Governments, Shipbuilders and Reporters

20 March 2019. In mid-March David Pugliese, a reporter who has been covering Canadian security and defence matters for many years, submitted several questions to the government about the Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessels. Less than two hours later, he was contacted by a shipbuilder with major contracts with the federal government. This reflects badly both on the government for sharing the information and on the shipbuilder for coming down hard on a reporter who was asking questions. Reporters ask questions – that’s their job. They aren’t ‘enemies of the people,’ they’re asking questions and looking into matters that are of interest to ‘the people.’ Sometimes we may not like the questions, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be asked. And one issue that became clear with this incident is the perhaps overly cosy relationship between the government and a company that is contracted to build ships for the government. As Pugliese said in an interview about the matter, “First of all, I asked the federal government for comment. Irving isn't part of the federal government. It's a completely private corporation, an outside entity. And it raises questions about the level of co-ordination between this company and the federal government.” A good point. “A reporter asked the government about a Navy ship — then got a call from an Irving president,”


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