Several months ago I argued with Quillette editor and National Post contributor Jonathan Kay on Twitter about the inherent bias the CBC has for the “natural governing” Liberal Party of Canada.
Kay dismissed my charge that the employees at the CBC are generally in the tank for Trudeau’s Liberals. He said it was nonsense because many at the public broadcaster are NDP supporters, too.
I countered that more left-wing individuals at the CBC inevitably get in line when push comes to shove. Even Dippers within CBC’s ranks come to the aid of Trudeau in his times of need in order to keep the Conservatives out of power, even if that means sacrificing their own party’s gains.
(It’s the same reason why NDP think tank Broadbent Institute’s Press Progress predominantly attacks Conservatives, despite Liberals being a much greater challenge to the NDP’s success. Furthermore, CBC attacks The Post Millennial for Conservative pamphleteering, the public broadcaster has cited Press Progress‘s work without questioning the source.)
I know this is the case because I can still distinctly remember the election bias from the last campaign in 2015. That was when I first started writing about politics while teaching English overseas. One of the first pieces I ever wrote–and the first to get thousands of visitors to my makeshift website–was entitled “CBC’s Insolent Election Bias,” in which I documented the absurd in-your-face bias the supposed public broadcaster displayed for Trudeau throughout that election.
But the CBC outdid itself this time around.
The little Twitter tiff between Kay and I ended with me saying he would eat his words come election season. And boy was I right.
The CBC’s koolaid drinking for Trudeau started right out of the gate during the leadup to the election being officially called.
When the Toronto Star–now also a beneficiary of millions of taxpayer’s money courtesy of the Liberal government’s $600 million bailout of political journalism, not including the CBC–dropped a so-called exclusive of Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s comments in the House of Commons about gay marriage from over a decade ago the CBC ran hard with the story as if it were breaking news.
That, as well as Scheer’s own personal views on abortion, were hot topics of conversation the CBC would belabour about for days on end, despite the CPC leader making it clear these issues were not going to be touched by a Conservative government (they’d be political suicide anyway). All the while CBC ignored Trudeau’s own statements to the CBC in 2011 that he himself is personally pro-life (days later, when some reporter finally got around to trying to show some semblance of balance, Trudeau was asked about it and said he had changed his views).
As the CBC incessantly went on about SoCon issues that would not get any attention in Ottawa if the CPC won, it downplayed real issues like national debt, the SNC-Lavalin scandal and graft.
When Trudeau was found to have worn blackface on three separate occasions because a private citizen decided to provide Time magazine with a copy of a yearbook that Trudeau was in charge of overseeing and that included a picture of him in blackface, the CBC decided it was a good idea to harass the individual who drew the public’s attention to Trudeau’s poor decision when he was 29. CBC essentially was sending a message to anyone else with damaging information on the incumbent PM: Stay quiet.
And why would CBC have such a fealty for Trudeau? His increasing of the state broadcaster’s annual $1.1 billion federal subsidy once assuming power might have something to do with it. Trudeau shamelessly reminded CBC employees who butters their bread by giving its senior political reporter David Cochrane free poutine on the campaign trail in September while saying, “The Liberal Party always supports the CBC.”
Even though Cochrane should’ve followed CBC’s Journalistic Standards and Practices and declined the poutine in order to avoid a “real or perceived” conflicts of interest, the symbolism of him smilingly while taking the poutine from Trudeau spoke volumes.
Speaking of conflicts of interest, somehow CBC management and journalists John Paul Tasker and Rosemary Barton thought it was perfectly acceptable for them to single out the CPC for a copyright suit, meanwhile ignoring other parties and Liberals’ use of CBC material. All the more obvious it was a political decision to go after CPC was the fact that copyright lawyers and professors were in agreement with the party’s use of CBC material fell well within fair dealing.
As the CBC’s boneheaded decision to file a lawsuit with not just the broadcaster as a plaintiff, but both Barton and Tasker blew up in their faces, the silence and mealy-mouthed non-answers raised more questions than answers.
CBC hired top lawyers, so it’s hard to imagine that they would’ve been negligent enough to not get the permission of Barton and Tasker to include them as applicants in the lawsuit. Neither the two journalists nor the CBC have clarified if the journalists were involved in the lawsuit. But it is noteworthy Barton’s mentor and predecessor Peter Mansbridge requested management get the CBC to sue the CPC during last election for using a clip from one of his interviews with Trudeau in which the party used the Liberal leader’s nonsensical answer about the Boston Bombing. Did Barton take a page out Mansbridge’s playbook? An Access to Information request for the internal communications regarding the latest lawsuit will hopefully get to the bottom of it.
