A spokesperson from the prime minister’s office told QMI Agency that “certain news outlets were no longer welcome” to travel with Harper, according to the Winnipeg Sun. Harper will be taking his annual Arctic tour.
The reporters work for Xinhua and People’s Daily, which are two of the Chinese regime’s official mouthpieces.
Li Xue Jiang, Ottawa-based bureau chief of the People’s Daily, had to be restrained last year after he shoved Harper’s press secretary, Julie Vaux, and tried grabbing a microphone to ask a question. The incident was caught on film.
He then grabbed a microphone from a member of the Privy Council Office, according to CBC Radio-Canada. Three members of Harper’s security team grabbed Li and took him into a back room where he was briefly detained.
Li allegeldy wanted to ask Harper about the Canadian government’s position on foreign investment in Canada. He claimed Vaux pushed him first.
“Agree or disagree with how events are run, there was no excuse for the Chinese state reporter to get physical with our staff,” Harper’s director of communications, Andrew MacDougall, said on Twitter after the incident.
“We will be raising the matter with the Press Pallery and Mr. Li should apologize immediately,” he added, referring to Canada’s press gallery which represents journalists covering politics on Parliament Hill.
Harper’s upcoming ninth annual trip to the arctic is meant to reinforce Canada’s claims to the territory, amid growing pressure from Russia over territory it also claims.