The Liberal government has been expanding the number of public servants subject to lifetime gag orders, placing them under threat of hefty prison sentences should they spill any secrets before they die.
Since December, the Privy Council Office has designated at least 94 individuals, some of whom no longer work for the federal government, as “persons permanently bound to secrecy” or PPBS — a binding legal order intended to enforce their silence.
The group all had access to confidential, security-related information while working at the Privy Council Office or the Prime Minister’s Office, and some were served with official notice of the gag order after they had left their jobs.
Each of them was individually identified by their boss or former boss as knowing secrets about national security, and therefore requiring a gag order that is retroactive — preventing them from talking about their work before the gag order was issued.
Each was also presented with a three-page notice to sign and return, many using a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope that was enclosed.