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Tirade at Tyee by immigration minister's top aide analyzed tweet by tweet

Scarcely had new Tyee reader-funded Parliament Hill reporter Jeremy Nuttall unpacked his bags in Ottawa when he became the focus of a multi-tweet blast from Chris Day, the chief of staff to Canada's Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

What prompted Tuesday's twitter tirade? A couple of stories (here and here) by Nuttall revealing that Canada, having accepted 230 refugee applicants from North Korea in 2012, has approved zero this year -- this coming 10 months after experts warned Alexander had raised obstacles by successfully challenging the granting of a North Korean woman and her child refugee status.

Toronto-based Marco Campana tweeted the second piece, which reported on a group in Canada trying to get approval from the ministry for a program that would allow Canadian families to sponsor North Korean refugees, similar to what had been done for Vietnamese "boat people."

Campana's tweet was nothing more than the story's headline: "What's Keeping Door Shut to North Koreans Seeking Haven in Canada?" and a link.

When Day tweeted back "Door isn't shut. The Tyee is a rag. Reporter ignored several responses to questions posed to us over the past week," Campana responded: "Is it ever possible for you to refute with facts/evidence instead of ridiculous rhetoric? Got facts? Show them. Pretty easy."

And then tweets began streaming forth from Day claiming to cite holes in Nuttall's story, tweets which Campana captured and painstakingly debunked in a Storify post that can be found here.

Campana, a stay at home parent who tweets and publishes his Storify pieces on a personal basis, persistently corrected Day by pointing out that Nuttall's reporting had included just about all the facts that Day was maintaining it hadn't.

Campana's conclusion: "Well, upon reflection, at the end of the day, I'd have to disagree that 'publicly available' information was ignored. It has, in fact, been part of the reporting since the first article.

"Sorry Chris Day, your time on the taxpayer dime today was not well spent. #fail"

Naturally, and given Jeremy Nuttall's stellar resume as a reporter, we concur.

You can find all of Nuttall's reporting for The Tyee here.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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