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Why photojournalists are complaining about these publicity shots sent out by the Prime Minister's Office

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This photo was taken and distributed by the Prime Minister's Office on Aug.18 to publicize its announcement that Mr. Harper and cabinet ministers ate seal meat during an Arctic trip. No reporters or newsphotographers were allowed to witness the event. "The Prime Minister said, ‘I really enjoyed eating seal meat and look forward to having it again,' " an e-mail from a PMO spokesman informed reporters.

Jason Ransom/Copyright: Jason Ransom

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This photo was taken by a photojournalist from a photo op arranged by the Prime Minister's Office to publicize the work that had gone into the January, 2009, stimulus budget.

CHRIS WATTIE

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This feel-good photo of Stephen Harper surrounded by the staff of a Tim Hortons in Oakville, Ont., was taken and distributed by the Prime Minister's Office on Sept. 23. The Prime Minister travelled to Tim Hortons' Oakville offices to celebrate the fact that lowered tax rates had prompted the coffee and doughnut giant to move its corporate offices back to Canada. The PMO's caption on its photo read: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrates the return of Tim Hortons to Canada with store staff." It was one of two photos issued by the PMO that day.

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This photo was distributed Oct. 3 by the Prime Minister's Office shortly after Mr. Harper finished his famous piano rendition of With a Little Help from My Friends at the National Arts Centre Gala. It was erroneously captioned: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper performs "With A Little Help From My Friends" at the 2009 National Arts Centre Gala." In fact, the photo had been taken by a PMO photographer hours earlier during a private rehearsal. The caption was not corrected.

Deb Ransom

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