Prominent scientists such as David Suzuki spoke at the rally on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery at noon, saying the Conservative government is shutting down research on controversial topics such as genetically modified foods, farmed salmon and oil pipelines.

"We now have a prime minster intent on pushing the pipeline through across British Columbia before all the scientific information is in.  We don't make informed decisions that way.  We have to assess the information available," said Suzuki.

"We are threatened with politicians deciding not only whether or not to listen to scientists, but the kind of information that scientists are able to tell us about."