[Jay Hill, amiable defender of the Cons 2007 manual on disrupting committees, once "lavished praise on the committee chairs who caused disruptions and admonished those who prefer to lead through consensus".]
"The Conservative cabinet has decided to ban its political staffers from appearing as witnesses before committees ....That would be the same Dimitri Soudas whose appearance before the House of Commons ethics committee was sadly pre-empted last Tuesday by a fire alarm bell going off just moments before he was due to testify about the government's crap handling of Access to Information requests.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, explained the new policy Sunday during an appearance on CTV’s Question Period.
“Ministers are the ones who are accountable and answer to Parliament,” said Mr. Soudas"
Yes, it's only the ministers who are accountable to Parliament, but as Accidental Deliberations points out:
"The Cons' new policy is that all committee questions must be directed toward the lone group of people who can't be subpoenaed to testify."Well, Steve has never been overly fond of either Parliament or its committees, has he?
We will of course still be hearing from government staffers through the Cons' new hasbara program for Facebook and message boards :
Foreign Affairs employees "recently trained in online posting ..."
"The next time you post an opinion in an online forum or a Facebook group message board, don't be surprised if you get a rebuttal from a federal employee.
The government is looking for ways to monitor online chatter about political issues and correct what it perceives as misinformation.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has paid [Social Media Group] $75,000 "to monitor social activity and help identify ... areas where misinformation is being presented and repeated as fact," Simone MacAndrew, a department spokesperson, said in an email.
The firm alerts the government to questionable online comments and then employees in Foreign Affairs or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, who have recently been trained in online posting, point the authors to information the government considers more accurate."
Ho boy. Are they all gonna be called Bob from Burnaby or will we have to figure who the bots are for ourselves? Bot from Burnaby - coming soon to a Facebook page near you.
h/t Waterbaby by email