QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 7, 2023 – Unifor’s Canadian Freelance Union President and freelance journalist Nora Loreto was denied media accreditation at the 2023 convention of the Conservative Party of Canada in Québec City.
Loreto says that despite her registering correctly and meeting all the requirements established by the party for accreditation, and despite her having previously been accredited for Conservative events, Director of Communications Sarah Fischer refused Loreto’s application.
Loreto claims that she pressed Fischer who said repeatedly that Loreto was denied, but refused to say why. Fischer said that if Loreto really wanted to attend, she could pay the $1700 observer’s fee, a suggestion that is extortionate and would be an unethical use of an observer pass for ethical journalism.
Loreto is on contract to cover the convention for The Maple and US-based The Real News.
“This clear attack on free press is unacceptable. In addition to blocking a journalist from doing her job, they have made it less safe, forcing me to work from the sidewalk,” said Loreto.
The party is considering two motions on what they call freedom of speech and also one motion to defund the CBC/Radio-Canada.
“What is this party afraid of?” Loreto asked. “Does [party leader Pierre] Poilievre think he will be able to pick and choose which freelancers will be allowed to work when he’s Prime Minister?”