Working notes, observations, links and other errata from a parliamentary bureau reporter in Ottawa, Canada.
About "David Akin"
Gemini Award-winning journalist David Akin is the National Bureau Chief for Sun Media and is based at Sun's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has covered events as varied as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual tours through the Arctic to the uprisings in Egypt in the spring of 2011 to terror trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. Akin received a Gemini Award for his reporting while he was a correspondent for CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson and he was a National Newspaper Award finalist while working as a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail. His 20-year career in journalism also includes being a member of the inaugural staff at the National Post.
Akin has long been one of Canada’s journalism pioneers when it comes to exploring ways to use digital media and computer-assisted tools for newsgathering and publishing. His blog, On The Hill, is nearly a decade old and he is a frequent speaker on the use of social media in communications.
Akin has been named one of the 100 most influential people on Parliament Hill.
A Montrealer by birth, Akin studied history at the University of Guelph. He lives near Ottawa with his wife and two children.
Robert Ghiz, premier of Prince Edward Island, speaks with the media, as premiers Kathleen Wynne of Ontario (R), Philippe Couillard of Quebec (2nd L) and David Alward of New Brunswick (top, R) look on during their Council of the Federation summit in Charlottetown on Thursday. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)
Earlier this year, during the Quebec provincial election, two internal party polls were released to the media. They were widely reported on as much for their contents as they were for the selective nature of the data released and the motives for releasing the poll. Both internal polls were released by parties that were trailing in several media-sponsored public domain polls. The incumbent Parti Quebecois would be thumped at the polls on election day by Philippe Couillard’s Liberals while the third party Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) pretty much ended up where it started — well back in third.
Every media-sponsored public domain poll showed a steady march during the campaign of increasing voter support for the Liberals and a steady drop by the PQ.
The only late campaign poll to show that the PQ was leading was one the PQ itself released. The CAQ released its internal poll showing that it was closer to the leaders than public domain polls.
It was clear in both cases that the motive for both the PQ and CAQ to release what turned out to be over-optimistic (to put it politely) polls was to boost the morale of campaigns that, at the time of the release of these polls, was flagging. Successful campaigns need volunteers and money and both of those can be harder to come by if polls are showing a campaign is blowing up, as the PQ campaign, as it turned out, was. (Eric Grenier of 308.com does a nice job on the Quebec issue here.)
Today on the campaign trail, New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant was talking about his job creation plan and hammering the government of incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward government because it “it lost 3,900 jobs since October 2010, lost, more specifically, 6,500 full-time jobs.”
That phrase “since October 2010″ is an important qualifier but, in my view, an odd one as he and anyone else should be measuring the Alward government’s job performance record from September 2010, the month in which Alward was elected premier. In fact, as I point out in this review of the Alward government’s jobs record, the record is even worse if you start from September 2010 rather than October 2010.
The record on job creation for New Brunswick Premier David Alward — fighting for re-election right now — has been rotten. (KRIS SIMS/Sun News Network)
Campaigning with Justin Trudeau on the weekend, New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant told reporters, “The plan of David Alward and the Conservatives is not at all concrete. When you look at their record on job creation, since 2010 we’ve lost 3,900 jobs.”
It’s actually much worse. The province has lost 4,800 jobs since 2010. (I’m assuming that when Gallant says “since 2010″ he means, “since the September 2010 election that Alward won”) Read more…
New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant opened up the second day of the 38th General Election in his province in Rexton, talking about the Liberal plan to improve healthcare delivery. [Read the plan here]
2/4 By giving all NBers access to a family doctor in four years, by adding 50 new billing numbers for general practitioners #NBVotes2014 — Brian Gallant (@BrianGallantNB) August 22, 2014
The posts on this blog are, by and large, created and maintained by me, David Akin, the national bureau chief for Sun Media.
I receive no fees, considerations, etc. for the posts on this blog nor do I have any plans to accept any beyond the salary paid to me by Sun Media and Sun News Network. Both those companies are owned by Quebecor Inc. As a publicly traded Canadian company, Quebecor must disclose financial and other information. You can monitor those disclosures at Quebecor's Web site.
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If you think other disclosures are appropriate in this space, I'd like to hear from you. All of my contact details are always at www.davidakin.com.