Mr. Speaker, I want to take note that in 2002, there were not masses of scientists gathered on the front lawn of Parliament Hill saying, “Free us” and “Allow us to speak”. They started to gather only a few years ago when the policy of the government was enunciated by the then minister of the environment as having one department, one website, and one voice. The consequence is that scientists feel as if they cannot speak.
In fact, it has become so bad that even scientists who do not work for the federal government feel that they cannot speak. A doctor recalled speaking with the scientists at the Experimental Lakes Area in Kenora. According to him, even some non-federal government scientists are afraid to speak out, as their funding comes from the federal government.
As long as we have this climate of fear, this muzzling of scientists, the best evidence does not get out. Unlike 2002, where decision-making was based upon the best evidence available and was frequently in the public domain, it was in the public domain because the scientists of federal Canada put it there and were not afraid to do so.