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For the last three days, Prime Minister Trudeau has come under fire for repeatedly dodging reporters and keeping silent, while all the other candidates do interview after interview, and give comment after comment.
In a series of Tweets, Senior Reporter for the CBC David Cochrane took it upon himself to answer some of these concerns, especially the concerns regarding his own employers and why certain media outlets have been completely silent on Trudeau’s absence.
“So people are asking about Trudeau not taking questions for two days,” Cochrane begins, “implying the media is okay with it, asking why we aren’t howling with outrage. So here’s a short thread as to what is happening on the bus with this.”
“We have all reported that it’s been two days with no questions. So we have been transparent and disclosed. There are sometimes days in campaigns without availabilities due to travel and time restrictions. We want that to be the exception not the norm.
“We’ve made this clear to the campaign team on the bus. And back at Liberal HQ. Trudeau WILL take questions tomorrow in Kitchener. We’ve told them we want extra time and questions to make up for the two day gap.”
In the thread, Cochrane also addressed Trudeau’s sudden decision to cancel plans on Friday to talk about the breaking news regarding a national security arrest. Cochrane says that he is still not available, but that Trudeau did comment on a spree of Mississauga shootings and condemned gun violence.
Cochrane also noted that the he and the CBC have expressed their continued annoyance with the Liberals’ decision to remain absent. “We will see if it becomes a consistent problem. Or if the two days in a ro was an aberration,” he said.
This latest media avoidance strategy comes after the Prime Minister’s decision last week to skip the first debate altogether, possibly as another strategy to avoid criticism over the still fresh SNC-Lavalin scandal that the other candidates were sure to collectively grill him on.
“Let them interview the people they want to interview and hand over those documents. The fact that they’re hiding it certainly doesn’t make Mr. Trudeau look good,” said Conservative strategist Fred DeLorey.
“I would argue that in the last campaign,” said NDP strategist Anne McGrath, “Mr. Trudeau started to take off because he outperformed expectations in that first debate. It set a tone for the campaign. So that’s why I think it makes it even riskier this time.”
“I don’t think people are going to remember that he didn’t participate in the debate or that that is that important. But it does set a tone for the campaign that I think is going to be problematic.”
Some supporters of Trudeau who agree with the latter part of this characterization, only disagree with his motive for intentionally being absent.
“What you did have this week was Mr. Trudeau out there doing some disciplined policy announcements in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton. He wouldn’t have got to do any of that if he was, like the other leaders, locked up in a hotel room getting ready for the attacks to the other guys,” said Liberal strategist Richard Mahone.
“He is going to have the chance. Canadians are going to have a chance to see him at least three times beating the other leaders. That’s a lot, and it’s probably more than we traditionally have.”