Inside Politics

The new openness? Journos given PM's cell number

Comfortable in its majority, the Prime Minister's office seems to be taking openness and transparency to a whole new level.

Reporters travelling with Stephen Harper arrived in Costa Rica Wednesday night to the usual welcome: A bumpy bus ride to a hotel, a comfortable filing room with telephone lines, internet access and a table set-up with a welcome package.

Beyond the usual room key and itinerary for the following day, it seems a helpful member of the embassy's staff also included in the package the internal phone list for this trip.

The-List-300.jpgIt includes not only the cell and home phone numbers for Canada's ambassador to Costa Rica, his wife and most of the staff - it also has the Prime Minister's cell number.

The laminated card lists the numbers of all those travelling with Harper (his staff, ministers, RCMP guards, air crew, etc...) -- and will only be good until Friday morning when we leave and all the temporary cell phones are returned.

But it will be great to be able to call any of these people should us pesky journalists have questions.

Now, PMO staff are suggesting it was a mistake and are furiously collecting the laminated cards -- but I for one welcome this kind of unprecedented access!

(NOTE: For obvious reasons, I've blocked out the phone numbers as well as the identities of those involved in the PM's security.)

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