Scott Harris (left), and Lucy Framboise speak with Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer at the Stand Up For Science rally in Thunder Bay on Monday.
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A lack of science means a lack of progress.
That was the message Tom Cook, chair of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, delivered during a local rally in front of the George Street office of MP John Rafferty ( NDP, Thunder Bay - Rainy River) Monday.
The demonstration, orchestrated by the Evidence for Democracy, follows the anniversary of the rally by scientists on Parliament Hill in Ottawa that protested budget cuts by the federal conservative government.
Stand Up For Science rallies were held in 16 cities this year stretching from coast to coast.
“I can’t think of anything more important," Cook said. "Every way you progress in any area comes from science."
He added that he believes science plays a vital role in development of the region, especially with the planning of the transportation infrastructure for the Ring of Fire.
“For us in the North, the Ring of Fire is a big thing. If the Ring of Fire comes in and puts the (transportation) in the wrong places and cut off streams it affects the whole environment. They could be doing more damage than good if they don’t use basic science when they plan.”
Progress in science will help more than just the Ring of Fire. Cook points to the Experimental Lakes Area project near Kenora that was shuttered by the federal government before being resurrected by the provincial government.
He said the 45-year-old facility perfectly illustrates where the government differs between funding applied science, where there is a specific answer that is being sought, and basic science where research is conducted to make new discoveries.
Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer joined the local chapter of the Council of Canadians to take part in the nationwide Stand Up For Science demonstration.
As a former scientist himself, Hyer said he recognizes the important role that science should play in determining government policy, and believes the current federal government has strayed from doing their due diligence.
“I believe government policy should be based on science,” Hyer said. “It’s that simple. Science has taken us out of the caves and into civilization.”
After the demonstration in the city Hyer headed to Ottawa to take part in rallies in the capital. The Independent MP added that he would be holding a rogue parliament to counter the recent measure to prorogue Parliament.
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