About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I refused to go in any case

If you didn't here, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in town today for a photo op at Linamar's new Teaching and Technology Centre at 700 Woodlawn Rd. A flurry of e-mails and messages went across the interweb last night as the proactively inclined tried to get their ducks in a row.

"Hey folks, There will be an emergency protest against the Harper government at 2pm on Monday. Harper plans on coming to Guelph to do a photo op at Linamar's new Technology and Teaching Centre - 700 Woodlawn rd. COME JOIN THE "WELCOMING" COMMITTEE!!! Bring your signs and noise makers! Let's show him that Guelph is not behind his attacks on workers, women, immigrants, peace, etc. etc."

That was one message I got. Several of my Facebook friends changed their status to a rallying cry and considering the Monday afternoon timing and the the relatively crappy weather, I wonder how successful they were.

Was I there? Nope. First of all, I'm busy trying to play catch up on all my Toronto Film Festival reviews, which I'm getting paid for and thus can't sacrifice a couple of hours to do a freebie, even if it is becasue the PM's in town. Secondly, the release on the PMO's own website didn't sound very inviting...

Public events for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Monday, September 21st are:

Guelph, Ontario
2:00 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity. He will be joined by Members of the Conservative Caucus.

700 Woodlawn Road

Guelph, Ontario
N1K 1G4

*Photo opportunity only (cameras and photographers only)

• Media are required to present proper identification for accreditation.
• Media should arrive no later than 1:45 p.m.

Guelph, Ontario
2:30 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will make an announcement. He will be joined by Members of the Conservative Caucus.

700 Woodlawn Road

Guelph, Ontario
N1K 1G4

*Open to media
NOTE: • Media are required to present proper identification for accreditation.

Somehow, I didn't see me as a freelance journalist and blogger having the "proper identification" they'd want. Secondly, what am I going to get out of going there that I'm not going to get out of reading it in the paper tomorrow or seeing it on the news tonight. Probably nothing. The last several times when Harper's been here he's taken no media questions, done no interviews, particiapted in no scrums. I realize that being the leader of country is a busy job, but you can't scrum for 10 minutes? Well neither can I.

Considering the sneaky way this info, came out, I didn't exactly feel galvinized to put aside my day and trudge up to the Industrial area of town to listen to Harper talk. Sorry, that's not political, it's business. When a Federal leader comes to town, a rarity outside of an election call, I don't think it's too much to ask for some level of engagement with local press. I don't know if that changed today, if the PM pointed at Rob O'Flanagan or Scott Tracey from the Merc and took a question, but I have a feeling he didn't.

I have a feeling he shot in past however many protesters that were there, went in through the back, got his photo op, said his piece and was off to the next thing. Sleek, clean, well-rehearsed and polished to the hilt - that's how the Prime Minister rolls. Reporters are unpredictable, they ask imputent questions and if you give them 10 minutes in a scrum the next thing you know they'll be wanting one-on-one interviews. Nonsense! So yeah, not to sound selfish but I need something more than admittance. It's like goiong to Wonderland and getting into the park but only being allowed to look at the rides, and not go on them. So for that reason, I refused to go in any case.

1 comment:

Cam Guthrie said...

Hey man,
First - I like your blog and read up on it when I can so keep up the good work.

Second: I was at the event yesterday and it was very good. Yeah, I'm a conservative leaning guy I admit that, but he did take questions from the media and he did talk to people after the event for a while until the RCMP told him he had to go. AS you said in your own blog he is the leader of the country and is a busy guy. Although it would have been nice for a "scrum" it wasn't as bad as you make it out to be. I'm only saying cause I was there. It was good news for Guelph and good news for Linamar. Oh, and there were 2 "protestors" there. a girl with one sign and someone dressed in a seal outfit. That's it,no one else.
Anyways, that's my take on it! Take care,