Check out this article written by Susan Delacourt/ Bruce Campion-Smith.
Highlights: ( alternate section title: find the speculation. Because there are few facts other than the on the record denial from the conservatives, but why let facts get in the way of speculation)
OTTAWA—Two University of Ottawa professors, vocal critics of the federal Conservative government, say they have become targets of a new political intimidation tactic, aimed at using their private, personal information against them.
...but Mendes and Attaran are convinced that it’s part of an academic witch hunt by the governing party — part of a wider campaign to silence university voices that may be critical of the Conservatives.
“I started thinking, my God, this is a McCarthy-like attempt to politically intimidate both of us,” Mendes said
Neither Attaran or Mendes know the name or names of the requesters, but they have suspicions about the motive.
“It seems like an intimidation tactic,” said Attaran
“The information makes me think it’s somebody who is essentially trying to amass a file on critics of the government,” he said in an interview. “I have a feeling it’s political.”
“It certainly set off some alarm bells,” Attaran said. “Somebody wants their sticky fingers on me. I just don’t know who it is.
Mendes: “If I knew who the person was and the person was politically connected, I’d be furious.”
“They (U of O) seem to agree that it’s meant to clamp down on academic freedom in some way,’ he said.
Heather MacIvor, a professor at the University of Windsor and a longtime researcher and commentator on the Conservative party, said she believes that there is a concerted effort to put a “chill” on academic critics of the Harper government,
“This government has a hostility toward people who think for a living or people who write for a living,” MacIvor said
MacIvor said she’s been told that Conservative operatives refer to her as “Liberal hack”
Here’s the thing. I don’t make that public. I don’t talk about the fact that I worked for the Liberals,” MacIvor said. “I can tell you that my employment record for Parliament Hill is (only) in the National Archives. It takes a lot of work to find it. Somebody found it.”
Nor did spokeswoman Andrée Dumulon want to speculate on why U of O has been receiving a disproportionate share of access requests in recent years. “We don’t know anything about the motives behind the requests,” Dumulon said.
I found one more in another story, this time in the Ottawa Citizen: "It does have a distinct political whiff to it," Attaran said.
An entire article based purely on speculation, feelings, and unconfirmed suspicions (unconfirmed suspicions seem to trump confirmed denials) published in the Toronto Star under a Susan Delacourt/Bruce Campion-Smith byline.
Not that I am surprised though, because with Delacourt we are talking about a 'journalist' who wrote another article based on the TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE notion of a Tuesday (Federal elections are held on Mondays) March 29th election.
You know what they say: If it is published in the Toronto Star, it is probably bullshit. ( If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.)
Related: Who is Amir Attaran?
Liberal supporter? Follow the money.
BCBlue gives his thoughts here.
Blue Like You.
The National Post. ( I love the title: Possibly the lamest front-page “exclusive” in the history of Canadian journalism)
A Few Figs.
New Ekos poll out: CPC 37.3 LPC 24.8 NDP 14.2 GPC 10.7 BQ 9.9
Seems like the Liberals plan to steal the NDP platform has fallen flat.