Access to Information (ATI) document reveals RSC Expert Panel Review is far from Independent.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 6.32.32 PMJuly 10, 2013.  I have recently obtained an ATI document consisting of 153 pages regarding the agreement between Health Canada and the Royal Society of Canada to review Safety Code 6.

In such documents some of the information is blacked out as shown below. Despite this the ATI is quite revealing.

For example, on March 21, 2012,  Hilary Geller, ADM, HECSB sent a Memorandum to the Minister of Health in which the following appeared (highlighted words are mine):

FOI page 29

This makes it appear as though the process will indeed be independent. However, if the process is independent, (i.e. not dependent on Health Canada) then:

(1)  Why did Health Canada recommend who should be on the panel?  NOTE:  the actual recommendations are blacked out.

(2)  Why did Health Canada need to approve appointments made by RSC?  and

(3) Why did Health Canada provide the scientific documents that are to be reviewed by this “independent” Expert Panel?

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 7.59.50 PM

This process is far from independent and is deeply flawed.  It makes a mockery of independent scholarly reviews.  It demonstrates–at the best–that the RSC has been duped by Health Canada or–at the worst–that the RSC has colluded with HC.  Neither is acceptable.

The link to the ATI document is below:

 ATIP is authorized to redact irrelevant information in documents where that information would involve processing delays.