Suzuki, Morton headline Monday rally for science

Suzuki, Morton headline Monday rally for science



Suzuki, Morton headline Monday rally for science
Salmon biologist Alexandra Morton (from “Salmon Confidential”)

Over the past several years, the Harper Government has waged an unprecedented war on science in Canada – in favour of advancing its fossil fuel agenda. This has prompted a series of rallies across the country this coming Monday, co-organized by the group Evidence for Democracy.

Rallies will take place in 16 cities, including Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Fredericton, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver (see below for a complete list with times and locations).

Vancouver rally

At the Vancouver rally – which takes place Monday, Sept. 16 from 11AM at the Vancouver Art Gallery – high-profile scientists like Dr. David Suzuki and salmon biologist Alexandra Morton will be joined onstage by leading conservationists Joy Foy from the Wilderness Committee and Dr. Craig Orr.

Morton has experienced firsthand the Harper Government’s “see no evil, hear no evil” approach to science as she’s tried to raise the alarm over salmon viruses in BC.

[quote]I have co-published on a European salmon virus in BC’s waters and have received no response from government, so I see the strong need to stand up for science. I believe our economy and our lives depend on it.[/quote]

Dr. Orr’s organization has taken the federal government to task for not taking action on the recommendations of the $26 million Cohen Commission into disappearing Fraser River sockeye.

Gutting environmental protections

The list of cuts to environmental laws, monitoring, enforcement and research under the Harper Government is too long to publish here – but here are a few of the big ones:

The list goes on and on – for a detailed review, I recommend Joyce Nelson’s story on the subject.

As Canada’s most recognizable advocate for science, David Suzuki has been the target of much of the Harper Government’s offensive. Following attacks from Harper and his Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, Suzuki extricated himself officially from his own foundation, so as to be able to speak freely without risking reprisals for the foundation. (Incidentally, Revenue Canada’s $5 million audit of environmental organizations – based on wild-eyed allegations of “money laundering” from Oliver – proved to be a total waste of tax dollars, finding not a single green group in violation of charitable laws).

In a story titled, “We ignore science at our peril”, published a few months ago in these pages, Suzuki noted:

[quote]We can and must change the way we act. That requires listening to scientists and those who are working on solutions, and not to the naysayers and deniers who would keep us stalled in a doomed spiral.[/quote]

A “Scientific Dark Ages”

To Morton, the covering up of fish science has been a constant concern – particularly the muzzling of DFO’s Dr. Kristi Miller after making important discoveries using leading-edge genomic research to zero in on salmon diseases.

“We’re in a form of scientific dark ages here and that was evident in the treatment of Dr. Miller, who discovered what is likely the cause fo the Fraser sockeye decline – a deadly virus,” Morton told The Common Sense Canadian by phone. “This government has has done nothing visible about Miller’s findings.”

Details for rallies across Canada

Vancouver Art Gallery – North plaza on Georgia Street, 11am – 1pm
Facebook event:
Contact: Pamela,, 604-786-9521.

Salmon Arm, BC
Art Gallery front steps, noon – 1pm
Contact: Warren Bell,

Abbotsford, BC
University of the Fraser Valley (33844 King Rd) – Meet on “The Green”, noon
Bring a lab coat and signs if you can.

September 14, Winston Churchill square, 2pm
Facebook event:
Contact: Krystal,

University of Lethbridge, noon – 1pm
Facebook event:

In front of The Greenstone Building (5101 50th Ave), noon – 1pm
Facebook event:

University of Winnipeg (in front of Wesley Hall), 12:30 – 1:30
Facebook event:

South side of Queen’s Park, 11:45 – 1pm
Facebook event:

Press conference, City Hall, 9am

Parliament Hill, noon – 1pm
Facebook event:

Queens campus – Stauffer Library (101 Union St.), noon – 1pm
Facebook event:
Contact: Raly Chakarova,, 416-937-7302

Kitchener – Waterloo
Meet at Kitchener City Hall, 5pm
Facebook event:

Complexe Guy-Favreau, noon – 1:30pm
Facebook event:

Dalhousie Student Union Building, room 307, 1pm – 3:30pm
Facebook event:
Contact: Justin Singer,, 647-407-2443

City Hall, noon – 1pm
Facebook event:
Contact: Jeff Clements,

St. Andrews, NB
Information rally and barbecue
Water St and King St, 10am – 1pm
Contact: Caroline Davies,

Background information on the Stand up for Science rallies is available here.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

8 thoughts on “Suzuki, Morton headline Monday rally for science

  1. do scientists wear suits perhaps a few of them could show up and heip save their jobs! I also think a few suits would help the cause; I don’t have one myself having spent my life doing more labor like work fishing and mining logging ect

  2. People that ridicule, “name calling” and put a stigma onto others who are actually using the government funding for what it is intended for, in times of need, would think twice if they found themselves in a situation where it was necessary for themselves to reach out. There are many reasons why someone wouldn’t be at work or in a suit, on any given day, even business people, although point taken that a certain social sector tends to look down, instead of eye to eye with those they don’t understand or for some misconception find beneath them, an attitude I find shameful.

    Although some would let it eat at them, it shouldn’t even matter now if 10 yrs ago 1 person wasn’t versed or didn’t show “proper” protest rally etiquette, although it would be nice if all were more respectful of others.

    One might be surprised who is under costumes or hoodies in these days of public deterrents for speaking your mind or exposing a wrongful act of a person with connections.

    It shouldn’t take 5000 business people in suits protesting an environmental cause to make politicians sit up and take notice, but it would be nice if they came out and rallied support like those in casual wear and yes costumes.

    It shouldn’t take 5000 suits to right the wrongs that are clearly detrimental to all involved, looking at the health and environmental risks at stake. If more people actually came out and took a stand over these “causes” that have serious impacts on our society and continued well being, to show we do care if they strip the hard work of laborious and beneficial governmental actions that were put in place by the people to actually protect our lands and people from this ludicrosity.

    It shouldn’t take “5000 suits” to do the right thing, and it would be nice if there was time allotted from a busy work schedule for important social impacts,( as they do to vote for the politicians in power, not keeping promises, wearing suits,) that would actually bring them to the rally and if on a weekend, although most would rather shed the suit during off hours, and do something more relaxing or enjoyable for a few hours of the precious time available, rather than something more meaningful and rewarding like taking a stand, voicing opinion and showing their children and their government we do care and that we should take zealous actions while we still can.

    Yes I agree the distraction it causes for the oblivious public may be annoying to them at the moment, however it also may peak their curiosity and bring awareness to the many who have not taken the time to pay it attention and do not know how impacting these causes will be on future generations if not addressed.

  3. Its a shame these protests are
    a) On a workday.
    b) Mid morning rather than at noon so any workers interested could attend.
    c) Always at the Art Gallery ( give the poor grass lawn a BREAK!).

    Unfortunately the usual, unemployed, hairy, anarchist, welfare crowd will show up with their obligatory Guy Fawlkes masks and capes to block traffic and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Negating any sympathy from a oblivious public.

    I remember working downtown about 10 years ago and at noon a “costumed clad” protester was shoving leaflets into everyone’s hand at a crosswalk. I was on my way to the noon rally and didnt need the leaflet so I refused it. The protesters response,” Fuck you , you fucking Nazi. We’re trying to save the fucking planet because of people like YOU!” ……..


    And protesters wonder why no one takes their “cause” seriously.

    I think 5000 business people in suits protesting an environmental cause would make far more politicians sit up and take notice than the usual “renta bum” crowd.

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