Kory Teneycke

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Kory Teneycke
director of communications, Prime Minister's Office
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Preceded by Sandra Buckler
Succeeded by John Williamson
Personal details
Political party Conservative Party of Canada
Profession Communications Executive

Kory Teneycke, (born 1974) is the former vice-president of Sun News Network. He is also the former director of communications for the Canadian Prime Minister's Office.

Career[edit]

Teneycke was born in Regina and raised on a grain farm in rural Saskatchewan near Young. He worked on the Progressive Conservative campaign in the 1991 Saskatchewan election. He also worked on the losing Progressive Conservative campaign in Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia in 1993, where he met and became friends with Brad Wall. Teneycke then worked on two Saskatchewan Party campaigns—in 1999 and 2003.

In 2003, he was appointed head of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.[1] One of his high priorities as leader was the passage of a law mandating all Canadian gasoline to contain 5% renewable fuel. In early 2008, the Conservative government of Stephen Harper passed Bill C-33, which included just such a mandate to take full effect by 2010.[1]

On July 7, 2008, shortly after the passage of C-33, Teneycke was appointed Director of Communication for Stephen Harper.[1] In addition to his external-facing duties, he was expected to be helpful in bridging relations between factions from the former Progressive Conservative and Reform parties that had been relatively recently united to form the Conservative Party of Canada, because he had previously served roles in both parties: various organizational roles in Reform leader Preston Manning’s office, and a senior policy adviser to Progressive Conservative Premier Mike Harris managing energy and environmental files.[1] He announced on July 28, 2009, that he would be stepping down.[2]

The Hill Times reported on August 31, 2009 that Teneycke had accepted a three-month contract to provide strategic communications advice to Sun TV.[3] After a brief stint as a political commentator for the CBC,[4] in June 2010 Teneycke accepted a position as VP, Development at Quebecor Media. On September 15, 2010 Quebecor announced his departure. He rejoined Sun News in 2011.

Controversy[edit]

"Group Showers"[edit]

In mid-2010 Teneycke wondered on his Twitter[5] account if Canadian activist Marc Emery, being held in US prison for his Canadian-based marijuana seed distribution business, is "enjoy[ing] group showers as much as he enjoys pot. Three cheers for the DEA." Marc Emery's wife Jodie Emery said the comment "shocked and disgusted" her, adding it's "a common perception that prison rape happens in 'group showers.'" Jodie Emery publicly asked for an apology from Teneycke.[6]

Category 1 for SunTV News[edit]

On July 5, 2010, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) formally denied Quebecor's request to have SunTV News designated as a Category 1 channel (a classification that would require all cable/satellite providers to offer the service) as all requests for this category are on hold until October 2011.[7] At the time, Teneycke said "We’re not particularly fazed by that letter," stating "We’re looking for a cable specialty license. That’s what our initial application is for, and that’s what we’re aiming for." He indicated an amended application would be made to the CRTC.

On September 3, 2010, Teneycke on CBC's Power and Politics denied Quebecor even asked the CRTC for this designation,[8] stating

"We are not nor have we ever asked for mandatory carriage of this station where Canadians would have to be obliged to pay. We're saying that we would like to have it offered but theoretically it could be carried by no one."

Avaaz online petition spam[edit]

In September 2010, Teneycke responded to criticism of his initiative to start a news channel in Canada which was perceived as getting preferential treatment by the incumbent Conservative government, his former employer. In news interviews, Teneycke pointed out that a petition operated by the group Avaaz opposing the new channel was being infiltrated by illegitimate signatures, going so far as to send an update about it on Twitter.[9]

CBC political blogger Kady O'Malley had questioned the source that Teneycke had cited in his Toronto Sun article as there was no way of knowing who had actually signed up for the Avaaz petition as the signees were not published. Teneycke then admitted that he had a source who had provided false names to prove a point.[10] Later in an interview, Avaaz executive director Ricken Patel indicated that the fake signatures that Teneycke had cited were all added from the same IP address at the time when Teneycke had published the Sun article critical of the petition.[10] Susan Delacourt of the Toronto Star observed "Kory Teneycke seemed to have inside knowledge of the fake names on the petition.[11] Avaaz requested on September 14, 2010 that the Ottawa Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) begin an investigation to determine the identity of the individual responsible for adding the fraudulent signatures from an Ottawa IP address to the organization's petition dubbed "Stop 'Fox News North'". In his letter to law enforcement on behalf of Avaaz, civil rights lawyer, Clayton Ruby, called for a full criminal investigation on the matter.[12]

No charges were ever filed in relation to Avaaz's complaint.

References[edit]