The Conservative Harper government in Canada has issued new rules governing whether federal scientists can talk to news media about their findings. Scientists must get permission to talk to the press. Climate science is off limits, and any statements about climate science must be approved by political appointees at the ministerial level. It is the same with oil sands.
Margaret Munro of Postmedia News got the press policy documents through a request under Canada's access-to-information law.
The Society of Environmental Journalists called on Environment Canada in 2008 and 2009 to change its restrictive press policy.
The consternation resulting from Munro's article has so far resulted in the resignation of Sebastian Togneri, a political aide to Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis, calls for Paradis' resignation (refused), and a widening Parliamentary investigation.
- "Gov't Media Control Policies Tie the Tongues of Federal Scientists," Postmedia News, September 13, 2010, by Margaret Munro.
- "Government Scientific Integrity Issues in Canada and the U.S. – Earthbeat Radio Interview," Climate Science Watch, October 5, 2010, by Rick Piltz.
- Editorial: "Off with the Muzzles," Ottawa Citizen, September 15, 2010.
- "Stop Muzzling Scientists," Edmonton Journal, September 19, 2010, by Esmond Sanders.
- Previous Story: WatchDog of May 7, 2009.
- "Aide Quits, But Minister Refuses To Resign," National Post, October 2, 2010, by Meagan Fitzpatrick and Juliet O'Neill.
- "Info-Meddling Probe May Widen," CBC News, October 1, 2010.
- Column: "Togneri Just Following Direction from the Top," Halifax Chronicle Herald, October 2, 2010, by Stephen Maher.
- "Government Environmental Scientists Work Under Gag," Montreal Gazette, Sept. 25, 2010, by Glen Blouin
"Canada Must Free Scientists To Talk To Journalists," Nature, September 29, 2010, by Kathryn O'Hara.