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The President of China, Obama and Harper Go To Heaven: Allan Gregg On The Rise of Dogma in Canada (VIDEO)

There are few Canadians who can claim to have their finger on the pulse of the country's politics like public opinion researcher Allan Gregg. Founder of Decima Research and The Strategic Council, Gregg is keenly aware of how Canadians feel about contemporary political life and how our political reality in a very real way shapes our social existence.

And what Gregg is concerned about expressing these days is his unshakeable belief that something has gone terribly awry in Canada, and that Canadians don't seem to care. 

Gregg says he's spent his life as a researcher, "dedicated to understanding the relationship between cause and effect." From that, he says, "I've come to a fairly singular belief: namely, that more than anything else, societal progress is advanced when enlightened public policy marshals our collective public resources towards a larger public good."

"Evidence, facts and reasons…form the sine qua non of not just good public policy but good government," he says. "And lately I have to tell you there have been some troubling trends that threaten that fundamental belief. It seems as though our government's use of evidence and facts as the basis of policy has been declining and in their place dogma, whim, and political expediency are on the rise."

"In government and through collective action we have the capacity to do both immense good but also the possibility of infinite harm to our community and each other depending on how collective action and government is used," he says. 

Gregg spoke these words in a recent speech he delivered to the Alberta Federation of Labour

Gregg's concerns first arose when the government needlessly cut the long form census back in 2010. Gregg asks, how can we make good public policy absent this information? As a professional pollster, Gregg says the loss of access to this data was "a little canary in the coalmine."

But as Canadians would see, these cuts were just the beginning of a new trend that would eventually see massive cuts to CBC, of science positions for Parks Canada, the elimination of the National Roundtable on Environment and the Economy, the First Nations Statistical Institute, the National Council on Welfare, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science. These were, as Gregg says in Orwellian terms, "vaporized," for a savings of a mere $7.5 million.

Gregg's list goes on as he catalogues the ongoing 'assualt on reason' Canada is currently experiencing. 

When reason ceases to be at play, says Gregg, "prejudice, fear, and indeed wishful thinking takes its place." Which should give cause for us all to consider ourselves defenders of reason.

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Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

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