An example of a Recent (Old School) Briefing Note

Canadian federal Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, was in the news recently for taking a position that directly contradicts what his departmental officials had advised in a briefing note. That’s not really news, in my opinion: it’s both a minister’s right and their habit to disregard advice. The civil service proposed something … the minister decided something else. Dog bites man.

What will be of more interest to readers of this blog is that the story, reported by CBC News’s Power & Politics, includes an undated briefing note written for the Minister on this issue, acquired through an access to information request. Sections of the briefing note have been censored, but you can get a sense of the formatting and style which I would characterize as “old school” in its wordiness. Note that the Deputy Minister who approved this (not, we would note, authored it) was William Baker, former Deputy Minister of Public Safety who retired from the Public Service of Canada in July 2012 after a 33 year career.

Briefing Note re Gun Show Regulations

Digital Fishers Presentation to the Barkeley Sound Knowledge Symposium

I presented our current work on Web2.0 methods for citizen science / science-crowdsourcing at the 1st Barkley Sound Knowledge Symposium held Feb 9-11 at the Bamfield Marine Station in Barkley Sound.

Thanks to Flickr, here are some photos of the trip and the spectacular Bamfield Marine Station.

Transportation from Port Alberni to the Bamfield Maine Station in Barkley Sound for the 1st Barkley Sound Knowledge Symposium was aboard the MV Frances Barkley.


the frances barkley…10/365, originally uploaded by axiepics.

One of the stops on the boat trip from Port Alberni to Bamfield Marine Station for the Barkley Sound Knowledge Symposium is at the floating Kildonan Post Office.

Kildonan 2006_0921, originally uploaded by alaskapine.

This is the Bamfield Marine Station, specifically the Rix Centre for Ocean Discovery – location of the Barkley Sound Knowledge Symposium.

Absent Citizens: Michael J. Prince Book Launch & Talk

Michael Prince is Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy in the Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria. In his new book, Absent Citizens: Disability Politics and Policy in Canada, Prince describes how disability exists in the shadows of public awareness and at the periphery of policy making.

The Premier doth protest too much

The British Columbia Climate Action Secretariat has been moved from the Premier’s Office to the Ministry of Environment. In fact, the Minister of Environment is also identified as the Minister Responsible for Climate Action.

Reminds me of June 2005 when the Minister was also responsible for Sustainable Communities and Water Stewardship. Didn’t take long for those business cards to be shortened. The Premier went out of his way to say this doesn’t signal a change in priorities.

On the DM dance front, Graham Whitmarsh is to replace Chris Trumpy as DM Finance in April.