CBC and Rosemary Barton are suing Conservative Party of Canada for copyright infringement
The CBC and The National host Rosemary Barton are suing the Conservative Party of Canada for copyright infringement over CBC clips used on the CPC’s “Not as Advertised” website attacking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, as well as for using CBC debate clips on the CPC Twitter feed.
“The CBC obviously has rights as the copyright owner in its broadcast, but those rights are constrained by limitations and exceptions under the law that allow for use of its work without the need for further permission,” said University of Ottawa copyright law professor Michael Geist in a blog post, arguing the Conservative’s had the right under fair dealing to use the CBC excerpts, much like CBC borrows pieces of others’ work in its reporting.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday and argues the CPC violated the moral rights of CBC journalists John Paul Tasker and Rosemary Barton and its use of CBC content could confuse viewers to believe the public broadcaster is biased for the Conservatives, which goes against the public braodcaster’s mandate.
Ironically, many Canadians have instead been accusing the CBC of being biased for the Trudeau Liberals, including the journalism of Barton herself, who has a history of showing favouritism for the Liberal leader and his government, including taking an affectionate selfie with Trudeau to share on social media as well as asking him friendly frivolous questions in an end of year interview in 2018.
Barton has also made recent partial comments live on air, such as how the Trudeau government’s large deficits don’t matter or that the RCMP are “just asking a few questions” regarding the SNC Lavalin scandal investigation.
“Moreover, the claim over short clips over debate footage is enormously troubling, considering both the importance of broad dissemination of the debate and the fact that the debate involves little specific contribution for any individual broadcaster,” continued Geist in his post assessing the lawsuit. “CBC has an unfortunate history of overzealous use of copyright to stifle freedom of expression and that approach appears to have reared its head yet again as the 2019 campaign hits the home stretch.”
CBC’s lawsuit has had a chilling effect, with the video under question already being pulled from the CPC’s YouTube channel.
In 2015, Barton’s predecessor and mentor Peter Mansbridge also complained to CBC management about the CPC using some interview footage between him and Trudeau that included an embarrassing response from the Liberal leader in response to the Boston Bombing attack.
Mansbridge himself has been questioned for his partiality for the Liberals after his fawning interview with Trudeau the day he was sworn in as PM and his close friendship with Liberal partisan Bruce Anderson, who he regularly had on The National when he was the host.
Other political parties routinely use clips from broadcasters and haven’t typically been sued.
Outside of this recent action, the CBC has also been called out for multiple other instances of favourable Liberal connections or actions.
CBC journalist and parliamentary press gallery member Katie Simpson, for example, was questioned on why she would use a picture of a smiling Trudeau as her background on Twitter. (She’s since changed it.)
The CBC is also still collaborating with a survey company–that also received lucrative contracts from the Liberal government–to create its Vote Compass, an unscientific survey that tells voters which party they are most aligned with and in the past has been accused of favouring the Liberals.
Last week another CBC journalist wrote an incorrect “analysis” piece that claimed the B.C. carbon tax was revenue neutral, the same claim the Liberals are making about their own carbon tax, which Barton tweeted out. It took the public broadcaster 18 hours to properly correct the mistake and neither the journalist who wrote it or Barton made note of it online after sharing incorrect information.
During the 2015 election, Trudeau promised the CBC an additional $150 million annually to its well over a billion it receives in government subsidies annually.
During the campaign, Trudeau himself also joked about how his government would always provide preferential treatment to the CBC, while passing forward poutine.
On Thursday night, Barton questioned whether other journalists are legitimate, this after a court forced Trudeau government appointed Leaders’ debate commission to allow journalists who were critical of Trudeau into the event.
In response to the lawsuit, the Conservative party has sent out a mailer in which it argues it has the right to use short clips from the CBC.
When CPC Leader Andrew Scheer ran for the Conservative leadership he said he would scrap the CBC News division, but he has since backtracked on that promise, instead saying CBC needs to refocus on Canadian stories.
Mainstream journalists such as media critic and Canadaland founder Jesse Brown have said the CPC is completely within the realm of fair dealing and it not violating copyright.
A whole month has now passed since Andrew Scheer resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, and now, the race to replace him is well underway. Some candidates, like Peter MacKay, foresaw the untenability of Scheer’s position, and reportedly began to organize their bid long before the first vote of the 2019 election had been counted.
