Muzzled Scientists Highlights at Media Democracy Days

Vancouver, B.C. – October 11, 2012. Media Democracy Days Vancouver (MDD) 2012 is proud to announce an upcoming panel discussion titled ‘Muzzling the Scientists’ taking place November 3 from 1:15-2:45PM at The Vancouver Public Library. Environmental leaders and activists will gather to talk on media coverage of environmental politics and the Harper government’s censorship of Canada’s scientists.

 ‘Muzzling the Scientists’ will showcase several panelists, including influential environmental activist, Tzeporah Berman. In the early nineties, Berman was faced with one thousand criminal charges and six years in prison for her participation in protests to save the endangered rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. Now, nearly two decades later, Berman is helping to organize Defend Our Coast (www.defendourcoast.ca), a mass sit-in planned for October 22 taking place at the BC Legislature in Victoria.

“There are moments in history when it’s clear that our elected leaders are failing us and it is necessary to take a stand,” said Berman, “we are stating our intention to defend our coast and calling on others to join us….”

Berman is just one of the speakers that will be featured at MDD, along with Professor of Marine Ecology at Simon Fraser University, Dr. Isabelle Côté, retired DFO scientist, Otto Langer, and Vancouver-based SumOfUs campaigner, Emma Pullman.

‘Muzzling the Scientists’ speakers bring a profound range of experience and expertise to MDD. Langer was the first to leak the federal government’s plans to undermine environmental legislation in Canada through the Omnibus Budget Bill (AKA: Bill C-38). Dr. Côté, along with two of her colleagues, published a letter in the prestigious research journal, Science, criticizing the federal government’s rationale for disabling Canada’s Fisheries Act.

Their letter details how in the thousands of proposals reviewed through the federal environmental assessment process between 2006 and 2011, only one was ever rejected.

“The scientific case for protecting aquatic habitats is as strong as ever, and the justifications for weakening protection do not bear up to reasonable scrutiny.” Says Dr. Côté in the letter. “Canada should stand up to its responsibility as first signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity and steward of the world’s longest coastline and largest lakes.”

The ‘Muzzling the Scientists’ panel will take place take place on Saturday, November 3, from 1:15 to 2:45PM in the Alice MacKay Room at the Vancouver Public Library.  For complete programming details for Media Democracy Days Vancouver 2012, please visit www.mediademocracyday.org

All events are open and free to the public. MDD 2012 is a partnership of SFU’s School of Communication, OpenMedia.ca, and The Vancouver Public Library, and is sponsored in part by Vancity.

 

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