“DFO scientist says Privy Council silenced her”

Canadian Press story:

DFO scientist says Privy Council silenced her

A fisheries scientist says she believes senior officials close to the prime minister prevented her from talking to the media about her research into the 2009 sockeye salmon collapse in B.C. …

Miller testified she believes it would have been useful to speak to the media after the article’s publication to let them know what scientists knew and didn’t know and she found it frustrating to see the direction some news stories went.

The federal government did not dispute Miller’s suggestion that it was the Privy Council Office, which serves the prime minister, that refused to allow Miller to talk to media.

“Dr. Miller’s testimony was thorough, extensive and speaks for itself,” Dimitri Soudas, communications director at the Prime Minister’s Office, said in an email to The Canadian Press.

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Globe and Mail story:

Privy Council blocked scientist’s access to media, Cohen probe told

The top bureaucratic arm of the federal government decided a fisheries scientist who published a paper on a virus that could explain the decline of Fraser River sockeye would not be allowed to speak to the media, even though her department had no objection, an inquiry has heard.

Further complicating matters is the fact that funding for Dr. Miller’s program is in jeopardy due to a shift in policy for paying staff.

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Nothing to be concerned about though… will be the comments flowing in from some of those that leave comments on this site…

Why did the Privy Council Office feel it had to intervene?

And what about the continued flow of ‘outside’ funding to keep DFO scientists afloat? … and now in jeopardy of being cut-off…?

curious stuff…


2 thoughts on ““DFO scientist says Privy Council silenced her”

  1. Dave

    I don’t think many people think that the PCO decision was a very good one. Even Dr. Miller stated that she would have much preferred to be telling her own story than have other try to tell it. But now that she has spoken, which is what you and many others who felt she was being prevented from doing in a massive government-wide conspiracy to suppress the truth, where are all the comments on the content of her testimony? Turns out she wasn’t putting the final nail in the fish farms coffin like Alex thought she would, because it’s a much more complex issue than that. Poor Alex’s delusional interpretation of the first day of testimony gave me a nice laugh-out-loud when I read it. Hopefully Dr. Miller can continue her work, because I think she is onto the “smoking gun”, however I don’t think it’s going to be pointing where many want it to.

  2. salmon guy Post author

    thanks for the comment Dave,
    can’t say i agree with your sentiments. I find it quite curious that those who comment on this blog defending DFO and the terribly bureaucratic actions that haunt this fundamentally flawed and institutionally ill organization choose to be so public and adamant that the organization is healthy, wealthy and wise.

    The simple fact that the organization is flawed and that many senior scientists that leave the organization state the same — speaks for itself. There really isn’t much point in trying to point out the obvious to DFO-defenders…

    Yet… yet, this doesn’t take away from the fact that there are aren’t good people within the organization trying, and actually doing, good work. No question.
    Bottom line, the constant reminder, proof in the pudding, etc.: who was on watch when the East Coast Cod collapsed? which government instituition was fundamentally responsible?

    Or how about the eulachon collapse on this coast?

    And no, not everyone is searching for some deep dark conspiracy, which is this typical spook-out response that many government-defenders love to adopt during times of tension, doubt, and serious questions. During times when public citizens take their right for free speech and hit the streets. When citizens make brave choices to stand up to government bureaucrats, PR-spin experts, and simply poor decision-making.

    It’s akin to the great communist fear mongering adopted during the McCarthyism era. e.g., how dare you question government decisions… we know best within our little government silos what is best. So you public citizens, just shhhh…

    If the great DFO defenders could explain then why Miller’s research is now being starved. And why she’ll most likely be jammed into some dark basement tiny office for some of her outspoken testimony.
    And why these great defenses of the aquaculture industry?
    Show me in the world, where salmon aquaculture has successfully occurred alongside wild ecosystems without huge impacts, without various disease outbreaks, without significant economic impacts?

    Salmon farming has put its own nails in its own coffins… however, various governments continue to deny this aspect and carry on. Economic imperative wins over careful, pragmatic environmental imperatives. Act first, think later. Even the industry states that when they started, things weren’t so great. That’s comforting.

    Having salmon farming on the coast of BC is simply a choice — and sadly, the public was never fully engaged in that choice, nor given all the required information to either support or not support that decision. If it’s so innocuous and good for the BC coast then why not have a referendum on it similar to the HST?

    thanks again for leaving the comment.

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