One bright spot in BP oil spill - Washington freedom of information law works
There's not much good news coming from the accident on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig and the deadly oil leak choking the Gulf and spreading by the hour. However, journalists in Canada can only look with envy at how quickly the New York Times was able to access BP documents through the the Freedom of Information Act.
In the subsequent story, reporter Ian Urbina wa able to show BP had serious safety concerns on the rig before the accident and that problems included loss of "well control." BP execs ignored its own internal reports about concerns that occurred far earlier than Congress had been led to believe by the company.
In Canada, requests most often turn into weeks, months, even years, of delay. Moreover - and more envy here - Congress said no a few weeks ago, when BP tried to turn off the underwater video feed showing the spewing oil. Hard to imagine Canadian politicians showing similar grit - although one can always hope.