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This post was contributed by a supporter, Reverend David Price, who took part in the #VoteScience campaign ahead of the 2019 Federal Election. Check out his story of his experience with the campaign! 

How politicians use evidence - and how public servants can help them find it

This piece was originally published on December 16, 2019 on Apolitical following the release of our latest research report Evidence in Action

Our New Government: What does this mean for science?

Election 2019 has come and gone! 

If you’re like me, you probably stayed up late, watching the votes roll in, and discussing the results with your friends and family. If you’re curious what this new government might mean for science, research, and evidence-based decision-making in Canada, we’ve put together a brief analysis to help you out.

Science Policy Questionnaire Results

In preparation for the federal election, Evidence for Democracy, alongside almost 20 Canadian science and research organizations launched the #VoteScience campaign. Science and research are rarely key issues in a federal election. The campaign aimed to change this, by providing tools and resources to help Canadians engage with their candidates, demonstrate why science, research, and evidence are fundamental election issues, and inform themselves on how to vote for science-friendly candidates. 

A media and Twitter storm erupted last week when a spokesperson from Elections Canada suggested that climate change would be a regulated “election issue” because Maxime Bernier had questioned climate science.  

What has ensued is a perfect example of how unclear policies, speculation and superficial journalism can quickly cause confusion and make it difficult to determine the truth. What’s ironic is that this problem centers around the updated Elections Act. An update which was in part intended to deal with the growing threat of misinformation and the influence it could have on the election. 

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