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It’s costing the federal government more than $22,000 to dispose of books and research material from Fisheries and Oceans scientific libraries across the country, according to new documents.
The information comes from the office of Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea. It was prompted by a request from Liberal MP Lawrence MacAulay last October, after reports surfaced that seven Fisheries and Oceans libraries were being closed and the materials destroyed.
“These numbers prove it that was a destructive process,” said MacAulay in an interview with CBC News.
Fisheries and Oceans is closing seven of its 11 libraries by 2015. It’s hoping to save more than $443,000 in 2014-15 by consolidating its collections into four remaining libraries.
Shea told CBC News in a statement Jan. 6 that all copyrighted material has been digitized and the rest of the collection will be soon. The government says that putting material online is a more efficient way of handling it.
But documents from her office show there’s no way of really knowing that is happening.
“The Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ systems do not enable us to determine the number of items digitized by location and collection,” says the response by the minister’s office to MacAulay’s inquiry.
The documents also that show the department had to figure out what to do with 242,207 books and research documents from the libraries being closed. It kept 158,140 items and offered the remaining 84,067 to libraries outside the federal government.
Shea’s office told CBC that the books were also “offered to the general public and recycled in a ‘green fashion’ if there were no takers.”
The fate of thousands of books appears to be “unknown,” although the documents’ numbers show 160 items from the Maurice Lamontagne Library in Mont Jolie, Que., were “discarded.” A Radio-Canada story in June about the library showed piles of volumes in dumpsters.
And the numbers prove a lot more material was tossed out. The bill to discard material from four of the seven libraries totals $22,816.76.
MacAulay said there’s no proof it saved any money.
“When these seven libraries were in place there was information that was very important to the fishing industry, and now they’re gone,” he said.
Fisheries and Oceans is just one of the 14 federal departments, including Health Canada and Environment Canada, that have been shutting physical libraries and digitizing or consolidating the material into closed central book vaults.
‘Care and control’
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May thinks that it may illegal.
“These materials are not the property of any government of the day to dispose of casually,” said May in an interview with CBC News. “The government or the department is not allowed to dispose of them willy-nilly.”
May said the handling of library material contravenes sections of the Library and Archives Canada Act. Section 16 of the act says that “all publications that have become surplus to the requirements of any government institution shall be placed in the care and control of the Librarian and Archivist.”
Section 12 points out publications can’t be disposed of without the “written consent of the Librarian or Archivist.”
“The purpose of the act is to stop what has happened here,” said May. “Material of value to Canada has been cast to the four winds and that violates the act.”
May said she talked to Hervé Déry, the interim librarian and archivist of Canada, and it’s clear to her the rules weren’t followed.
But a spokesman from Library and Archives Canada said the act allows for departments to throw out surplus research and books, as long as it’s done properly and valuable material is kept.
“LAC works closely with departments and provides them with guidelines and other resources to ensure that these mandatory processes are understood and followed,” wrote Richard Provencher in a statement.
“LAC has had these discussions with all of the closing departmental libraries that have been mentioned in recent media reports.”
But May isn’t convinced and is considered legal options, including a complaint to the RCMP.
Japan approves new state secrecy bill to combat leaks
The lower house of the Japanese parliament has approved a state secrecy bill that imposes stiffer penalties on civil servants who leak secrets and journalists who try to obtain them.
The move had been criticised by reporters and freedom of speech campaigners as a heavy-handed effort to suppress press freedom.
But the government says the move is needed for national security reasons.
The bill now goes to the upper house, where it is also likely to be passed.
Critics say the new law could allow the government to withhold more information and ultimately undermine Japan’s democracy.
Security informationThe bill was approved by the lower house – the more powerful of the two chambers in the Japanese parliament – after it was delayed following hours of protests by opposition lawmakers.
The bill’s supporters in the government confidently expect it to be approved by the upper house next month.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party says the law is needed to encourage the US and other allies to share national security information with Japan.
Correspondents say that it is part of Mr Abe’s efforts to strengthen his country’s role in global security.
“This law is designed to protect the safety of the people,” Mr Abe said, promising that people’s concerns about the bill would be addressed through further parliamentary debate.
The bill allows heads of ministries and agencies indefinitely to make secret 23 types of information related to defence, diplomacy, counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism.
Under the law, public servants or others cleared for access to state secrets could be jailed for up to 10 years for leaking information.
