Government of Canada pledges $30 million to ignoring science

OTTAWA (The News Desk) — In what observers are calling a cynical attempt to score political points with the Conservative base, the Harper government announced an infusion of more than $30 million into its efforts to ignore science on Monday.

“This is clearly pandering to critics of the scientific method,” said NDP science critic Rene Prefontaine, referring to the title of the press release circulated by the office of the prime minister earlier today, “The Scientific Method: In Over Its Head.”

In the press release, the government promises new funding to purpose-built departments devoted to misunderstanding, misrepresenting or altogether lying about science to the public.

“This funding is crucial to our ongoing undermining of popular understanding of basic scientific facts,” the release reads. “Science has had its moment in the sun. Which revolves around the Earth.”

At least $6 million has been earmarked for shutting down nine more field stations and research libraries across Canada and throwing all of their books in the dirt.

“We plan to expand our extensive denial program from anthropogenic climate change to other forms of science denial,” said PMO spokesperson Andy Flint. “Vaccines, tides, the moon landing — they’re all on the chopping block, belief-wise.”

The government plans to redouble its scientist-muzzling efforts as well. The current program has attracted criticism for wasting money — for example, hiring hundreds of new communications staffers who accompany publicly funded scientists to conferences.

But Flint brushed off the complaints.

“Muzzles are not cheap,” said Flint. “And don’t get me started on leashes.” ♦

Photo by Darren Calabrese

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