PMO communications spending up 30%; journo access down

The Prime Minister’s Office’s spending on communications has increased by nearly $10 million a year, according to a report by The Hill Times. Harper has become notorious amongst journalists for the tight lid he keeps on information. On his blog, Carleton University j-prof Josh Greenberg writes:

“Critics argue that this rise in PR spending is typical of a government obsessed with message control and they decry the decline of a democracy in which an increasingly influential cadre of spin-doctors appear to be manufacturing crises for no other reason than to justify their own solutions. Illustrative of this position is the Globe & Mail’s Jeffrey Simpson, who wrote that “although centralized control of messaging has been a growing feature of governments in many democracies nothing in Canada has come close to the attention, time and effort the Harper government puts into managing and manipulating information and image-making.”