Journalists and others in the private sector convicted of encouraging such leaks could get up to five years in jail if they use “grossly inappropriate” means to solicit the information.
Opponents of the legislation say the new rules fail to address basic concerns on civil liberties and the public’s right to know.
They say that the regulations will adversely affect freedom of information and block critical reporting of the government.
Campaigners have also warned that reporting on a wide range of sensitive issues will be affected by the changes, which will also have a dampening impact on whistleblowers.
The Japanese move has been welcomed by the US, which wants a stronger Japan to offset China’s military rise.
But correspondents say it has also raised fears that Japan could be edging back toward its militaristic past, when free speech was severely restrained.
Some experts say that the new legislation eases the way for Mr Abe’s campaign to revise Japan’s US-drafted pacifist constitution.
Just a few weeks ago, the Icelandic government started threatening to use the European ‘template’ of removing guarantees on large deposits (though maintaining its capital controls) indirectly pressuring the wealthy to spend (for fear of haircuts). However, the capital controls have backfired as Bloomberg notes, Iceland’s private sector is running out of cash to repay its foreign currency debt, according to the nation’s central bank. The Prime Minister has said that the FX shortfall – exacerbated by his own policy restricting the selling of Krona – is “a matter of huge concern.” The government’s biggest challenge is to allow capital to flow freely without triggering a krona sell-off that would cause Iceland’s foreign debt to spike and undermine the nation’s economic recovery.
The yield on Iceland’s 5.875 percent dollar $1 billion bond due May 2022 has soared this year to as high as 5.71 percent last month from a low in May of 3.81 percent. Its spread to the U.S. Treasury curve widened to around 280 basis points yesterday from a May 28 low of around 180 basis points…
- Icelanders Run Out of Cash to Repay Foreign Debts: Nordic Credit – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Iceland’s private sector running out of cash to repay debts (irishtimes.com)
- Iceland Continues To Rise Above Rothschild NWO Banking Scheme: Hungary & Russia Continues Shutdown On Rothschild! (politicalvelcraft.org)
Cameron’s claim fracking will lower gas prices is baseless, says Lord Stern | Environment | theguardian.com
- Greenpeace protesters ‘frack’ Lancashire council hall (theguardian.com)
- Respected economist Lord Stern dismisses David Cameron’s claims that a UK fracking boom can bring down price of gas (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Warmist economist Lord Stern denies supply-and-demand: Rejects as ‘baseless’ notion of fracking reducing natural gas price (junkscience.com)
- PETITION TO STOP FRACKING!! – We can stop fracking (streetdemocracy.wordpress.com)
- Abbott Signals Free-Market Approach to Boost Manufacturing – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Abbott matches Labor indigenous pledge (bigpondnews.com)
- Abbott pledges help to regions (news.smh.com.au)
- Abbott Rejects Surplus Date Commitment Ahead of Australia Ballot – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Abbott rebukes Rudd on Syria (smh.com.au)
NSA leaks: David Cameron’s response is intimidation, says world press body | Media | theguardian.com
- NSA files: Labour wants PM’s role in destruction of leaked files investigated | World news | theguardian.com (theguardian.com)
- David Cameron goes topless on Polzeath beach in Cornwall (telegraph.co.uk)
- David Cameron cuts short holiday to discuss potential military action over Syria (express.co.uk)
- Jeremy Heywood, Uncivil ‘Servant’, Behind Attack on Journalists in the UK (techrights.org)
- David Cameron ‘sanctioned’ destruction of Guardian computer equipment (telegraph.co.uk)
- Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker to Resign Over Spy Scandal; Obama Should Do the Same (financialsurvivalnetwork.com)
- Luxembourg’s PM quits over spy scandal (euronews.com)
- Luxembourg PM to step down after bugging and corruption claims (politics.ie)
- Czech prime minister steps down amid scandal (cbc.ca)
- Czech PM to step down over scandal (rinf.com)
- Czech PM resigns amid spying and corruption scandal (telegraph.co.uk)
- UPDATE 1-Czech coalition could go on without PM Necas -partner (xe.com)
- UPDATE 2-Czech PM faces showdown as coalition partners waver (xe.com)
- Czech PM Quits in Corruption Scandal Aftermath (novinite.com)
- Czech PM Petr Necas To Resign On Monday (eurasiareview.com)