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RMOW wins 'Code of Silence' award

National award recognizes lack of transparency in government or publicly funded agencies

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The Resort Municipality of Whistler has found itself on the winning end of some unflattering national recognition after being presented with the Code of Silence award by the Canadian Association of Journalists this weekend at its annual conference.

Said CAJ president Hugo Rodrigues in a news release announcing the award: "That a municipality, which is supposed to be Canadians' most-accessible level of government, would use these message-control tactics to spin, obfuscate and defer its responsibility to be open, transparent and accountable flies in the face of what its ratepayers expect and deserve."

Whistler wasn't the only government body accused by the CAJ of being too secretive. The Library and Archives Canada was nominated for the award because the staff members aren't allowed to speak at conventions.

The CAJ also noted that scientists working for the federal government are muzzled.

The Municipality of Central Huron was noted for discussing a journalists' work in a private meeting regarding her potential exclusion from council meetings.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Humber River Hospital, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada Revenue Agency, and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. were also nominated for the 2013 award that was ultimately given to the RMOW.

The association has been giving out the award for the last 13 years.

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