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SLOBODIAN: CBC moves from journalism to woke activism — on taxpayer dollars

“It’s time to stop providing ANY public money to keep this corpse animated. The CBC lost its way long ago,” tweeted Peterson.

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Former CBC employee Tara Henley’s explosive condemnation of the corporation highlighted the ethical decay of the public broadcaster. 

She detailed what goes on behind the scenes to produce the biased, woke, radical political coverage disgusted Canadians increasingly tune out. 

But the $1.5-billion price tag on the CBC’s ethical breaches extend beyond what Henley exposed.

The CBC — our tax dollars at work — is funding activism and anarchists to create Yintah, a documentary about the controversial B.C. Coastal GasLink pipeline for The Passionate Eye. 

Seemingly urged by hardcore anarcho-socialist Franklin Lopez – who’s listed as an editor and producer of Yintah – the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) rallied to free defiant filmmakers arrested by RCMP.

Henley’s courageous article, Speaking Freely: Why I resigned from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, appeared in Substack Monday. She was a TV and radio producer and occasional on-air columnist for a decade. 

Instead of reflecting on how mainstream media fails the public and the CBC’s abandonment of journalistic integrity, mainstream journalists attacked and mocked Henley. One print reporter childishly tweeted Henley’s trying to “capitalize” on making “mad dough” at Substack

Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole weighed in. He won the federal Conservative leadership partly on promising to defund and privatize the English branch CBC, saying taxpayers shouldn’t prop up the public broadcaster with abysmal ratings. 

Now he just wants to fix it.

O’Toole tweeted to Henley: “Would love to sit down with you and hear your thoughts on how to fix the CBC. It’s time to start the conversation.”

O’Toole later tweeted he’d cut some CBC funding, despite campaigning on a promise to dismantle most of it.

Henley’s media critics sarcastically poked at her for not citing specific examples of CBC’s failings.

Well, Yintah’s a stark example of CBC crossing the line from clear journalism to support radical activism in an ongoing highly charged dispute.

Michael Toledano was one of two journalists among 15 people RCMP arrested November 19 at a eco-radical to an access road used by pipeline workers at the site of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, near Smithers B.C. 

Self-declared Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose construction of the 670-km natural gas pipeline through remote B.C. to a shipping terminal in Kitimat.

The pipeline’s supported by all 20 elected First Nations along its route who signed agreements that engage them in the development.

Members of the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en expressed hurt and anger for being “misrepresented and dishonoured by a small group of protesters, many of whom are neither Gidimt’en nor Wet’suwet’en, but nonetheless claim to be acting in our name to protest natural gas development,” in a December 7 article penned for the National Post

It has been an ongoing volatile situation with masked protesters, fires set, rocks hurled at vehicles, and pipeline workers held hostage in camp.

Toledano was working on the CBC documentary at the time of his arrest. 

Also arrested was freelance photographer Amber Bracken, on assignment for The Narwhal, an online hardline environmentalist magazine.

The RCMP were enforcing a court injunction, clearing the area blocked by demonstrators calling themselves “land defenders” and “water protectors”. 

Toledano and Bracken – held in custody for three nights – claimed to be victimized for exercising their journalistic right to cover protests. 

On his website, Tolendano describes himself a reporter and independent filmmaker. His Twitter and Facebook posts suggest he’s more than that.  

Enter anarcho-socialist Franklin Lopez.

On Twitter, Lopez says he’s a producer and editor of “upcoming doc about the Wet’suwet’en resistance.”

On December 6 Lopez tweeted: “Well the cat’s out of the bag, our film Yintah is a CBC production. I have to admit that this is not quite how I envisioned of letting y’all know. But for better or worse, the RCMP’s actions further unmask Canada’s brutal colonial thrust.”

Lopez, founder of the anarcho-socialist subMedia, has a dark history in this underground world.

His Twitter feed includes comments like: “You can always count on the fearless militancy of #Montreal anarchists tabarnak!” 

It’s rife with videos of civil unrest, riots, property and vehicles set ablaze — and videos of the B.C. blockade areas. 

On December 23 Lopez tweeted: “What better way to celebrate the holidays with family than by making and dropping a banner with your loved ones? From so-called BC: We put up this #AllOutForWedzinKwa banner on Dec 23rd in Burnaby, BC to celebrate the re-occupation of Coyote Camp.”

His “so-called BC” quip appears to align him with those who believe British Columbia must change its shameful colonialist name.

