Monday, October 11, 2010

Harper hacks StatsCan budget

Who didn't see this coming? CP :
Statistics Canada is cutting five of its surveys after being told by the federal government to chop its budget by $7 million.
The surveys include environmental and business statistics, and are in addition to other belt-tightening at the troubled agency.
As Pogge blogged back in July :
"Harper does not like StatsCan, that's what we kept hearing," according to a longtime employee of the agency. "In particular, he does not like the analytical work we've done for years." The Prime Minister thinks of it as fodder for critics."
Harper especially did not like StatsCan after its head statistician, Munir Sheikh, quit rather than be shanghaied into pretending to approve the government's move to replace the long-form mandatory census with a voluntary survey.
Statscan has also been reporting a steady decrease in crime since 1991, which doesn't exactly jibe with Harper's "if you build them, they will come" bid to stock more prisons with more Canadians.

Luckily there's no need for those Statscan environmental and business statistics now anyway since Harper will be getting his advice from the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, a Suncor-sponsored Harper-appointed group of Export Development Canada guys, politicians and corporate CEOs. They have just released Climate Prosperity, your guide to, as De Smog Blog puts it : "reframing climate change as a good thing for Canada's economy."

Sure, they tell us, there will be less skiing but we'll have way more golfing and easier access to oil and gas in the far north.
See? Business and environment stats rolled into one.

Actual scientists weigh in on Climate Prosperity:
"I was surprised they'd spent one and a half years working on it. It was a complete mess," said John Stone of Ottawa's Carleton University and a prominent member of the IPCC.
Danny Harvey of U of T : "It is full of bad science and utterly downplays the serious impacts of climate change."
We will not be hearing criticism from any muzzled government-employed scientists of course as they must get cabinet minister approval before speaking in public about their own research.

There better damn well be some stink in the press today about this further gutting of Statscan.


Anonymous said...

CTV just put something up.
"The ditched surveys are the Industrial Pollutant Release Survey, and the Quarterly Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Survey."

What a surprise.

skdadl said...

It is so blatant -- Harper's delusions of grandeur -- and yet a lot of people still aren't getting it. (When I first saw your title, Alison, for a moment I imagined Harper learning how to hack into StatsCan computers -- you can tell where I've been spending too much time lately.)

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is either: where do I go to protest this, or how do I go about starting a protest?


ck said...

Yesterday on Question Period, Craig Oliver interviewed ol' Ex-Lax Max Bernier. Ol' Ex-Lax Max blatantly admitted that a voluntary survey won't produce as accurate data as the mandatory long form census did/does, but basically accurate data wasn't nearly as important as the Conservative mantra of "Freedom & privacy"... Yanno, I think these programs should have Ex-Lax Max on more often & see what else comes out; what a big mouth!!

Holly Stick said...

And Accidendental Deliberations in the link below points out another of the surveys cut is the National Population Health Survey.

Beijing York said...

The fact that he is getting away with completely gutting the federal civil service with a f*cking minority government makes my stomach churn.

I don't give a rat's ass if the LPC actually manage to ever gain a minority government sometime down the road, there will be nothing to govern with at that point if Harper isn't stopped NOW.

w/v = gumer (what I'll be when Harper finally disappears from politics)

West End Bob said...

As of noon PDT today,
this is the only other MSM reporting I found on this, Alison. (Basically, a more expanded CP article than the original link.) It is a holiday and prob'ly not the best time to release a "scoop" to the masses. Guess the MSM "professionals" are all busy eating their Thanksgiving bird - they do have their priorities.

I've got another bird for 'em to chew on once they finish with the turkey . . . .

Alison said...

Four things worry me about this.

One - Steve is apparently confident that he can get away with trashing Statscan w/o repercussions.
Two - The other partner in the Climate Prosperity program is the Royal Canadian Geographic Society -wtf! - who have just done a big spread on it in their current issue.
Three - The G&M have been running stories for the last two weeks on the "brighter side of climate change". Oh, happy Innuits in their future pineapple groves!.
Four - Numbers Two and Three will deliver Number One to Steve.

West End Bob said...

Update: Global National had a 15-second blurb about the cutback on their evening news tonight.

Must have finished the turkey . . . .

Holly Stick said...

If you google "climate prosperity" the term is a little older than I though. NRTEE was apparently using it in 2007:

A couple more US links using the term - I haven't looked at them in depth or seen what else google found:

Alison said...

Hi Holly, saw you at Deltoid and Rabett Run ;-).
The term appears worldwide, including UN, for market-based solutions to dealing with climate disruption but have not found source.
Reading NRTEE stuff - will get back to you.
Fun fact - our new GG was first Chair of NRTEE

Tah, Bob, thanks for that.
H-e-l-l-o ... C-B-C ...

West End Bob said...

Fun fact - our new GG was first Chair of NRTEE

Guess that had nothing to do with stevie appointing him to his current position of Prorogue Premier, did it?

Yeah, right . . . .

Holly Stick said...

Yeah, you have to wonder if there is an NRTEE-GG connection.

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