“In stark contrast to its cuddly international image, Canada is the dirty old man of the climate world.”
I had long viewed Canada as America's sane neighbor but their current Prime Minister Stephen Harper has put a screeching halt to that.  Nothing illustrates the horrendous and radical change as starkly as Harper's muzzling and censorship of Canada's scientists, especially on the issue of tar sands.
It began badly enough in 2008 when scientists working for Environment Canada, the federal agency, were told to refer all queries to departmental communications officers. Now the government is doing all it can to monitor and restrict the flow of scientific information, especially concerning research into climate change, fisheries and anything to do with the Alberta tar sands — source of the diluted bitumen that would flow through the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Journalists find themselves unable to reach government scientists; the scientists themselves have organized public protests.
In 2007, Harper was awarded the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) "Code of Silence Award" for his "white-knuckled death grip on public information". "If journalists can't get basic information from the federal government, Canadians can't hold the government accountable. The prime minister's office has repeatedly demonstrated contempt for the public's right to know," [CAJ President] Welch said. "Harper pledged to run a government that was open, transparent and accountable, but his track record to-date has been abysmal."  http://www.caj.ca/...
There is plenty going on in Canadian politics right now that has their media's attention, including three senators involved in a money scandal that is increasingly being tied to Harper.  Here in the USA, the problems with the rollout of Obamacare have taken attention away from Harper's relentless push for the Keystone XL pipeline.  His statement that he "won't take no for an answer" got little coverage.  

Meanwhile, Harper's censorship continues unabated and has even extended to Europe.  Here's the article that prompted me to write this diary, with an excerpt that seems mind-boggling to me:

Censored In Canada, Artist Brings Her Anti-Tar Sands Message To The U.S.
Excerpt: According to James, in 2011 her 20-city European art show was cancelled as a direct result of behind-the-scenes government interference by high-level bureaucrats, including the Deputy Director of Climate Change, Jeremy Wallace, a Canadian Ambassador, Scott Heatherington, and a Senior Trade Commissioner in Berlin, Thomas Marr. According to the internal government documents, James was censored because her art was “advocating a message that was contrary to the government’s policies on climate change.

Originally posted to Eyesbright on Thu Nov 14, 2013 at 05:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Canadian Kossacks.

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