Why is Harper gov’t muzzling the media?
By Letter to the Editor
Can you believe what the news media did in Ottawa last week? They stood up for Canadian values, such as a free press that has the freedom to hold our elected government accountable and ask the hard questions.
Typically when the prime minister gives a speech, both reporters and cameras are allowed to cover the event. In order to prevent Canadian journalists and reporters from asking any specific questions, they were banned from attending his speech: cameras only were allowed, so they could rebroadcast the prime minister’s speech but be prevented from asking any questions. This kind of manipulation and muzzling of the news is something we are used to hearing about in third world countries or nations controlled by strong authoritarian regimes, not in the democratic country of Canada.
As a result all but one news organization refused to attend or broadcast the prime minister’s speech. The most troubling part of this is that the Conservatives are not doing this in the shadows, but are blatantly trying to silence any and all voices — be it the news media or even their own MPs who offer a perspective different than the official spin from the offices of the Conservative party.
The national news outlets should be commended for standing up for Canadian values and making a stand against an overt effort to prevent them from asking the questions that Canadians want asked asked and answered. We as Canadians should also be standing up by asking our elected representative, LaVar Payne, why our government is so keen on muzzling our media from reporting on the issues that keep our government accountable.
The Conservatives have run before on the platform of the need for transparency of elected officials; preventing our nation’s reporters from doing their job is exactly the opposite of an open and transparent government. That this government has something to hide from our reporters is all the more reason we need them to keep pushing forward and asking those questions. Our freedom and the quality of our democracy depend on it. Medicine Hat News.