistics Canada’s budget because without that data the government would be unable to effectively create or fine-tune programs. Three years later, the Conservatives cut Statistics Canada’s long form census, the central building block of the agency’s data.
“Muzzling scientists, eliminating the census, cutting research centres like the Experimental Lake Area—there is no question that evidence-based policy in Canada is under attack,” said Mr. Hsu. “Liberals believe that policy, built on a solid foundation of facts and evidence, including scientific data, is the backbone of a government that protects its people and safeguards their interests.”