If Harper wants to be PM, job comes with questions from journalists: Mulcair - Macleans.ca

If Harper wants to be PM, job comes with questions from journalists: Mulcair


EDMONTON – Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says if Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to lead a modern democracy, he needs to realize that includes taking hard questions.

Mulcair, speaking to reporters in Edmonton, was reacting to a news report that the Prime Minister’s Office was ready this week to ban from the PM’s plane a CTV reporter who earlier asked a question of Harper at a no-questions event.

The issue became a fight between Harper’s office and the news media over who gets to decide which journalists cover the prime minister, but the PMO made clear Wednesday that no one is banned.

Mulcair says the issue reflects an unwillingness by Harper to face critical questions, and he says it’s an attitude that has filtered down throughout government.

He said Harper only showed up five times in the last five weeks of Parliament.

He says Harper needs to learn that connecting with Canadians has to be more than just photo-ops.

“Stephen Harper wants to be the prime minister of a G-8 country, to manage one of the most complex governments and economies in the world, and yet he wants to do it without talking to the public, without talking to journalists, and indeed without talking to Parliamentarians,” said Mulcair.

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If Harper wants to be PM, job comes with questions from journalists: Mulcair

  1. At last someone calls out the serial coward that claims to be our PM.

  2. Mr. Harper actually ‘is’ prime minister. Does that fact still come as a shock to much of the mainstream media? The Conservatives, I believe, long ago realized they would never get fair treatment from most Canadian journalists and they have acted on that belief. They manage information on their own terms. Social media means they can bypass the conventional press and get their messages heard. For years, the opposition, the press, most of academia and professional public servants have all cast the Conservative government as illegitimate. The Tories refuse to play a game with that fundamental rule. They play their own game and so far they have been winning. Even with a friendly media to transmit their messages, the opposition has lost to the Conservatives. Why would Mr. Harper abandon a winning strategy?