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When the prime minister comes to town, he brings some of Ottawa with him and access is tightly contained. At a barbecue Monday, reporters were kept far back and not allowed to ask questions. On Tuesday, six questions were permitted.
This event was held at a Vancouver elementary school, which was rented by the government for $ 1,359. Even the chair of the Vancouver School Board wasn’t informed of the prime minister renting space at an elementary school and crashed the event after learning about it an hour before it started.
“I heard about it just this morning and we weren’t formally notified,” said VSB chair Patti Bacchus. Facilities in schools are rented out when school isn’t in session to raise money and the Prime Minister’s Office booked the elementary school for Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.
“He was nice and said hi to us. He came up really close, we were really near,” said Sarai, who was invited to the event along with her family and were positioned near the podium where Harper made an announcement.
Before arriving, Harper and Laureen frosted cookies at Ronald McDonald House, a facility set up for families of sick children so they would have a place to stay while receiving medical care in Vancouver.
Chairs were found for some of the critically ill children who waited to be photographed near the prime minister.
“My son had to keep sitting down. It was so hot up there as we waited,” said Jacqueline Huff, whose 15-year-old son Quinlan, a brain cancer survivor who has one tiny tumour remaining, was one of the invited guests.
Ruth, who came from Ottawa for the event, said she’s thankful to Harper for making the changes that will allow caregivers to continue being able to pay bills and their mortgage while caring for a critically ill child.
“I have listened with sadness to other parents of gravely ill children yet was powerless to help, unable to give any reassurance their bills will be paid their cars won’t be repossessed and their homes won’t be taken from them,” she said Tuesday.
I just heard there’s a program coming and it’s going to help,? she said.