"Tories defend arrest in leak case"
"The government has been highly criticized for its environmental policies and instead of strengthening them, it has gone on a witch-hunt," said Andrew Dumbrille, a spokesman for Climate Action Network, a coalition of environmental groups.
Patty Ducharme, national executive vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said the official's arrest was the first time she had ever heard of a public servant in Canada being escorted out of the workplace in handcuffs.
"It's a scary thing to stand up to government as a government employee and we all know that sometimes the government is wrong," Ms. Ducharme said. "I would say that it's definitely an attempt by the Conservative government to scare its employees, to scare them into submission."
However, NDP environment critic Nathan Cullen called the arrest a "disturbing new tactic in the Conservatives' arsenal in fighting against a clean environment." He accused the government of arresting a whistleblower with "the audacity to tell the Canadian people the truth about the policy that is disastrous for this country."
To have officers publicly arrest the man, put him in handcuffs, was clearly a show of intimidation. John Baird offers this pathetic rationale:
"I don't think that there's any suggestion that this was involving a whistleblower, if someone on an unauthorized basis leaked some sensitive information anonymously," Mr. Baird told reporters.
"Sensitive" information? Was this an issue of national security? The only way to interject the word sensitive is in describing the Tory posture when it comes to message control. These aren't military secrets, and while you can understand the desire to stop leaks, this case hardly rises to the level of anything particularly serious. What is really troublesome, the incompetence of a department that accidentially faxes copies of the regulations early to the Liberal Party.
The Conservatives are sending a message alright- we are paranoid and heavy handed. In my mind, the only arrest that should be made as it relates to the Green Plan, John Baird for fraud :)