At the very least Barton should’ve been pulled as one of the four hosts of The National while her name was still on the lawsuit, but instead, she continued and was the lead host of their election coverage, where many Conservative observers again noted her bias for the Liberals.
But it wasn’t just the credibility of Barton, Tasker and Cochrane that were put into serious question this election. Other CBC senior reporters covering federal politics also showed favouritism towards the Liberals.
CBC Ottawa reporter Katie Simpson wrote a piece the day before the vote in which her piece—filed under news—claiming a big “momentum shift” for the CPC campaign in which she suggested things were going badly in the last two days of the campaign. The article had to be corrected because Simpson cut part of a Scheer quote where he said the Liberals would have to raise the GST “or cut completely the Canada Social Transfer to the provinces.” Only after a complaint was filed did CBC clarify that Scheer wasn’t saying necessarily the GST would be raised, but that something would have to give.
CBC journalists, including Barton and Simpson, claimed that Scheer was being dishonest by claiming Trudeau would have to raise the GST at some point because Trudeau said he wouldn’t, as if Trudeau’s word as is good as gold. It’s not like he followed through on his promise to balance the books by 2019 and only run small deficits. What made it all the more hypocritical is these same journalists speculated for days on Scheer’s personal pro-life views even though he said it wouldn’t be an issue touched in office. It’s almost as if these journalists are acting in bad faith.
Simpson’s and her colleagues nitpicking of Scheer while giving Trudeau a pass on much larger issues was commonplace throughout the campaign. But for an apples to apples contrast, Simpson noted on Twitter that Scheer tripped and almost fell at one point near the end of the campaign and thought it was caught on camera. It wasn’t, but Trudeau was caught on camera tripping around the same time and she ignored it.
Similar to Simpson, CBC’s Aaron Wherry wrote multiple opinionated articles under “analysis”. One of his articles falsely claimed the B.C. carbon tax was revenue neutral and remained incorrect for hours, misinforming (disinforming?) Canadians. It’s no secret Wherry’s political views align with the Liberals. He was given unprecedented access to the PM to write a varnished biography (hagiography?) of Trudeau’s first term in office.
What is all the more galling is how CBC seems to have decided to just embrace its overt bias towards the Liberals. Near the tail end of the campaign, after CBC had already severely tarnished its brand, it thought it was a good idea to hire washed up sock puppet Ed the Sock to help “comedy” show 22 Minutes despite even left-wing journalists noticing he is one of the biggest Trudeau apologists on Twitter. It makes sense though when you see that the lead comedian on the show, Mark Critch, is more of Trudeau’s court jester than biting satirist.
Before ending this column, one more anecdote. I wrote several columns for the CBC a few years ago after I challenged the former opinion section editor on his claim the new platform was going to have a diversity opinion. The editor offered me an opportunity to write on a freelance basis and as it was the start of my freelance career I figured it would be stupid to pass up even if I was against the CBC.
My columns were quite successful on the CBC website, with many commenters shocked these opinions were published by the CBC because they went against the left-wing orthodoxy at the broadcaster. But I decided to stop contributing to the CBC when I wrote a column against of the proposal of the Green Party in B.C. and a Liberal MPP in Ontario to lower the voting age to 16 in those jurisdictions (CBC news coverage on the proposal was overwhelmingly positive). I didn’t reach out to any of the politicians promoting lowering the voting age because it was an opinion piece, but somehow while I was revising the piece the Liberal MPP in Ontario randomly liked one of my tweets. After my second set of revisions were made my editor decided to kill the piece.
It was at this point I decided to pack it in and stop being a useful tool for the CBC to claim it actually has a diversity of opinions that accurately reflect the Canadian public.
It’s almost as if Canada needs CBC whistleblowers to expose the political bias and nepotism within the state broadcaster—as just happened to CNN in the U.S.—to reveal just how in the tank its journalists are for the Liberals.
Jasmine Pickel is an entrepreneur and the Interim Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Our politicians are addicted to spending. Even though they speak poetically about their good intentions and virtue signal whilst cheque-signing on our behalf, much of that spending is wasteful and sinks us further into debt.
Here are five phrases that usually indicate that a politician is about to waste your money.
1) Politicians will say they’re “investing”
When politicians say they’re investing government money, what they really mean is that they’re spending taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, politicians at all levels of government in this country have a poor track record in this regard.
In Newfoundland, the government lost $260,000 when it tried to operate a Tim Hortons. Likewise, the Ontario government lost $42 million trying to sell marijuana.
Given that governments can’t make money selling double-doubles or weed brownies, they should let taxpayers keep more of their own money to invest it themselves.
2) “It’s not a spending problem–it’s a revenue problem!”
Imagine saying that in the context of your own life – that it’s not your fault you spent so much, it’s just that your job doesn’t pay what you’d like to spend. Unfortunately, our politicians just keep adding to our credit card bill.
