Two stories ran this past week that raised my curiosity.
One in the Globe and Mail:
The article focuses on the “undertaking of confidentiality” that all Cohen Commission participants had to take before participating in the Commission.
Alexandra Morton has suggested she needs to be released from the undertaking to release important information on salmon viruses that may be impacting, or could hugely impact, BC’s wild salmon.
But in counter submissions, the B.C. government and the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association argued that it is important for the commission to maintain confidentiality so that evidence can be presented fairly and in context during the hearings.
The BCSFA argued that releasing documents before they become exhibits “would promote a media trial that would distract the public from the commission’s work.”
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“Distract the public from the Commission’s work” ?
If a poll was done right now in BC… how many people would suggest they’re following the Cohen Commission?
If the public is so voraciously consuming the Commisson’s multiple hundreds/thousands of pages of reports, evidence and information then why not televise the hearings on CPAC or otherwise?
It could be like an OJ-trial spectacle…
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Another related article ran in the Tyee — BC’s independent online news stop:
The government’s position seems to be that releasing scientific data to ignorant, sensation-hungry reporters will only confuse matters — as if decisions on a major public resource could be made behind closed doors.
There it is again… this assumption that the media and public is absolutely glued to this issue.
In some ways– yes… in many ways– no.
And most definitely not waiting with bated breath for some ‘complicated policy prescriptions’ or ‘core policy drivers’ to begin dealing with the issue of salmon declines…
And the even better assumption (my favorite) that the media and public is “ignorant” of these issues.
‘just leave it with us professionals… we know what’s best’
(and my response: “well… if you know what’s best then why didn’t you do that in the first place…?”