What Was Wrong With CBC’s ‘The National’ Sunday Night (October 29, 2017)

Mission Statement for “What Was Wrong With The National”:

During the last federal election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised to give the CBC additional funding if he became PM. This clearly affected the CBC’s election coverage, where the so-called impartial public broadcaster actively promoted Trudeau as Harper’s replacement. After winning the election, Trudeau rewarded CBC for it’s assistance in the federal election by awarding the state broadcaster with an additional $675 million in early 2016 to be spread out until the end of 2021. This renewal of funding added to the annual $1.1 billion (it’s unclear if this is the true amount the CBC receives, some argue it’s closer to $1.5 billion) the federal government already gives the CBC courtesy of Canadian taxpayers. Trudeau’s gift to the CBC has been returned in kind. Who can forget Peter Mansbridge grossly fawning over Trudeau when he was sworn-in? Or when CBC did a special reality-TV-like special called “Face-to-Face with the PM” for Trudeau, which Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted to emulate? Or when CBC let the PM do the opening monologue for it’s Canada 150 history special? But the CBC bias goes far beyond creating propaganda for Trudeau and the Liberals. The broadcaster is run by Canadian elites on both sides of the aisle, and for that reason, the broadcaster doesn’t have much teeth in going after high-profile Canadians abusing power in general, and usually ends up doing PR-style damage control for them instead. Exacerbating the situation is how CBC goes beyond its mandate of providing only what private broadcasters won’t, instead actively scavenging the Canadian media landscape, all with the unfair advantage of billions pouring in from Ottawa. To top it all off, with this massive financial advantage CBC is able to dominate the conversation and control the narrative in Canada. This needs to stop. That’s why I’ve begun deconstructing CBC’s flagship program, The National, which is emblematic of everything wrong with the CBC’s biased coverage. If you like what I’m doing, please make sure to share these posts on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually we’ll work on sending some polite but pointed letters to the CBC ombudsman for the most egregious coverage on The National, letting them know a large group of Canadians are not pleased with the so-called public broadcaster.

As always, the time allotment for stories on Sunday’s The National first.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTxu6rxeb7vSAhZ4vbCNEM0Rfgi7dx1FYoSvKJXHVc0wqIqkS4oHYfG3dtuBRFiw54NIbl44uLLLBn3/pubchart?oid=363860416&format=interactive

CBC’s The National on Sunday was awestruck by The Amazing Kreskin gracing Ontario. The lead story for Sunday’s episode was about Bernie Sanders schmoozing Canadians, stroking our egos by telling us how great our health care system is. CBC loves this kind of story about social welfare being great, without ever questioning its drawbacks. Coincidentally, Josh Lieblein and I co-wrote a piece (which will hopefully be published any day now) last month on the benefits of the American private system compared to our socialist system that Bernie Sanders and his sidekick Dr. Danielle Martin constantly laud. It turns out Toronto Sun columnist Candice Malcolm beat us to the punch though, writing a piece for National Review back in April, which she brought to my attention yesterday on Twitter after Sanders claimed Canadians have a health care system that is apparently the envy of the world. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for our system and how it mostly works for those most in need, but let’s not act holier than thou towards Americans or assume our system would work as well in the U.S.)

Sadly, however, Canada’s health care system is falling behind the pack of socialized health care systems of the Western world.

Of course, none of the above stole any thunder from The National‘s mostly undeserved self-congratulatory lead report.

Host Susan Ormiston: Ask Canadians what differentiates this country from the U.S. and inevitably the conversation turns to health care. This weekend former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was in Canada touring hospitals, asking questions, and today talking about our system to a packed house.

(Except it wasn’t a packed house.)

Lorenda Reddekopp: Bernie Sanders is still a hot ticket on campus. Popular with this crowd in Toronto, just as he was with U.S. students during his presidential run.

Sanders: Real change always happens from the bottom on up.

Reddekopp: He calls this visit a fact-finding mission to learn more about Canada’s health system. He toured three different hospitals, meeting patients fully covered by medicare, including one recovering from heart surgery.

Sanders: The issue that has got to be studied is how does it happen that here in Canada they provide quality health care to all people. And I don’t think there is any debate that they quality of care is as good or better than in the States.

(Tell that to the roughly 63,000 Canadians that headed down South last year to get treated.)

Sanders: And they do it for half the cost.