Past Lopez films include Invasion and Chokepoint: How to Stop Oil and Gas Pipelines, both filmed on Wet’suwet’en territory.

Chokepoint is billed as a series of short films that “document the direct actions that are effective in keeping the threats of oil and gas out. Stopping the corporations physically is paramount, as they’ll stop at nothing…”

He produced Street Politics 101, a film about the six-month 2012 Montreal student uprising. “This is a story about how the arrogance of a government underestimated a dedicated group of students, who through long-term organizing laid the foundation for some of the largest mass demonstrations in Canada’s history.”

Lopez is connected to ANTIFA – a violent neo-communist – and operates under numerous domains including submedia and itsgoingdown.

Back to Toledano.

On December 24 Toledano tweeted: “Charter rights trampled, so the public couldn’t see what the theft of Wet’suwet’en land looks like.”

Hardly words of an impartial reporter.

On Facebook Toledano summons opposition to sites. In September he urged people to “get yourselves out here” to a blockade event. 

Toledano posted a video of a December 21 encounter with a Mountie who arrived on a site asking if someone else was there. He didn’t answer.

RCMP: “Hey Michael, you’re here on journalistic endeavors aren’t you, sir?”

Silence. 

“You’re required to answer that question, Michael. Are you here as a journalist or as a protester?”

A surly Toledano asked: “What do you think?”

The Mountie reminds him he was ordered by the court to answer.

“I’m here as a journalist,” he finally said. 

Toledano’s been accused of staging activities and participating in protests, not merely observing as media.

Nonetheless, the CAJ condemned his arrest as a violation of press freedom, expressing concern over RCMP interfering with journalists ‘reporting’ from the Wet’suwet’en territory.

Did the CAJ heed a November 22 call by Lopez on the Twitter feed YINTAH (Land) Feature Doc coming 2022?

Lopez ordered people to call on Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to “protect press freedom” and “stop illegal arrests” of Toledano and Bracken “so they can continue to bear witness to the colonial violence happening now in Wet’suwet’en.”

The CAJ sent a letter that day to Mendicino claiming Bracken, Toledano and others were “illegally” arrested.

“This moment demands your involvement to immediately release journalists Amber Bracken and Michael Toledano, and to bring about a swift resolution respecting journalists’ fundamental rights. The national police force has repeatedly acted well beyond the law when dealing with members of the media, in defiance of court rulings. We ask you to exercise your oversight responsibility to correct these serious violations forthwith.”

CAJ noted Toledano lived in the Wet’suwet’en territory for three years to create Yintah to air in 2022.

It demanded the RCMP be held accountable for “repeated violations of the rights of media in Canada” and that journalists’ rights to report be protected.

Charges against Toledano and Bracken were dropped.

Is activism now acceptable journalism? 

One-sided reporting? Toledano, Lopez, and the CAJ never acknowledged indigenous supporters of the pipeline under siege by protesters. 

Professor and podcaster Jordon Peterson summed it up best in response to Henley’s article.

“It’s time to stop providing ANY public money to keep this corpse animated. The CBC lost its way long ago,” tweeted Peterson.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard
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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Sn0man

    January 7, 2022 at 5:10 pm

    I’m not sure any argument about government use of taxpayer dollars is a valid one in the ‘current year’. Let’s face it, these are not “taxpayers dollars” they’re spending. They are funny-money government printed monopoly dollars. Yes, they are still stealing your so-called ‘money’ every month, and sure, they add to the balance sheet, but nobody I know or have spoken to on the subject of public finance in the past 10 years ever expects any of these “dollars” to be repaid when they’re being “willed into existence” and then frivilously spent exponentially faster than they are earned. We all know the financial system is in complete and utter chaos, that it is falling apart in spectacular fashion and that it won’t even exist in its modern incarnation a decade from now.

    The ship is sinking and everyone knows it. Even my own well-off Dad’s banker told him to take his CPP while he still could, fully aware that it wont still exist in a few years. I figure they may as well spend like drunken sailors as the country burns to the ground. Its already burning anyway.

  2. Steven Fraser

    January 7, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Here’s what should be done with the CBC:

    – give them 6 months funding, at the end of which they go to a PBS style viewer supported fundraising model. If they are as popular as they claim, their viewers, listeners, and readers will gladly fund 100% of it’s expenses.

    – when that fails, and it will, fire every one of it’s employees. Sell off it’s equipment, real estate, and bandwidth.

    – apply the money from those sales to either the national debt, or to homeless veterans.

