I’m surprised, personally. The Harper Government doesn’t like its paid scientists to disclose their research without a crash course in anti-environmentalist spin? This is all news to me:
Waiser wrote two scientific papers for Environment Canada that were published in 2011 that looked at chemical pollutants (such as phosporus and ammonia) and pharmaceuticals (such as trace antibiotics) in Wascana Creek.
Both kinds of pollution were found downstream of the Regina sewage treatment plant west of the city.
Waiser says when CBC contacted her to talk about the research, Environment Canada higher-ups lowered the boom.
“One of the first things they said after reading the two papers on Wascana Creek is that they didn’t want to upset the City of Regina,” she said.
Man, that last bit stings, doesn’t it. Though I guess it stings more if you’re a non-scientist spokesperson or “media guru” or whatever job title at Environment Canada in 2013 means it’s your job to make sure that nobody talks to the press unless they reinforce the Harper Government voter base’s beliefs that absolutely nothing has changed in the environment in the past sixty years and that human culpability in environmental issues is basically nil. Because look how snippy this guy or gal got:
Environment Canada declined a recorded interview, but in an email, a spokesperson said the department won’t comment on “hearsay.”
Zing. Is it “hearsay” when the source on this story about a government scientist being muzzled over her work is the government scientist who did the work? Is it hearsay when it’s part of a larger pattern previously addressed by international scientific journals? I guess it’s difficult to say. At least the Harper Government can take some solace in the fact that there’s no way to gain how much traction this “hearsay” actually has.
Yep, no way at all. The full interview with Marley Waiser is here. Big ups to CBC Sask for digging up and running this story.