A conservative outlet in Canada sued for the right to cover a national debate and won

A conservative outlet in Canada sued for the right to cover a national debate and won

Andrew Lawton is a conservative reporter and former radio host who works for a fairly new think tank called True North in Canada. Lawton has recently been denied the right to cover Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign by the Liberal Party. Last week he wrote about his experiences for the Washington Post:

On Sept. 22, I showed up to cover one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign stops in a Toronto suburb on the first day of what was to be a week-long assignment to cover the Liberal campaign. But I wasn’t allowed to board the media bus that takes journalists from stop to stop. I was also barred from entering Trudeau’s press conference. The reason the Liberals provided is that I wasn’t “accredited.”

This was news to me. I’ve been accredited by the Canadian and British governments, by courts in Canada and the United Kingdom, and the Republican National Committee at various points in my career…

The Liberals even had me removed by two police officers from a public rally —for which I had registered and been given an admission wristband — in a stunning overreach that the Liberals apologized for a day later.

At no point have the Liberals explained to me or anyone else what the standard for accreditation is. Just that I and my outlet, True North, don’t meet it.

The situation became more serious last Friday when Lawton was told he would not be allowed to cover a debate between Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. True North and another conservative group called Rebel Media (which was also denied the right to cover the debate) took the government to court today and won.

A federal court judge says Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy have established that they would suffer “irreparable harm” if denied access to the English-language leaders’ debate taking place in Gatineau, Que., tonight and the French-language debate later this week…

True North said in the documents that the lack of “meaningful feedback” and transparency in the process, combined with the absence of avenues to appeal, make the commission’s decision arbitrary and unreasonable.

It also alleged the decision amounts to “an attempt by the current government to censor and silence media outlets that have provided a platform for Canadians with views inconsistent with its mandate.”

Lawton was tweeting about the case throughout the day and published this video after the win:

He eventually made it inside:

I guess the liberal party will have a harder time shutting him out from now on. As for Justin Trudeau, a new poll judged him both the “most elitist” and the “most hypocritical.” So his attempt to change the subject from blackface hasn’t been completely successful.

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