While Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland co-hosts the Global Conference for Media Freedom: London 2019, the freedom of the press continues to erode here at home.
This fact alone should be shameful but the reality behind that ranking is far more dismal and concerning.
For years Vice journalist Ben Makuch has fought to withhold messaging logs acquired from a protected source from the RCMP in an ongoing terrorism investigation. On July 4, he was ordered by the Ontario Superior Court to hand over those documents or face legal ramifications.
Regardless of the fact that the source was involved with a terror organization, the protection of sources and material is integral to the profession of journalism.
If the RCMP have the power to attain confidential sources in this case, they could extend that authority to future cases. Without the protection of anonymity or confidentiality, people will be less likely to speak to media out of fear for their safety or repercussion, in turn making it harder to keep those in power accountable for their actions.
At every turn, the Liberals have forwarded legislation and policy which threatens the integrity and independence of media in Canada.
The recommendation by the Liberal-dominated Justice Committee to revive the draconian Section 13 of the Human Rights Act is just one example. The hate-speech legislation which was repealed by the Canadian government in 2013 after journalists challenged the law on the basis of press freedom, could be reintroduced to Canada if the Liberals are elected again in 2019.
Let’s not also forget that despite being introduced by the Harper government, the Liberals were also onboard with Bill C-51 which gave intelligence authorities further power to access and share information about citizens and expanded the influence of CSIS. In fact, the Liberals were the ones to see the legislation through to the end.
In any country, the free press is not only threatened by the potential for censorship but also through the possibility of being compromised by state intervention through subsidies and financial influence.
On this front too the Liberals have worked to undermine Canada’s media landscape to the tune of a $600 millio media buyout. As part of their media subsidies, the federal government will also create a ” Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization” list which will only include government approved outlets.
Coupled with the fact that the Liberal eye towards curbing negative coverage through the guise of combating “fake news” from online sources, while not providing the same scrutiny for mainstream media organizations, the current government has shown themselves more than willing to control who gets to participate in dialogue.
Their disdain for alternative news sources and voices that are critical to the Trudeau regime is apparent and real. The most recent example of this, as reported on by The Post Millennial is Minister Freeland’s own hypocritical behaviour.
While allegedly promoting press freedom in London, she was allegedly attempting to limit press access to conservative journalists.
The fact is that for a democratic society like Canada, the careful balance of accountability between the state and those that criticize the state must be maintained.
For a government that has several MPs who are journalists, including Freeland herself, they seem to lack basic respect even for the most basic principles of a free press.
On “Trans Day of Remembrance” this year, numerous politicians and celebrities used the occasion to virtue signal on social media. They repeated the claim-turned-mantra from LBGT activist groups that there is an “epidemic” of trans homicides motivated by transphobia and racism in the U.S.
Chelsea Clinton, doing what the Clintons do best, weighed in vapidly on Nov. 20: “Since 2013, more than 150 trans people have been murdered in the U.S., the majority Black transgender women. On #TDoR2019, we remember and honor the lives lost, hold their loved ones in our hearts and must commit to doing all we can to end this epidemic of violence and hate.”
Though the sentiment is valid, the claim she repeats is not. There is no “epidemic” of violent homicides against trans people in the U.S. How do I know? From data released by the Human Rights Campaign and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
I responded to Ms. Clinton: “The U.S. is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.”
Five days later, I was informed by Twitter that I had violated its policy against “hateful conduct.” For stating a verifiable empirical claim, Twitter determined that I “promote violence against, threaten or harass other people” based on protected characteristics. I was given the option of deleting the tweet and facing a timed suspension, or appealing the decision while remaining indefinitely locked out of the platform. I chose the latter option.
My appeal was rejected.
Twitter’s decision to force me to accept a false reality in order to use its platform is chilling to those who value truth above dogma, as uncomfortable as the truth may be. The dogma of our day is the trans ideology—an authoritarian worldview replete with science and evidence denial. Among many things, it claims that sex is a construct and that trans people are being hunted down across America
So far this year, there were 22 homicides involving trans or gender non-conforming people in the U.S. That number has held relatively steady since the HRC, America’s largest LGBT lobbying group, started releasing annual reports four years ago. According to the HRC, there were 26 homicides in 2018, 29 in 2017, 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2015. The HRC provides the most comprehensive data set for trans homicides in the country. The FBI does not release numbers of trans people who are killed.
Though every homicide is a tragedy and victims are due justice, lying about the scale is politically exploitative and reckless. It prevents the public from accessing real problems honestly in order to advocate for real solutions. Worst of all, it harms the very people who need protection.
The average homicide rate of cis males in the U.S. is around seven per 100,000 from 2015–2018, according to FBI figures. The rate for cis females during this timeframe is 1.9. The rate for trans homicides since the HRC began tracking in 2015? About 1.7. (This rate was calculated based on the 2016 UCLA Williams Institute estimate of there being about 1.7m trans adults in the U.S.)
For a developed country, the U.S. has high homicide rates. That is undisputed. But if the rates of cis men being killed isn’t spoken about as an “epidemic,” then neither should the rates for trans homicides, which is significantly lower compared to the cis population.
And while much attention is focused on the victims being mostly black trans women, no attention is given to the fact that the majority of known homicide suspects and convicts are also black. This intra-racial violence is consistent with other homicides in the U.S.
