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SLOBODIAN: Petulant media letter promotes activism under guise of journalistic integrity

Do you support a democracy? Or do you support a terrorist organization that openly vows to wipe out that democracy?

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It’s a simple choice. 

Do you support a democracy? Or do you support a terrorist organization that openly vows to wipe out that democracy? 

More than 2,000 people rallied behind the latter by signing a May 14 “open letter to Canadian newsrooms on covering Israel-Palestine.”

Many who signed it work for media outlets including the CBC, Toronto Star, CTV, and The Globe and Mail, Macleans, and Global News. Several dubiously claim to be investigative freelancers. Others are academics including journalism professors from Carleton, Concordia and the University of Toronto. 

This letter manifested during the 11-day war this month between Israel Defense Forces and the Islamic fundamentalist militant Hamas, after Hamas launched relentless attacks. 

Unfortunately, a May 21 truce didn’t stop ensuing waves of anti-Semitic sentiment and assaults against Jews in Canada and globally.

This letter is deceptive by omission.

It doesn’t mention that Israel is the Middle East’s only democracy.

It strategically avoids mentioning Hamas. Drawing attention to terrorists responsible for immense death and carnage would expose this crusade.

This letter’s a crafty attempt, peppered with lies, to disguise activism – or worse – as journalistic integrity.

It laments that news editors use excuses that impede “Canadian journalists trying to cover the escalating violence against Palestinians.” 

It’s a childish attempt to bully management into giving anti-Israel reporters a.k.a. activists more freedom to mislead the public than they’ve already been handed.

Some who signed were reprimanded in the past for false reporting about Israel.

Yet the tone of this letter drips with moral superiority.

It accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “forced expulsions and indiscriminate airstrikes,” using reports from rabid anti-Semite organizations to bolster false claims.

“Violence against civilians and children is not complicated,” states this letter promoting activism under the guise of human rights compassion. 

Enter the tactic of accusing others of doing exactly what you’re doing: “As journalists, we cannot selectively choose which international human rights violations to report on.” 

Odd how they all selectively choose not to report on how Palestinians live under the cruel oppression of Hamas, despite signing a letter fretting about how Canadian media doesn’t include enough Palestinian voices. 

How stupid do they think the public is? By now everyone knows Hamas attacked Israel, eventually firing about 4,000 projectiles into civilian areas. One-third of those projectiles misfired and landed in Gaza killing and maiming Palestinians. 

Israel retaliated to defend innocent civilians. Period.

How is it possible this common knowledge eludes reporters, editors, producers, etc. who demonize Israel?

On May 17, the 35-nation Organization of American States (OAS) designated Hamas as a terrorist group.

“The recent attacks launched by Hamas against the Israeli population undoubtedly constitute attacks of a terrorist nature. Their violence and the objectives they pursue clearly have this characteristic,” said the OAS in a statement. 

“Hamas’s terrorist aggression is unlimited and always seeks civilian victims, seeks to escalate conflict dynamics and armed actions, as well as sowing terror among innocent populations, be they Israeli or Palestinian,” it said. 

“The immoral and unworthy use of children and women as human shields, as well as the militarization of residential areas, constitute in themselves acts that deserve the most absolute repudiation and condemnation.”

Hamas was already designated a terrorist group by Canada, the U.S., Israel, the European Union, Japan, and Egypt.

Nope, nothing in the OAS statement about Israel’s ethnic cleansing because it’s a lie.

And these media charlatans throwing hissy fits and tantrums wonder why editors won’t turn them loose. 

The Toronto Star will let them carry on. The CBC, to its credit, removed staff who signed the letter from the beat, appropriately citing conflict of interest.

Predictably, these persecuted reporters cried racism. The letter tells them they’re victims.

It says: “Racialized journalists have reported feeling overly scrutinized, or even censored, after every story pitch on this region.”

Disgraceful reporting is irrelevant. As is the taboo of inserting activism into news stories.

Here’s where one almost gets embarrassed for media that signed the letter.

They adamantly want to control the Israeli-Palestinian narrative in newsrooms. But someone deemed these esteemed professionals too dumb to figure out how to approach management. 

‘How To Talk To Your Canadian Newsroom Manager About Signing The Open Letter On Isreal (it was misspelled) Palestine’ offers guidance with extraordinarily juvenile questions and answers. This guide was shared by many, including, alarmingly, Fatima Syed, a vice-president with the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Palestine? Syed and company ignore the fact that Canada doesn’t recognize the existence of any such country.

