September 4, 2006

Stephane Dion’s Plagiarized Policy a Blemish on his Academic Career

So we hear from our not-so-dear friend Steve Janke that David Suzuki had a real good plan for cleaner air in this country. Stephane Dion thought it was such a good plan that he literally stole it.

Now before all you Chernamaniaks get on my case, I would like to point out that Stephane did not steal an idea or two, he took entire chunks of Suzuki’s plan, WORD FOR WORD, and passed it off as his own.

As a student, seeing Professor Dion’s campaign plagiarizing is outright shocking. If Dion submitted this report in any Canadian political science class, he would be given an F for plagiarism, and immediately fail the course.

As for dear Professor Dion, the first question I would ask as an aspiring journalist would be…If a student ever submitted that to you, what would you do to him/her?

Also, letting Stephane Dion off the hook for this would be like saying to political science students everywhere that when it comes to outside school, plagiarism is ok.

As an academic, plagiarism is the WORST possible accusation one can receive, as it is tantamount to academic fraud.
So as I prepare to walk into school for the first time this semester tomorrow morning and I sit down to hear the professors’ lecture about plagiarism and its consequences, it will carry a very different meaning, one a lot closer to my heart.

22 Commentaires:

Blogger s.b. a dit...

I didn't realize that your candidate or any other was a PHD in environmental science and climatology and had done original research in the field. I supposed that politicians used source material for their platforms. Dion had stated that he borrowed from the Suzuki report and most of the examples aren't even close to plagerism.

9/05/2006 12:18 a.m.  
Blogger Steve Dion a dit...

Here's my press release. Its not just plagarism, baby!


OTTAWA (September 1, 2006) – Liberal Leadership candidate Steve Dion today announced that he liked part of the most comprehensive air quality plan ever proposed by somebody else for Canada, including some vague targets and legally enforceable air quality regulations that replace existing voluntary guidelines that he championed as Environment Minister.

“Last week, the David Suzuki Foundation released an excellent report called “The Air We Breathe” which set out a number of recommendations on how to clean up our air,” said Dion. “There were parts of Suzuki’s report I really liked and there were other parts of the report that made me look bad, so I took what I liked. I needed some sort of environment policy quickly, and the Suzuki Foundation really knows what they are doing.”

The plan released today borrows heavily in wording and concept from “The Air We Breathe” and serves as a strong indication of the kind of leadership you can expect from a Steve Dion led Liberal Party. Some examples:

What the Suzuki Report Says (p. 3):

“Across Canada, air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and hundreds of thousands of days absent from work and school annually.”

What the Dion Plan Says (p. 2):

“In Canada, air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and hundreds of thousands of days absent from work and school annually.”

What the Suzuki Report Says (p. 3):

“The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) estimated that there were 5,800 premature deaths due to air pollution in Ontario alone in 2005.”

What the Dion Plan Says (p. 2):

“The Ontario Medical Association issued a report in 2005 that every year 5,800 Ontarians will die prematurely because of smog related illness.”

What the Suzuki Report Says (p. 11):

“the federal government now has both the statutory and constitutional authority, confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada, to regulate these substances.”

What the Dion Plan Says (p. 4):

“the federal government now has both the statutory and constitutional authority, confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada, to regulate these substances.”

What the Suzuki Report Recommends (p. 15):

“Recommendation 1) Enact, implement, and enforce national standards for ambient air quality to replace existing voluntary guidelines; Recommendation 2) Ensure that Canada’s air quality standards meet or beat the air quality standards of other industrialized nations.”

What the Dion Plan Also Recommends (p. 6):

“I will develop national air quality standards for smog-forming pollutants and toxic emissions, which meet or beat the air quality standards of other industrialized nations.”

What the Suzuki Report Recommends (p. 13):

“Market-based regulations played a key role in American efforts to reduce sulphur oxides during the 1990’s, as a cap and trade program was established under the U.S. Clean Air Act.”

