Parliamentary Press Gallery Refuses to Accredit Sen. Patrick Brazeau

Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau has been denied accreditation by the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Sen. Brazeau revealed last week that he had been hired to work as a freelance writer for Frank, i.e. a satirical Halifax political magazine, and was applying for press credentials. The gallery is tasked to accredit professional journalists who expect to cover Parliament Hill and issues special passes for this.

In the gallery’s discussion, announced on Wednesday, it found that granting Sen. Brazeau a press pass, or other privileges, would be a breach of the Gallery’s constitution. In his remarks, gallery president Daniel Thibeault revealed that even though Brazeau has been suspended from the Senate over inappropriate spending, he is still a senator in name whose role might be restored soon after the Parliament is prorogued. He explained that since gallery members are bound to sign a legal form that narrates they will not represent the interests of political parties and governments, admitting him to the gallery might be deemed “contradictory” to those rules given his position.

Mr. Thibeault stated that “first of all, the constitution says the principal occupation of a member is to be reporting. interpreting or editing parliamentary or federal government news.” He added that “Mr. Brazeau is technically a legislator. He still carries the title of Senator, he still adheres to the benefit program of the Senate, still eligible for a pension and technically, if tomorrow morning the House was prorogued and we were to start a new session, Mr. Brazeau would be back in the Senate right away.”

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