Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he’ll no longer give news conferences for the national media, after a dispute led a number of journalists to walk away from an event when he refused to take their questions.
Speaking to A-Channel in London, Ont., Harper said “unfortunately the press gallery has taken the view they are going to be the opposition to the government.”
“They don’t ask questions at my press conferences now. We’ll just take the message out on the road. There’s lots of media who do want to ask questions and hear what the government is doing.”
Since becoming prime minister in January, Harper has had a testy relationship with the national media in Ottawa. His staff has tried to manage news conferences by saying they will decide which reporters get to ask questions.
The press gallery has refused to play by those rules. “We can’t accept that the Prime Minister’s Office would decide who gets to ask questions,” Yves Malo, a TVA reporter and president of the press gallery, told CP on Tuesday. “Does that mean that when there’s a crisis they’ll only call upon journalists they expect softball questions from?”
On Tuesday about two dozen Ottawa reporters walked out on a Harper event when he refused to take their questions.
That led Harper to say that from now on he will speak only to local media.
The CBC says it will continue to cover the prime minister. “If the prime minister chooses to take questions we will be there to ask them,” said Ottawa managing editor George Hoff. “We will have a journalist there to ask questions,” he said.
Harper’s supporters said Wednesday they believed the conflict is being blown out of proportion.
“I think this will get sorted out over time,” Conservative Geoff Norquay said during an interview on Politics on CBC Newsworld.
“I think both sides have an interest in sorting it out and I think they will over time. The reality is that every new government wants to keep a tight lid on its messages and this one in particular because it had the previous example of Mr. Martin who had so many priorities that they all turned to mush in the minds of the Canadian people. And that’s why this government is tightly focused on its messages,” he said.
Please feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media or mail us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use,” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
ShareAlike Statement: https://dumpharper.wordpress.com/sharealike/