It is a sad state of affairs when scientists across Canada take to the streets to bemoan their interaction with the government of their country.
Monday's demonstrations would have been a typical small foreign news story had it taken place in China, Iran or other countries judged to be "undemocratic" in Western eyes.
That a day of 17 such demonstrations across Canada was seen as necessary at all would be shameful to most Western governments - but apparently not to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives.
In May, the federal government made clear that Canadian science should work in the name of industry and profit.
The National Research Council would now focus on large-scale, industry-related projects.
Pure science and, worse, science education would no longer be a priority.
Of course, the release at the time had a different spin, but it's hard not to see it any other way when the popular Centre of the Universe in Victoria was closed in August for the sake of $250,000 a year, ending a constant lineup of kids on Saturdays to marvel at the beauty of space through its powerful telescope.
This after the Conservatives closed the Experimental Lakes Area in northern Ontario (although there seems to be a slight reprieve possible for the lakes) and reduced the reach of environmental protection legislation as part of a budget omnibus bill.
Monday, Burnaby NDP MP Kennedy Stewart formally called on Parliament to reduce the restrictions placed on federal researchers speaking with the public - a matter currently being investigated by Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault.
Government statisticians could probably devise a formula for the probability of that motion succeeding - but they wouldn't be allowed to tell us.
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