(Again, the U.S. subsidizes medical innovations for the rest of the world through its free market system. I have two family members in pharmaceuticals and they both cite America as the main driver for R&D because that is where drug companies will get rewarded for taking the incredible risk of pouring millions into such risky gambles. The rest of the Western world regulates drug prices so that companies cannot reap the profits, if America did this as well, drug innovation would likely grind to a halt. Furthermore, I’m curious what statistics Sanders is citing, and whether or not those numbers factor in the many Canadians spending their own money to get treated in the U.S., which would undoubtedly artificially lower the cost burden on the Canadian system.)

Reddekopp: Dr. Danielle Martin played tour guide for the senator and his team. She’s a found of Canadian Doctors for Medicare and a fierce proponent of public health care. Her back-and-forth with a U.S. senator in 2014 went viral, [replayed the video].

(Josh and I will be addressing some of Dr. Martin’s assertions in our soon-to-be-published piece.)

Reddekopp: Martin acknowledges the system has its flaws. Bernie Sanders wants to address some of them for his health care plan in the U.S. It includes free prescriptions, dental and eye care. Sanders ideas resonate with this audience. Premiere Kathleen Wynne introduced him. Her government is bringing in prescription drug coverage for everyone under 25.

Wynne: The senator encourages us to think bold. He pushes us to think about bold steps that we can take to build the kind of world that we want to live in.

Reddekopp: New federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was also there. Like Sanders he’ll also be pushing for prescription drugs to be fully funded by the government.

(Again, the CBC reports all of this as if it’s unquestionably a good thing and somehow affordable in a province in Ontario that is the most indebted sub-sovereign nation in North America. This is the fourth positive story for Wynne in the last week, despite the recent news from the Ontario Auditor General releasing a scathing report recently about the OLP blowing billions in additional interest payments in order to keep the Fair Hydro Plan off the so-called balanced budget. Going by CBC’s coverage, you’d never know how unprecedentedly unpopular the premier is in her own province, except for the brief mention of her being the least popular premier in the report on the Sudbury bribery trial being thrown out, which largely suggested Wynne is on the comeback trail and failed to mention the still ongoing mass email deletion trial involving two other Liberal operatives. I’m starting to get the distinct impression The National has a pro-Wynne bias. Ditto that for Rachel Notley.)

Reddekopp: But sometimes across the border the Canadian system is sometimes mocked.

Mike Pence: We don’t want the socialized health care they have in Canada. We want American solutions.

Donald Trump [back in a presidential debate agaisnt Hillary Clinton]: Did you ever notice the Canadians–when they need a big operation, when something happens–they come to the United States in many cases because their system is so slow, it’s catastrophic in certain ways.

(There’s actually a lot of truth to that, but the CBC viewer is supposed to infer that these two evil Republicans don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. A recurring theme in CBC coverage is Republicans are villainous and Democrats are do-gooders. It’s a pathetically simple-minded worldview.)

Reddekopp: President Trump got elected on a platform to get rid of what little medicare there is in the U.S. And that’s still the goal for his administration. So for all of Bernie Sanders’ popularity here in Toronto this weekend, his dream of fully-funded health care still seems unlikely in today’s political reality.

Well, Reddekopp either just completely lied or misstated Trump’s campaign promises to not cut American medicare, which is largely coverage for seniors in the U.S., and also his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with another universal health care system for all. He was the only Republican candidate to run on this, but most CBC reporters have an overly-simplistic view of Trump and Republicans and the American health care system that they just assume Trump is against universal health care coverage. This last bit of reporting was embarrassingly wrong.

The CBC then did another segment talking about Sanders taking constituents up to Canada to buy cheaper drugs here, completely missing the fact that those drugs creation had been subsidized by the American free market system, and would likely not exist otherwise. At least Ormiston finished this second report by admitting drug costs in Canada have “since risen to some of the highest in the world.”

Then the CBC moved on to one of its favourite stories, the ongoing opioid crisis. I know this is an important story, but there really isn’t any new development so it isn’t really news at this point. But again, the CBC likes to report on the dead more than the living because you don’t have to speak ill of the dead.

The National then did a report on the upcoming Robert Mueller charges in the Russian investigation, suggesting many Americans wouldn’t believe the charges because President Trump is dismissing them. However, the report failed to show that their are legitimate concerns about the Mueller’s connections to the Democrats and how previous investigations of Hillary Clinton and others were considered to have let her off the hook. Many investigations in U.S. are indeed partisan by nature. That’s not to say Americans shouldn’t necessarily take Mueller’s charges seriously, but the context of why Americans are wary of the special prosecutor and his perhaps selective targets is completely missing in CBC’s coverage. This report finally mentioned Hillary’s campaign paying for the phony dossier and her connection to the sale of uranium to Russia, but only in passing and as if to say they’re spurious accusations from Republicans trying to change the channel. It’s highly unlikely the CBC will dig into the dirt of the Democrats.