Other candidates, like Erin O’Toole and Pierre Poilievre, have been more cautious—discreetly organizing a team that can defeat both their blue-blooded colleagues in June, and then a wobbly Justin Trudeau in the next election.
As Peter MacKay said after the disappointment of the last election, the Tories’ failure to beat Trudeau was “like having a breakaway on an open net and missing.” This most Canadian of analogies should remain pungent during the leadership contest: the next election should beckon a blue-wave across the country. If the Conservative Party again fails to win the keys to the PMO then one is perfectly within their right to expand upon MacKay’s analogy: It would be like failing to invade Poland; or, more sportingly, like losing a boxing match with an amputee. To put it simply, it is more likely than not that the victor of this leadership election will become the next prime minister of Canada.
Due to the sheer significance of this leadership contest, The Post Millennial has composed a handy guide. Here’s who is likely to compete in the leadership election and how they plan to win it.
MacKay has not had the easiest start to the leadership contest. After tersely declaring his bid on Twitter, the long-standing Tory MP, Scott Reid, hit back, throwing the former Harper minister’s loyalty into question. Nevertheless, MacKay is a respected figure in Canada’s Conservative movement. Through his role as the leader of the Progressive Conservatives, MacKay was vital to the formation of the modern Conservative Party.
MacKay served in numerous cabinet positions throughout the Harper era and remains a favourite in the leadership contest. Despite the shaky start, polls have made it clear that the Nova Scotian is in a top position to win.
Like MacKay, O’Toole is another party grandee who commands a great deal of respect from within the caucus. O’Toole, rather exotically these days, served in the military. If he is elected, he would be the first Conservative leader in over 60 years with military experience.
Most recently, O’Toole has served as the Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs. O’Toole is not new to leadership contests, finishing third in the 2017 leadership election behind Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer.
I had the opportunity to meet Poilievre at a fundraiser. Immediately, he stood out as an effective speaker and as someone who could pose a serious challenge to the other candidates.
Poilievre is a career politician who, through his role as Scheer’s attack dog, has managed to garner wide support amongst the Conservative base. Poilievre has recruited the admired John Baird and the formidable Jenni Byrne, who is an accomplished operative who ran Harper’s 2015 campaign.
There are, of course, other candidates who are spending their time plotting for the leadership. However, for the sake of longevity, and the fact that Guzzo hasn’t received much media coverage, it seems only fair to discuss the Dragon’s Den star.
When The Post Millennial spoke to Guzzo a few weeks ago, he seemed uncertain whether he would throw his hat in the ring—stating that if the Quebec-based Jean Charest didn’t run, then he would be 75 percent sure that he would indeed run. Now, with the recent reports that Charest isn’t likely going to run, Guzzo’s ambition has solidified, telling me,”Yes. If [Charest] doesn’t run, I’ll run.”
Despite attempts to shrug off the comparison, Guzzo’s strategy has similarities to that of Kevin O’Leary’s leadership attempt in 2017. The most overt difference, however, is that Guzzo is Quebec-oriented. With the right-wing CAQ romping to victory in the 2018 provincial election, perhaps Guzzo is on to something. La Belle province is rich with seats, and if the Conservatives can persuade the fickle Quebecois, then Trudeau’s future as PM is in grave danger.
One of the tactics the Liberals have used with much success against the Conservatives is to lock the Conservatives into defending scarcity.
The Liberals repeatedly pledge to outspend the Conservatives, then demand to know what the Conservatives will “cut,” putting the Conservatives on the defensive.
And since many elections become bidding contests where parties compete to offer more to voters, the Liberals benefit to the detriment of the Conservatives.
Now, the answer to this problem isn’t for the Conservatives to just outspend the Liberals, since that wouldn’t be too consistent with the Conservative brand and value system.
However, the Conservatives can achieve success by reframing the issue.
All too often, the Conservatives end up playing within the Liberal (and establishment media) frame, which traps the Conservatives into defending what seems like scarcity and tough times ahead.
Notably, the two most successful centre-right candidates in the Anglosphere recently have won by avoiding being locked into the scarcity frame, and instead campaigned from an abundance frame or abundance mentality.
