Unmuzzling government scientists is just the first step

Scientists rallied on Parliament Hill on Sept. 16, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick CP)

Scientists rallied on Parliament Hill on Sept. 16, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick CP)

By MARGARET MUNRO, Special to The Globe and Mail

As prime-minister-designate Justin Trudeau and his Liberals take control of the federal government, Ottawa’s media managers are sure to line up to defend the virtues of media control. After almost 10 years under Stephen Harper, the managers have honed the art of controlling and blocking access to federal researchers, crafting “media lines” that seldom answer the questions asked and frustrating journalists.

Mr. Trudeau has vowed to reopen the lines of communication and take the “muzzle” off federal scientists. Even a modest improvement in communication would be welcome. But a return to more open government will require not only new policy, but also a new mindset in the bureaucracy the Conservatives have left behind.  Continue reading . . .

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