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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Stephane Dion's Clean Air Plan rips off a David Suzuki Foundation report


Stephane Dion, academic (he has a doctorate in sociology from the Instituts d'Etudes Politiques du Paris and taught at the University of Montreal) and former environment minister, appears to have plagiarized his "Clean Air Plan" released September 1, using a report called "The Air We Breathe" from the David Suzuki Foundation as the source, which was released exactly one week earlier.

Here's an example.

From the Suzuki report:

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

From the Dion plan:

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

Nowhere in the Dion plan, which has footnotes and references, is the Suzuki report mentioned, much less credited.  Passing off someone else's work as your own is the crime for which there is no forgiveness in academic circles.  Sounds like Professor Dion has some explaining to do.

[More examples of text and ideas being lifted from the Suzuki report are at Angry in the Great White North]

Posted by Steve Janke on September 5, 2006 | Permalink


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Suzuki and Dion?
Now there's a pair that we don't need to hear another thing from.
Dion's speciality is sociology and Suzuki's was the study of fruit flies.
What a couple of leftie frauds.

Posted by: Ralph Rattfuc | 2006-09-05 7:59:50 AM

Just ask Elizabeth Nickson about no forgiveness. She is still languishing on Salt Spring Island watching her typrwiter rust away. As far I know.

However in the case of Dion ... are you sure this isn't one of those George Harrisons "My Sweet Lord" ripped from the Sherelles "Sweet Talking Guy" ?

Sort of like ... it was just there rolling around in my head ... I didn't know it was someone else's

Jermain Greer (female Unich) used the same cop out on a book that was ripped from the author of Anne of Green Gables whose name escapes me for the moment. So do the book titles, hey, I just woke up and don't fee like researching right now.

Those last two seem to have gotten away with it. They were both big lefties and so is Dion ... This will blow over for him too.

Not so for Liz though ... she was a conservative writer.

Posted by: Duke | 2006-09-05 8:49:51 AM

Spot on, Duke.

Conservatives are held to a standard by the left and are held to a rigorous standard be their own constituents. Being conservative means being principled.

Being a socialist means playing capture the flag, take no prisoners, give no quarter. Leftists think and live the motto...'ALL is FAIR in LOVE or WAR'... condums and age of consent are optional.

Posted by: Speller | 2006-09-05 8:59:52 AM

Steve, you are obviously not an academic. So let me explain. The crime of plagiarism in academic circles applies when a person takes the ideas of someone else and peddles them as their own, original ideas. So when Dion's report tells us that "air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of hospitalizations, and hundreds of thousands of days absent from work and school annually." No *IDEAS* have been lifted. Unless you think that Dion went out and gathered that data personally (something no reader would believe) then you have to know the stat comes from somewhere. Yes, it is better to attribute the source, but no one will believe that Dion is claiming an idea or to have done any research work that he did not do. This is a non-starter in terms of plagiarism

Dion's report also said "The Ontario Medical Association issued a report in 2005 saying that every year 5,800 Ontarians will die prematurely because of smog related illness." No footnote is needed here, because THE REFERENCE IS RIGHT IN THE SENTENCE. The OMA is the source of that data. Dion almost certainly got the information from Suzuki, but since Suzuki got it from the OMA, the latter is all that needs crediting for it to NOT be plagiarism. Again, there is no issue here.

At AitGWN you note the added footnote and say, "this is the only credit that the David Suzuki Foundation has earned in forming the Dion plan -- a legal opinion". Yes, and it was right to add that footnote. When you use the OPINION of another person, that needs to be noted. Dion, the academic, knows this. You (and the usual gang of morons - Hi Duke!) don't know this.

This is not an ACADEMIC blunder, but it might be a PR blunder. If know-nothings make enough noise, they just might convince people in the general public who also know nothing about plagiarism to think Dion has done something wrong. He hasn't.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-09-05 2:31:49 PM

What does academics have to do with it? He's campaigning for a political position, not a professorship. It's important to know if the data came from Suzuki, because Suzuki is, in my opinion, not credible.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-09-05 2:37:24 PM

LOL, c'mon Speller. Conservatives are principled? Since when is greed, murder, and racism good principles? OHHHH, you meant bad principles. Nevermind,my apologies.

Posted by: Lefty_99 | 2006-09-05 2:41:26 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. 99 has been running around in multiple threads trying to create trouble, he even announced same in another thread.

In other words, it's ignore the petulant child time again.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-09-05 2:45:13 PM

You mean there have been other petulant children? My God, I guess being on this blog these last few hours made me forget there were intelligent people still in this world, other than myself of course.

Posted by: Lefty_99 | 2006-09-05 2:49:17 PM

"It's important to know if the data came from Suzuki, because Suzuki is, in my opinion, not credible."

