Prime Minister Stephen Harper is attending the North American Leaders' Summit in New Orleans to discuss international issues such as trade and energy.
And his aides are determined to stop reporters covering the trip from asking about the on-going Elections Canada investigation into alleged illegal spending by the Conservative Party in the last election.
Deputy Press Secretary Dimitri Soudas offered one reporter some ''advice'' on the flight to New Orleans. He said reporters should concentrate on the summit and leave the spending scandal to reporters back in Ottawa.
Soudas went on to say that the story is complicated, and those reporters should concentrate on explaining it to Canadians and not on the fact that the party held private briefings with selected reporters yesterday. Canadians don't care who wasn't invited. They care about understanding a complex issue, Soudas said.
The strategy of trying to give exclusive access to some reporters backfired when uninvited reporters, including one from the CBC, learned of the private briefings from the Liberals.
Conservative officials were forced to change hotel locations. When that didn't work, they asked the hotel manager to order uninvited reporters out of the building.
In the end, the Conservative officials canceled several planned briefings, and left via a fire escape to avoid the uninvited reporters waiting outside the downtown Ottawa hotel.
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- Just a Small Detail
- What a curious omission. Yesterday, CBC contacted the office of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt to ask about the lobbyist who helped organize a fundraiser on her behalf on Sept. 24. Michael B. McSweeney is vice-president of the Cement Association... Continue reading this post