What is Justin Trudeau afraid of? For over a week now, the Liberal campaign has gone to ridiculous lengths to try to keep a journalist away from Trudeau and to prevent him from asking tough questions.
The journalist, popular broadcaster Andrew Lawton, now works for True North, a public policy and digital journalism organization I founded, as a journalism fellow. We crowd-funded enough money to pay for a seat on the Liberal media bus, and I sent Lawton on assignment to cover Trudeau on the campaign.
To our surprise, the Liberals blocked Lawton from getting on the media bus and stopped him from entering campaign events with Trudeau.
After Lawton was blocked from entering a second event, the Liberals told us that only “accredited” journalists may join the media bus. They referred us to the Parliamentary Press Gallery (PPG) to get accredited but the PPG told us they have no jurisdiction over election campaigns — and that they only provide accreditation to Ottawa-area journalists from Ottawa-based media outlets.
Why were foreign media, regional outlets and even student bloggers being let into Liberal events without credentials from the PPG, but not a veteran journalist now with True North?
Could it have something to do with our editorial position, which leans to the right and is critical of Trudeau’s government?