Vitruvius, there was no chance in hell Dion was going to get you vote before today, so the fact you think you have one more reason not to vote for him is of no consequence. Liberals who are deciding who to vote for in the leadership race and who MIGHT vote for him should not be swayed by this baseless attack. They should just read what Dion says he supports and decide for themselves if they like it. In the end, it does not matter whose idea it is, but whether it is a good idea to pursue. That is the question voters should ask and not be distracted by silly false claims of plagiarism.

And for the record, since Dion and Suzuki both used data that comes from the Ontario Medical Association, you need to decide if THEY are credible, not if Suzuki is. But we already know that your measuring stick of credibility is purely ideological, not based on things like, you know, the truth.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-09-05 4:23:16 PM

The consequence of my comment is irrelevant, it's my comment, and it's on topic. You, Mr. Logan, on the other hand, expressly misquoted Mr. Levant in another thread, in an attempt to discredit him.

Ergo, in my opion, you are a liar, just like, in my opinion, Mr. Suzuki is. Given that, it is not reasonable to address the details of your claims, for your credability is already known to be within epsilon of zero.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-09-05 4:30:26 PM


Misquote??? I don't think you know what the word means. I quoted Ezzy as saying, "Sometimes [Shotgun posters] are rude and bigoted and sometimes people are anti-Muslim". He did say that and he does not deny saying that. I also quoted him as saying, "I wouldn’t write that. It’s not my view. It doesn’t represent the magazine." He did say that and does not deny saying that.

Under no definition of "misquote" can what I did be said to be misquoting. Both quotes were 100% his words. Deal with it.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-09-05 4:35:28 PM

According to Wikipedia, "A misquotation is an accidental or intentional misrepresentation of a person's speech or writing, involving one or more of: [...] Omission of important parts of the quote, [...]" By omitting, twice now, Mr. Levant's words "and anti-semitic", you, Mr. Logan, have deliberately and with malice aforethought corrupted his message in an attempt to discredit him. Therefore, I stand on my previously stated opinion.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-09-05 4:52:13 PM

LOL, Vitruvius!!! Discredit him? All I was doing was pointing out to Duke and the anti-Muslim bigots that they do not have an ally in Ezzy, and he is on record in another publication saying so. We already know he does not think much of anti-semitism, so leaving that out hardly "misrepresents" his views. I also did not report what he thinks of small furry animals because it, too, was irrelevant.

Ezra thinks some of his best sycophants are bigots and he said so. That's news. That's what I reported. And the fact that he felt compelled to reply to try to spin the story away from that should tell you how bang-on I was.

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-09-05 5:24:21 PM

I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I seem to have taken this thread a bit off topic. My apologies. Thank you for listening to my opinions.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-09-05 5:32:34 PM

Does anyone recall Mr.Dion saying that Kyoto was not meant to decrease pollution but to increase awareness of global pollution.I can't recall where I read this but I believe this is a much bigger and costly gaffe than his lifting verbatim from suzuki's report.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-09-05 5:48:50 PM

Yea the vikings grew cereal crops in Greenland in the 1000's, grapes grew in England a little later, there is boreal forest remnants in the Artic. and there are still people stupid enough to believe Dion or Suzuki. I can't believe this fraud along with Dr. Evil aka Maurice Strong are not locked up

Posted by: bartinsky | 2006-09-05 11:29:02 PM

Mark, you're obviously not an academic either if you think lifting text vitually word for word without citing it (whether it contains *IDEAS* or not) is not plagiarism.

Posted by: Mike | 2006-09-06 8:00:16 AM

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Posted by: Isabella | 2007-07-11 5:28:25 AM

Mark Logan is obviously not an academic. For example, from the U of Alberta Calendar on student behaviour
"30.3.2(1) Plagiarism

No Student shall submit the words, ideas, images or data of another person as the Student’s own in any academic writing, essay, thesis, project, assignment, presentation or poster in a course or program of study."

The same applies to academics themselves. I have seen papers rejected for publication because of too much cribbing without attribution even though the idea and research are original. The Dionistas committed a no no.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | 2008-09-30 12:41:27 PM

Dion gets an F- for creative writing and an A++ for getting the facts straight. Good enough for me. Odds are Prof Dion didn't actually write it, anyway. Leaders of political parties have writers do those sorts of things, and research staff. They might want to look for other work except I doubt Dr Suzuki will mind, at least not if you promise to vote for Stephan.

Mighty coincidental this coming up just after Harper is caught ripping off the late PM Howard. Word is Howard's speechwriter had it written for him by the American Heritage Institute, so it's possible the AHI just faxed it around for everyone to recant as they knelt before the lifesize photo of George W. But that's just a rumour. For now.

Posted by: Red White and . . . more red and white | 2008-09-30 5:50:00 PM

Yo! Red White!
Look at the date at the top of this post...

Posted by: Another Sean | 2008-09-30 9:17:52 PM

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