15 June 2008

It's all about control

You can read a profile of the Premier, this week in the Toronto Star.

You've heard it before but you can read it if you want.

Or you can skip to something really interesting: a series on how the Prime Minister's Office is clamping down on public communications from the federal government in a way that some veterans inside the Queensway are saying is unprecedented.
Public appearances by cabinet ministers – whether it's a speech or an interview – are carefully staged, starting with a "message event proposal" vetted by the Privy Council Office, the bureaucratic wing of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

And in a marked change from previous governments, now even basic demands for information from reporters, once easily fielded by department spokespersons, are sent to this office for review – and often heavy editing – before they are okayed for public release, government insiders say.
It's a series so you can see different things. Like the member of parliament who paid dearly for speaking out of turn. Like the policy of having everything vetted by officials in the communications and consultation branch.

Donald Savoie couldn't have written a more timely book. Too bad that of the three copies at Chapters locally, only one was bought up to yesterday evening when your humble e-scribbler bumped and jostled with the crowds picking up Father's Day stuff. That would be the one said scribbler bought last week.