When Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to Vancouver in early January, mainstream media reporters were severely limited in their access and ability to ask questions of the PM. But reporters from ethnic media outlets got three-quarters of an hour with Harper for an exclusive question and answer session. The audio was later leaked.
Last December, B.C. International Trade and Multiculturalism Minister Teresa Wat held a Chinese-only news conference.
The Adrian Dix-led NDP scheduled an ethnic media-only event on Jan. 20. Premier Christy Clark is hosting her own such exclusive event on Jan. 23. The invitation is below.
These discriminatory sessions are not new, but they appear to be more common. We may not know about the Harper, Dix and Wat incidents without the reporting of Jeremy Nuttall.
Here we are, in 21st century, multicultural Canada, and political leaders are picking and choosing which types of media they want to accept questions from, based on ethnicity and language.
What do you think? Please comment below.
From: Lo, Mary GCPE:EX
Sent: January-22-14 X:XX PM
Subject: Ethnic media roundtable – Premier Christy Clark
RE: Ethnic Media roundtable
Premier Christy Clark, will be available to meet with ethnic media tomorrow (Thursday, January 22) to talk about Lunar New Year and the year of 2014.
Event Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 2 pm
Location: Premier’s Vancouver Office
Suite 730 – 999 Canada Place
**Please kindly R.S.V.P. and send me the name of reporter if you are planning to attend.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
604 230 XXXX
Media Relations Officer
Government Communications & Public Engagement
#316 800 Hornby Street,
Phone: 604 775 2406
Cell: 604 230 XXXX
UPDATE (Jan. 23): Here is Nuttall’s story, about what happened when representatives of 10 English-language media outlets arrived at the Office of the Premier in Vancouver and crashed the news conference. Hilarity ensued. Clark was 20 minutes late and her aides, Ben Chin and Sam Oliphant, said the darnedest things.
Coincidentally, the provincial government’s human resources department — B.C. Public Service Agency — published the below request for proposals on Jan. 21. It is seeking a “Discrimination Prevention Course Delivery” contractor, to deliver workshops across the province. The B.C. Public Service Agency’s head is Lynda Tarras. Clark’s deputy minister, John Dyble, is head of the B.C. Public Service.
Topping the list of workshop objectives, according to the tendering document, is to:
“Identify and discuss the rights, responsibilities, and strategies for all parties to develop and maintain a respectful, welcoming work environment, to prevent discrimination, and to address it when it occurs.”
Evidently, in the B.C. government under Clark, it is not okay to discriminate against a co-worker, but it is fair game to discriminate against the media.
Mobile users: click -> Discrimination Prevention Course SRFP – On-002451 – FINAL