BREAKING: Federal government unmuzzles scientists

By Charles Mandel, National Observer, 6 Nov 2015

Ottawa is unmuzzling the scientists.

Alain Vezina, regional director of science for the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, confirmed Friday morning that scientists at the institute are allowed to openly speak to media.

Vezina held a meeting this morning to brief staff on the change.

He told National Observer that the announcement was communicated to him from the assistant deputy minister of science at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (known by its old acronym for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO).

“I think it’s positive,” Vezina said. “I think we still need to work out the details. It’s very new.

"Basically what I told the staff is if you’re contacted directly by the media, let’s say you’re at a conference or a workshop, the media is there. You can talk directly. You don’t have to say, ‘I don’t have permission to speak.’

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