Politics, Leaks and the PMO


A venomous session of Parliament has now adjourned after months of attacks and counter-attacks, a spending scandal in the Senate that will linger into summer and a Conservative preoccupation with the new Liberal leader. Time to talk politics.

Editor in Cheif at The Barrie Advance, Lori Martin

Any cheque with many zeroes in it is candy for politicians during Question Period. And Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Heritage minister James Moore couldn't resist taking the bait earlier this week.

But the fascination with big pay-days didn't stop when the lights went out in the Commons last night. On Monday morning, the Prime Minister's office called Lori Martin at The Barrie Advance, a local newspaper in Barrie, Ontario.

The PMO said it could give the newspaper information about one of Justin Trudeau's speaking engagements in Barrie-- on condition the paper not mention the source. The Advance not only published the PMO's information, it explained where it came from.

PM's office sends details of Trudeau's talk at Georgian -- The Barrie Advance

Lori Martin is the editor in chief at The Barrie Advance and she joined us from Barrie.

Panel: Susan Delacourt / Bob Plamondon / Greg Weston

Once the Barrie Advance published its report other news outlets reported they'd been contacted by the Prime Minister's office too.

Yesterday Conservative strategist Dan Mader defended the PMO's actions:

"The Prime Minister's office, just like the office of the leader of the opposition, is a political office. The people who work there are political staff. Their job is inherently political. And what the PMO does, the communications shop in the PMO does, is communications on behalf of the Prime Minister and the government that extend the types of communications that the Prime Minister and ministers make in Question Period and in the House of Commons. And as a big part of that they are promoting the political positions of the government".

Dan Mader, Conservative Strategist >

Still, some people may be a little surprised the Prime Minister's Office is in the business of clandestinely leaking information to the media. To discuss that we were joined by three guests in our Ottawa studio.

We contacted the Prime Minister's Office staffer Erica Meekes for an interview but did not receive a response .

This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley, Sujata Berry and Zoe Tennant.

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Other segment from today's show:

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