Canadian scientists now have ‘minders’

Dear editor,
The recent rally of 2,200 people gave me hope that maybe — just maybe — our governments will listen to us.

Dear editor,The recent rally of 2,200 people who came out to say we want to protect our Great Bear Rainforest and our coastal waters gave me hope that maybe — just maybe — our governments will listen to us.The good speakers and the great musicians at the rally were inspiring. Young people and artists had created masterpieces for storytelling with images.Then, it was right after that rally that our federal government came out to say that they were cutting back on the environmental hearings.Only people who are “directly affected” by the Northern Gateway Enbridge pipeline will be allowed to speak. This will effectively stop the democratic process as we know it.We are all “affected” by an oil tanker spill or a pipeline break that kills our wildlife and ruins our drinking water.   Canada in 1992 took part in the Environmental Forum in Rio. The decision there was that all concerned citizens should be part of the decision-making processes.That principle was then enshrined in the 1995 Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. That now seems to have disappeared, i.e., been deleted.At the current Polar Conference, all the Canadian scientists now have “minders” who are controlling what is said publicly. We are building in gag orders on the professionals who have expertise in scientific matters. Where does that leave us, the concerned citizens? We’re very much affected by the deletion of our democratic rights.Another corporate example arose this past week: Shaw Cable arbitrarily decided to delete many radio stations from their band-width. This has left many of us without access to the CBC or the Seattle King FM stations that play classical music.It seems that Shaw is learning its tactics from our federal government.Gwyn Frayne,Courtenay

Comox Valley Record