For your own good


Transport Minister Denis Lebel explains why the general public is not allowed to see a report on the condition of Montreal’s Champlain Bridge.

“When you release information into the public that is handled by people who are not exactly connaisseurs of the subject matter, that can create worries that I do not want to create,” Lebel said. “Above all, I do not want people to try politicizing this issue and to work against the public interest. This isn’t the time to be starting something that would create insecurity in the public. And I’m not saying there are things in the report that would create insecurity; I’m simply saying that we treat very thoroughly everything in such reports to allow for smooth and secure transport.”


For your own good

  1. “The federal government has received a report on the state of Montreal’s Champlain Bridge but says it will not be releasing it, in order not to cause public alarm.”


    I am sure Dan Gardner would know term for it but I am fairly certain people get freaked out even more when Government says stuff like bureaucrats have written a report and we are not going to release because we don’t want to worry public unduly. 

    I wonder if report says bridge is going to collapse anytime now or is concern related to corrupt construction industry or both/neither. Could it be way to help Charest, irk PQ?

    People fill in blanks themselves – I wonder how reassured people who use Champlain Bridge regularly feel?

  2. This is so idiotic. 

    They don’t want to cause public alarm by releasing the report???  Here’s a hint geniuses,  the only thing that will panic the public more than a damning report on the sorry state of the nation’s bridges is finding out that the nation’s bridges are so incredibly dangerous that the government won’t even release the report on them for fear of panicking the public!

    Also, didn’t I pay for this report?  Is the federal government seriously telling me that I can’t see a report that I paid to produce because the government fears that I won’t like what’s in it???  I’m less interested in WHY they’re not going to release the report than I am in HOW they think they’re going to get away with not releasing the report.  I understand not releasing reports because of issues of national security and the like, but since when does the government get to keep a public safety report hidden from citizens simply because they’re afraid of how the citizenry will react to the report???

  3. So essentially the new mantra for the Conservatives is:

    When it comes to a true danger that thousands of people will face every day, “Nothing to see here folks.”

    But when it is a question of unamed, unknown threats in some distant future then it’s, “Be afraid.  Be very, very afraid.”

    • We should trust our elected leaders/masters.

      I’m sure it says something like “This bridge needed repairs, but they were totally funded by Canada’s Conservative Economic Action(!) Plan and now everything is super.”

      Because the alternative would imply that we pissed away billions on hockey rinks and gazebos while leaving critical urban infrastructure to rot. And that would be just silly.

  4. Ahhhhh… how cute, the Conservative government is protecting us from ourselves, how Big Brother of them.

    • Almost…. daltonmcguintian in its paternalism!

  5. Oh, there’s something in there.  If it were a completely benign report, it would be released.  How about this: tell the public you will release it on _____ date, after you’re staff has had a chance to review it.  If it’s in the news – it’s a priority for the public and they will most likely respect that process more.

  6. “Above all, I do not want people to try politicizing this issue and to work against the public interest.”

    Canadians, and Montrealers in particular, would hate for the ‘above all’ concern to be safety.

  7. I’d never heard of Denis Lebel before this, and I guess I won’t hear much about him ever again.  First crack out of the gate, and his boss is overriding his decision, publicly.  Not that I blame Harper on this, it was an idiotic decision that a child of two could have seen would have the opposite effect of the stated reason for it.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/in-about-face-ottawa-vows-to-release-montreal-bridge-safety-report/article2095952/

  8. Why am I feeling strangely sympathetic for the guy? When researching my TN Visa requirements, I started by using the internet. The end result was I felt bipolar for about 3 weeks. Thousands of amateur opinions and stories from people who were guessing at what my outcome could be. It illustrated that a little information is a dangerous thing. “Twas only when I paid a professional did I feel a sense of calm. Ya get what I’m saying?

    I know I’m off base here, so please don’t pile on  ;)

  9. Bunch of latte sipping elitists, this lot.

  10. Well,they’ve caved.  The report will be released  – soon.  It’s only been available since before the election.  And they’re worried people will play politics with it?

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