A recent Ontario government report shows why it is in fact a spending problem. It found that Ontario would have spent $330 billion less in the 15-year period the former Liberal government was in power if it had simply kept spending in line with population growth.
Instead, spending increased in real terms by $2,200 per person, and now Ontario’s debt has surpassed $350 billion, making the province the largest subnational debtor on the planet.
Politicians love painting deficits as a revenue problem so they can raise taxes. Don’t fall for it. Tell politicians to manage their own budgets instead of taking more out of yours.
3) Politicians say they’re spending to “help the middle class”
While big government apologists like to pretend all of our tax dollars go toward vital services such as health care and education, the reality is that politicians will often take tax money from hard working Canadians to hand it over to large, profitable corporations.
Take for example the $12 million the Trudeau government gave to Loblaws to buy more energy efficient fridges (even though the company posted net earnings exceeding $800 million that fiscal year). That’s nothing in comparison to the $4 billion of taxpayer money that has been given to Bombardier though, a company owned by one of Canada’s wealthiest families worth close to $3 billion.
Taxes are the single largest expense for most Canadians, taking up approximately 45 percent of the average Canadian’s annual household income. If politicians really wanted to help the middle class, they’d stop giving corporate welfare handouts and instead lower our taxes.
4) Politicians justify their overspending by saying they’re on “a responsible path to budgetary balance”
Translation: “We’re going to keep adding to the debt for the next few years at least.” There’s simply nothing responsible about overspending, especially in good economic times.
In fact, it’s very irresponsible for politicians to ignore the opportunity costs of running up large debts. For example, this year Ontario will spend about $13 billion on interest payments. That’s more money than it will spend on colleges and universities put together!
Politicians should stop making excuses as to why they can’t balance budgets, and they should start paying down the debt.
5) Politicians say “we can keep spending as long as the debt-to-GDP ratio stays in check”
Although this is a favourite excuse used by our current prime minister, the reality is that this economic ratio isn’t reliable. For example, if Canada were to encounter tough economic times and our debt were to increase more sharply than planned, the ratio would be thrown out of whack. All of a sudden, we’d be in a position where we’d be saying “wow, we really need to pay down debt, but now we’re not in a financial position to do so.”
Conversely, even if our GDP were to increase sharply thereby lowering the ratio relative to our G7 counterparts, it doesn’t necessarily follow that more spending is justifiable or a good idea.
Canadians live within their means. It’s time our politicians followed suit.
Andrew Scheer’s departure as Conservative Party leader provides a strong opportunity for the party to get a more charismatic leader who can defeat Justin Trudeau.
But it also is a moment of serious risk.
The Conservative Party under Andrew Scheer has taken a much stronger approach towards Communist China than has been seen by Canada’s political establishment in a long time.
The Harper government had started with a tougher approach but then began getting closer to China under relentless pressure from the Liberals and the corporate establishment.
With China becoming more aggressive and mistreating Canada in recent years, the Scheer Conservatives have been one of the few parties with the stones to actually call out China’s actions and propose real ideas to push back, such as banning Huawei, pulling Canada’s money from the Asian Infrastructure Bank, and pursuing tariffs on the mercantilist empire.
The risk now is that with Scheer departing, the corporate and political elites will take this opportunity to do China’s bidding and push to install a leader who is far weaker on China.
While the Conservative base is the strongest bastion of strong Canadian nationalism and strength against China, there are some who would seek to turn the party into an elitist organization that is out-of-touch with real Canadians.
That’s exactly what the Liberals have already become when it comes to China, with their party endlessly seeking a “free trade” deal, showing pathetic cowardice on China’s actions, and repeatedly ignoring Canadian public opinion (which has turned decisively against China).
If the Conservatives go that same direction it will be a huge loss for our country and will put our nation at serious risk of becoming a political and economic colony of the Communist State.
That’s why it’s essential for the Conservatives to continue Andrew Scheer’s strong approach against China, and why all of those who end up running for the Conservative leadership must be relentlessly pressured to maintain a similar approach.
There are good signs so far, with many Conservative MPs and Senators, including Leo Housakos and Erin O’Toole slamming the Liberals’ weakness on China and fighting for Canada to finally show some courage. That’s what needs to inspire the party going forward, and any effort by the elites to weaken the Conservatives’ resistance to China must be opposed.
Canada already has one political party that is selling us out to the communist state. We can’t afford another.
Have you ever wanted your taxpayer-subsidized state broadcaster to also become the person selling you corporate goodies?
Well, you’re in for a treat!
Since the CBC’s mandate does not block the state broadcaster from competing with private media, it has for years been using your taxpayer dollars to subsidize reach and compete for advertising dollars.
