Conservative journalist and pundit Andrew Lawton from True North was denied access to a campaign stop by the prime minister’s staff while in Brampton.
According to Lawton, the Liberals claimed that he was not an “accredited” journalist despite having RSVP’d for the event. When pressed to explain how to get accredited, tour officials couldn’t provide an answer.
“I’ve been banned from covering Justin Trudeau’s press conference. The reason? I’m not an “accredited” journalist, through the press secretary could not provide a definition of what accreditation means in a country that doesn’t license journalists,” wrote Lawton on Twitter.
Lawton spoke to The Post Millennial and said that he intends on trailing the Liberal campaign, despite being stonewalled by the party and not allowed on the media bus.
After taking an Uber to Hamilton, Trudeau’s staff once again blocked Lawton from joining the rest of the Canadian press in taking questions from Trudeau. As a member of the crowd, Lawton confronted the prime minister asking: “Why have I been banned from covering your press conference? Why are you banning media, prime minister?”
Justin Trudeau tried to shake my hand thinking I was an adoring fan, but wouldn’t answer my question: why am I banned from covering his press conference? pic.twitter.com/RvNY9cWacv— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) September 22, 2019
Lawton was involved in a prior incident alongside Sheila Gunn Reid of The Rebel, in which Chrystia Freeland’s staff attempted to block the only two conservative journalists present from access to a press conference while at a media freedom summit in the U.K.
Freeland backed off on the attempt after all the journalists present refused to attend the conference if the two would not be allowed.
The Liberal government is currently moving forward on a plan to distribute $600 million to the struggling media industry. Only those companies labelled as “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations” by the government will be able to benefit from the funds.