At the back of the bus?

Provincial New Democrat communications officer David Bieber has told Public Eye some media outlets are "taking a second look at their plans" to send reporters on the party's campaign bus during the upcoming election. Covering the campaign from such buses is a staple of political reporting. But it's a costly one. During the last election, outlets paid $8,500 to spend 28 days on the Liberals' campaign bus and $6,000 to spend the same amount of time on the New Democrats' bus. And that's a price tag some outlets might not have the wherewithal to pay.

For example, as first reported by 24 hours' Bill Tieleman, Canwest Global Communications Corp. has put a freeze on travel at their newspapers - among other restraint measures.

And The Toronto Star's Brett Popplewell recently revealed 90 people have departed The Globe and Mail after being laid-off or taking a voluntary severance pack.

"No one has said they're not coming on the bus at this point," added Mr. Bieber. "Their looking at their budgets."

Meanwhile, Liberal communications director Chad Pederson said he hasn't spoken to any outlets yet about their attendance on his party's campaign bus.

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