preventing media coverage regarding climate change studies
A senior Environment Canada scientist's interactions with the press were strictly monitored after publication of landmark research in the prestigious journal Nature. Dr. David Tarasick was among the authors who published research in 2011 confirming a hole twice the size of Ontario in the ozone layer over the Canadian Arctic. During interviews to discuss his research, an Environment Canada media relations spokesperson filtered questions to Dr. Tarasick and only allowed him to answer those that had been pre-approved.
A government media relations "minder" is heard preventing Tarasick from answering a question for himself at the 3:30 mark of this recorded interview. The interviewer (journalist Mike de Sousa of Postmedia news) asks about difficulty in arranging the interview, at which point the minder interrupts. Tarasick concludes by saying, "I'm available when media relations says I'm available. I have to go through them."
The government introduced new rules to control scientists' interviews with journalists in 2007. A 2010 Environment Canada internal document revealed that these rules had resulted in an 80 per cent drop in media coverage of climate change (see separate summary of this issue).