Conservative media company fights federal debate ban

True North Centre principal Candice Malcolm — whose columns appear in the Toronto Sun — will ask the court to overturn a decision to not accredit her journalist, Andrew Lawton, for the debate.

The court application, prepared by Cassels, Brock & Blackwell, names the Leaders Debate Commission and the Attorney General of Canada.

According to its claim, True North says it not receive “meaningful feedback” from the Leaders Debate Commission as to why their accreditation was denied.

It also contends that there was a “complete lack of transparency” to the accreditation process and as such it was “unfair and arbitrary.”

That decision was sent in the form of a two-line e-mail at 9:10 a.m. Friday morning by Collin Lafrance, Chief of the Canadian Press Gallery. Lawton had applied for accreditation on Sept. 24.

In his e-mail, Lafrance says: “Hello, your request for media accreditation for the 2019 Federai Leaders’ Debate has been denied.” It adds that True North’s website “clearly states” the outfit is involved in advocacy.

Malcolm counters True North is a federally registered charity whose purpose is to conduct research and analyze public policy and to undertake investigative journalism