Only five percent of Conservative candidates gave the Ottawa Citizen an interview and not one was from B.C.

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      Not one Conservative candidate from British Columbia granted the Ottawa Citizen an interview when the paper conducted an informal survey aimed at gauging how hostile the party is to media.

      “Only 14 Conservatives seeking election across the country responded favourably to requests for interviews made by the Citizen to determine whether the party has truly clamped down on candidates’ availability to the media,” reads an August 31 story by national affairs journalist Glen McGregor.

      His report notes that it does not appear a blanket policy banning interviews is in effect. McGregor wrote a few candidates did grant interviews while others had staff reply with questions about the nature of any potential interview.

      But none of those candidates were from British Columbia.

      Three Conservative candidates from B.C. did not grant interviews but did at least respond to the Citizen’s queries. For example, Laura Smith, who is running to represent North Island—Powell River, asked that questions be provided in advance.

      “Would appreciate a list of the specific questions you intend to discuss,” wrote a staffer from Smith’s office. McGregor subsequently refused to supply questions (a policy shared by the Georgia Straight and many other media outlets). He was then referred to another Conservative staffer instead of being connected with the candidate.

      Ed Fast (Abbotsford) and Tim Laidler (Coquitlam) also appear on the Citizen’s list of candidates who replied with a request for more information. Dianne Watts (South Surrey) is described as acknowledging the interview request but then failing to actually grant an interview.

      Here’s the list of Conservative candidates whose offices did not respond at all:

      Mike Little — Burnaby North—Seymour
      Grace Seear — Burnaby South
      Todd Doherty — Cariboo—Prince George
      Dan Albas — Central Okanagan — Similkameen—Nicola
      Mark Strahl — Chilliwack—Hope
      Douglas Horne — Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam
      John Duncan — Courtenay—Alberni
      Kerry-Lynne Findlay — Delta
      Shari Lukens — Esquimalt — Saanich—Sooke
      Nina Grewal — Fleetwood — Port Kells
      Cathy McLeod — Kamloops — Thompson—Cariboo
      Ron Cannan — Kelowna—Lake Country
      David Wilks — Kootenay—Columbia
      Mark Warawa — Langley—Aldergrove
      Brad Vis — Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon
      Mark MacDonald — Nanaimo—Ladysmith
      Chloe Ellis — New Westminster—Burnaby
      Mel Arnold — North Okanagan—Shuswap
      Andrew Saxton — North Vancouver
      Mike Murray — Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge
      Bob Zimmer — Prince George — Peace River—Northern Rockies
      Alice Wong — Richmond Centre
      Robert Boyd — Saanich — Gulf Islands
      Tyler Nesbitt — Skeena — Bulkley Valley
      Marshall Neufeld — South Okanagan—West Kootenay
      Kenny Chiu — Steveston—Richmond East
      Sucha Thind — Surrey Centre
      Harpreet Singh — Surrey—Newton
      James Low — Vancouver East
      Erinn Broshko — Vancouver Granville
      Jojo Quimpo — Vancouver Kingsway
      Blair Lockhart — Vancouver Quadra
      Wai Young — Vancouver South
      John Rizzuti — Victoria
      John Weston — West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country

      Out of 318 requests sent by the Ottawa Citizen, perhaps the most telling response came from the office of Chungsen Leung, who is running for re-election in Willowdale, Ontario.

      “I can’t see how you can help me get more votes,” a staffer wrote.

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