Letters to the Editor

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Purple Violet Press Poll: Should Charles LeBlanc be able to return to the Legislature?

For some years now, blogger Charles LeBlanc has been voicing his frustration with what he sees as an unfair banning from the grounds of the New Brunswick Legislature. From his point of view, public figures should be held accountable to the citizens and be accessible to all media. LeBlanc posed tough questions when he covered the Legislature, sometimes pushing the boundaries of protocol, to the discomfort of building security. The Clerk of the Legislature recently voiced staff dislike of LeBlanc's aggressive tactics in pursuing a story, saying disrespecting authorities in the building is what led to his ban after several complaints were received.

Both sides have a compelling point. Where do you stand? Take the poll at the right and let us know.


  1. It has always seemed to me that an outright permanent expulsion should be unconstitutional and, at the very least, should only be accomplished by an Act of the Legislature itself.

    A legislative assembly is the heart of our democratic system and the circumstances should have to be _extreme_ to exclude a citizen from observation and participation.

  2. There's a fairly broad line between 'aggressive interviewing' and harassment. Charles vaulted into the harassment area on a frequent basis. He has proved that he is not able to be trusted to work in a mature, reasonable, responsible, respectful manner with the people he sought to 'interview', therefore he was banned. Also, he has proven that he has not recognized that the banning was the result of his own harassing actions, nor has he given any indications that he would be capable of asking relevant questions in a mature, reasonable, responsible, respectful manner.

    The ban is appropriate.

    -- AF

  3. "Idle hands are the devil's workshop."

  4. Actually, he had been there 'harassing' people for YEARS. Yet he was never banned. I don't think it was a coincidence that he was banned IMMEDIATELY after he was arrested at the Atlantica conference in Saint John.
    While the complaints may have been a pretext, I think it had more to do with the fact that at that time he was essentially doing what media should be doing-which was cover public policy stories on a continual basis. Of course it was even more dangerous because he was also instigating some of those social policy issues.

    However, Charles now is much different than Charles then. That's why its good to see this blog-hope it stays around. The one thing I'd add is that if you want to follow Charles big shoes, then start hanging around the legislature while its in session, and start asking some questions in there yourself (ves).

  5. Ugottatakethegoodwiththebad19 September 2011 at 21:29

    Ban him, as many peoople have stated he harassed staff on a regular basis. On the grounds I see no problem but as for in the house.... Never Ever, can you imagine someone trying to eat and that nut sticking a camera in your face??? allow the grounds but not inside I think is fair and maybe just maybe someday he could come back in if he agrees to conduct himself in an appropiate manner, but until that time just a ban from inside is just.

  6. pvp whats your views on charles brown nosing with mr alward in woodstock n.b. Also are you feeling stressed with charles heading to jail in october,maybe you should have went on vacation with him.


  7. I'd just like to ask those who want the ban one question: How do you KNOW that Charles was harassing people? Which person said so? How many times? We are told only that he harassed people by the government and union, do you ALWAYS believe everything you hear?

    It is the PROCESS that is flawed. If the proceedings were public, heck, even a citizens committee where the complainants could remain anonymous if they so desired. However, as it is, eight guys sitting in a room can arbitrarily decide whether to ban you or not.

    So the poll is a bit misleading. It is the PROCESS that is the problem, not the ban. Maybe charles was being such a harasser that people genuinely couldn't do their work. If that is the case, like that with the bullhorn, then something needs to be done. But again, WE don't know what happened in the legislature, so its impossible to judge accurately whether to ban him or not.

  8. It sounds like Charles did not only bother the politicians when he was allowed in the building. I have no problem with him grilling a political figure but the employees should be allowed to work in peace.

    I agree with what others have said. Let him onto the grounds but he hasn't shown that he could be trusted with access to the building.

  9. For all those Charles-lovers out there, give this a listen: