January 21, 2008 / 8:24 PM / 10 years ago

Canada reporter punished for helping opposition MP

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reporter who covers Parliament will be reassigned because she inappropriately wrote questions for an opposition legislator, the public broadcaster said on Monday.

The ruling Conservative Party -- no fan of the CBC -- complained that television journalist Krista Erickson had given the questions to a Liberal member of a committee examining the dealings of a former Conservative prime minister.

“Our investigation determined there was no bias in related news coverage. However, our reporter, acting on her own, used inappropriate tactics as a result of journalistic zeal, rather than partisan interest,” CBC publisher John Cruickshank said in a letter to the Conservatives.

“CBC news management has made the decision to reassign its reporter from the story and to Toronto, effective January 21.”

The Liberal legislator identified in media reports as the recipient of the questions said he had produced them himself.

“As you know in Ottawa everybody gets lots of information from a lot of people ... but at the end of the day we decide what to ask and we write our own questions and I wrote my own questions,” Pablo Rodriguez told Reuters.

Asked if he had received any help from Erickson, he replied: “No, no.”

The right-of-center Conservatives regularly complain about what they see as a left-wing bias at the CBC.

The Conservatives complained last month that “the fact that our national public broadcaster was actively co-operating with a political party in an attempt to embarrass the government raises serious questions about the impartiality of Canada’s publicly funded national broadcaster.”

Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson

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