'Basically, government tells us what they want us to know'

Our Jonathon Gatehouse reviews the present state of our access to information laws in the latest issue of the magazine. Over the weekend, the Citizen’s David Pugliese did likewise at some length. So dire is our present situation, apparently, that government staffers struggle to speak publicly in complete sentences, and only then with a government lawyer at their side.

Sebastien Togneri had previously told a House of Commons committee that he made a “mistake” in ordering that a 137-page document — already cleared by non-partisan civil servants and government lawyers — be “unreleased.” Under further questioning before the committee on Tuesday, the senior aide to Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis repeatedly consulted his lawyer when asked how frequently this type of practice occurred.

“Uh, in my, my . . . yes it’s the only time I, uh . . . This was, you know, a mistake I made,” Togneri said.