There's growing speculation a provincial election might be on the horizon, based partly on how Premier Pauline Marois is handling press conferences.

The premier has been refusing to answer certain questions and avoiding certain topics of late, including the controversial Charter of Quebec Values.

In Montreal Monday to announce a $1.2 million loan to Technicolor Canada to help finance a new special effects and post-production studio in Old Montreal, Marois was asked for her reaction to a pro-charter demonstration the day before. She said it was an important file for the government, repeating, “I have no comments to add this morning.”

It's a strategy that isn't going unnoticed. Some say the premier is carefully trying to avoid saying anything that could potentially backfire, so she'll be in a good position to call an election.

“Mme. Marois is almost like Stephen Harper,” said political analyst Jean Lapierre. “She's trying to control the press and it's very difficult to understand because while she's calling for people to debate -- especially on the charter -- now, she doesn't want to answer any questions about it. It doesn't make any sense.”

And it's raising concerns in the media, said Lapierre.

“The premier has always been accessible, that's a tradition. Now if she wants to play a Stephen Harper, she's going to have a hell of a situation with the press gallery in Quebec City,” he said.

The press gallery in Quebec City has, in fact, asked for a meeting with Marois' staffers, because of their concerns about the tightly-controlled press conferences. Quebec's professional federation of journalists is also keeping a close eye on the situation.

“It's concerning news, and some reporters have expressed their concerns to us. We do hope it's not a trend and that things will go back to normal,” said FPJQ President Brian Myles.

The premier's communications strategy is feeding into speculation of an election on Dec. 9.

“I guess that's because they're getting ready for a campaign and she doesn't want to make any mistakes, so they're really running a tight ship,” said Lapierre.