Friday, August 08, 2008

Under review

Cam has already noted the Cons' latest exercise in information suppression, this time dealing with a report expected to confirm the dangers associated with chrysotile asbestos. But the newest excuse for hiding information from the public looks to deserve some comment:
The panel's findings were made final in March but have yet to be released.

A Health Canada spokesman said in an e-mail the department is reviewing the report to "help further its knowledge of chrysotile asbestos fibres in relation to human health... (and the report) will be made available to the public after the department has reviewed the findings."
Taken at face value, the statement simply doesn't explain anything. While one would expect Health Canada to incorporate the study into its knowledge on the subject, there's no reason at all why it would be any less able to do so based on the report also being available to the public.

And that has to raise some suspicions about just what kind of "review" the report may be undergoing. Are the Cons keeping the lid on the expert assessment until they've prepared a politically-oriented counterargument to muddy the waters? Or are they seeking to have the actual report "reviewed" and revised to better fit the answer which Tony Clement wanted from the beginning?

With those possibilities looming, it may be that Cam's concern that the Cons are simply trying to control the timing to avoid making the report public before an October conference may actually make for the least problematic scenario. But it should be obvious that none of the explanations serve as anything but a strong indictment of the Cons' fitness for power.

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