Paranoia drives the Harper government. If you don't believe that, consider what is happening at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Michael Harris writes:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, where a reign of terror aimed at choking off internal leaks has been in full swing since the disastrous decision to close the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA), has issued a new policy on the publication of scientific papers.
Previous policies applied only to those papers prepared by DFO scientists. If government scientists teamed up with non-DFO scientists on a paper, it was merely “recommended” that DFO scientists adhere to the departmental publication policy. The new policy applies to all submissions and DFO approval is required. Just to make sure scientists get the message, that part of the revised guidelines is printed in bold italics. Making things worse, the new policy does not lay out the criteria for giving thumbs-down to a publication.
The Harperites are deeply afraid that evidence based information will de-rail their agenda. And, of course, they're right. All the evidence these days -- economic, social, political -- is running against them. Take, for instance, their prime directive -- that austerity is the way to a brighter future. Europe has proved for the last two years that austerity won't generate growth. And, after two omnibus budget bills, that reality has descended on Canada:
“We saw the other shoe drop for the Canadian economy,” on Friday, said Douglas Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “And there feels like there was a bit of comeuppance.”
Data showed employment fell back in January — the first time that has happened in six months — with many people simply giving up looking for work.
As well, the number of new residential buildings under construction tumbled during the same month, with weaker activity in both single and multiple-unit homes, particularly in Ontario.
When the news is not good, the government desperately tries to muzzle the messengers. Because, when you begin to look at the data, you discover that the folks who sell themselves as competent managers are frauds. Harris writes:
And where else on the planet would a government close down a unique and celebrated facility like the ELA to save $2 million a year, while blowing $25 million trying to breathe relevance into a 200 year-old war?
If the truth ever gets out, this government will be consigned to the dustbin of history. No wonder they're scared as hell.