They have been doing this in an industry that is already rapidly shrinking due to the onslaught of large scale ad platforms such as Google, Facebook, and now Amazon. Those three firms notably take 70% of all digital ad spend.
Interestingly, while the organization has opened its advertising offerings, it continues to rapidly lose clients and viewers, with the company shedding more than half its ad revenue over the last five years.
In that time, its domain has seen less traffic than sites like Narcity, while its high-end news broadcast The National continues to be trounced in every market by competitors like CTV.
When you look at just how bad the CBC is losing viewers in comparison to the competition, its quite obvious that while Canadians are happy to support a potential state broadcaster, they do not actually find use from the current content plan or business model put forward.
In many ways, it seems the continued failure of the CBC comes because of its model.
Instead of focusing on creating content that is predominantly and distinctively Canadian and actively contributing to the flow and exchange of cultural expression, mother corp has bunkered down and done almost everything it can to ruin its own path to growth.
For example, where the company could follow the path of “Letterkenny” and “Trailer Park Boys,” creating high-impact video capable of defining Canadian content and distributing it through international platforms such as Netflix or Hulu, its president decided to leverage your tax dollars and go at it alone, while bizarrely describing the organization as a form of colonization… seemingly forgetting to true brutality and lack of consent that came from colonialism and its institutions.
That comment led to articles panning the company’s president for attempting to rebrand the broadcaster’s own complacency as colonialism coming from the United States.
Of course, the problems don’t stop at complacency.
The CBC also actively ensures that at least one-third of Canadians recoil from all programming due to its desire to waddle into the political discussions of the nation in what can only be described as a clearly biased fashion.
During the 2019 election, for example, the CBC sued the Conservative Party of Canada for using excerpts from its leaders’ debates in campaign material, while naming Rosemary Barton—a debate moderator—on the lawsuit itself.
Outside of the public callouts for bias, those with an understanding of intellectual copyright law such as Michael Geist repeatedly stated that the use of the footage was likely covered by fair dealing provisions. If Geist is correct, the CBC is now not just politically biased, it is also wasting taxpayers’ funds to clog up the court system during a national election.
With so many clear flaws its no wonder the company is failing, even as it continues to get massive government funding.
The average Canadian does not want to have biased politics or poorly designed corporate messaging from the broadcaster we already pay for with our taxes.
Its time the CBC stopped wasting resources competing with private media, and instead focused on producing high-quality Canadian content which actively defines and exports Canadian culture.
Andrew Scheer used money from the Conservative Party to pay costs of private schooling for his children, according to sources in contact with Global News. Some are suggesting this story might have ultimately let to Scheer’s resignation.
Scheer has since stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party, but he will not fully resign until the party has a replacement to fill the position.
According to some senior Conservative members, Scheer’s use of the Conservative Party of Canada funds was improper.
While in the House of Commons, Scheer said, “I just informed my colleagues in the Conservative caucus that I will be resigning as the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and I will be asking the Conservative Party national council to immediately begin the process of organizing a leadership contest.”
“In order to chart the course ahead in the direction this party is heading, the party needs someone who can give 100 percent.”
Dustin van Vugt, the Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada wrote a statement saying, “All proper procedures were followed and signed off on by the appropriate people.”
Van Vugt talked about the party covering some of Scheer’s costs in the statement saying, “As is the normal practice for political parties, the Party offered to reimburse some of the costs associated with being a national leader and re-locating the family to Ottawa.”
Prime Minister Trudeau also commented on the situation tweeting, “Andrew, I wish you all the best in your next steps — in the house and beyond. On behalf of Canadians, Thanks for your service and commitment to building a better future.”
According to the Elections Canada Act, there are not specific rules in place for these circumstances.
Some are confused about the situation seeing that Scheer’s average salary has been approximately $170,000 to $180,000 for the past 15 years.
Michael Spratt, an Ottawa lawyer said, “It may be off-brand for the Conservatives, but I don’t think any reasonable person would say that it’s a criminal offence to spend a salary top-up on personal items.”
Doug Ford also commented on Scheer’s resignation saying, “I wish Andrew Scheer all the best as he undertakes this new chapter in his life, and thank him for his service as the head of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and leader of the Conservative Party.”
Jamie Ellerton–longtime Conservative political strategist and public relations strategist at Conaptus Ltd.–said, “I know that he in more recent weeks had finally started reaching out to caucus candidates, close friends, longtime [party members] and I think he finally realized how tenuous his grasp on the leadership was, and it’s my understanding the family indeed came to the decision to do it this way.”
“But the idea that grassroots Conservative Party donations–$25 and $50 [donations]–is paying for his kids … to go to private school is just beyond the pale.”