What the Dion Plan Also Recommends (p. 6):

“we will develop a cap-and-trade program for smog-forming substances. Internationally, cap-and-trade programs have had great success in reducing air pollutants.”

What the Suzuki Report Recommends (p. 16):

“Recommendation 3) Establish and achieve short, medium and long-term targets for the reduction of air pollution. … a long term goal of reducing emissions of the criteria air pollutants 80 per cent from current levels by 2030.”

What the Dion Plan Also Recommends (p. 6):

“We will establish regulatory targets and timelines for reduction of key air pollutants … we could set targets to be achieved beginning in 2010, and advance further emission reductions for 2015 and 2030” [no specific targets mentioned]

“It would be wrong to take everything that the Suzuki report recommended or said,” explained Dion, “especially where the report talked about my record as an Environment Minister. I’m no fool. You can’t run on your reputation as an environmentalist and at the same time highlight your weak record as the responsible minister. People might say ‘you had your chance’.”

What the Dion Plan Says (p. 5):

“Actions have been taken to reduce air pollution emissions.”

What Suzuki Report Says (p. 11):

“There is widespread agreement that the air pollution provisions in CEPA, 1999 have not been adequately implemented or enforced.”

What the Dion Plan Says (p. 2):

“Canada ranks well on most measures of air quality”

What the Suzuki Report Says (p. 12):

“Canada’s dismal performance in the international comparison of air quality standards and guidelines warrants timely government action.”

What Dion Plan Says (p.2):

“Together with provinces and territories, we adopted new Canada-Wide Standards to limit Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone key smog pollutants”

What Suzuki Report Says (p.5):

“Although there are Canada-Wide Standards (CWS) for ozone and particulate matter, established in 2000, these are not ‘standards’ in the ordinary legal sense. It is more accurate to describe the CWS as voluntary guidelines, because they are non-binding on any level of government and have no legal consequences if they are not met.”

What Dion Plan Says (p. 3):

“[As Environment Minister, I] added particulate matter and ozone, and their precursors to the List of Toxic Substances under the Canada Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999), providing the federal government with the necessary legislative authority to take regulatory action on smog.”

What Suzuki Report Says (p. 5):

“It is vital to understand that these guidelines provide a very weak form of protection for outdoor air quality. An extensive body of research has demonstrated that voluntary approaches to environmental protection are generally ineffective.”

What Dion Plan Says (p. 8):

“Never before has a more comprehensive Clean Air Plan been proposed to Canadians.”

What Suzuki Report Says:

“Sorry Steve, the Suzuki Report came out a week before your plan and is much more comprehensive. Is this how a Dion government would make policy?”

“My three pillars approach – bringing together economic vitality, social justice and environmental sustainability – is what Canada needs. I will do everything I can to keep talking about these three pillars, and hope that nobody is paying close attention.”

– 30 –

For more information:
André Lamarre

9/05/2006 12:31 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

I'm sure that most Canadians would be very happy to see politicains look to tjhe Suzuki foundation for environmental platform initiatives. The originality is putting these initiatives into a political platform. Politicians aren't experts in the fields they rspresent as leaders or cabinet ministers. They all use someone else's research. This is not news. Like I said Dion is not a PHd doing original research in evironmental climatology. We all knew that before. No one else is either. Mr. Ignatieff is a PHD doing original research in Human Rights and his response to Quanna was, "I didn't lose any sleep over that." Now that's scary, and seriously problematic politiically because he does have a PHD in that field.

9/05/2006 1:25 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

It's also not a University paper boys. It's a policy platform. When was the last time you saw a annotated bibliography at the end of a platform statement?

9/05/2006 1:35 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


Show me where Dion said he borrowed from Suzuki before this story broke on Steve Janke's Blog.

and I will happily retract...plagiarism is not borrowing somebody else's work...its borrowing somebody else's work and passing it off as your own

9/05/2006 1:36 a.m.  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...


You can't argue facts with Shoshana.

This isn't Biden stealing Kinnock, but it's not nothing. You can't take other individual's words and pass them off on your own word for word, academic or not.

