PM Harper yet to take questions from opposition politicians on Afghan detainees

Since Richard Colvin's explosive testimony last Wednesday Nov. 18 that all Afghan detaineeds captured by a Canadian Forces in Kandahar were likely tortured after we turned them over to local officials, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not been in the House of Commons. On Thursday, Nov. 19, he landed in Ottawa at 0700 after a 20 hour flight from India. On Friday, leaders and senior cabinet ministers rarely attend the last session of the week under any circumstances. But Harper used to attend QP fairly regularly from Monday to Thursday.

But he'll miss QP again today — despite the rising political temperature in Ottawa and fresh allegations that Harper himself and his inner circle of advisors insisted back in 2007 on controlling all communications on this sensitive issue.

So what's keeping him from facing questions from opposition politicans when Question Period begins today at 2:15 pm in the House of Commons?

Media Advisory:

2:15 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity with the 2010 Canadian Men's Field Lacrosse team. He will be joined by James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. Langevin Block

Langevin Block, incidentally is right across the street from the Parliament Buildings.

7 thoughts on “PM Harper yet to take questions from opposition politicians on Afghan detainees”

  1. Well, perhaps it's time for the media to do their job instead of complaigning.
    It's up to you afterall.
    Seems you are all afraid and/or support Harper, because I don't understand why he gets away with so much.

  2. Whoops, I tried to be clever, but it didn't work. So, replace complaigning (as in complaining and campaigning for Harper) with complaining.

  3. 2 thoughts here:
    1. Your mission as a reporter, no matter the subject, is to advance the public's knowledge on a file. So let me ask you, Anonymous, if that were your mission just what question would you holler out that would elicit a response from a PM who, incidentally, also knows it's a photo opp and isn't likely to respond to any questions at all, lest he encourage others to show up at photo opps and start shouting out questions?
    2. Frustrating as it may be, if you do show up in the PM's office for a photo opp and start shouting questions, you and your organization don't get to come back to any more such occasions. So the entire news organization would have to make this calculation: Is this issue so important that I will send a reporter in to ask a question (which the PM almost certainly won't answer) and forever be banned from PM's photo opps? (And don't dis photo opps: Yesterday's may not seem like a big deal to you but I'll but it was to Canada's lacrosse community. And mainstream media organizations need to think about them and all of the readers/viewers who turn to us for a broad range of news, photos and other information.)
    3. I, in fact, have yelled at Harper at a photo opp – on live television, no less — but that was at a public shopping mall after the photo opp had ended and was not in his office. And I am quite happy to holler out a question at any politician when I and my news organization think that, by doing so, we serve our readers and viewers. Yesterday, though, we would have been doing our readers and viewers a disservice by getting ourselves thrown out of the PM's office.

  4. In the thread NDP, Libs, BQ say no Mulroney testimony on Afghan detainees without documents an anonymous commenter writes:
    “I believe Natynchuk came out with phony story about prison transfers to give Mckay a COVER story for his lies.”
    It has gotten to the stage in this country that no matter what a person in authority says, there will be those who do not believe what the person says, regardless of how logical or sound his/her argument.
    9/11 Truthers Jr.
    So, even if the PM had been present at QP, members of the opposition and the anti-Harper gang would be doubting or downright mocking whatever the PM said.
    And of course, it might never occur to such people that the photo-op had been scheduled before the detainees story broke.
    Furthermore, Harper's cabinet has often been portrayed as “muzzled” by the PM. So now that a minister is dealing with a problem affecting his own department, dealing with the accusations and allegations hurled during QP – they are NOT questions – everyone is asking for the so-called muzzler.
    Yes, yes … I know … I'm defending Harper.
    As if those who don't share my POV are not defending their own side.

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