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Stephen Harper, Nov. 21, 2009. We believe strongly that Canadians’ freedom is enhanced when journalists are free to pursue the truth, to shine light into dark corners and assist the process of holding government’s accountable.

CBC, today. Harper flew back from Switzerland today.  While in the air his office announced the appointment of five new Senators and the Supreme Court ruled he has the power to decide to ask if Omar Khadr could be repatriated. What does Harper have to say about these developments? Nothing. Journalists travelling with Harper are being kept on the plane to ensure the Prime Minister doesn’t face any questions in his short jaunt from the bottom of the staircase to his waiting limousine.




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  1. Right up there with:

    Kory Teneycke, 2008: "Ministers are available in Question Period to answer questions of the elected opposition, that is the system that we have…If media have additional questions from time to time the primary way by which ministers are held to account is via an elected opposition through the House of Commons.”

    These guys will say anything, do anything, drop any principle, break any promise if there is the slimest partisan advantage to it.

    • Kory is out of control. He just went on CTV Power Play and called Omar Khadr "a little terrorist".

      Slightly actionable, isn't it, when Omar hasn't even had a trial yet? Khadr's Canadian lawyers should be issuing him some documents.

      • Why, who did Omar Khadr pie now?

      • the best part is he did it appearing opposite of Khadr's Canadian lawyers.

        they went on to so say that Khadr and his team never refute the charge, they just hedge.

        hopefully the paper work is being completed tonight.

      • He's just pre-emptively shutting up Patels, don't worry about it. :)

  2. He doesn't look so clever once you figure out he's a woosie.

  3. I suppose the Prime Minister is just whisking off to find those journalists some CPC-branded flashlights.

    • What, the water bottles weren't good enough for the ingrates?

  4. If the reason the Ottawa press corp wanted to speak to Harper was in pursuit of the truth, then there would be a lot more communication between the two. But Harper is well aware that the Wherrys and the Solomons of the Ottawa press have their own motives.

    • Ah, so in theory journalists should be free to pursue the truth unencumbered, but since the government has already unilaterally determined that that's not what their interested in, it's no big deal to encumber them a bit.

    • I`m sorry I don`t have more time to explain to you why Harper knows that the pursuit of truth and the motives of the Ottawa press are two vastly different things but I think you guys as well as most Canadians know that . Suffice to say Harper will continue to get the message out and you guys will continue to complain that the message should be filtered through your people.

      • And I'm sure you'd have said the same thing if Chretien had decided to prorogue during the Sponsorship scandal, right?

        • I must have missed something, Have you heard reports that our present gov`t are involved in siphoning public money back to themselves like the Chretien gov`t you mentioned ?

          • So.. reporting against liberals = true fact.

            reporting against conservatives = gotcha journalism.

            I think I understand. It's a convenient mindset.. means you don't ever have to think.
            Perhaps that's for the best, in your case.

        • And I'm sure you'd have said the same thing if Chretien had decided to prorogue during the Sponsorship scandal, and prevented the media and Parliament from questioning him on that, right?

          He did prorogue during the sponsorship scandal. Twice. Bu I doubt he had to expend much effort to prevent the media from questioning him about it.

  5. I hope the Wherrys and the Solomons of the world take this in the manner intended:

    If you give a dog a tasty bone to chew on, he'll choose that – and not your shoes.

  6. So on the day when his American counterpart wades into the lion's den and takes unscripted questions from his opponents, Stephen Harper decides to hide from the barest levels of accountability. Mr Harper, you're making it increasingly difficult for us Canadians to look down our noses on the Yanks!

    Has any else noticed than when his back is to the wall Harper really starts resembling Mike Harris?

    • I wish he would start resembling Mike Harris. Then at least we'd be getting somewhere: Harris always told you what he thought, meant what he said, tried to follow through on the things he said he would do.

    • So on the day when his American counterpart does something Harper has regularly done hundreds of times in the past, Stephen Harper decides to postpone doing it again for a few weeks.

  7. No, no, no.. you misunderstood. He wasn't talking about holding this government accountable. He means all the other governments.

    You see, as long as Canadians are looking at places like China, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc, then they'll see how enhanced their freedoms are under Harper in comparison.

  8. When you look up the word "hypocrite" in the dictionary, there is now a picture of Stephen Harper.

  9. Journalists should take a vow not to give any politician press UNLESS they can ask questions. These recent "Photo-Op only" farces from the PMO are an affront to our free press, which has a duty to inform the citizens, not serve as the PR machine for politicians.

  10. Maybe I should've been clearer – When Harper's back is to the wall he seems to take on Harris' *worst* traits – he becomes combative and dismissive of competing viewpoints.

    cheers

  11. Unfortunately, the Press has realized it has no duty except to the shareholders, which it serves by gaining advertising and subscription dollars; not by holding government accountable.

  12. Okay, Harper's officially a creep.

  13. Wherry please stop your whining. Harper already had to give up a big chuck of his prorogation vacation to the Davos thing and saving the woman and children of the world. Like all Canadians, he now needs some alone time to prepare to watch the Olympics.

  14. I believe he's actually participating in the "poll as luge" event.

    • I haven't heard of that one.. but then again, I tend not to follow the special olympics.

