Editorial: Science is good, but only when it suits the government

Prime minister's comments on vaccination science don't square with what the government actually does in practice

Two weights, two measures.

Whichever is more convenient.

At least that is how it seems Prime Minister Stephen Harper deals with science, scientists and their advice.

What other explanation can there be for Harper saying, in a CBC interview, in reference to parents who for various reasons do not allow their children to receive immunization shots, “it’s a tragedy when people start to go off on their own theories and not listen to scientific evidence.”

Let’s take a pause to let that bit of irony sink in.

Harper has consistently worked to eliminate or, at minimum, impede the development of scientific research, eliminate the objectivity of science from any debate by muzzling scientists, cutting budgets and just plain ignoring their findings and advice.

Facts can be problematic, a nuisance, a hinderance, especially when he has an agenda and the only thing between Harper and the realization of his agenda is science.

Unless of course the facts support his agenda.

Knowledge of our environment, and the deplorable condition it is in, is particularly troubling for Harper’s agenda.

So gone is most of the funding for Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, as well as for the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory, and the Experimental Lakes Area.

If we don’t know how mismanaged and mistreated the environment is, then we won’t have to lie awake worrying.

Thanks, Stephen.