In an earlier interview with Public Eye, then minister of state for intergovernmental relations John Van Dongen rejected suggestions the Pacific Northwest Economic Region providing additional access to its summit sponsors. Because, according to Minister Van Dongen, that summit - which gets underway in Vancouver next weekend - will be "open to the public." But attendees will have to pay at least $100 for that privilege. And at least one applicant has had her request for a complimentary press pass denied.
Former federal Green leader Joan Russow had applied to represent Peace, Earth and Justice News at the summit. But in an email sent to Dr. Russow, the Website's common security editor, on July 8 Fleishman-Hillard Canada Inc. consultant Danica Wolfe, explained "due to limited space we are unable to grant your media outlet a complimentary press pass." Of course, that seems somewhat strange given the summit is taking place at The Westin Bayshore, which has 71,337 square feet of meeting space. Nevertheless, according to Ms. Wolfe, "blogs and personal web pages" will also "not be accepted for accreditation." The following is a complete copy of Ms. Wolfe's emails to Dr. Russow.
Hello Dr. Joan Russow,
Thank you for your interest in PNWER 18th Annual Summit.
Due to limited space we are unable to grant your media outlet a complimentary press pass. You are invited to register through general registration at: www.pnwer.org/2008summit
We are still processing applications for accredited journalists and don't anticipate being able to release a list of accredited media prior to the Summit. Due to the limited number of press passes, we have had to limit registration to the following:
- Journalists who are employed full-time by bona fide media organizations.
- Freelancers who have provided a business card and verify they have been retained to cover the event by presenting an original letter of assignment on official letterhead of a media organization from publisher/assignment editor/bureau chief.
- Online media belonging to a registered company, such as a media organization (blogs and personal web pages will not be accepted for accreditation).
- Independent TV/film production companies who have provided a letter from a broadcast organization which intends to air their work.
- Analysts who have verified they have been retained to cover the event by presenting an original letter of assignment.