London student not satisfied with Harper meeting
By Laura Payton, CBC News
Posted: May 1, 2011 4:24 PM ET
Last Updated: May 1, 2011 9:37 PM ETBack to accessibility links
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A student kicked out of a Conservative rally in London, Ont., last month says she's more angry with Stephen Harper after being invited to speak to him and not getting an apology.
Awish Aslam, 19, was kicked out of a Harper event in the city earlier in the election campaign. At the time, she said an RCMP officer told her and a friend they were no longer welcome because they had ties to the Liberal party. Aslam said the only explanation was her Facebook profile photo showing her posing for a picture with Ignatieff at a Liberal rally in London days earlier.
Harper eventually apologized at a news conference a few days later, after a group of University of Guelph students also reported being kicked out of a Harper event for taking part in a peaceful pro-voting rally just before it. Two veterans in Halifax were also denied entry to a news conference.
The Conservatives said a spokesman for Harper had apologized to Aslam by phone, and they'd invited her to attend his next event in London.
Conservative officials said it was up to local organizers to control who got into his events.
But Aslam, who went to a rally and got her private meeting with Harper aboard his campaign bus on Sunday, called the face-to-face "pretty useless."
"I still don't understand how a picture with Michael Ignatieff is dangerous. You know, it was pretty useless and they just kind of got us off the bus," she said.Awish Aslam, second from left, who was kicked out of a Conservative campaign event April 3 over a Facebook photo with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, met Conservative Leader Stephen Harper during at a London event May 1. (Conservative Party)
Aslam disappointed with meeting
Aslam took three friends into the meeting with her, including another woman who was kicked out of the April 3 rally.
"I feel like now I'm more angry. We didn't even get an 'I'm personally sorry for you'," Aslam said.
Aslam says she has already voted in an advance poll, but wouldn't say how she'd voted. Pressed by a reporter, she said her complaint Sunday was about Harper as a person rather than as a leader.
"I'm not saying [that] I'm not thrilled with his policies and his ideas, but personally, him as a person, honestly, if I kicked you out of my house for no reason, I would apologize," she said.
Aslam said she had low expectations going into the meeting, but even then she felt the Conservatives hadn't met them.
"Well, we weren't removed so, yeah, it was nice to actually be able to see him come in and see what he had to say. That part was nice, being allowed in," she said.
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