So, will newsroom management take the racist bait and cower to petulant staff? Will they stop the division they meant to cause in newsrooms? Will they explain the true principals of media integrity to their staff?

Hopefully. 

The next step? Take this letter and put it where it belongs – in the trash.

Slobodian is a Western Standard columnist based in Manitoba
lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

Linda Slobodian is the Manitoba Senior Columnist for the Western Standard. She has been an investigative columnist with the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report. lslobodian@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Left Coast

    May 31, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Reports from travelers to the Holy Land before its rebuilding by modern Zionism:

    “There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilee); not for thirty miles in either direction….One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee….Nazareth is forlorn….Jericho lies a mouldering ruin….Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation….untenanted by any living creature

    “… A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds….a silent, mournful expanse, a desolation….

    “We never saw a human being on the whole route….Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country… Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes….desolate and unlovely…” Mark Twain, “The Innocents Abroad”, 1867.

    So where were the mythical Fakeastinians ? ? ?

    “The area was under populated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880’s, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained ‘The Holy Land’ in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people.

    “Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants – both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts. Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen. The plows used were of wood. The yields were very poor. Schools did not exist. The rate of infant mortality was very high. The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert. Ruins were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants.” The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913.

    That the world has fallen hook, line and sinker for duplicitous Arab propaganda speaks to the success of one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated. And Mahmoud Abbas is still at it!

    Canadians have been bombarded with FakeNEWS for many decades now . . . and they lap it up . . . many Canooks I come across have absolutely no friggin Clue what is going on in the world today. Thank the CBC, Global News & CTV . . . they tell you lies and omit anything they deem too dangerous for your tender ears . . . like the 200 bombings in Sweden a couple of years back.
    The CRTC makes sure these Serial Liars don’t get any competition . . .

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Opinion

WAGNER: Central Canada’s decades-long attack on Alberta oil drives the need for independence

“Within Canada, Alberta’s economy will be smothered by anti-oil policies and general hostility to resource development. Outside of Canada, Alberta’s economy can flourish and supply much-needed energy to willing customers.”

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A new book by Western Standard Senior Columnist Michael Wagner makes the case that Alberta must become independent. The following is a brief excerpt from No Other Option: Self-Determination for Alberta.

Alberta is rich in fossil fuels, which are essential components for advanced modern economies. With the energy crisis of the 1970s, Central Canada benefited enormously from Alberta’s abundance through government-imposed low oil prices and an export tax on oil. Subsequently, as Alberta’s oil was later allowed to reach world price levels, the federal government continued to reap large financial rewards at Alberta’s expense.

Now, many voters in Central Canada want Alberta’s fossil fuels to be locked in the ground, supposedly to prevent climate change. What this would mean for Albertans is crystal clear: poverty and a future without economic hope. In effect, Central Canada wants Alberta to return to its status of a have-not province, like it was before the discovery of oil at Leduc in 1947. To see the future that voters in Toronto and Montreal envision for Alberta, simply look back to the economic struggles the province experienced in its first few decades. It’s not a pretty picture.

But there is absolutely no reason why Albertans should accept this fate. Albertans have the opportunity to determine their own future, and they should do so. Through entirely peaceful, legal, and constitutional means, Albertans have the power to choose a future of self-determination and prosperity. That is, Alberta can become an independent country.

Seceding from Canada to form an independent country is certainly a drastic step. But there really is no other option. Serious proposals have been made in the past to reform Canada so the West could receive a greater voice in national institutions. These kinds of reforms – with the Triple-E (equal, elected, and effective) Senate being top of the list – have been rejected and are no longer viable. This means Albertans face a stark choice between the status quo, with its inevitable economic decline, or independence.

Many people in Alberta are very hesitant to embrace secession due to strong personal and emotional ties to Canada. This is reasonable and completely understandable. There is much laudable about Canada, including the freedom and prosperity it offers to its citizens. Canadians also have much to be proud of in their past, such as the courageous exploits of the Canadian military in the world wars, as well as other conflicts. Indeed, there is much to admire about Canada when it is compared to the other countries of the world.

Nevertheless, Canada has been going in a rather unhappy direction since the late 1960s. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau had a vision for a different kind of country that he did much to accomplish. It’s not a coincidence that the first efforts to create a separatist organization in Alberta took place during Trudeau’s first term as prime minister. Today, Pierre’s son, Justin, pursues a different set of policies that harm Alberta’s future. 

