Harper snubs breakfast club visit to Ottawa; all other Canadian parties represented

Thursday, February 15, 2007

CityTV reporter Dwight Drummond accommpanied a diverse crew of Toronto public school students to Ottawa, with intentions of meeting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

While students, part of an inner-city breakfast club, had the opportunity to tour the Parliament Buildings at length, Harper stayed far away from the quick, scheduled hello. He failed to even send an MP in his place, to the event, scheduled as part of Black History Month.

Every other political party with seats in Parliament sent a representative to greet the visitors. Present was the deputy leader of the Liberal opposition party, Michael Ignatieff, and prominent NDP MP Olivia Chow, who is the wife of NDP leader Jack Layton.

While Chow and Ignatieff both hold office in Toronto, where the Citytv broadcasts to, and the Conservatives were shut out of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), even those without self-interest dropped by. Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe spoke to the students, despite the fact his party only runs candidates in Quebec.

City's coverage of the tour focused on what the students did see, rather than what they missed.

Harper seems to have made a regular practice of ignoring or delaying scheduled visits. Canadian Auto Workers union leader Buzz Hargrove mentioned he has yet to talk to the Prime Minister. Hargrove represents over 265,000 workers in every province and territory in Canada.