This is a guest post by Mike De Souza. It originally appeared on mikedesouza.com and is republished here with permission.
Ten days ago, I asked Environment Canada whether any of its scientists would be available for interviews about their research.
The department hasn’t yet answered this question along with others.
The scientists who did the research from Environment Canada were previously discouraged from talking about their work at a science conference in 2011, according to documents released through access to information legislation.
Those documents included a script that suggested they downplay human health impacts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a toxin that can originate from smokestacks in oilsands facilities or other industrial development, by comparing it to food fit for consumption.
“If pressed on human health (say that) these (oilsands) substances are also found in BBQ’ed steak,” said the script, which was shared with the offices of former natural resources minister Joe Oliver – now the finance minister – and former environment minister Peter Kent, who is still sitting as a Conservative MP.