Conservative Staffers Will Vet Every Single Canadian That Stephen Harper Meets During The Election

If you haven't been cleared in advance, you're not getting within sight of the prime minister.

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Are you a normal person hoping to catch a sight of the prime minister when he swings by your home town on the election campaign? Well you're screwed.

It turns out Stephen Harper is not going to interact with anyone during the election campaign that wasn't cleared in advance by his staffers. Even "public" rallies with hundreds or thousands of people will be made up entirely people who are pre-screened.

Conservative spokesman Kory Teneycke said Friday that only invited guests will be allowed at each and every event over the expected 11-week campaign.

Paul McLeod / BuzzFeed Canada

"You need to have been invited and if you don't have a ticket you're not getting in," Teneycke said.

Tory staffers will be doing all of the vetting in advance. Anyone who wants to see the PM will need to get a ticket in advance with a QR code. That code will be scanned at the event and the guest will have to prove their identity.

This was never done even in previous elections when Stephen Harper was prime minister. So why are they doing it now?

Patrick Doyle / Reuters

It means the Harper campaign able to avoid controversies like this one about snooping on some students' Facebook pages and kicking them out of an event. It also avoids any embarrassing protests.

Keeping the public away from Harper's events may rub some people the wrong way. But Teneycke broke the news late Friday afternoon before a summer long weekend, so statistically you're not reading this.

Both the NDP and Liberals told BuzzFeed Canada they will continue to do public events throughout the campaign. But if you're hoping to see the prime minister you'd better have one of these.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at paul.mcleod@buzzfeed.com.

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