B.C. GOVERNMENT TRIES TO SPIN ITS OWN SPIN

In case you’ve never thought about this, here’s proof of how the government strategizes for interviews. Always deflect the question by stating something positive about your past record. Don’t actually answer a question.

Sean Holman's Unknowable Country

Is the advice government communications staff provide serve the public interest or a political interest? (Graphic by Government of British Columbia) Does the advice government communications staff provide serve the public interest or a political interest? (Graphic by Government of British Columbia)

What started out as a British Columbia government attempt to defend the job its communication staff do has, ironically, ended up demonstrating the weakness of the province’s freedom of information law, as well as how those officials can work against the public’s right to know.

Earlier this year, I wrote an open letter about how such staffers often don’t respond or give non-responses to the questions reporters ask. They also advise elected officials to do the same thing, as well as restrict access to bureaucrats who actually have answers.

That cross-Canada issue was then covered by three radio shows, including Daybreak South. The Kelowna, B.C.-based CBC program succeeded in getting Andrew Wilkinson, the minister responsible for British Columbia’s spin doctors, to agree to an interview.

Following that interview, on…

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