I read the news today. Oh boy. - Macleans.ca

I read the news today. Oh boy.

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The Prime Minister raises the question of what he knew and when he knew it.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he’s happy Suaad Hagi Mohamud is back in Canada but admits he’s waiting for answers about her nightmare at the hands of Canadian officials.

Harper suggested he became aware of the case only last week, even though her well-publicized plight of being stuck in Kenya had begun 11 weeks earlier. “When we became aware of the case last week, we asked our officials in various departments to give us some information,” Harper said at a news conference yesterday. “Obviously there (is) some troubling information here. It’s a complex case. I have asked my officials for a thorough review of the matter … (then) we’ll decide what further inquiry we do have to do.

So when did everyone else become aware of Suaad Hagi Mohamud’s case? Good question.

According to an Infomart search, the first story from the Toronto Star appeared on July 1, nearly seven weeks ago.* It includes comment from an unnamed Foreign Affairs spokesman. Canadian Press moved its first item on her Mohamud the next day. CBC’s The National picked up the story the night of July 22. Canwest moved a story that same day and that Canwest story appeared in the National edition of the National Post on July 23.

A Star story on July 25 cites reaction from Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. The CTV evening news appears to have first reported the story on the night of August 11. The Globe and Mail followed with a report on August 12, as did Canada AM.

So perhaps the Prime Minister and his staff only pay attention to the properties of CTVglobemedia. Or maybe Mr. Harper and the PMO are not on speaking terms with Mr. Cannon and the department of foreign affairs.

(*Note: This post originally included incorrect dates. An initial search was done of major news services for “Suaad Hagi Mohamud.” After conferring with a colleague from another outlet, a second search was done for “Suaad Mohamud,” yielding a hopefully more accurate assessment of the story’s origins and progress. Apologies for any confusion.)