I’m used to politicians showing a preference for certain media at various times but the exclusive access given to VICE to cover what is a historic visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to a native reserve, is something I’ve never seen before.
Shoal Lake 40 Reserve located on the Ontario-Manitoba border, is a community that doesn’t have a lot going for them. They’ve been under a boil water advisory for 17 years and must have water trucked in.
In all my years covering politics, I’ve never seen a Prime Minister, a Premier or any politician go on an official visit like this and only allow one media outlet to come along for the trip.
A lot of other media are throwing questions at VICE about this but they maintain there’s nothing unusual here. But like all other reserves, this one receives a good deal of taxpayer money so many in the media would likely have some questions too about what’s happening there.
But now, we’re all going to be left with whatever VICE decides to share with us and have no way to verify or check the facts.
It’s highly unusual and does raise questions about what was offered and what might have been taken by VICE.
Justin Trudeau already has a far too cozy relationship with the media party because he shares their values and progressive views but I think this may even be a bridge too far for many others in the media besides me.
It just isn’t something we’re used to seeing in an open society like Canada.