The next story worth mentioning was David Cochrane’s spinning of former prime minister Stephen Harper’s leaked memo blasting the Liberals handling of NAFTA. Somehow the thrust of the story became how this puts Conservative leader Andrew Scheer in a tough spot politically, instead of taking any look at what Harper’s specific criticisms of the Liberals’ NAFTA negotiating tactics. Instead they let Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland sole characterization of the memo as “capitulation”.

Jason Kenney’s monumental feat of winning the leadership of the UCP in Alberta only got a passing reference when The National mentioned he wants to run in a byelection. Kenney was able to win the leadership contest of the former Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, then merge the two conservative parties in Alberta, then win another leadership contest, but all The National gives the culmination of these politically historic moments in a resurgence of Canadian conservatism is a 25-second report on how Kenney wants to run in a byelection as soon as possible. Are you kidding me? Kenney’s win should’ve been top Canadian news. Instead it was buried midway through the show, and a socialist American politician showing up here somehow is the top story. The National devoted way more time on the anniversary of Premier Rachel Notley’s father dying in a plane crash just last week.

CBC’s The National then spent over ten minutes on both the opioid crisis, again, and Turkey devolving into a theocratic dictatorship. After that there was a two-and-a-half-minute report on Nunavut’s upcoming election. I’m pretty sure there were more voters in the UCP vote than the 35,944 citizens living in all of Nunavut, but of course never underestimate CBC’s ability to highlight the less relevant and completely overlook the relevant in its reporting to what matters to the average Canadian.

The National then did a recap of Sanders visit to close out the program. Basically CBC sees American socialists as good, so give them lots of coverage, but Canadian conservatives are bad, so only give them passing mention. CBC News even published on YouTube Bernie Sanders giving a 33-minute speech about “what the U.S. can learn from Canadian health care.”

If you’re sick of the CBC’s general biases and don’t feel the so-called public broadcaster is covering the stories that matter to everyday Canadians, make sure you click on the link below and give a thumb down. This week I’m also going to write the first letter of complaint to the CBC ombudsman for readers to jointly send.

The National (October 30, 2017)

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A Warning to Albertans: Prepare Yourselves for the Identity Politics Onslaught

By Josh Lieblein

Nothing shatters the relative calm of Canadian discourse so completely as a full-throated Albertan cry for redress against the perfidious East.

When Ryan Rados raked my home province of Ontario over the coals in his justifiably harsh missive, I felt the burn.

I can’t argue with Ryan’s characterization of our out-of-control debt or how we seem wedded to the same old disastrous progressive ideas–though I did try.

I confess that my first instinct was to do what all Ontario conservatives do when called out by a Western Canadian and invoke the example of Mike Harris and his efforts to get spending under control.

But I was forced to check that impulse. Truth be told, except for a $3.1 billion drop in the bucket (and I realize how insane it is to call it that) when Highway 407 was sold to a Spanish multinational, the debt continued to balloon under the Harris PCs, though arguably not as quickly.

No, there’s no getting around it. Unlike Ontario, debt is about as welcome in Alberta as pumpkin-spice flavoured crude oil. Rachel Notley will learn this the hard way come 2019 when she’s deposed by Jason Kenney.

And while I’d love to believe that, I’m not so sure.

You see, Ryan, an addiction needs enablers and, most importantly, a belief that things will get worse if the addiction stops.

While I may be three provinces away, it seems to me that Notley is as good, if not better, than Trudeau and Wynne at scaring her unfortunate constituents into staying hooked on debt. Specifically, she knows how much Albertans hate to be stereotyped as bigoted rednecks… and she knows how to play on that insecurity to get her way.

Ryan even betrays a hint of this in his own piece when he says, “The bitterness that we have toward the East right now isn’t irrational or based on any kind of bigotry.”

Look, I’m in no place to judge. Ontarians are possibly the most reputation-conscious folks on the planet. Why, just a month or so ago it was alleged–ALLEGED–that over-concern for the Ontario Liberal Party’s “rep” was the motive for the deletion of emails in the gas plant scandal.

But I’m old enough to remember when the federal Conservative leadership race was rocked by chants of “Lock Her Up!” directed at Premier Notley herself at an anti-carbon tax protest outside the Alberta provincial legislature.

And I was interested to see how Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was re-elected to a third term despite having accumulated quite a bit of baggage–but not before he played the race card, of course.