There is a lesson to be drawn from these two periods of Trudeau administrations: If Albertans don’t choose a new direction for their province, they will forever be entangled in cyclical periods of hostile federal policies.

In short, Albertans must choose between the status quo and independence. Within Canada, Alberta’s economy will be smothered by anti-oil policies and general hostility to resource development. Outside Canada, Alberta’s economy can flourish and supply much-needed energy to willing customers. This latter option will lead to prosperity for Albertans and their children. The choice is clear.

You can order a copy of Michael Wagner’s new book, No Other Option: Self-Determination for Alberta on Amazon

Michael Wagner is a Senior Columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

SLOBODIAN: Docs who speak out about COVID facing brutal suppression

Whistleblowers say doctors who disobey are investigated and face having their medical licences revoked.

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Doctors and nurses, the heroes who bravely stand between COVID-19 and Canadians, are being bullied, threatened and censored.

They’re warned: Challenge the COVID-19 narrative or reveal serious flaws in how the pandemic’s handled and pay a heavy price.

Whistleblowers say doctors who disobey are investigated and face having their medical licences revoked. 

Nurses fear being fired if they expose manipulated and inflated numbers or cases of vaccinated patients with COVID-19.

Physicians and a researcher spoke on behalf of many colleagues at a press conference on censorship of doctors, scientists and medical information held on Parliament Hill Thursday, hosted by Ontario MP Derek Sloan.

“Many people at high levels across the federal and provincial governments are misleading the public,” said Sloan.

He recently issued a call to medical and scientific whistleblowers. The response is shocking.

Medical professionals are viciously muzzled.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) issued an April 30 statement warning doctors against going public with questioning the status quo or revealing what they witness in hospitals and clinics.

The College of Nurses of Ontario forbid nurses to talk about what they’ve experienced.

Dr. Byram Bridle, associate professor and viral immunologist in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph, dares to question vaccines. 

“I, along with a large number of collaborators both within Canada and internationally, have developed serious concerns about COVID-19 vaccines,” he said.

He’s under brutal attack.

“I’m undergoing a very public smear campaign right now,” said Welsh, adding he also receives hundreds of supportive emails from across Canada and the world.

“Since the pandemic was declared, I’ve been trying to serve as a voice of objective, scientific opinion so that the public can make the most informed decisions for themselves possible when it comes to issues related to COVID-19,” said Bridle.

“I’m a publicly-funded servant. You pay for me, Canadians, with your tax dollars.”

In an interview, he was asked if there’s a link between COVID-19 vaccines and cases of heart inflammation in young males. The connection was recently flagged in Israeli studies.

Bridle, a vaccinologist whose research program is based on development of novel vaccines, said it’s possible.

“After the interview, five minutes, it was like a nuclear bomb went off in my world. My life was thrown upside down. I’m sure my life will never be the same again,” he said. 

A fake Twitter account slanders him. Calls and email attacks continue daily.

He’s harassed by some work colleagues. Fortunately, the University of Guelph administration supports him.

Bridle wrote a comprehensive guide for parents to make informed decisions about vaccinating their children.

“I accept that early in the pandemic and when we first rolling out these vaccines we’ve had to largely work based on assumptions. The scientific literature has exploded over the last 16 months. We understand so much more. Now we’re looking at vaccinating children and it’s no longer OK to proceed based on assumptions,” he said.

Proper studies haven’t been conducted, he warned.

“Mass vaccination of millions of healthy Canadian children demands that the level of safety associated with this, the assessed safety profile has to be exceptionally high,” he said.

“By expressing this my career may very well have been destroyed. It’s incomprehensible to me that this has happened.

“I don’t recognize the country that I was born into.”

However, warnings like that issued by the CPSO backfire.

“Doctors, nurses, scientists and other medical experts have indeed reached out to me through various channels to tell me their stories.” said Sloan.

“These honest and hardworking doctors are fully galvanized against the regressive, authoritarian overreach of the CPSO and other similar governing bodies.

“The purpose of governing bodies like the CPSO is to protect the public, not to stifle legitimate scientific inquiry or dissent by professional doctors.”

Dr. Patrick Phillips, an Ontario family and emergency physician went public after seeing his patients suffering “massive harms” from lockdowns, including those with advanced cancer walking into emergency.

