Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Double Standards On The Hill

I can appreciate that any employer wants to protect its confidentiality, however what the Harper Government is imposing on employees of MPs is another thing altogether.

Most people sign some kind of non-disclosure agreement with their employers.  These are not usually any big deal.  They usually contain some kind of statement that more or less says "thou shalt not give away company secrets". 

What they don't do is attempt to impose life-long bans.  In fact, doing so would be considered illegal under both our constitution and labour laws.  

So ... what makes it "reasonable" for the Harper Government to slide a clause like this into a confidentiality agreement:

Yes, Government Employees are often subject to the Official Secrets Act, especially if they have access to government secrets such as military intelligence documents.  Someone working in the employ of an MP may well have access to sensitive information.  However, imposing a lifetime gag order on them seems unnecessary.  Especially when MPs are not subject to similar restrictions.

But, then again, the Harper Government is no ordinary government in Canadian experience.  The Harper Government has gone to lengths to invade the private lives of Canadian citizens that are unprecedented, and at the same time a cloak of secrecy has descended over Ottawa since 2006. 

Only a government with a serious authoritarian streak would view this as an appropriate act.

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