The NACI is a good example of the risks of having unmediated scientific advice thrown into the public domain.
"Hey government: tell us what the scientists are telling you! What are you hiding?!"

"No, not like that."
A minister's or senior bureaucrat's weighing of risks and costs/benefits may be different than those of scientists who are looking at the question more narrowly.

This is normal, not shocking, and how government works.
This is another area where public health isn't all that different from other areas of governing.

For instance, a military's assessment of threat and risk may not end up being fully embraced by ministers.
Expert: "All else being equal, we should do X."

Ministers: "Well, all else is not at all equal, so we're going to go with a modified X."
Finally, there are many benefits to having public health officials and bodies like the NACI speak directly to people.

We've seen that this is important for trust, understanding, and seeing where govt's failed.
But it's *okay* to acknowledge that there are also trade-offs, such as different advising authorities being blamed for decisions they didn't make, or in this case, having authorities seemingly telling people different things.
And yes, I'm a Gen Xer who got a first dose of AZ.

Am I worried about the risks? A little, I guess. In the same way I worry about the public health warnings around alcohol and cancer, for example.
Anyway. Enough of the serious. Let's get back to the silly:

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More from @LagassePhilippe

2 May
Universities often faceplant in these areas because they overestimate their ability to deftly manage external pressures without having guiding principles in place.
Too often, there's an institutional hubris that presupposes we'll know which external pressures are legitimate and well-intentioned versus which are suspect and nefarious.
There's also a belief that it's possible to please everyone or at least address various concerns satisfactorily.
Read 4 tweets
9 Mar
Hello people of Canada. A quick thread on 'kicking the monarchy out' as per @ShreeParadkar's column this morning: thestar.com/opinion/star-c…
A first thing to note is that we're a constitutional monarchy in the English tradition, which means that we use the concept of the "Crown" to do a bunch of work in our system of government.

Fully kicking the monarchy out would mean tackling that.

lagassep.com/2013/07/28/the…
Among other things, we'd need to personify the state through another office and locate sovereign authority in another entity.

Not a big deal per se, but it can get complex when you add provinces and Indigenous considerations into the mix.
Read 9 tweets
9 Mar
Although the UK does not have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Rupert Murdoch's appearances before parliamentary committees in light of the phone hacking scandal should be considered when reading the arguments outlined here. nationalpost.com/opinion/we-cha…
Committee hearing and inquiries are typically focused on the executive. But they're not limited to the government.
I'd also be pretty wary of the idea that the courts will use the Charter to prevent committees from summoning witnesses or holding inquiries on matters deemed to be in the public interest.
Read 8 tweets
7 Mar
In light of provincial budget cuts, polls about left-wing bias in academis, and free speech debates, etc, etc, I started reading "Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education" by @marksjo1

press.princeton.edu/books/hardcove…
He makes an important point that conservatives shouldnt confuse the progressive corporate branding that university administrators trumpet with what actually goes on day to day on campuses.
The flipside, though, is that said branding may make life thougher for public universities than it needs to be under conservative provincial govts.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
Quick thread on who directs, and could direct, the Canadian military in times of constitutional crisis.
Normally, the military is under the management and direction of the Minister of National Defence, as per section 4 of the National Defence Act.

Cabinet can also issue directions to the military, through a combination of constitutional convention, prerogative, and statute.
I use the word 'directions' purposefully here, since neither the MND, nor Cabinet normally issues orders under the chain of command.

As per 18(1) and 18(2) of the National Defence Act, the control and administration of the CAF is exercised via the Chief of the Defence Act.
Read 28 tweets

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