Lift the Gag Order on Department of Natural Resources Staff

24 MARCH 2014

Green Party Leader David Coon wants Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud to lift the gag order that is preventing his scientific and technical staff from speaking to the media. Coon wants biologists and foresters working for the Department of Natural Resources to be able to speak publicly about the government's new forest strategy, without fear of retribution.

"The staff at the Department of Natural Resources are public servants, and they have a duty to provide their expertise to people of this province for whom they work. This government is holding their expertise hostage. It's not right," said Green Party leader David Coon.

Scientists working in the forest faculties of the province's universities have been adamant there is no way the Alward government's strategy to increase the allowable cut on Crown land by 21% can be sustainable. Government ministers have insisted that Department of Natural Resources staff think otherwise, but refuse to make them available to the media.

The Green Party will bring forward legislation, following the September election, to ensure public servants can speak publicly about their work without fear of reprisal from their superiors.