      • He could use all the 10percenters he's sent out over the past year to paper Whistler and the rest of the mountains. Don't dare challenge him on having to find five conservative-oids who could mime thought, read talking points convincingly, and sit on their asses with effort.
        Guess he thought no one was going to ask him where he stayed last night…

        • Funny, I heard he was heading to Quebec City for a shift as Bonhomme de neige.

  15. Where is it written that journalists must cover the PM's foreign trips, or indeed anything he says and does? If he's not interested in the media, cover something else. If it's a journalist's public duty to cover the PM instead of, say, Jay Leno, it's also a journalist's duty to refrain from covering him when he treats the media with contempt.

    • Change your last word to invisibility and you are brilliant.

      • Interesting post of Akin's, and I concur with your high opinion of him. But I still don't get why members of the media feel they're beholden to "access." Just stop covering him. Nobody really cares about this stuff except us political junkies. Politicians crave publicity, they can't live without it. If the media just decided they were through with Harper, or with any politician who bullied them like this, they could shuck off their shackles. We must have the most docile media of any free society, apart from the Americans of course.

        • Well said. Our docile media prefers irony to substance. Compared to other countries, our media is really quite lazy.

        • Good point. Perhaps members of the media who would be denied acces to the PM's photo ops for trying to ask questions could spend their new free time writing more articles about our elected government's refusal to answer questions. That information would be of far more use to the Canadian public than a photo of Harper and Clinton shaking hands.

    • I fear that (some) journalists have no choice but to follow the PM around – for better or worse, what he says and does is news. And, if one news organization doesn't report on Harper's doings, it risks losing readers and/or viewers to one that does. Governments know this, and use the threat of denial of access as a weapon to keep journalists compliant.

      Worse than that: because many organizations have been forced to cut back on staff, there often aren't enough people around to do in-depth coverage of events. So we're left with nothing but photo-ops and sound bites for news.

      • I see you point, but is the news value of anything short of a hurricane or terrorist attack independent of the media's coverage of it? I wonder if viewers would really change channels in their thirst for coverage of, say, the PM's Davos speech. Maybe I'm underestimating the nation's TV viewers, and I know people like Paul Wells get annoyed when lost kittens lead the nightly news, but I don't think I'm too cynical when I say that American Idol is more important to most Canadians than Bob Runciman or the OLO's proposed tax incentives: doesn't the media cover those out of a sense of duty?

  16. Something else happened as Harper flew out of Switzerland,
    big surprise it is not being well reported:

    Swiss jets form wingtip 'honour guard' to escort Harper plane out of airspace

    '…The honour guard escort is rarely deployed, and is considered a heartfelt sign of close ties between Switzerland and Canada, the spokesman said.
    ..
    The jets were fully armed, carrying large air-to-air missiles on their wings….''

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100129/nationa

    • Just out of curiosity, did they accompany his plane all the way back to just off the east coast, and then fire the missiles?

    • You are right, the Canadian press should have asked about the fighter planes in the scrum getting off the plane, or the informal chit chat with the Prime Minister during the long flight home. What were they thinkin?

    • I bet if they were armed with tofu pie-filling, there'd have been a great photo op over Davos last night…

    • Were they really there as an honour guard, or were they just making sure he actually left?

      • LOL

        That's exactly what I was thinking. "Escort out of our country" sounds a lot more diplomatic when you call it an "honour guard".

  17. Seems to me the bottom of a plane's stairway is not a "dark corner".

  18. Yea.. whats the point of having a Parliament and a free press, eh common man? Why dont we just cancel the whole concept of democracy and let Harper run the country unopposed eh?

    • Cancel, no. Suspend, maybe?

  19. Wilson,

    don't be silly. You expect "balance" from an increasingly hyperventilating leftist media.

    In other unimportant news Canada's economy continued its growth for the forth straight period.

    Don't expect more food on Canadians's tables coming off our worst recession in a generation to be anything close to important as Canada's 105th prorogation.

    • I know, it's awful is'nt it? He's doing so well, and yet they keep on expecting him to follow all these silly little rules.

  20. Thou shalt not question me, lest I smite thee

    Thou shalt read the press releases given unto thee

    and show they reverence before me

    so it is writteen and so so it shall be.

    • Reminds me of how Domitian, the 10th Roman emperor (or 9th, or 8th, depending on how you count it) took to signing all his correspondence "Your Lord and God" towards the end.

      • But given that most Roman emperors expected to be apotheosized after death, at least his choice of signature had some logic behind it.

  21. Harper doesn't mean what he says and doesn't say what he means.

    This could get very confusing for him down the road.

  22. People are saying, the NAU, is taking place in 2010. The press is, now controlled. The internet, is becoming controlled, web sites vanish, pages won't turn. Sites, are not open for comments, or, there was an error, on and on, the rebukes grow. Canadian and American citizens voices are, unheard, in both countries. Mexico is arming herself, buying tanks from Russia. There will be no borders between, Canada, the USA and Mexico. However, Mexico, will have to protect their border from, South America. Russia, would like to have, Canada, because, there are vast resources in the Arctic, and our country, owns a lot of the Arctic. With the Arctic, melting away, it would only be a stones throw away from Russia, to the, Canadian Arctic. Russia, has huge ice breaking ships, Canada does not. There will be, wars and rumors of wars, to come. Citizens of Canada, are wondering if, this was the reason, Harper shut parliament down, to make Canada ready for the NAU. I, guess, time will tell.

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