Both Boris Johnson and Donald Trump ran campaigns that featured much more positivity than they get credit for. While Johnson and Trump spent lots of time demonizing their opponents (as their opponents demonized them right back), both of them shared a message of abundance, repeatedly discussing how their policies and approach would lead to greater wealth and opportunity for the country.
Instead of constantly defending “cuts,” they constantly spoke about “wealth,” “prosperity,” “opportunity,” “job creation,” and sold themselves as being strongly on the side of those who wish to get richer, achieve financial independence and financial freedom, and elevate their status in life.
It was an aspirational message, based on an understanding that free Western societies have an unlimited potential for technological innovation, wealth creation, and opportunity, so long as people are free to succeed and prosper.
That abundance mindset is increasingly essential, especially as economic pessimism and fear spreads. With Canadians increasingly burdened by debt, unaffordable housing, higher taxes, and a rising cost of living, there’s a feeling of malaise across much of the nation.
Most ominously, Canadians believe the next generation will be worse off, and that kind of loss of hope can be devastating to our society and our nation.
So, by shifting towards an abundance mindset and refusing to be stuck in the Liberal scarcity frame, the Conservatives have the potential both to win the upcoming election and unleash the true power and potential of the Canadian people.
Leadership hopeful, Pierre Poilievre, has attempted to hop over the trip wire of social conservatism that plagued Andrew Scheer in the 2019 election, according to La Presse. He is expected to officially announce his leadership bid in the next few days.
Speaking to La Presse in an interview, Poilievre stated that he “supports gay marriages. Period. I voted against it 15 years ago. But I learned a lot, like millions and millions of people across Canada and around the world. I find that gay marriage is a success. The institution of marriage must be open to all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
These comments will be refreshing to many Red Tories, who became increasingly frustrated by Scheer’s inability to tackle negative press when it came to social issues. MacKay, for instance, famously compared Scheer’s social Conservatism to a “stinking albatross.”
Similarly, the ex-interim leader, Rona Ambrose, also took to social media to subtly express her discontent with Scheer’s refusal to participate in gay pride parades. Alongside LGBT issues, Poilievre made clear that a government he would lead would never get mired in the issue.
Poilievre’s wife, Anaida, told The Post Millennial at a fundraising event that she expected her husband to officially announce his candidacy in the next week or so.
Speaking on his leadership intentions, Poilievre told The Post Millennial that “people know I’m a fighter, and they believe that Conservatism is worth fighting for. We don’t need another Liberal party we need a Conservative Party that will honour our country’s traditions, restore free enterprise, reward hardwork, and make it possible for anyone who takes risks to achieve their goals.”
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that he will resign from his position on the board of the Conservative Party of Canada’s fundraising arm. The sudden resignation comes amid a scramble for organization within the party according to a recent article in Maclean’s.
Top Conservative sources have told Maclean’s that Harper’s resignation is allow him to block Jean Charest’s campaign for the party leadership. Although the two once worked closely in the early days of Harper’s reign as Prime Ministers they had a falling out over Charest’s use of funds in Quebec. In 2007, Charest transferred $2.3 billion federal dollars to the Quebec government to pay for tax cuts in the hope to increase his chances for reelection. Harper became suspicious of Charest who ran the Quebec Liberal Party for 15 years.
Charest was formally the premier of Quebec and leader of the Progressive Conservative party from 1993-1998. Charest asked Harper for his blessing to run before Christmas but Harper refused, claiming the party of today was not that of the one Charest had lead in the past. Charest is still likely to run and Harper has decided to get involved in the campaign according to sources.
Harper had already been urged to resign by friends and party officials since the resignation of former party leader Andrew Scheer. This comes at the heels of the dismissal of executive director, Dustin Van Vugt, over Scheer’s expenses. Most conservatives had expected Harper to make a quiet exit eventually but instead he resigned this week without notice while on a trip to India. Harper was attending a forum on international relations and security.
The Conservative Fund Canada handles the finances for the Conservative Party. Since the merger was formed between the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance back in 2003, the fund has been enormously successful.
“The Fund’s in disarray,” said one Conservative senior veteran.
Despite leaving the fund Harper will remain closely involved with the party one source said. Fund members have to stay neutral during leadership campaigns and Harper wants for more “latitude” than the rule permits another source said.