"The concept of free speech is non-existent at Environment Canada"


Here's a bit of required reading for a Saturday morning. There have been a number of media reports recently concerning the choke hold this government has on information coming out of the civil service. This article suggests that no matter how bad you thought it was, it's even worse. And particularly so at Environment Canada.

University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler states: "Muzzling under the Harper government is the worst it's ever been."

The Vancouver Sun quoted University of Victoria climatologist Andrew Weaver: "The concept of free speech is non-existent at Environment Canada." Weaver is close to the epicentre. As one who regularly co-authors studies with EC colleagues, he understands the impacts on federal scientists. He calls it "Orwellian," and says that as a result, "morale is at an all-time low."

Perhaps the free speech warriors could look into this.

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One other serious consequence to come: we are going to start losing scientists, and it will be the best ones that we lose. Many are world-renowned; they can get other jobs in more civilized environments, and they will.

I received this from the government email system - and is reported on the general website, 'The Source'.

(Also posted in BnR.)


The last week in September is designated as "Right To Know Week".

"Internationally, RTK Day began on September 28, 2002, in Sofia, Bulgaria at an international meeting of access to information advocates who proposed that a day be dedicated to the promotion of freedom of information worldwide. The goal of RTK Day is to raise global awareness of individuals’ right to access government information and to promote access to information as a fundamental human right. The core principles of Right to Know as expressed by the Open Society Justice Initiative are:

Access to information is a right of everyone.
Access is the rule; secrecy is the exception!
The right applies to all public bodies.
Making requests should be simple, speedy, and free.
Officials have a duty to assist requestors.
Refusals must be justified.
The public interest takes precedence over secrecy.
Everyone has the right to appeal an adverse decision.
Public bodies should proactively publish core information.
The right should be guaranteed by an independent body."


"Ay, marry, is't,
But to my mind, though I am native here
And to the manner born, it is a custom
More honor'd in the breach than the observance,"