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Forecasting Change: Restoring Canada's Right to Know

Has global warming caused the extreme weather of recent winters in Canada? This week on The Harper Decade, Chloe Shantz-Hilkes details the struggle for information and access to science under the tight watch of the Conservative government:

"Canadians are paying for government research. And Canadians have questions that are going unanswered. By all accounts, the silence of Canadian scientists in response to these questions is not voluntary, but imposed. Whether to promote unrestricted oilsands expansion or to disrupt efforts to assist low income Canadians, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has proven himself willing to routinely deny Canadians their right to know about themselves, their environment, and their country.” (Click here to read more.)

Chloe Shantz-Hilkes is a member of Scientists for the Right to Know and a Master's candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. The focus of her research is the relationship between public education and young adults' political participation. Chloe is also the author of two non-fiction books for young adults, and a former CBC Radio journalist.
 

Ten Years of Shifting Sands for Refugees and Immigrants 

Click here to read or listen to Raj Sharma and Ram Sankaran outline the Conservative government’s contentious immigration and refugee policy, and the alarming legacy it will leave behind:

"...the Harper government’s immigration policy is, for the most part, built on ideology, politics and anecdotal "evidence" rather than strategic foresight or the country's best interests. The Harper government has tried to instill fear in ordinary Canadians that outsiders, such as refugees, foreign workers or more recent immigrants, are abusing the system. This fear and the resulting indignation are then used to pass measures that are incoherent, mean-spirited, and short-sighted." (Click here to read more).
 
The Harper Decade Reading List

A list of links highly recommended by The Harper Decade team:
  1. Alberta's New Carbon Policy: Industry and environmentalists respond to the NDP government's new carbon policy, which will double the province's carbon levy on large emitters by 2017.
  2. Immigration to Canada's Secondary Cities: While the great majority of Canada's immigrants still settle in greater Toronto and Vancouver, secondary cities, such as Moncton and Hamilton, have begun to to grab an increasingly larger share, Doug Saunders reports.
  3. Number of Bankrupt Seniors Rising: Sophia Harris explores the reasons behind the soaring number of Canadian seniors declaring bankruptcy or living in debt.
  4. Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund: According to a Globe and Mail analysis, a $150-million federal infrastructure fund aimed at fixing up arenas and community centres was spent disproportionately in ridings represented by Conservative MPs.
  5. Elimination of the Tampon Tax: Professor of economics Frances Woolley examines the ongoing debate surrounding the elimination of the so called 'tampon tax', and the political significance of its timing. 
  6. Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA): Gus Van Harten warns that a new trade deal with China will limit Canada's ability to take action on climate change.
 

The Harper Decade is a digital series featuring expert commentary on the changes that have occurred in Canada over the past decade of Conservative rule.
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