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Tories banned local media from citizenship ceremony to prevent distractions?

I know Harper and the Conservatives are paranoid of the media and want to try and control the media message as much as legally possible, but this particular action by them is just silly and overdoing it, even for them. On Monday, a local Burlington paper was banned from covering, get ready, a local citizenship swearing-in ceremony, because it would be just too distracting for the Burlington public when the Throne Speech was next day:

The Conservative government this week banned media from a citizenship ceremony to keep the spotlight on the speech from the throne that Harper was scheduled to bring down yesterday (Tuesday), according to government e-mails.,, The afternoon ceremony was scheduled at the Burlington Central Library, but members of the media were told they couldn’t cover the event because of a ‘national headquarters’ directive received by the citizen and immigration office in Hamilton.

This is a LOCAL swearing-in of new citizens on Monday, trying to be covered by a local newspaper, but covering a citizenship swearing-in ceremony the day before a national Throne Speech is somehow too distracting to allow the local paper to cover it??? Apparently, the Conservatives feel the citizens of Burlington have a short attention span, and would be just darn too distracted a day later from reading about the swearing-in of new citizens to have their attention riveted upon the Throne Speech.


Local Burlington MP Mike Wallace decided to play the lead apologist in trying to explain the thinking behind this silly decision:

Wallace said yesterday that, “for some reason, the local (citizen and immigration) office had a misunderstanding of what was allowed and wasn’t allowed.”. He attributed it to a mistake.

Right, an apparent mistake that other officials said came from National Headquarters in Ottawa. You know Harper better then that, Mike. This was control-freak politics at its worst (not surprisingly, according to the Burlington paper, the PMO did not comment on what had transpired when contacted).


3 comments to Tories banned local media from citizenship ceremony to prevent distractions?

  • David Elliott

    This strong-arming of the press has got to stop. 
    Eventually, the press will be so cowed that any demand from the PMO will be obeyed without question.

    So, what’s wrong with the press for not standing up and what’s with the security or RCMP for not standing up either?

  • Bailey

    The Burlington Post is very local.  It’s only printed 3 times a week and distributed to those who live in Burlington.  It’s one of those Metroland distribution papers owned by Torstar. 

  • Don’t the CONservatives realize that nobody but a few hard core political pundits bother to watch the throne speech?
     It doesn’t matter what time of day it is on the usual response is, click.
    Putting in on in prime time (in the east) just annoys more people!

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