    – pass legislation prohibiting any form of taxpayer funded broadcasting or journalism.

  3. Dennis

    January 6, 2022 at 10:48 am

    The best Alberta Solution to this insanity is to remove ourselves from this dysfunctional mess called Canada.

    Wildrosenation.com

  4. Left Coast

    January 6, 2022 at 10:25 am

    Quit watching the CBC in the 80s . . .

    They are Canada’s Soviet era Pravda . . . Propaganda & disinformation specialists!

    O’Foole once again proves he is a liar & a fraud . . . the only way to “FIX” the CBC is to remove ALL Funding, Sell ALL the Assets to make sure it can NEVER be put back together.

  5. Barbara

    January 6, 2022 at 10:24 am

    Nice, concise, well written report.

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UCP MLA calls AHS ‘bloated’ and ‘underperforming’

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

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Alberta Health Services is “failing” and needs “transformation,” says UCP MLA for Airdrie-Cochrane Peter Guthrie in a Facebook post.

Guthrie posted the video on Tuesday and said after speaking with many of his constituents, he had been “wrestling” with his thoughts on the state of Alberta’s healthcare system.

Guthrie highlighted the two-year period of the pandemic going from “zero data and no vaccine” to having data from around the world and a vaccine, “yet we seem to be in a circular loop.”

“Even at a 90% inoculation rate in those 12 and older, we struggle with capacity,” said Guthrie, criticizing AHS for the lack of available hospital beds throughout the pandemic and the many cancelled surgeries as a result.

“And AHS seems to recite the same recycled ideas including masking, passports and other various restrictions.”

In September, Guthrie said he and other MLAs questioned AHS and the Alberta government on the use of vaccine passports saying they were “divisive and possibly ineffective in stopping transmission,” and were showing waning efficacy.

“I don’t feel our health leaders adjusted to this evidence,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie also criticized AHS for not investing in researching treatments for COVID-19 symptoms and for working to “deter” the use of early treatments.

“AHS and the College of Physicians (and Surgeons of Alberta – CPSA) have penalized, suspended and even revoked licenses’ of those Alberta doctors trying to find a treatment, including anti-viral medications, that may help a patient avoid symptoms.”

Guthrie took aim at the “billions of added dollars” the government has put into healthcare for AHS to hire more doctors yet said wait times have not improved across the province. He also referenced a report by the Fraser Institute that pegged Canada as second behind Switzerland for the most expensive universal healthcare system in the world, but added Canada also sits among the bottom on performance.

“This reinforces the need for reform,” said Guthrie, adding he doesn’t blame frontline workers and suggests we should be looking to those healthcare workers for suggestions on how to improve what he calls a “failing” healthcare system.

Guthrie said pre-COVID19 — and immediately after he was elected — he and other MLAs felt upper management changes in AHS were necessary.

“We felt that AHS was a bloated, underperforming entity that requires transformation,” said Guthrie.

“With the uninspiring performance of AHS over the last two years, right or wrong, that sentiment still holds with me.”

Guthrie said he believes “high-calibre candidates” should be sought outside of AHS and said the healthcare system in Alberta should not be left to continue struggling and suggested other strategies should be explored by professional consultants from outside AHS.

“We must endeavour to generate confidence, not fear,” said Guthrie encouraging people to share their ideas and thoughts on how to improve Alberta’s healthcare system.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Omicron grounds every 1 in 5 WestJet flights in February

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

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A total of 20% of WestJet flights will be cancelled in February — Omicron and past layoffs are to blame.

“As we continue to navigate the unpredictability of the Omicron variant on our staffing levels, along with the ongoing barriers to international travel, we are making every effort to proactively manage our schedule in order to minimize disruption to our guests’ travel plans,” said President & CEO Harry Taylor in a press release. 

“To our guests impacted by these additional consolidations, we sincerely apologize for the disruption and appreciate your continued understanding and patience.”

Customers affected by the new cutbacks will hear from WestJet within the next few days.

The aviation industry is the only transportation sector in Canada requiring full vaccination status to use and is the highest COVID-19 tested consumer activity in the country.

“Canada remains one of the only countries in the world requiring multiple molecular tests for fully-vaccinated travellers — these testing resources should be redeployed to our communities,” said Taylor, commenting on the demand to stop arrival testing.

The measures are in addition to the 15% reduction in flights implemented in January because of staff shortages.

These events follow the December deadline for WestJet employees to be vaccinated, where hundreds of employees were fired because of their vaccination status.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter for the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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