Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has been unavailable to scrum with national media for more than six weeks, contenting himself with small announcements of crime prevention projects in regional centres.
In that time, there have been many news stories involving agencies under his portfolio that he has yet to comment on: Canadian Border Services Agency's version of events in the death of Robert Dziekanski; the RCMP's change in Taser policy; a task force led by lawyer David Brown which called for a complete overhaul of RCMP management and oversight; and the controversy over the treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, which is directly monitored by Canadian correctional officals.
Today, at a funding announcment to promote an online safety awareness project for children and parents, reporters were all but barred from quizzing Day. After three questions, his cabinet colleague Vic Toews stepped in and shut down the question period.
Toews said the questions could be taken up with the minister "later" and only questions about the announcement would be taken.
After a photo op, however, Day stopped only to take questions for a promotional video for Telus - one of the private sponsors of the same project Day had just promoted.
He ducked into a coatroom, refusing to take questions from parliamentary press gallery reporters on the treatment of Afghan detainees, while staff shut the door.
Then he strode down a hall to an elevator, declining to speak on the future of the RCMP, saying only that his government was doing "good work" as a staffer physically blocked reporters from entering the elevator.