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.
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 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.
The Globe’s Policy Wiki is a nice experiment with a lot of thoughtful features (that trump the Obama “Citizen’s Briefing Book”). Let’s see if we can keep up the civil Canadian tone and also avoid juvenile commentary.
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