Denial of access

Conservative party denies convention accreditation to Xtra 

The Conservative Party of Canada denied accreditation to cover its annual convention to Denio Lourenço, a journalist reporting for Xtra. 

Lourenço received an email on Sept. 6, 2023 from the conservative party’s communications director, Sarah Fischer, denying him access to cover the convention. 

On Sept. 7, Lourenço went to the Québec City convention and was able to interview delegates outside, reported Xtra. 

“Because I was barred from the convention, I did not have access to any of the events or press scrums with MPs or leaders of the CPC. Instead I spent hours waiting outside the venue hoping to speak with MPs as they were coming and going from the convention,” Lourenço told the Canada Press Freedom Project. 

CPC staff also tried to prevent Lourenço from asking questions of party leader Pierre Poilievre outside the convention venue, Lourenço said. CPC staff members “formed a human wall around their leader,” Lourenço said. “This made it almost impossible for me to ask any questions,” he added. 

Lourenço was one of several journalists whose accreditation to the conference was denied.

The CPC’s director of communications suggested to several publications that they could apply for “observer” status – which, publisher Dru Oja Jay of The Breach (another outlet denied access to the convention) noted in an interview with Le Devoir, would have cost $1,700.