Your West Coast berrycam brings you images from the long blue road


Pictures from today’s events on the Conservative leader’s tour in and near Vancouver:

The day began with a brief conference about how to hold news conferences. At the extreme right (geometrically! Geometrically!) is Dimitri Soudas, the PM’s press secretary, who tends the infamous news-conference lists that have been the subject of much discord. The PMO had a new idea to propose (or maybe one of the reporters on the tour proposed it; I walked into the discussion late): Operating from a complete list of every reporter on the tour bus, he could give everyone one question until the bottom of the list is reached, and then start again. So none of yesterday’s 10 reporters gets a question today. And some who didn’t get on the list today, like say me, will be on the list tomorrow. Here the scribes ponder this idea. As is often the case, CTV’s Bob Fife takes an informal leadership role. After about 5 minutes, we decided we didn’t have any problem with this system. Peace breaks out on Tory tour! Film at 11!

The media bus heads to Richmond, with its eerily green lawns. Near the back, Global’s Peter Harris and the CBC’s Paul Hunter conspire.

Also on the bus: Senator Marjorie LeBreton, Mulroney stalwart of yore, who came onto the Harper tour at the last minute in 2006 because, almost unique among his close associates at the time, she likes reporters. She’s back this year, and any problems with focus are the photographer’s fault, not hers.

In Richmond, a waiting cluster of cameramen, photogs and Conservative advance staff await our bus at the family home of the family-family Huang family. In the Huang’s back yard, an eerily green lawn. CanWest reporter Andrew Mayeda provides elegantly shod contrast.

The Prime Minister of all the Canadians appears, clad in the manner you see here before you. Scrumming ensues.


Your West Coast berrycam brings you images from the long blue road

  1. Forgive my ignorance of journalistic procedure, but what’s the usual alternative to the questions-as-batting-order plan? It sounds like a pretty good plan and I’m surprised it hasn’t been used before.

    On the other hand, having everyone shout questions over each other gives news conferences a certain fun mix of importance and chaos.

  2. While you’re in SK, maybe someone could ask this of the prime minister:

    For a year now, 13 of 14 SK MPs are from the CPC caucus. Yet they have been unable to sway you to keep your equalization promise to SK — the one you made during the last federal election. We all saw the letters written to you by Brian Fitzpatrick — but his pleas on behalf of the SK caucus members have gone unanswered.

    Why do you take your SK voters for granted? Why don’t the SK-13 have any voice to look out for their constituents?

    Do you just see them as part of the B-Team?

  3. This bottom-of-the-list thing is not going to work, is it? Won’t Harper choose the major networks (i.e. Fife/Hunter) plus the locals over all others for maximum impact?

  4. This flying all the way across the country to be in a backyard that looks like any yard in Canada reminds me of the Dennis Lee poem about Annie and Ernie McGilligan Spock. (They pedaled their tricycles around the block until they came to a house that looked just like theirs!In the same small garden was the same small tree, in the same open window the same pot of tea …)

  5. We’ll see how long this lasts. As the election stories unfold, I don’t see him tolerating a question from everyone.

    Maybe they’ll have to resort to secret hotel meetings with select journalists some more and then try to throw the others off the trail by switching hotels at the last minute. I’m sure Duffy would love to be scrummed by his colleagues again.

  6. And where’s Kady, btw? Is her blackberry out of commish? Or are the Liberals not campaigning today?

  7. Bob Fife?

    …and they say the Liberals have leadership problems.

  8. Too bad the Conservatives kept this event at an “undisclosed location” (sounds vaguely Cheney-esque) in Richmond, or I’m sure they would have had to deal with some impromptu protesters (including me) pointing out their lack of a reasonable, forward-looking environmental policy (key topic here in BC), inept handling of the economy, lack of support for the InSite initiative in the Downtown Eastside (generally popular in Vancouver), their truculent attitude in dealing with China (another key topic in Vancouver, particularly in Richmond), … etc.

    When will Canadians get a chance to ask the Conservatives about the issues they care about, instead of these stage managed media availabilities?

  9. Yo, D…

    Get a name, buddy. Pseudonymous commenting is so last election. Undisclosed names seems vaguely Cheney-esque.

  10. My Mom has got a better back yard, IMHO.


    Why do you reporters get all suited up for elections, when you are covering one party or another?

    I know you have to look buisness like, but during these election tours I would just roc track pant’s and a back pack. It must suck getting all dressed up to sit on a bus and a airplane.

  11. Here’s a question for the PM:

    What’s with all the knitted sweaters?
    Will they sway the Fall election
    By recruiting father-figures
    From across our glorious nation
    Such as love their knitted sweaters?

  12. “Why do you take your SK voters for granted? Why don’t the SK-13 have any voice to look out for their constituents?”

    It’s called gerrymandering. Regina & Saskatoon, which are least likely to vote Conservative (& more likely to vote NDP than Liberal), are split in four sections each & combined into strongly Conservative rural ridings. This predates the current government, but does give them a lot of free seats. Why keep your promises to people who will vote for you either way?

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