Conservative aide kept public information private

Bureaucrats instructed to withhold details of Olympic ad spending

As the saying goes, eventually, the truth always comes out. And when it does, it’s those who tried to suppress it who often find themselves under scrutiny. Such is the case for ministerial aide Ryan Sparrow, who tried to stop bureaucrats from responding to a media request for information. The difficulty began on Feb. 25, when the Globe and Mail submitted a request to the Human Resources Department, seeking to know how much had been spent on a TV advertising campaign that aired during the Olympics. Although bureaucrats quickly came up with the answer—the total TV media buy was about $4,500,000; the net cost of the Olympics package nearly $1,850,000—Sparrow instructed officials not to release any monetary value. According to emails obtained through an Access To Information request, Sparrow advised, without punctuation: “Hold to clarify my amended response is the one I want used no figures.”

Globe and Mail

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