(From) overcautious civil servants and ministers of health, defend us

More ATI restrictions at Health Canada

At first, news that Health Canada was about to hire Ottawa-based consultant Marjery Snider to help the department process a growing backlog of ATI requests. But buried in the contract notice was a new provision stating that the minister’s office, as well as senior legal and communications officials, would have to be consulted on “sensitive requests.” According to Health Canada officials, the new requirement will ensure that the contractor has the “requisite experiences” in dealing with the program, but veteran ATIPsters like Ken Rubin maintain that the “sensitive” designation is disproportionately applied to requests from journalists, public policy researchers and opposition parties, which may be blocked by ministerial staffers for political reasons. 

Ottawa Citizen