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NEWS: Harper spends on spin rather than science

The Experimental Lakes Area – the critical freshwater research program that the Harper government may close next month – has a modest annual budget of about $2.1 million. And yet the Harper government has budgeted more than four times that amount – $9 million – for its ‘Responsible Resource Development’ ad campaign.

CBC reports those ads “show a cross-section of resource industries in a job-friendly and environmentally sensitive light” and that “a second wave of ads – designed to persuade Canadians of ‘the importance and impact of Canada’s energy sector’ hits the air” this spring.

“Political opponents said they can’t understand how Ottawa justifies the ad spending when it is cutting programs, including environmental science. ‘We’re talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars advertising how great Stephen Harper is to Canadians at a time when he tells us we can’t afford a million a year to keep the Experimental Lakes area open,’ said Green party Leader Elizabeth May.”

Last November, the Toronto Star reported, “The Conservative government wants to spend another $4 million on an advertising campaign to promote its interpretation of changes to the environmental assessment process for natural resources development. ‘Preserving our heritage, now and for future generations,’ a narrator says at the end of a television commercial featuring beautiful Canadian vistas and a list of measures the federal government says it has taken to protect the environment.”

That $4 million – spent on spinning the gutting of the environmental assessment process as something that protects the environment – would keep the Experimental Lakes Area doing real science for two years.

For more, please read:
NEWS: Harper spends $63.6 million on advertising, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17846
NEWS: Harper’s clampdown on science and the Experimental Lakes Area, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19299
NEWS: Council of Canadians calls on Ontario and Manitoba to save the Experimental Lakes Area, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=18602