In fact, author Chris Turner wrote an entire book about Prime Minister Stephen Harper's war on science.
Federal NDP MP Kennedy Stewart wants to make the government more accountable for decisions in this area.
Stewart, the NDP critic for science and technology, told delegates at the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference that he will introduce a private member's bill on the matter.
It will call for the creation of an independent parliamentary science officer. According to Stewart, this person's office would function similarly to the U.K. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
If the bill is passed into law, the parliamentary science officer would report to Parliament with the same level of independence as the parliamentary budget officer.
"After years of muzzling, mismanagement, and misuse of science by the Conservative government, this new office will promote real transparency and ensure decisions decisions made in Ottawa are based on the best available scientific evidence," Stewart said in an NDP news release.
Stewart, MP for Burnaby-Douglas, will introduce his bill next week.
According to an NDP background paper, the parliamentary science officer would have a five-pronged mandate (exact words below):
• Ensuring the legislative process is informed by sound scientific and technical evidence.
• Providing Parliament with accurate and timely advice on all scientific matters of relevance and on science and technology policy.
• Promoting transparency and integrity in scientific research.
• Encouraging coordination between all federal departments and agencies that conduct scientific and technical research.
• Raising awareness of science and technology issues across government and among Canadians.
Stewart, a professor of public policy on leave from SFU, envisions that the parliamentary science officer would serve a single seven-year term, with no opportunity for reappointment.
This person would not be allowed to hold any other office, but would be permitted to contribute to peer-reviewed processes.