Dr. Dawg

Suborning the federal Public Service

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In the light of the continuing Canada Revenue Agency scandal—foisting expensive and time-consuming audits upon Canadian dissident groups—we should perhaps not be surprised that the Harper government has now enlisted the federal Public Service to push an unambiguously partisan message through official social media channels. Income-splitting, a measure that will help only a relatively well-off 15% of Canadian households, has not yet been passed into law. It is vigorously opposed by the opposition.

So the Conservative government has asked federal public employees to push its #StrongFamilies propaganda. To say this is improper would be to understate the seriousness of this instrumentalist approach to governance. It runs directly counter to its own Values and Ethics Code:

A professional and non-partisan federal public sector is integral to our democracy….

Public servants shall uphold the Canadian parliamentary democracy and its institutions by: 1.1 Respecting the rule of law and carrying out their duties in accordance with legislation, policies and directives in a non-partisan and impartial manner.

…if public servants have information that could indicate a serious breach of this Code they can bring this matter, in confidence and without fear of reprisal, to the attention of their immediate supervisor, their senior officer for disclosure or the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.

This matter, for what it is worth, should be brought to the attention of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner without delay. But (and this omission is deliberate) there is no formal role for the unions at all in this process. It’s up to individuals to come forward. There is no guarantee this will happen. And there is no guarantee that the PSIC will act on a complaint in any case—in fact, as of this writing, the office is vacant.

Harper’s vulgar instrumentalism proceeds apace. And, the need unforeseen in Canadian history, there appear to be no robust checks and balances in place to stop him.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on November 22, 2014 1:31 PM.

Police impunity: not just Ferguson was the previous entry in this blog.

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