April 22, 2017 3:05 pm
Updated: April 22, 2017 10:36 pm

Canadian scientists take to the streets to march for science

WATCH: U.S. scientists are staging a March for Science rally in Washington, D.C., in outcry over steep cuts President Donald Trump has proposed for science and research budgets.

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Thousands of scientists worldwide, including those in 18 Canadian cities, are leaving their labs and taking to the streets today to protest what they say are attacks against science.

The March for Science coincided with Earth Day on Saturday. The main march was organized by a group of scientists in Washington looking to protest perceived attacks on science, while satellite marches also took place in 500 cities around the world.

The marches will be joined by dozens of scientific professional societies including Entomological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Society for Neuroscience, AAAS (Advancing Science Serving Society) and the Scientific Research Society.

WATCH: Scientists take to the streets to ‘March for Science’. Ines de la Cuetara reports.

READ MORE: March for Science protests ramp up around the globe

Cities across Canada are also participating in the march, including the country’s capital, Ottawa. Other cities participating include, Victoria, Vancouver, Prince George, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Windsor, London, Waterloo, Hamilton, Montreal, St. John’s, Halifax and Toronto.

The March’s organizers depicted the event as a non-partisan political statement that promotes the understanding of science while defending it from various attacks.

These include budget cuts proposed under President Donald Trump, such as a 20 percent cut from the National Institute of Health, climate change rollbacks and general concerns from the scientific community about communicating their research in the U.S.

Ottawa-based scientist Katie Gibbs says that while recent changes in Canada’s federal administration have brought more freedom to scientists, there is still work to do to better support and protect scientific research in Canada.

“We do still have a problem particularly with funding science,” she explains.

Between 600 and 700 people showed up to the Ottawa satellite march.

In Halifax, protesters showed up near City Hall to support the event and advocate for evidence-based policy making. Protesters carried signs like “Defiance for Science,” and “Without Science, It’s Just Fiction.”

(With files from the Canadian Press)

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