Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Canada's new government unmuzzles scientists

In today's Portland Press Herald I have a follow-up to "Mayday," our six-day series on climate change and the Gulf of Maine.

While researching the series, my reporting efforts were repeatedly interfered with by Canadian officials tasked with preventing government scientists from freely communicating information about their research with journalists. The controversial policies -- implemented by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper's administration -- had been condemned by the scientific community at home and abroad and had become a campaign issue in this October's federal elections.

Harper's party was humiliated in a landslide election Oct. 19, losing every single seat in Atlantic Canada to the Liberals, whose government was sworn in a few days ago. As I report today, within 48 hours, incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's appointees reversed the policies, directing scientists to speak freely with the media.

Before the changes, I spoke with CBC-New Brunswick about my experiences trying to report the series in Canada.

Last week I also also the guest on the Michelangelo Singnorile show on Sirius XM radio, talking about the series. When it posts online, will add a link.

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