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Contradictions over national science adviser

There have been some interesting developments since my last blog post, and it looks like the time for condemnation has…

By Trevor D'Arcy , in Blogs The Blogoratory: Science News Commentary , on February 3, 2008

There have been some interesting developments since my last blog post, and it looks like the time for condemnation has come.

Yesterday The Globe and Mail published Dr. Arthur Carty’s response to the cancellation of his post as the national science adviser.

The article read:

Dr. Carty told The Globe and Mail yesterday he decided to retire from the public service after being told his nearly four-year-old position would be phased out.
“I was particularly disappointed about the office disappearing as my hopes had been that I would, as a national science adviser, help make this a permanent institution in the government of Canada at the centre of government as it is in a number of countries,” he said yesterday.

I won’t be the first to point out that this contradicts earlier statements made by the Conservatives when defending the decision to phase the post out.

But Prentice’s office suggested its critics should check the facts, noting that the government’s decision was in response to a letter sent by Carty in October when he announced his retirement.

Even though Carty wants to avoid politics, his comments indicate insidious intentions.

I am hesitant to make bald allegations about political issues, but the Conservatives appear intent on smothering dissident voices – especially voices that may slow industrial progress. Other examples include their censoring and financially gutting (more) the Ministry of Environment.

Again, it would be interesting to learn what kind of advice Carty was providing.

As much as industrial and economic progress contribute to our quality of life, it cannot be done with reckless abandon. In the interest of future generations – in the interest of sustaining the benefits of that progress – independent and precautionary voices should be taken into consideration.

As such, I question the motives of our current government.