The Canadian Press:
Environment Minister Peter Kent has repeatedly said the government
does not muzzle its scientists. But Kent’s office stopped David
Tarasick, an Environment Canada researcher, from talking to journalists
about a report on last year’s unprecedented Arctic ozone hole, according
to documents obtained by Postmedia News under the Access to Information
It’s the latest case uncovered by Postmedia News where ministers’ offices or the Privy Council Office have prevented federal scientists from talking to the media about their science.
documents also say Kent’s office and the Privy Council Office, which
reports to the prime minister, decide when and if Environment Canada
scientists are allowed to brief the media about anything from wildlife
to water quality.
Last fall, Kent was adamant in the House of
Commons that ”we are not muzzling scientists.” And the minister reported
to a parliamentary committee in May that “circumstances simply did not
work out” to allow Tarasick to give interviews when a study he co-authored on the Arctic ozone hole was published in Nature, a leading science journal.
show Tarasick was keen and available to discuss the remarkable changes
seen in the Earth’s protective ozone layer, but Kent’s office would not
permit him to speak to journalists when the study came out.
department recommended to the Minister’s office that this interview take
place,” the documents say, referring to a request from Postmedia News
to speak with Tarasick about the study. “The interview was denied.”
Requests from CBC, Radio Canada and CTV to interview Tarasick about the
ozone hole were also denied.
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