Science and Technology Critic

Since being appointed Official Opposition Critic for Science & Technology by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, I've heard from thousands of world-renowned scientists and engineers concerned with the future of research in Canada. As a Member of Parliament, I've worked hard to make the voices of the scientific community heard in Ottawa – opposing reckless government cuts to research funding, defending scientific integrity and evidence-based policy, and fighting against Conservative muzzling of public scientists. And as a New Democrat, I've always put forward practical solutions to get Canada back on track – including a strategy to invest in the knowledge-based economy, a discussion paper Toward A National Science Policy, and a Bill to establish an independent Parliamentary Science Officer.

April 24th, 2015

Science E-Newsletter: Federal Budget 2015

Tabled by the Harper Government this past week, Budget 2015 does nothing to reverse their drastic cuts to public science in Canada. While the Conservatives claim to have invested record amounts in research and innovation, in reality they have slashed over $1.1 billion and eliminated 4000 federal researchers since forming a majority in 2011 – according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.

November 26th, 2014

Scientific community rallies behind NDP proposal for independent science watchdog

Important members of the scientific community are endorsing the NDP’s proposal to create an independent science watchdog with responsibility to curb the muzzling of public scientists and provide Parliament with sound information and expert advice on scientific issues.

October 8th, 2014

Muzzling of federal scientists worse than ever

A new report released today by Evidence for Democracy lays bare the widespread muzzling of public scientists working within federal departments and agencies.

September 19th, 2014

All Federal Scientists Should be Un-Muzzled

In a recent piece in Maclean’s, Andrew Leach, Enbridge Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Alberta, offered two criticisms of Motion 453 – my effort to loosen communication restrictions on government scientists. I welcome his thoughts as they continue an ongoing and lively debate sparked by an op-ed he wrote last month entitled: “Un-muzzle the Scientists? Not so fast.”

May 30th, 2014

Questioning the Conservatives on their Reckless Cuts to Science & Technology

Kennedy Stewart Burnaby—Douglas, BC: Mr. Speaker, in just three years, Conservatives have cut over $1 billion in research funding, and they have slashed the jobs of over 4,000 government scientists. Conservatives claimed that the cuts would all be to the back rooms, but Statistics Canada confirms that front-line scientists were eliminated by the thousands. Muzzling scientists, gutting research funding, failing to collect data—this government's poor record and ideological cuts to research are hurting Canada's capacity for innovation. When will the Conservative war on science ever end?

April 30th, 2014

Conservatives Must Stop Ignoring Ocean Science

OTTAWA – New Democrats have introduced a motion calling on the government to recognize the need for better integration of science in ocean management and use, to establish greater support for healthy ocean ecosystems and a sustainable marine economy in Canada.

February 5th, 2014

Open Letter to Minister Rickford on Flawed Public Consultations

The Honourable Greg Rickford

Minister of State (Science and Technology)

House of Commons

Ottawa, On K1A 0A6

January 14th, 2014

IN THE NEWS: Closure of World-Renowned Science Libraries

By Andrew Nikiforuk,

The federal NDP has written a letter to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea expressing concerns about the culling of seven world famous libraries and seeks clarification on what happened to their collections.

January 13th, 2014

Letter to Minister Shea on the Closure of DFO Science Libraries

The Honourable Gail Shea

Minister of Fisheries & Oceans

Ottawa, ON

K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Shea,

We are writing to you today to share our concerns regarding the closure of seven world famous DFO libraries, and to seek clarification on the manner in which some of these libraries were closed and how their books and research material were disseminated.

December 3rd, 2013

Tabling the Parliamentary Science Officer Act

December 2nd, 2013

IN THE NEWS: The Parliamentary Science Officer Act

The Toronto Star

Since 2006, when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives took power, Canada has earned an international reputation for ignoring scientific advice and silencing government scientists who seek to make their work public. This is, on the face of it, awful. But there is a silver lining, albeit a faint one: without the government’s disregard for evidence and its commitment to keeping Canadians in the dark, we might never have so fully understood the need for an institutional protection against just those traits.

November 21st, 2013

NDP Calls for Creation of Independent Science Watchdog

TORONTO ­– Opposition Science & Technology Critic Kennedy Stewart announced today a new bill that would give public science a stronger voice in the federal government. MP Stewart’s proposal calls for the creation of an independent Parliamentary Science Officertasked with providing Parliament with sound information and expert advice on scientific issues. Dr. Stewart made the announcement while speaking to the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference.

November 18th, 2013

OP-ED: Tory Rhetoric Doesn't Match their Record on Innovation Policy

By Kennedy Stewart, MP

Expert analysis continues to stress that weak innovation policies are putting Canada’s future economic growth and productivity at risk. Most recently, the World Economic Forum’s 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report underscored how we need to improve our innovation ecosystem and promote private sector investment in research and development. Despite having advantages when it comes to global competitiveness, our economy still faces challenges when it comes to business innovation.

November 4th, 2013

OP-ED: Biting Through the Muzzle on Science

By Kennedy Stewart

Another month back in Ottawa — and another damning revelation concerning the muzzling of scientists working in the public service.

