Government Science

Revoke rules and regulations that muzzle government scientists and allow them to speak freely about their work, with only limited and publicly stated exceptions.

Achieved
Liberal Document | Page 10
August 18, 2015

Friday January 6, 2017 | Maclean's

Unmuzzled government scientists are ready to talk

Debi Daviau, president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), the union that represents most government scientists, says that some departments, including DFO [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] [...] and Environment Canada, were proactive about this [the unmuzzling of government scientists and removal of previous gag orders] and explicitly told their employees and managers of the new approach soon after the announcement.

But that didn't happen everywhere. "Things were slow to get flowing," she says. "Yes, the government changed its communications policy, but nobody seemed to know about it." As of this fall, Daviau says more and more of their members were being clearly informed of their right to speak even if they were not designated spokespeople.

Last month, PIPSC triumphantly announced that it had negotiated with the government to include in its collective agreements a clause that protects this openness. "That was already the government's policy, but now it's enshrined in our collective agreement so no future government can take this away from us without a big fight," Daviau says.

Friday November 6, 2015 | CBC News

Scientists, ministers get green light to speak under Trudeau

In an email to CBC, Alain Vezina, regional director of science for the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, confirmed this morning that scientists at the institute are now allowed to speak openly to media.