January 8, 2013
Global TV crew escorted out of Attawapiskat
By QMI Agency
A Global News reporter and photojournalist say police threatened to arrest them while they attempted to do a story about the living conditions in Attawapiskat Tuesday.
Police then reportedly escorted them off the northern Ontario reserve.
Jennifer Tryon, a senior investigative correspondent, and Trevor Owens, a photojournalist, went to Attawapiskat Tuesday afternoon and "minutes after they arrived" police threatened to arrest them for breach of the peace and/or trespassing, Global reported.
Police escorted them to their hotel to get their stuff and to the airport "to ensure they left the reserve," Global said.
Tryon told the broadcaster she was told that Chief Theresa Spence, who has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11 in Ottawa, asked all media to leave and ordered reserve residents to not talk to journalists.
"The acting chief said she had gotten a call from Theresa Spence herself telling all media to leave, and as far as I can tell, we're the only media here, but we're being told by Theresa Spence herself that we had to leave," Tryon told Global.
This comes just days after the federal government released a scathing audit of the reserve Monday, showing little to no paperwork for more than $100 million in funds the community received over a six-year period.
Spence has called the audit a distraction and claimed the federal government released it as a smear campaign against her.
Journalists have been banned from speaking to Spence since the release of the independent audit.