Is Tony Clement Ignoring <em>Search Engine</em>? - The Intrepid

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is Tony Clement Ignoring Search Engine?

Canadian Industry Minister Tony ClementTony Clement, Canada's Industry Minister and MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka.

Earlier this month, Jesse Brown, the host of TVO's Search Engine asked Industry Minister Tony Clement to come on his show to speak about the discrepancy between Industry Canada's plans for a public copyright consultation and its recent closed door ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) copyright summit in South Korea. According to Brown, "there's a contradiction there that Minister Clement needs to speak to, and hasn't. To anyone."

Although Clement's office has been evasive, they haven't actually declined Jesse's interview request yet—they've just stopped returning his emails.

Here's what Brown had to say:

It's rare for a journalist to get a flat-out rejection of an interview request from a public servant. Their press secretaries don't want us journalists to be able to say that so-and-so "refused" to comment on matters they are directly responsible to the public for.

Instead, we'll be told that a politician is unavailable or out of the country. Sometimes we just won't receive a response at all.

I've received all of the above from Minister Clement's office. After his press secretary informed me that the Minister was abroad and unavailable (for a ten-minute phone interview), she sugested that I propose alternate times in the upcoming week for the interview. When I did so, she stopped returning my emails.
Brown's interview with former Industry Minister Jim Prentice on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was one of his most interesting—in the interview, Prentice lies about the DCMA ends up hanging up on Brown. An interview with Clement on Canadian copyright law would probably be just as informative (and entertaining).

Photo by Carrie Musgrave.