|Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government has stamped all information related to sexual dysfunction in the Canadian military as a cabinet secret. (Fred Thornhill/Reuters|
And there are other subjects the federal Conservatives don't want to talk about: Why their planned $2-billion purchase of armoured vehicles was cancelled, for instance. Or how Canada feels about the proliferation of chemical weapons. Or what Transport Canada thought about rail safety criticism from the auditor general.
Those are just a few subjects on a growing list of seemingly routine reports, memos and documents caught up in an enhanced dragnet of so-called cabinet confidences — imposed, The Canadian Press has learned, by way of a stealthy Treasury Board directive in the summer of 2013.
That quiet policy change required bureaucrats to ask departmental lawyers to decide what constitutes a secret, a decision that used to be made by the Privy Council Office, which oversees cabinet matters.
PCO — as it's known — is asked for guidance in "complex cases only."
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