Vic Toews is gone. Peter Kent thinks he's gone. And, Alex Himelfarb writes, Gary Goodyear should be gone:
Goodyear, the minister of state for science and technology, has presided over the most retrograde federal S&T policy in memory.
During his tenure, the government shuttered the office of the National Science Adviser, blocked asbestos from a UN hazardous chemicals list on which it clearly belongs, gutted the Fisheries Act, gutted the Navigable Waters Protection Act, set out to weaken the Species at Risk Act, killed the long-form census, eroded Environment Canada’s ability to monitor climate change, earned an international reputation for muzzling scientists and, at a great potential cost, defunded the world’s leading freshwater research centre.
At the same time, changes to our science-funding regime and a makeover of the National Research Council, Canada’s science agency, into a tool box for industry have dented our basic-research infrastructure and damaged our prospects for innovation.
And, like so many of Harper's ministers, Goodyear doesn't know much about his area of responsibility:
Goodyear’s training in science is limited to a degree in chiropractics. That would be fine if his performance in the job suggested he understood and was a champion of the scientific enterprise.
Instead, he has repeatedly demonstrated the opposite. He briefly made international headlines in 2009 when he dodged a reporter’s question about whether he puts stock in the theory of evolution, refusing to answer “a question about my religious beliefs.” (He later clarified that he does “believe” in the theory, but his conflation of a scientific question with a religious one disturbed many scientists.) In any case, he has been complicit, at least, in a dark chapter in the history of Canadian science. And he is a symbol of the unenlightened style of government that, more than any particular policies, Harper’s opponents seem set on running against.
The problem, of course, is that most of Harper's caucus is as unenlightened as Goodyear. When the organization is populated by know-nothings, ignorance rules the roost.