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Follow the pattern that Harper and the Cons are doing.

When asked to comment on the story in the Ottawa Citizen about world-leading scientists needing approval from the Conservative PR people in government, the reaction of John Baird’s press secretary was to tell the press to ask Environment Canada, because it was a “departmental policy”. Apparently, even though John Baird is the Minister of the Environment, he doesn’t actually run the Department of the Environment, nor get involved in how it runs the place or what rules govern it.

That of course was preceded by Harper’s insistence that any information on how many detainees Canada may or may not be holding since their decision in November to halt prisoner transfers to Afghani authorities is up to the Canadian Armed Forces to release, not the government of Canada.  Because you know, that’s a military operational matter, and apparently the Canadian government doesn’t have anything to do with that, despite the fact that last I looked, the Minister of Defence was supposedly head of that department, and the government of Canada has civilian control of the military.

An interesting new take on the concept of laissez-faire, I would say, by these Harperites. Keep an eye out for this tactic of trying to muzzle or hide the truth in other controversial decisions by claiming the government has nothing to do with departmental decisions. (I would have also listed the recent firing of one of the Canadian Wheat Board members who had been highly critical of the governments attempts to end the single-desk payer market on barley, but technically, the government is not allowed to fire Board members, only the President, so Gerry Ritz could be seen as being truthful in that he “didn’t know” about the firing, though I have no doubt they gave a nudge and a wink to the interim President to clear the government portion of the board of any CWB members who object to the government’s new policy).


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