Thursday, September 30, 2010

Onward Christian's meddlers

"Tory staffer meddled repeatedly in release of government information." Repeatedly, as in at least four times on access to information requests, according to the CP report. Why is this significant? Because Harper minister Christian Paradis' staffer, Sebastien Togneri, gave testimony to a House of Commons committee on the extent of his actions:
An aide to a Conservative cabinet minister meddled with at least four access-to-information requests on touchy subjects — such as Barack Obama's visit to Canada and asbestos — despite testimony he acted improperly only one time.

Documents recently provided to a House of Commons committee, and obtained by The Canadian Press, show Sebastien Togneri directed bureaucrats to remove material that was destined for release.
Togneri testified to the committee in May that it was the only time he had intervened in an access request. He also called his actions "stupid" and a "mistake."

A senior bureaucrat in the department later called it "an extraordinary circumstance."
Although reviewing what's about to be made public is accepted practice in ministerial offices, partly to prepare the minister for questions about controversial revelations, altering or blocking the release of documents is forbidden by law.
Over to you, law and order Harper government.