In less than two years as Citytv’s Parliament Hill reporter, Aphrodite Salas (BA 1996 UC) has covered what could generate a few textbooks of political history: two prime ministers, three leadership conventions, the merging of the right and the Liberal party’s sponsorship scandal.
But Salas, 30, knew when she really arrived on the Hill: the incident took place after protocol thwarted her from asking a question during a press conference with Prime Minister Paul Martin and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Later that evening, as the dejected TV reporter walked down the deserted Parliament Hill, the PM’s motorcade came to a screeching stop beside her. To the chagrin of RCMP security and Salas, who was without a camera person or recording equipment, Martin jumped out of his limousine and teasingly offered to answer her question. “I laughed – ‘How could you do this to me?'” the reporter recalls telling Martin. “As a student of political science, some days it seemed a bit dry,” she says. “But I got to the Hill and realized it’s so accessible. I have a front-row seat to all of this.”
But seeing the nation’s leaders at work has also been an eye opener, admits Salas, who got her start in journalism after “begging” for a job in Reuters’ Africa bureau. “It’s human nature. When power is at stake, the worst tends to come out…. When we see it up close, it’s pretty ugly.”
Though focused on reporting the news, she isn’t ruling out a political career for the future. “I see what the process is and see changes that have to be made. Maybe in another couple of decades, I’ll try to make the changes.”