Dear Dr. Johnston, Your Excellency

Your appointment as Governor General of Canada was an excellent choice. You are a person of stellar reputation. As a scientist, I was thrilled that a scientist of your stature was appointed to this office.

During your relatively short term in this Office, you have witnessed the erosion of Canada’s knowledge base (the termination of the Long Form, the closure of PEARL, ELA, air quality and seismic monitoring stations, etc. etc.), accompanied by increasing censorship and muzzling of government scientists. Today, the pages of the website of the National Round Table of Economy and the Environment (, of which you were the founding chair (an organization that was eliminated by the current government), were censored by the minister of the environment.

This leaves you in a strange position: you are – in vernacular terms – “the boss” of this government, specifically of the prime minister. Yet the prime minister has silenced you. Surely this is against the law?

Where does this leave you? And where does it leave Canada? How long must Canada endure this onslaught? As you wrote so eloquently in your paragraph on the NRTEE website, the strength of that body was in the belief that cooperation and listening to each other could bring about positive change. And it did. Back then.

The practices of this government, including those of today that silenced you, deny all this.

I ask you to act on behalf of your current position. You are ‘the boss’ of this country. You have a duty to provide leadership and call these people, who obviously have contempt not only for basic democratic values but also for the authority of your office, to order. A gesture from you could mark a beginning, a turning point in what is now a rapid downfall from everything that Canada once stood for.


Elisabeth C. Kosters, PhD


I e-mailed this letter on the same day that I posted it here, and received an answer today, April 3. Here it is in it’s entirety:

On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, I am responding to your email below.

Your kind words of support and encouragement are very much appreciated. The Governor General is grateful for the opportunity to serve as The Queen’s representative in Canada and enjoys hearing from Canadians. Thank you for sharing your point of view with His Excellency.

Please accept my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Antoine Morin – INFO
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive / 1, promenade Sussex
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0A1

About earth science society

I am an earth scientist. Understanding earth is essential for the well-being of our global society. Earth is fascinating, science is fascinating and a better understanding of both can help society forward. This blog attempts to make a contribution to raising awareness of these issues.
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