‘Shameful’ gagging of talent by federal government

Freedom of expression and access to information are core democratic values to which Canada presumably ascribes.

To the editor:

Freedom of expression and access to information are core democratic values to which Canada presumably ascribes.

Two recent cases, however, call into question our current government’s commitment to these values.

The first case is the refusal of the Prime Minister’s Office to allow DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) scientist Kristina Miller to give interviews to the press about a paper she published in the prestigious journal Science. The journal thought the work was so significant they alerted over 7,000 news organizations to its publication.

One would think that the government would be excited by such international recognition of one of its scientists but Canadian government scientists can no longer speak to the press without high level permission and the PMO turned thumbs down on any interviews with Dr. Miller.

The second case concerns Canadian visual artist and educator Franke James, who posts informative and amusing visual essays about environmental issues on her blog. Ms. James had been invited to tour with her work in Europe. She had a corporate sponsor and a local non-governmental organization organizer.

Instead of assisting Ms. James, federal officials have been doing their best to block this tour, including pressuring the corporate sponsor to withdraw its support and the NGO to cancel the tour.

Ms. James’ crime is unclear. She thinks it is that she is critical of the government’s foot dragging on climate change. (See her blog for more information: www.frankejames.com/debate/?cat=370.)

Both cases reflect a shameful meanness of spirit and paranoia that should have no place in Canadian government and are another black mark on our international reputation.


Michael Healey,  Peachland



Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Kelowna Fire Department. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Abandonded campfire results in Kelowna bushfire

The fire was measured at 20 feet by 20 feet in size and has been deemed not suspicious in nature

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Most Read