Scientists and their supporters wore white lab coats or dressed in black and carried a wooden coffin that represented "the body of evidence" on to the steps of Parliament Hill. They carried signs with slogans and some wore buttons that said [Prime Minister] "Stephen Harper hates science."

"If we don't stand up for science, nobody will," Katie Gibbs, one of the rally's organizers, told the crowd. "After a long battle with the current federal government, evidence has suffered its final blow."

Cuts to federal science programs, legislative changes in the recent budget implementation bill and the muzzling of scientists all show the government's disregard for evidence, she said.

The elimination of the long form census, cuts to ozone monitoring, air and marine pollution as well as other environmental programs were given as examples of how the government has mounted "a systematic campaign to reduce the flow of scientific evidence to Canadians," the protesters said.

Several speakers delivered eulogies to mourn the loss of evidence, including one directed specifically at the planned closure of the Experimental Lakes Area.

Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, said scientists at the world-renowned research facility are doing too good a job of monitoring damage to fresh water and that the prime minister doesn't want Canadians to find out about it.

"What do you do if you want to kill the message? Well, just kill the messenger and that's what we're here today to mourn," she told the large crowd.