Winnipeg publication aided senator's journalistic foray
By: Alexandra Paul
Winnipeg Free Press
SUSPENDED Sen. Patrick Brazeau's bid for a press card on Parliament Hill hit a hurdle this week, but without a Winnipeg aboriginal publication, Brazeau might never have made it to first base.
First Perspective publisher Trevor Greyeyes confirmed he wrote the second letter Brazeau needed to get his name before the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
"There was no obligation on me to purchase any articles, and I thought it would get the First Perspective some press," Greyeyes said in a Facebook exchange.
Freelance journalists must submit letters from two publishers willing to give them assignments before the gallery will consider them for press credentials.
The gallery, which regulates media on Parliament Hill, denied Brazeau a card because he is still a sitting senator. To be accredited as a journalist in that circumstance would be a conflict of interest, according to Canadian Press rules.
The suspension from the upper chamber -- which lets Brazeau keep his health, dental and life insurance benefits -- is to last for the rest of the parliamentary session, which could continue for the next two years, CP noted.
Brazeau's twitter feed @TheBrazman hit the public radar after he and fellow Tory senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy were suspended for spending infractions, and Brazeau said he needed a paying job.
Frank, the Maritime satrical magazine, responded to the tweet, knowing it would give Brazeau a platform to poke a stick at his estranged chamber colleagues.
To be considered, Brazeau needed a second letter of recommendation.
Enter First Perspective, a Winnipeg publication that focuses on aboriginal issues.
Greyeyes couldn't resist having a bit of fun in a Facebook exchange about his involvement.
"I cannot lie. 'Twas me who sent the letter, as managing editor," he replied.
Greyeyes said he didn't do it because he thought Brazeau was about to blaze a new career in journalism. He did it because the managing editor of Frank approached him and, after mulling it over, Greyeyes said he figured there might be a column or two in it for First Perspective.
"You never really hire a freelancer. I was more than willing to peruse anything he cared to submit... I doubt if anything he cared to submit would have been more than a column," Greyeyes wrote.
Brazeau never talked to Greyeyes directly.