Spin cycle washes out civil servants

You might not know this but there was a time in British Columbia when reporters could pick up the phone and talk to civil servants about the ins and outs of public policy - something elected officials often don't know a lot about. But since the Liberals have been in office, those lines have been cut. Politicians and their handlers are now the only ones permitted to speak with the media. But not everyone has their questions routed through a spin machine.

Lobbyists and the powerful private interests they represent can still dial up civil servants - getting information and advice from senior unelected officials. I know this because I've seen it happen in emails released in response to the numerous freedom of information requests I've filed over the years.

So let me get this straight...reporters, whose only job is to represent the public, are treated like trespassers by the government while those looking to profit from the public purse are shown the front door. Something about that doesn't seem right to me...does it seem right to you?

2 Comments

Great edtiorial. Something seems awfully wrong for a Liberal party to do this. Isn't this the party that got in because of the bravery of the free press, of Rafe Mair & Vaughn Palmer, and all those souls who helped expose the socailst BCNDP.

I guess somebody needs to remind the BCLiberals that freedom of the press is a noble thing to uphold.

The lines have been cut by Gordon Campbell in more ways than one. Reporters are not the only ones who cannot get information from either elected or unelected officials in the BC government. There is also the problem of a person or group (lacking a paid lobbyist) getting a hearing with the BC government. BC strata owners know all too well that one is little more than a "subject" of the government unless one is a paid lobbyist or a representative of the powerful real estate interests who victimize strata owners.

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