Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why Do Our Governments Treat Us Like Mushrooms?

Mark Anielski is making headlines in Nova Scotia these days.  Seems like more than one government in Canada is afraid of the truth - especially when it comes to problem gambling.  Anielski did a study for the previous Conservative government in Nova Scotia but now the NDP government is trying to bury it. 

The media in Nova Scotia is all over the story and Mark recently published an op-ed in The Chronicle Herald in Halifax explaining some of the issues around VLTs and problem gambling.  It is a problem everywhere but is seems regardless of the political stripe or the province, governments are as addicted to gamling as some of it most vulnerable citizens.  What is disturbing is the political attitude that tries to hide facts from the public.  It undermines public confidence in government and deomcracy.

Mark says, amongst other things: "The study, commissioned by the previous Conservative government, had two objectives: to establish a baseline analysis of a range of social and economic impacts that can be attributed to gambling in Nova Scotia, and to present an objective snapshot of those impacts."

There are currently similar studies on problem gambling being done in Alberta and Ontario.  We can only hope they learn from the ham-handed political, governance and PR mistakes of the NDP in Nova Scotia and release the study results publicly.  If they have a problem with the reports then take issue based on facts don't hide and stifle information that citizens need to evaluate what kind of society they want.

If you want to see yet another example of a government lacking integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency here it is.