"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Lockdown mode

Minister Kennedy, just a couple weeks ago, also noted the Provincial Government’s ongoing commitment to enhanced accountability and transparency for all government departments and public agencies.

Go ahead, laugh; get it out your system. You might as well do that as have any other emotional reaction.

Friday before last, a public agency — NALCO(R), a Crown corporation — released its registration documents for the infeed/outstarve which would, if built, transmit electricity from the so-called Lower Churchill project, if built, to Newfoundland.

The rather large .pdf files are well-hidden behind monumentally ugly URLS which don’t respond well or predictably to tinyURL treatment or hyperlinking. You can try this link, or, if that doesn't work for you, go here:
and follow the link to:

Environmental Assessment Initiated for Labrador-Island Transmission Link (January 30, 2009)
then to “a project description”, with links to the .pdf files at bottom.

Confused yet?

It gets confusinger. You will notice, in some versions of your .pdf reader a little “lock” symbol. This tells you that the file is locked. Or, you may notice the lockdown when you try to clip and past text, images, or page-images, as is a perfectly reasonable human response to a regulatory filing document made by a government-owned corporation.

Acrobat tells you the document has the following settings:

(Mitigating factor: at least, unlike the Gazettes over at the Queen’s Printer, they deign to let you print the thing.)

And why, pray tell, is the document locked down?

The PDF is secured to ensure the original integrity of the document,” is the official answer.

“Integrity”? Is NALCO(R) asserting moral rights?

The new-found interest in documentary integrity is, well, new found: the .pdf documentation [link] for the so-called Lower Churchill power station itself is clippable and pastable to your heart’s content, or your heart’s desire, or your soldier’s pond.

The old-found desire of the Provincial Government, including, it would seem, the Ministry of Electricity, to minimize the flow, accessibility, and utility of information, all the while professing a “commitment to enhanced accountability and transparency for all government departments and public agencies”, is, yet again, par for the course.


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