Additionally, there is no evidence to support the narrative that trans people are being killed because they are trans. The overwhelming majority of trans homicides involve victims being killed in the course of high-risk behaviours like street prostitution and drug dealing. Cis women and cis men involved in these activities face similar risks.
While it may feel good to earn praise by hiding uncomfortable truths, those who ultimately suffer in this instance are trans people themselves. They are told to fear people around them, that they could be killed at any moment and are helpless in the face of omnipresent hatred. This is not compassion or empowerment.
I’m now back on Twitter, but only because I was forced to accept that on this platform, a journalist will be punished for telling the truth.
Twenty percent of Canadians do not expect to escape debt in their lifetime, according to Global News. Based on a study by The Manulife Bank of Canada, Canadians believe that household debt has increased too much.
More worryingly, however, 67 percent of those in debt believe that the rest of the country is in serious debt, too. This study has also revealed that Canadians are terrible at spending: 45 percent of Canadians say that their spending is increasing faster than their income, which is an increase from 33 percent who said this in the spring.
The study also reported that more than 50 percent of Canadians carry considerable non-mortgage debt, and 60% are in credit card debt. As a result of all this, many Canadians may be in debt for some time.
This study was carried out after the financial firm, Equifax, became concerned with the debt of ordinary Canadians. Since 2014, Canadian debt has surged from $57,000 to $71,979.
Over recent decades, Canadian have become increasingly financially insecure. This sentiment has transitioned into a cynicism for our financial system. Most zoomers (generation z) believe that they will never get onto the property ladder or become debt-free.
In the summer of this year, a study showed that half of the Canadian population was only $200 away from financial disaster.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the greatest example of Canadian national pride and the symbolism of Canadiana within a sports setting. Canada has always been a country where diversity is not only accepted but considered a source of strength.
In the mid 20th century, CFL was a place where diversity was accepted, in particular as a playing ground for African-Americans to play football in an environment free of discrimination. The Toronto Argonauts currently operate a platform for anti-bullying efforts and ensuring that youth know that the CFL is a platform for strong Canadian values.
Every fall, the Grey Cup is hosted in a different city each year in Canada and is known outside of the country as our version of the “Super Bowl” as represented in the media. The showcasing of the Grey Cup to a worldwide audience has the ability to represent Canadian patriotism, an idea that we as Canadians hold deeply.
We see true Canadiana every year at the Grey Cup with the Mounties in full uniform. No other sports league invites Canada’s treasured police force to present their trophy. Every time the trophy is handed off, every Canadian should be in awe of how unique and how special our country is.
At the Grey Cup this year, support for Canada’s vital oil and gas industry was on display by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Statements such as these are not seen anywhere else, but on the only stage where true Canadian spirit is showcased.
The acceptance of all athletes and personnel, regardless of race or creed, in the world of sports goes beyond the need for players or a full roster card. It speaks to the fact that Canada is a diverse nation and will always be accepting of any individual without regard to their nationality or ethnicity.
Football is seen as a symbol of homegrown Canadian professional sports with multiple meanings beyond the sport. Canadian universities outnumber American universities in regards to draft numbers and have special Canadian-only selections. There is always a particular emphasis on Canadian talent on every squad.
There are also basic differences between the CFL and the NFL, such as in scoring, ball size, field size. To many, the CFL style of football is like watching an entirely different version of football compared to watching the more hyped NFL-style football.
The CFL is largely seen as a league of diversity, of common values and goals, and a particular Canadian national pride. Those characteristics define in part what being a Canadian stands for.
There is no other major sports league in Canada that is solely Canadian and prides itself on being so. The league may not receive the highest of ratings, but it is the one league we know that is ours and ours alone.
Just watch a game for yourself to feel the heritage while watching. It is a feeling you cannot experience when watching any other sports league. It is the only league that has the word “Canadian” in it.
The past history of the CFL has definitely shaped the way we see its current formation.
The big-name ownership of the Argos (including Wayne Gretzky and John Candy) certainly catapulted the CFL into the much-needed spotlight by the early 1990s. Then a failed experiment in the mid-1990s led to expansion in multiple areas of the United States for a three-year duration; seven teams came and went.
It was this defining moment, where the league realized that they were not an international brand, but that they were Canada’s league, and needed to ensure the country gets behind the league to truly make it something special. It should be known that the commissioner of the league from 1996 to 2000 was John Tory, Toronto’s current mayor. Tory played a big part in saving the league entirely.
There is no doubt that the CFL will continue to display signs of strong Canadian values and culture, showcasing the uniqueness of Canada, and represents a one-of-a-kind point of view of how Canadians view professional sports, being Canada’s sole nationwide major professional sports league.
The CFL defines and moves us Canadians. No other sports league can do this in the ever-changing climate of professional sports.
Bill Peters has resigned as the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames after former player, Akim Aliu, accused him on racism on social media, according to Sportsnet.
The Calgary Flames’s general manager, Brad Treliving, made these comments during a press conference. During this, he also stated that Geoff Ward would take over as the interim coach.
Aliu accused Peters on Twitter of directing a racial slur towards the player “several times” when they were both in the AHL. Peters was Aliu’s coach during his time at the Rockford IceHogs.
After Aliu’s tweets, Peter’s released an apology, although he did not direct it specifically to Aliu.