Bathurst — On Thursday, July 14, The Manatee learned through a protected source that Hon. Brian Kenny, MLA for Bathurst West-Beresford and provincial minister of Environment and Local Government, had taken actions to make his tweets “protected” from public access. Below is a timeline of what followed as reported by Manatee staff:
- July 15, 5:34 p.m. — Manatee staffer attempts to view Kenny’s Twitter page in order to substantiate information obtained by source. Staffer’s attempt was rejected by Twitter; they were instead directed to a page which read as follows: “Brian Kenny’s Tweets are protected… only confirmed followers have access to @BathurstBrian’s tweets… Tap the ‘follow’ button to send a follow request.”
- July 15, 5:54 p.m. — After an emergency meeting of editors at Manatee HQ, it was decided that The Manatee would, in compliance with Twitter’s direction, tap the “follow” button. Five minutes later, there was still no response from either Kenny’s office, his Twitter page or Twitter itself.
- July 16, 8:51 a.m. — Manatee staff contacted Brian Gallant’s office. All questions related to Kenny’s Twitter account were deemed “ridiculous.” Gallant himself speculated that Kenny “probably just likes to tweet amongst his friends and family.” He continued, “Wait… is this a joke? Are you doing like a joke-thing?”
- July 16, 12:01 p.m. — New Brunswick political pundit and former Liberal New Brunswick insider Farrah Hassan composed the following tweet: “Kenny has either committed political suicide, or the New Brunswick gvm’t (government) has become less transparent, forever.”
- July 16, 8:17 p.m. — After more than 24 hours, there remains a continuing silence from Kenny’s office. Farrah Hassan holds the opinion that they were holding out for the weekend, at which point they would have a couple of days to plan a strategy. Hassan believes that even after the weekend, they will be faced with a political double-edged sword. “If they make their tweets public, possibly damning information comes to light; if they remain silent, #Pendgate continues…”