October 7th, 2013

NDP Calls on Conservatives to Reinstate the Long-form Census

New Democrats are calling on Conservatives to admit to the failure of the National Household Survey and bring back the long form census for 2016.

September 16th, 2013

IN THE NEWS: Scientists Protest the Federal Government, NDP Tables Scientific Integrity Motion

CBC News

Canadian scientists and their supporters held demonstrations across the country Monday, calling on the federal government to stop cutting scientific research and muzzling scientists.

September 16th, 2013

NDP Tables Plan to End Conservative Muzzling of Federal Scientists

OTTAWA ­– While public protests take place across Canada to Stand Up For Science, Official Opposition Science & Technology Critic Kennedy Stewart challenged the Conservative government to end its continued muzzling of federal scientists and researchers in government departments. Dr. Stewart’s motion would ensure communications officers, elected officials, and Ministerial staff could no longer restrict public access to government scientists.

July 30th, 2013

Latest Statistics Canada Data Confirms Conservative War on Science

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Science & Technology Critic Kennedy Stewart and Deputy Critic Laurin Liu slammed the Harper Conservatives for continuing their obstinate attack on science in Canada. A new release from Statistics Canada shows that over $350 million is anticipated to be cut in 2013-2014. Adjusting to 2007 dollars, Conservatives have cut S&T spending by 7% since coming to office in 2006.

July 19th, 2013

Petition to Save the Centre of the Universe

VICTORIA, BC - Today, Official Opposition Science and Technology Critic Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby – Douglas) and Member of Parliament Randall Garrison (Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca), launched a petition calling on the Government of Canada to restore the funding for public outreach in astronomy and astrophysics at the Centre of the Universe at Saanich’s Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

May 28th, 2013

Resolution to Invest in the Knowledge-based Economy

May 7th, 2013

IN THE NEWS: Dismantling of the National Research Council

The Canadian Press

The Harper government is telling the National Research Council to focus more on practical, commercial science and less on fundamental science that may not have obvious business applications.

May 7th, 2013

OP-ED: Science is in Deep Trouble

By Kennedy Stewart, MP (Burnaby-Douglas)

Today Conservative incompetence met Conservative narrow-mindedness.

The re-launch of the National Research Council hosted by the Minister for State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear shows science is in deep trouble in this country. By choosing to shift towards industry-driven applied research at the expense of scientist-driven basic research, the Conservatives continue to undermine scientific progress - and these policies will adversely impact all of us, including the very industry they purport to be servicing.

April 5th, 2013

NDP Science Critics to Visit Top Washington Officials

OTTAWA – Official Opposition Science & Technology Critic Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby–Douglas) and Deputy Critic Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles) will travel to Washington, D.C. next week to meet with top U.S. government officials about science policy.

March 20th, 2013

IN THE NEWS: Motion to Protect the Experimental Lakes Area

By Gloria Galloway, The Globe and Mail

The federal Conservative government is under attack for muzzling its scientists and for closing major scientific facilities, including the world-renowned freshwater research station in Northern Ontario that will be shuttered at the end of this month.

March 19th, 2013

MP Kennedy Stewart Tables Motion to Save the Experimental Lakes Area

OTTAWA – On the eve of the possible destruction of a world renowned research facility, New Democrats are calling on Conservatives to stop their attack on public science and basic research.

February 7th, 2013

Defending Canadian Science in Parliament

February 5th, 2013

Question the Minister on the Dismantling of the NRC

November 6th, 2012

Discussion Paper: Toward A National Science Policy

At the annual Canadian Science Policy Conference in Calgary, the New Democratic Party released Toward a National Science Policy, the first in a series of policy documents charting a science, engineering and technology policy for Canada.

November 2nd, 2012

National Research Council Latest Victim of Conservative Cuts

OTTAWA – As part of their ongoing attack on science and research, the Conservatives are throwing close to a hundred of Canada’s best researchers out of work.

August 27th, 2012

IN THE NEWS: NDP Report on Cuts to Scientific Research

By Mike De Souza,

OTTAWA – A $1.3-million reduction in federal research funds will jeopardize $81 million worth of investments in eight facilities that have trained or employed nearly 2,000 scientists, technicians and researchers, but are now at risk of shutting down, says a new report to be released on Tuesday by the federal New Democrats.

August 27th, 2012

NDP Report Documents Cuts to NSERC's Major Resources Support Program

OTTAWA – The consequences of the Conservative cuts to Canadian science and research are outlined in report release today by the NDP. The study focuses on the elimination of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Major Resources Support (MRS) Program.

June 7th, 2012

Statement by Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair on the Rejection of NDP Motion on Scientific Transparency

We have seen again today just how far the Conservatives will go to dodge accountability and hide under the cloaks of secrecy.

June 5th, 2012

Conservatives Must Stop Muzzling Science and Research

OTTAWA – Today, MPs are debating a New Democrat opposition day motion calling on the Conservative government to stop its senseless attack on science and research. The systematic silencing of scientific research is putting Canada in a dangerous position. Without a comprehensive understanding of scientific evidence, major environmental, social and economic decisions will be made based on ideology instead of fact.