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2013 01 13
Reality check: Ashley Smith – the Conservative silence goes on

Documents recently released via Access to Information show that Conservatives chose silence over openness when it came to Ashley Smith, the young woman who died while in custody at a federal detention centre.

The documents show that how the office of Public Safety minister Vic Toews gutted the original communications plan, recommended by department communications staff. Eliminated was a proactive approach that would give answers to media questions, as was initially suggested. Worse yet, the Minister’s office approved version explicitly stated that “no on camera interview will take place” – a point absent from the initial version.

What was approved? A morale boosting memo.

Instead of answering legitimate questions about the Ashley Smith case, Conservatives decided to silence public servants and hide from accountability.

Canadians deserve better.

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Thomas Mulcair