Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

I think they're missing the point about Question Period

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Winnipeg MP Anita Neville sent out a note to reporters in Manitoba this week bringing our attention to the fact there was a video of her latest efforts in Question Period to ferret our information about the possible patronage appointment for Treasury Board President Vic Toews. In fact, the best of the Grit questions from Question Period are now available in a video library available on the party's website. What a good idea. It's not always convenient to take in QP via cable TV, and being able to see a snippet of Question Period on a newsworthy topic is a great resource for journalists on the go.Great resource, except for one small problem. The Grits only archive their questions. They do not include the answers.This is not a criticism of the MPs themselves. Neville asked some very good questions about Toewsgate. However, anyone passionate enough about politics to regularly visit the Liberal website to watch taped-delay video of QP would probably appreciate hearing the answers.At first blush, this is one of the most politically narcissistic things I have ever seen. I know they call it Question Period, but the answers are just as important, perhaps more important than the questions. Posting videos of questions without showing the answers is really quite silly.Note to Liberal HQ: You'd look much better to your constituents if you showed how poorly the government was in answering your questions. Otherwise, all you're doing is providing a video diary for MPs to admire themselves when caught briefly in the glare of television lights.Better luck next time.-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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