Then there was that abrupt implosion of the Wild Rose Party in 2012–all because, we were told, of a single blog post where a WRP candidate said gay people were going to burn in an actual lake of fire.

Ontario conservatives live in fear of such unreconstructed stupidity taking over the news cycle to the point where they elect ciphers like Patrick Brown to lead.

Not that it’s doing any good, mind you. Because now the Liberals have managed to take what might have been a slip of the tongue by Brown–to the effect that Kathleen Wynne was on trial when she wasn’t–and torqued it into a narrative in which this represents a Trumpian disregard for the facts.

Laughable? Kind of. But then again, these are the same people who convinced Ontarians that the aggressively bland John Tory was a secret radical because he unwisely green-lighted a plan to fund faith based schools. So I don’t take Kathleen Wynne’s desperation moves lightly, even if Patrick Brown and his team do.

For his sake, then, I hope that the first United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has figured out some way to keep the discussion on the subject of Alberta’s finances when–not if–his comments about gay-straight alliances come up.

And I’d especially hate to see Albertan conservatives become like their Ontario cousins, refusing to touch anything controversial for fear they’ll get steamrolled.

Because if they do somehow lose to Notley… who will be left to tell Ontarians how badly we’re screwing up?

What Was Wrong With CBC’s ‘The National’ Thursday and Friday Night (October 26 & 27)

Mission Statement for “What Was Wrong With The National”:

During the last federal election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised to give the CBC additional funding if he became PM. This clearly affected the CBC’s election coverage, where the so-called impartial public broadcaster actively promoted Trudeau as Harper’s replacement. After winning the election, Trudeau rewarded CBC for it’s assistance in the federal election by awarding the state broadcaster with an additional $675 million in early 2016 to be spread out until the end of 2021. This renewal of funding added to the annual $1.1 billion (it’s unclear if this is the true amount the CBC receives, some argue it’s closer to $1.5 billion) the federal government already gives the CBC courtesy of Canadian taxpayers. Trudeau’s gift to the CBC has been returned in kind. Who can forget Peter Mansbridge grossly fawning over Trudeau when he was sworn-in? Or when CBC did a special reality-TV-like special called “Face-to-Face with the PM” for Trudeau, which Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted to emulate? Or when CBC let the PM do the opening monologue for it’s Canada 150 history special? But the CBC bias goes far beyond creating propaganda for Trudeau and the Liberals. The broadcaster is run by Canadian elites on both sides of the aisle, and for that reason, the broadcaster doesn’t have much teeth in going after high-profile Canadians abusing power in general, and usually ends up doing PR-style damage control for them instead. Exacerbating the situation is how CBC goes beyond its mandate of providing only what private broadcasters won’t, instead actively scavenging the Canadian media landscape, all with the unfair advantage of billions pouring in from Ottawa. To top it all off, with this massive financial advantage CBC is able to dominate the conversation and control the narrative in Canada. This needs to stop. That’s why I’ve begun deconstructing CBC’s flagship program, The National, which is emblematic of everything wrong with the CBC’s biased coverage. If you like what I’m doing, please make sure to share these posts on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually we’ll work on sending some polite but pointed letters to the CBC ombudsman for the most egregious coverage on The National, letting them know a large group of Canadians are not pleased with the so-called public broadcaster.

It turns out that The National revamp will be unveiled on November 6. The plan is to apparently have a day long program with four co-hosts: Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing. There’s no way in hell I’m going to subject myself to hours and hours of the CBC each day, lest I start believing their leftist agenda and Liberal government talking points.

At least there will still be a late evening show I can catch and quarter. I wonder how much money and resources the CBC will pour into the shows new sets and show graphics.

Anyhow, moving on to the last couple episodes of The National. First off, here are the time allotments for stories for the last two episodes.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQlcU2PBa04gcVblrQQ0HlbUYJfMVCl0czCdvyU_ZLVo1u_1CX-Hh8r3UMW6mRnZHog3hrM8hN_2Zfp/pubchart?oid=121432095&format=interactive

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vR1ys03dNf_VyL7z6lDH-qV_GQpKRn0MHOfKlARcaw5gTkd_N5qi305Hou9hSQ6rKqbI-ryRUUJqmZE/pubchart?oid=1158740773&format=interactive

Well, The National actually led with the top story on Thursday night. Susan Ormiston opened the show introducing the latest developments to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s recent scandal.

Ormiston: A week ago in the thick of a controversy involving his personal finances and shares in his family’s company, Bill Morneau said he needed to do more to make sure Canadians had confidence in him. He has already agreed to put his assets in a blind trust and sell off his shares in Morneau Shepell.

