NDP candidate Pat Martin asks media to leave election event hosted by kids
Beth Macdonell, CTV Winnipeg
Published Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:30PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, October 1, 2015 6:36PM CST
Outspoken Winnipeg Centre NDP candidate Pat Martin is under the microscope again.
However this time it's not for what he said, rather it's what he didn't say, in front of CTV cameras.
Wednesday night Martin attended an election event at Art City, a community group in West Broadway.
The event was designed as a question and answer with kids speaking directly with the NDP candidate.
CTV was invited to the event, but didn’t stay and record at Pat Martin's request.
"Pat just turned to him and said, 'I don't really want to be on camera. That's not really what this is about for me. I prefer not to'," said Eddie Ayoub, Art City artistic director, on Thursday.
Ayoub said Art City notified all Winnipeg Centre candidates in advance media might be in attendance at the events, which run all week.
When his event was over, Martin had little to say on why the media was left out.
“Respectfully, I have to go. Excuse me, I’m sorry,” said Martin as he walked to his car outside Art City.
A reporter asked why CTV wasn’t allowed inside, and Martin replied, “I wanted to talk to children."
On Thursday, Martin's campaign manager told CTV they were never told media would be at the event, nor did the campaign invite media to attend.
The campaign manager said it was a private event; an opportunity for Martin to meet with kids and talk about politics.
Martin has been under fire recently for his use of language at public events.
In mid-September, Martin was caught on camera muttering ‘you son of a b---h’ at Green Party candidate Don Woodstock during a debate. Martin later apologized.
Woodstock allowed CTV to capture his Q&A at Art City, and said he loved his experience with the kids.
“Maybe he was afraid (of) what the kids would have asked him, I don't know what his fear was,” said Woodstock Thursday. “If the media wants to ask you a question, you should make yourself accessible to the media."
CTV was also in attendance Thursday when Liberal candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette was questioned by the kids.
"You never know the questions they might have. They are interesting. They are fearless because they don't know the social constraints," said Ouellette.
A spokesperson from Winnipeg Centre Conservative candidate Allie Szarkiewicz's office sent a statement to CTV.
“It's challenging to get all the permission forms signed for kids to be televised, and to have that shut down is disappointing," the statement said.
Art City said it respects Martin's decision not to appear on camer, as it's a policy the kids follow when they do their own video projects.
The group added that if the cameas had been allowed, it would have captured a nice side of Martin.