9/05/2006 3:33 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

Theyall use somoeone else's work Antonio. This is not news. tt's innovative to make Suzukiiis ideas intto platform. Like I said most Candiians would be very pleased with that. Is the Suzuki foundatttiion complaining that ther work miight aactually make it into the polcy of government after long last? i don't think so.

9/05/2006 8:52 a.m.  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

nneeed new keyboard. ignorre double letters unless apropriate.

9/05/2006 8:53 a.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...


Don't you know that Shoshana is always right and everyone else is always wrong? You should just sign over your blog to her, cuz she obviously knows everything! Aren't we lucky!

Stephane Dion has zero credibility in Quebec... If the Liberals are truely serious about rebuilding the party, Dion is definitely not the choice for leader... But if the Libs wanna shoot themselves in the foot, by all means, Dion would make an excelent leader.

9/05/2006 9:22 a.m.  
Blogger cat mutant a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/05/2006 9:22 a.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

At least we're trying to talk about the issues. Dion's environmental plank is not costed and he won't say where he'll raise taxes. Did we not attack Harper on poor costing during the last election?

Dryden released his entire policy platform for debate. It's on his website. Good stuff, IMHO.

9/05/2006 11:44 a.m.  
Blogger grit heart a dit...

I'm no Dion supporter, but to say that he has no credibility in Quebec is laughable.

Stephane Dion will be in the top two in Quebec in delegate support.

9/05/2006 12:01 p.m.  
Blogger Manitoba Liberal a dit...

I really have to question Mr. Dion's ability to be a serious leader after a gaffe like this.

When you add this along with the fact that while he was environment minister that he never bothered to release innovative policy like his plagerized one and I have to conclude that Dion is the wrong man at the wrong time.

9/05/2006 1:22 p.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

Say what you want about Dion in Quebec, he cannot win seats in the West (Manitoba, Alberta, Sask.). We need to attack the Conservative base in the West to throw them off their game. Dion is not the guy to do that.

I'm not a Quebec expert but I suspect he cannot gain many seats for us in Quebec, if any.

9/05/2006 1:23 p.m.  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

For the most part, I think arguments about who can and can't win are largely empty. Who thought Harper could in Quebec?

But none of that takes away from the fact that a candidate of the supposedly highest knowledge ont he environment can't even have his own platform rewritten. If nothing else, this indicates a disorganized campaign with little deliberative policy development occurring.

9/05/2006 2:14 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/05/2006 4:00 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Your post is disgraceful.

9/05/2006 4:01 p.m.  
Blogger Diamond Fan a dit...

I have to defend Mr. Dion.

Just like when Richard Diamond handed in a word for word copy of Old Man and the Sea for a creative writing assignment back in university, Mr Dion has made the same honest mistake.

No big deal!

9/05/2006 4:50 p.m.  
Blogger Concerned YL a dit...

Peter, arguments about who can win and where are not empty. They are very real considerations for the new leader. Why would anyone elect Hedy Fry knowing she would lose us seats? Why should we not consider that fact that Rae is hated by many in Ontario? Ontario is our base -- do we really want to put it back up for grabs? Why would consider someone like Dryden who has name recognition all over the country?

These are all valid questions that should be debated, as well as policy and the people behind them.

9/05/2006 5:03 p.m.  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

Concerned YL:

They're empty arguments because they turn on a total unobservable (with the exception, perhaps, of Rae's term in Ontario). None of these men have been leaders, so we do not know how they will perform. What is more, these arguments are almost always clouded by silly and totally uninformed notions of how people in the regions in question actually feel.

I don't think these considerations are useless, indeed, they're important. They're just so hard to estimate. Who, for example, wants to admit now that Belinda was once seen as a winner and Harper a dud?

9/05/2006 6:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I'm sure David Susuki would rather see the world go up in flames than that his climate change plan would be plariarized. Seriously, saving the earth is not about who gets the credit.

1/24/2007 8:08 p.m.  
Blogger sa a dit...


1/05/2010 1:11 a.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home