OTTAWA, June 5 (UPI) -- Canada banned meteorologists employed by the government from publicly discussing climate change.
The measure is part of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's communications protocol introduced in August 2006.
"Environment Canada scientists speak to their area of expertise. For example, our Weather Preparedness Meteorologists are experts in their field of severe weather and speak to this subject," said government spokesperson Mark Johnsonin an email to reporter Mike De Souza. "Questions about climate change or long-term trends would be directed to a climatologist or other applicable authority."
Scientists who work for the Canadian government are required to go through an approval process before speaking publicly on climate change and their remarks are often subject to review. According to a leaked document, media coverage of climate change has dropped 80 percent in the country as a result.
Harper is a supporter of the building of the Keystone XL and an advocate for tar-sands production, which produces 14 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than the average oil used in the U.S.