Who didn’t see this coming? CP:
Statistics Canada is cutting five of its surveys after being told by the federal government to chop its budget by $7 million.
The surveys include environmental and business statistics, and are in addition to other belt-tightening at the troubled agency.
As Pogge blogged back in July:
“Harper does not like StatsCan, that’s what we kept hearing,” according to a longtime employee of the agency. “In particular, he does not like the analytical work we’ve done for years.” The Prime Minister thinks of it as fodder for critics.
Harper especially did not like StatsCan after its head statistician, Munir Sheikh, quit rather than be shanghaied into pretending to approve the government’s move to replace the long-form mandatory census with a voluntary survey.
Statscan has also been reporting a steady decrease in crime since 1991, which doesn’t exactly jibe with Harper’s “if you build them, they will come” bid to stock more prisons with more Canadians.
Luckily there’s no need for those Statscan environmental and business statistics now anyway since Harper will be getting his advice from the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, a Suncor-sponsored, Harper-appointed group of Export Development Canada guys, politicians, and corporate CEOs. They have just released Climate Prosperity, your guide to, as De Smog Blog puts it, “reframing climate change as a good thing for Canada’s economy.”
Sure, they tell us, there will be less skiing but we’ll have way more golfing and easier access to oil and gas in the far north. See? Business and environment stats rolled into one.
Actual scientists weigh in on Climate Prosperity:
“I was surprised they’d spent one and a half years working on it. It was a complete mess,” said John Stone of Ottawa’s Carleton University and a prominent member of the International Panel on Climate Change.
Danny Harvey of U of T: “It is full of bad science and utterly downplays the serious impacts of climate change.”
We will not be hearing criticism from any muzzled government-employed scientists, of course, as they must get cabinet minister approval before speaking in public about their own research.
There better damn well be some stink in the press about this further gutting of Statscan.