Editor, The Times:
I am a Grade 11 student at Clearwater Secondary school.
On Sept. 24, four of the candidates running to become our Member of Parliament, including the current MP of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding, Cathy McLeod, came to CSS to be asked questions by students.
This presented a fantastic opportunity to learn the specifics about each party. I was lucky enough to be the first person to ask a question of Ms. McLeod. I was sorely disappointed with the result.
I had done plenty of research on each party and I decided the question I would ask her was about some very specific and unfortunate regulations made by the Conservatives in 2006 that force scientists to get permission from government before speaking to media outlets.
I asked how this could possibly be beneficial to Canada.
She never answered that question and she denied that scientists were being “muzzled” by the government she represents! She spoke about her experience working in the medical industry, stating over and over the importance of “peer review.”
I wanted to tell her, “Yes, Cathy, all of these scientists peer review their papers just like you did, but why would your government censor you?”
But I barely got a word in. In my opinion, she simply tried to confuse me and the other students.
After hearing her denial I told her of a specific case where a Canadian scientist was not allowed to publish his research paper. She said she couldn’t speak to that individual case but there is far more than one instance of this happening and, just as with everything else, the individual cases make up the larger picture.
My question was not answered to my satisfaction.
Afterwards, some of the people who had witnessed my questioning suggested that I write a letter to you.
Blue River, B.C.