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Information commissioner looks into muzzling of Canada’s scientists

Canada’s information commissioner, Suzanne Legault, is investigating a complaint that the government has been restricting the freedom of its scientists to speak with the media and the public.

The complaint involves seven government institutions: the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, the Treasury Board Secretariat, and the departments of environment, fisheries and oceans, national defence, and natural resources.

In February, the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria and Democracy Watch, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates government accountability, submitted a report to the information commissioner documenting what they describe as restrictive communications policies that violate the country’s Access to Information Act.

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