“I’ve never seen so many suicidal children,” said Phillips.

The letter from the CPSO is “chilling,” he said.

“It basically saying it’s the professional responsibility of all physicians not to communicate anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing, and anti-lockdown statements and/or promoting unsupported, unproven treatments for COVID-19,” he said.

He’s one of many physicians under investigation, facing his medical licence being revoked for promoting treatments like Vitamin D and Ivermectin, both proven to work in numerous trials.

“There’s something bigger than my medical career at this point because lives are being lost and we need to speak out.”

Dr. Don Welsh, a PhD and professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario, laments physicians under attack.

“This behaviour’s unacceptable in Canada,” he said emotionally.

“We have been told by the public health community to follow the science. I want to be clear – science hasn’t been functioning properly the last 13 months as we address COVID-19.”

Welsh called for “full and robust Royal Commission to publicly address the many flaws that underlie this public response” to COVID-19.

Canadians also need to know who tells tyrants to issue shut-up decrees. 

Where’s Dr. Theresa Tam? Silent.

Odd, you’d think Canada’s chief public health officer would leap to the defense of besieged medical professionals.

Slobodian is a Manitoba based columnist for the Western Standard

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Opinion

FROM: Property rights advocates should think twice about an Alberta constitution

“While there is merit to enshrining property rights in a potential new Alberta constitution, there are cautions that Albertans should consider first.”

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Canada is nearly alone in the world as a liberal democracy having a written constitution lacking any explicit protection for property rights.  Albertans- many of whom are weary of confederation – have often bandied about the idea of a provincial constitution protecting property rights. While there is merit to enshrining property rights in a potential new Alberta constitution, there are cautions that Albertans should consider first.

Property rights are already protected by the common law. For example, in 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada said, “Anglo-Canadian jurisprudence has traditionally recognized, as a fundamental freedom, the right of the individual to the enjoyment of property and the right not to be deprived thereof, or any interest therein, save by due process of law.”

But the common law lacks the power of entrenched constitutional protection because any Canadian legislature could modify it by ordinary statute.

In 1978, Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s government introduced Bill C-60, the Constitutional Amendment Act, in parliament.  The bill contained a guarantee of, “the right of the individual to the use and enjoyment of property, and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with law.”

This may be a verboten topic in the West, but Trudeau (The First) even tried to have property rights included in the Charter in 1982. This was opposed — no surprise — by the NDP, special interest groups and others. The Liberal government eventually gave up trying.

But maybe that was a good thing. Constitutionally entrenching property rights has long been the goal of many on the political right, but is it the panacea many assume?

The Americans have explicit protection for property in their constitution’s Bill of Rights, and they have the advantage of a rich intellectual tradition acknowledging the moral and instrumental value of property rights. Nevertheless, their courts have whittled it away, piece by piece, until property rights have become wrought with caveats and exemptions borne of a similar rights balancing approach upon which our courts rely.

There is also a question regarding how effectively a province could protect property rights on its own. If Alberta were to entrench its own protection for property rights, it would apply only to the provincial government and municipalities. It would not prevent the federal government – which would not be bound by Alberta’s constitution – from continuing to violate our property rights. 

A perfect example of this was demonstrated earlier this year when the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the federal carbon tax legislation, which greatly interferes with the property rights of Albertans. Unless something entirely unforeseen changes, Albertans will be forever powerless to stop this sort of federal violation of property rights. Entrenching property rights in an Alberta constitution will have no bearing on any federal violations.   

And lastly, the term “property rights” means something very specific to its advocates, but not to everyone. It’s a vague and uncertain term. Generally, advocates mean legal authority to possess, control, exclude and transfer an interest in something tangible, like land or chattels.  But there are others who believe property rights should include socio-economic rights to education, healthcare, pensions and other benefits. This is a debate Albertans have never thoroughly had, and thankfully our courts have shown reluctance to adopt socio-economic rights without that debate.

And lastly, if Alberta did entrench property rights, are we naive enough to believe all currently existing legislation would not be immediately grandfathered? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is a very good chance that nothing would change.

In my view, property is both a moral and legal concept foundational to the success of all free and prosperous societies. Governments should be greatly circumscribed in their authority to take or devalue property. But this is a complicated topic, and property rights should not be entrenched on a whim.

Derek From is Columnist for the Western Standard and an associate lawyer with WKA Lawyers

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