Friday, February 20, 2015

Stephen Harper's War on Libraries (and Archives, and Science)

A new book by journalist Mark Bourrie, titled Kill the Messengers, outlines Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s policies on science and access to information during his time in office. The review of said policies is quite shocking, and reveals that said policies impact not only Canadian citizens, but global citizens, as government scientists are restricted from accessing scientific documents to aid in their research. As well, Harper’s government has prevented scientists from speaking to the media outright; instead, all statements go through a media specialist before being released to news companies. It is sad to see that such restrictions on freedom of speech are being imposed here, as they are reminiscent of something one may be accustomed to seeing from governments that are elusive (such as the People’s Republic of China).

A detailed excerpt from Bourrie’s book can be found here. The restrictions are also affecting government librarians, historians, and archivists, a greater description of which is found near the end of the article.

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