The federal government is closing down the Lethbridge Agriculture Canada research station and cataloging some information, but destroying recycling, destroying and getting rid of the info they don’t deem useful.
Farmers in the province are furious at the move. Tony Jaglum, a cattle and grain farmer in Mirror, wonders what information will be kept and what will be destroyed.
“It is very concerning,” explains Jaglum. “Who is deciding what we keep and what will be thrown away? Who is deciding what has value and what should be recycled. I am delighted some things are being digitized but what is happening with the stuff that isn’t digitized.”
Jaglum is concerned at what this means for his farm and the country overall.
“Even if somebody goes through it all and decides what needs to be saved and what should be thrown away now, does not necessarily act in the best interest for a researcher 20 or 50 years from now, who might be looking for data that might be deemed useless right now but could be very valuable in the future,” Jaglum remarks.
Jaglum suspects the records being digitized will coincide with the Harper government’s stance on climate policy.
“It just seems like an ideological motive of this conservative government to destroy anything, any scientific research that might get in the way of their policy decisions,” explains Jaglum.
He suspects this is because the records might tell a different climate change story than the Harper government wants you to hear.
“I think this is just a continuation of the Harper government muzzling anybody and anything that can contradict the things they believe and say,” explains Jaglum. “They’re clearly in opposition to anybody who wants to have a mature and science-based conversation about climate change.”
A media relations officer for Agriculture Department has said the government is making digital copies of what it considers important.
The National Farmers Union says the research station’s reports are just the latest material in government libraries to be tossed, burned or sent to landfills.
The group adds the savings from closing of the archives pales in comparison to the value of research that will be lost to generations of farmers.
There’s no word on how much material will be saved or if the data will be readily available to farmers. (twd, The Canadian Press)