Harper wants to cut scientific research

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NDP fights back but doesn't have the numbers

The NDP is trying to stop the Stephen Harper Conservatives from muzzling scientists and closing down scientific programs in the federal government.

New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart presented a motion in the Commons this week that Canadian expertise in the natural sciences and social sciences is too valuable to throw away.

But it's only a parliamentary motion, not legislation, and the Harper Conservatives have a comfortable majority in the Commons. The motion has about a snowball's chance in June of being approved.

The prime minister has made it clear he's going ahead with cuts to scientific research programs all through the government -- at Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Library and Archives Canada, National Research Council Canada, Statistics Canada, the Natural Sciences Research Council and the Engineering Council of Canada;

The Conservative government also wants to close down the National Council on Welfare and the Statistical Institute of First Nations.

All the cuts, cancellations and closures to science will be law by the time MPs' summer holidays roll around in four weeks.

Hundreds of scientists and researchers will lose their jobs or have to find other federal employment. But at least Harper will have money to buy more military equipment or reduce the deficit this year.



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