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Ornithology would drive Liberal science policy Add to ...

This might be the most insignificant story in today's Globe and this one the most entertaining. Long live Iron Maiden!

As for the first story, what do the Minister's religious beliefs, which he maintains are private and personal like many Canadians, have to do with the way he runs his portfolio? The government's commitment to science is real and deep. In Team Harper's last budget, which just passed, there is $1.5-billion allocated for investment into a number of science and technology initiatives - never mind the additional $2-billion to help universities with facility development and scholarships. Creationism doesn't drive federal science policy, as some idle Liberal bloggers with lots of time on their hands might imply, but a phony debate does distract from the federal Liberals' less than devout commitment to research. Perhaps they should spend some-time in the confessional.

Before hauling out re-runs of the Flintstones and reviving the fortunes of Barney the dinosaur the Liberals might want to remember the clubbing Paul Martin's early budgets brought to bear on research and education. Martin's 1995 budget cut funding for the granting councils by $77-million over three years. At the same time, the National Research Council's budget was cut by $76-million over three years. Liberals also cut funding for education. Between 1994-95 and 1998-99, the federal government cut annual CHST cash entitlements to provinces by $25-billion.

We do know a future Liberal government's science policy will be driven by ornithology. Michael Ignatieff's great appreciation of puffins and their ability to bury their own poop seems certain to be their approach back to the 24 Sussex nest.

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