links for 2011-03-14

  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper inflamed the Chalk River isotope crisis by calling Canada's nuclear safety watchdog a "Liberal-appointee," says a government document. Harper's remarks turned a few days of bad press into a full-blown saga akin to the Mulroney-Schreiber affair…The 52-year-old reactor was closed for a few days in November 2007 for routine maintenance. During that time, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission discovered emergency backup power wasn't connected to two pumps which prevent a meltdown.

    The shutdown lasted nearly a month until Parliament voted to bypass the regulator's order.

    The prime minister insisted there was no risk of a nuclear accident.

  • The federal government has called in the RCMP to investigate political interference by a Conservative staffer in an access-to-information request.

    Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose has asked the Mounties to probe the actions of Sebastien Togneri, who worked for Christian Paradis when he was minister of the department.

    In July 2009, Togneri demanded that Public Works officials "unrelease" a document that was about to be sent to The Canadian Press, and then to censor it heavily. The document was an annual report on how well the department manages its real-estate portfolio