City Sets New Low In Closed Government


This is wild.

Why is the City of Ottawa so frightened?

And what is it that is scaring the city so much? Are staffers afraid that unregistered reporters, or perish the thought, residents might contradict Mayor Mark Sutcliffe in his ludicrous claim that Lansdowne is a “success” because he went there a couple of times?

In 45 years of journalism, I’ve never seen anything like this.

Reporters must pre-register by a deadline and then they will be told by a secret method the time and location of the meeting?

What’s next? Maxwell Smart’s cone of silence?

This is beyond paranoid and petty.

Perhaps the city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has a secret it only wants to tell the media.

That might be the wrong group to tell a secret.


This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The City of Ottawa will hold an in-person media briefing on the Lansdowne 2.0 report on Friday, October 6.   

RSVP: Only pre-registered reporters will be granted access to the briefing. Pre-registration is required by October 5 at 4 pm.? Please email to confirm registration along with your contact details. Media Relations will contact you to confirm details, including time and location of the briefing, prior to the event. 

Ken Gray


Get Smart - Cone of Silence (from episode 1)

Coming to a municipal government near you.





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8 Responses

  1. MM says:

    I wonder if they’ll make the pre-registered reporters sign an NDA before allowing them access. Authoritarianism at its best.

  2. John says:

    Not Friday before a long weekend indeed.

  3. Merrill Smith says:

    Did you actually get an invite? Have you been recognized as a journalist after all?

  4. Anderson Davies says:

    Hmm, a couple of political demographics have been a kinship with the book 1984, they are reaping what they’ve sowed. The moderates were warned of the slippery slope a long term ago but I was told by the “elite” who attended the ivory towers that only they knew better.

  5. The Voter says:

    I probably shouldn’t say this out loud for fear of them taking up the idea but at least they haven’t asked you to pre-submit your questions. You know, the questions related to material they haven’t yet provided to you.

    It also doesn’t mention if they are pre-screening the attendees. Will any reporter be permitted to attend or only the ones they deem appropriate to be in their company? Will there be a list of ‘approved’ media, both outlets and individual reporters?

    We are indeed treading on swampy ground.

  6. Ken Gray says:


    It’s a pathetic first step to control the message. And don’t think staff and pols wouldn’t quietly support that.

    There are a nasty bunch of people at city hall.



  7. Ken Gray says:


    I haven’t tried. But they seem to treat me like media when I call.

    I would listen to them if they declared me non-media. They tried that with press releases and the city and Jim Watson paid a huge price. That story was three days from going national when Watson backed down.

    Journalists don’t like bureaucrats and pols to mess with journalists. Actually the fight was very fun on my side.

    I’m quite willing to do it again if they impinge on my rights as a citizen and as a journalist. But they would be foolish to try and I doubt they care much about me at all.

    So all is quiet.



  8. sisco farraro says:

    What happened to that word Mark Sutcliffe likes to use all the time that has become the mot du decade for “honesty”? Oh yeah, “transparency”

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