ontario pc convention

Security guard fails to stop journalist from doing his job outside Ontario PC convention

It was a classic battle of brains vs. brawn outside the Ontario PC party's 2020 convention in Niagara Falls this weekend when a security guard tried to stop a live TV news broadcast... and failed.

CBC provincial affairs reporter Mike Crawley, a respected industry veteran, was standing outside Niagara's Scotiabank Convention Centre on Friday evening after he was denied entry into the PC convention (along with all other media.)

Crawley was reporting on negotiations related to the Ontario teachers' strike during a live hit on the CBC program "Power and Politics" when a large man dressed in black walked straight in front of the camera.

"You've gotta go, you can't be here," said the man to Crawley while blocking nearly the entire shot with his back and neck.

"Excuse me," Crawley replied. "Sorry, I'm on... excuse me..."

The man didn't move, so the CBC's camera operator zoomed out and focused on Crawley as he moved to the side.  

"Sorry Vassy," Crawley said to the program's host during the increasingly uncomfortable segment. "There's a security [guard] trying to stop us from doing this report... The Ontario PC party  has sent people out here to try to chase us away."

"So, the Ontario PC party is having this convention, and they're saying that media are not allowed," he continued. "We weren't allowed inside, now they're actually in the process of trying to chase us away from being outside on the sidewalk."

The security guard could be heard in the background threatening to call police. He politely asked the CBC crew to leave peacefully or else face trespassing charges.

"We've got two choices gentleman," the guard said. "Leave peacefully, or trespass... this is private property."

Crawley wasn't having it and tried to continue his report. All the while, he, CBC videographer Robert Krbavac, and the security guard performed a back-and-forth dance to achieve visibility.

"So, back to what the education minister had to say—" said Crawley before the guard once again stepped in front of the camera.

"I can play this game too, I'm not cold," said the security guard. "I understand that you have a job to do, so do I, but please make your way out before police come."

It went back and forth like this — Crawley reporting on the strike negotiations, the guard threatening to call police — for about a minute before a member of the PC party came out and asked the guard to desist.

Finally, more than three-and-a-half minutes after the security guard first started messing with CBC's crew, a relieved Crawley went on to speak about the convention as originally planned.

Following the incident, the company that employed the security guard claimed that he was acting on the orders of Ontario PC party officials.

"We were instructed by the PC party to remove media from the property," said Viking Security co-owner Tammy Rolland to CBC News on Saturday. "We did not create the 'no media' rule nor did we act on our own accord."

The PC party then issued a statement to Crawley, claiming that "at no point did anyone from the Ontario PC Party instruct security to remove media from the property."

It may be unclear who ordered the guard to bounce reporters from the convention centre's sidewalk, but one thing's for certain: Crawley and Krbavac handled the situation with class.

"The consummate professional vs. a bully. That's what the PC Party should use for their election campaign," wrote one viewer. "Well done @CBCQueensPark for staying cool."

"You go! So great that we have reporters committed to showing the community (and the world) the tyranny that we are all living under," wrote another in response to Crawley on Twitter.

"At every turn [Doug Ford] will try and silence all of us. MPPs blocking constituents on Twitter. Now this. Keep up the great work!"

Lead photo by

Power & Politics

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