I've been turned down for interview requests on this project by the following:
- Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
- Canadian International Development Minister Christian Paradis.
UPDATE: That last name is an update to a post from earlier this morning. I am so incredibly disappointed Minister Paradis has turned me down. I sort of assumed the prime minister would turn me down since he rarely takes questions from reporters, nevermind sitting down for interviews. And Bono, well, as much as it would have helped the clicks on my stories, I don't care as much what he has to say about Canada's international assistance as I do about our own political leaders.
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has been incredibly helpful with my project, including setting up a background briefing ahead of my travels, plus interviews with three ambassadors. That openness really got my hopes up that Paradis would sit down with me. I am nearly speechless that the government is putting up nobody to speak to their SIGNATURE FOREIGN POLICY initiative. I thought that the number of years I've spent covering the issue, plus the fact that I actually spent weeks visiting Canadian projects, would speak to my sincerity in wanting to provide a complete picture. Apparently that doesn't matter.