Tightened Security for Press Passes at National Assembly

Tightened Security for Press Passes at National Assembly

Quebec City (Quebec) 3 May 2015 – Security screenings and procedures are to be tightened for access to the National Assembly Press Gallery in the coming days.  Last week, a member of radical feminist group Femen interrupted a press conference by Culture Minister Hélène David, leading to the changes.  The protester had apparently been given a temporary day pass under the guise of being a reporter for a media group which apparently does not exist.

In the future, Press Gallery requests for day passes will undergo deeper screenings, and member of the press will be required to go through the usual metal detectors.  The National Assembly reports that it is working closely with Press Gallery officials to balance safety concerns with the need for easy access to public information.  Representatives from both groups are scheduled to discuss further modifications Monday.

The process for getting press passes at the National Assembly is essentially the same as those for Parliament.  Requirements and checks are very relaxed in order to afford the maximum possible transparency and access to the press, which is obviously an important factor in keeping the government accountable.  However, the lax security in Canadian legislature buildings was highlighted again in October 2014 when a gunman easily entered the Parliament building in Ottawa, a grim reminder of how easily a deranged Canadian Forces corporal entered into Québec’s National Assembly and opened fire on staffers in May 1984.

Categories: News, Politics

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