In an article published in the Globe and Mail, the Canadian Press has reported that a recent budget cut in the federal Justice Department represents about 20 per cent of research spending, and means the loss of eight experienced legal researchers.
The article is based on the contents of an internal report prepared for deputy minister William Pentney, which The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act.
The result is a diminished research capacity, which now must be better controlled from the top to ensure it supports the government policies, says the report.
“The review confirmed that there have been examples of work that was not aligned with government or departmental priorities,” says the October 2013 document ….
A spokeswoman for the department who was contacted by The Canadian Press for comment acknowledged that there is a “continued refinement of (research) work plans to focus on government and ministerial priorities”, but stated that departmental researchers will be free to reach any conclusions.
The Canadian Press article also states that:
The department has also reduced its subscriptions to print publications and legal databases, including QuickLaw, for savings of about $1.6 million a year starting April this year.