Protesters Across Canada “Stand Up for Science”
Demos in 17 Cities Condemn Government Cuts to Research
On Sept. 16, a protest was held at noon in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex under the banner “Stand Up for Science.”
It was one of 17 demonstrations held across the country, protesting the increasing proportion of private and corporate research and advocating for higher quality of education in the sciences.
“All sciences are touched by cuts but mostly in environment science and basic research,” said Katie Gibs, a Stand Up for Science spokesperson.
“How science is funded, what kind of science is funded as well as the government strict communication policy, this is the issue.”
The protest was peaceful, punctuated with many speeches from researches, Members of Parliament from the Liberal Party, environmentalists, social justice associations and the infamous Raging Grannies, an international social activism group of women—all old enough to be grandmothers—who dress in stereotypically “old grandmother” clothing at demonstrations as they sing self-written protest songs.
Former researcher at Environment Canada and president of the Canadian Society of Meteorology and Oceanology Pierre Gauthier spoke out against government cuts, saying research meant to guide environmental policy was suffering due to the lack of funding.
Westmount/Ville-Marie Member of Parliament Marc Garneau presented his party position about the government cuts.
“As a Member of Parliament, it is my duty to be guided by science in the decision a make,” he said, adding that there is a need for public funding of the fundamental sciences, which corporations do not support.
He also criticized the Conservative government’s decision to scrap the long-form census, saying the government was “losing 25 per cent of the information of Canada’s population.”