(The CBC’s The National has never really given the context of how Morneau led the media to believe a blind trust had been set up two years when he assumed political office as Finance Minister.)

Ormiston: Today the Finance Minister took another step aimed at stamping out a political firestorm but his critics say it did the opposite. David Cochrane has our story tonight.

Cochrane: This controversy has already been politically expensive for Bill Morneau, now it is personally expensive.

(Cochrane fails to ask the obvious follow-up questions in his report: What kind of tax break will Morneau get from his donation? If you did nothing wrong why why do you feel the need to do this? How many shares did your family members also have in Morneau Shepell? You say you now have a million shares in Morneau Shepell, when did you sell the other half?)

Morneau [in the House of Commons]: I’ve decided to sell not only mine and my family’s assets in the company I built with my father for 25 years, but also decided to donate in difference of value in those shares from the time I was elected until now.

Cochrane: Those few words add up to big money. When he became Finance Minister Morneau Shepell stock traded at $15.58 a share. Today it closed at $21.08 a share. That’s a gain of $5.50 a share times one million shares, which means Morneau will donate as much as $5.5 million to charity to make this go away.

(Again, I’m not sure why Cochrane isn’t questioning the tax break Morneau will get over making such a large donation, which would likely mean Morneau will still benefit financially from holding such a large position in his family company while being in charge of regulating the industry that company is in.)

Morneau [in press scrum]: We made the decision that the most important thing for me is to continue to work on behalf of Canadians. I’m not sure what that value is and of course it’s not sure until it happens.

Cochrane [part of press scrum]: We’re talking about millions of dollars.

Morneau: Whatever that value is, that’s our decision. We’ve decided to make that donation.

Conservative MP Gerard Deltell: He acted only when in the corner. And it was a real profitable, personal conflict of interest for him and his family.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen: I think what we saw today was an admission of guilt. From my experience people don’t usually pay a fine or a fee if they’re innocent from something.

Cochrane: Rather than letting it drop, the opposition said this is just proof of wrongdoing, and they say there is even more out there. Cullen has asked the Ethics Commissioner to investigate Morneau’s role in drafting pension reform legislation known as C-27. Legislation his critics say will mean big money for Morneau Shepell. Today the Ethics Commissioner wrote Cullen to say she will look into it. ‘…your letter leaves me with concerns in relation to Mr. Morneau’s involvement with Bill C-27. Consequently, I will follow up with Mr. Morneau.’ So Morneau will go under the microscope of the Ethics Commissioner though it isn’t at the level of a formal investigation. His office has said that he will cooperate fully with the commissioner and answer any questions that she has. David Cochrane, CBC News, Ottawa.

Cochrane’s report also failed to mention that the commissioner has no teeth–giving Morneau a pathetic $200 fine for not disclosing his villa in Fance–and is usually appointed by the PM, but in Trudeau’s case Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson’s replacement will be chosen by his friends, Trudeau’s communications director Kate Purchase and his Government House Leader Bardish Chagger. Trudeau had to recuse himself from the appointment process because of the hilariously ironic fact that he is currently being investigated by Dawson over his clear breach of the Conflict-of-Interest Act when he decided to vacation at the billionaire Aga Khan’s private island, all while Khan’s charity is lobbying the government.Thankfully for him and Morneau, however, the most Dawson can do is slap them with fines worth less than the average speeding ticket.

That same Thursday night, Morneau continued to show his unapologetic arrogance when he appeared on CTV News for a train-wreck interview where he remained adamant he’d done nothing wrong.

Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing that on Friday’s The National.

The next story was on Trudeau’s government giving $31 million in settlements to Canadians wrongfully accused of terrorism. Of course the story led with the PM, Minister Ralph Goodale and a human rights lawyer all defending the settlement. Even the Conservattive MP didn’t argue they were entitled to money because of their innocence, but no-one questioning the amounts given to the three men in the settlement was presented in the report.

Midway through Thursday’s program Ormiston said before taking a break, “Just ahead, At Issue with their take on the conflict-of-interest controversy that continues to dodge (sic) the Finance Minister.”

(CBC’s The National has been helping the Finance Minister dodge accountability in his conflict-of-interest scandal that should be rightfully dogging Bill Morneau.)

I won’t bore you with the details of the panel discussion, but right from the get-go the National Post‘s Andrew Coyne laid out how Morneau is still in a lot of trouble politically. Huffington Post’s Ottawa bureau chief then added to the pile-on over how Morneau’s story on whether or not he recused himself from working on pension legislation keeps changing. Then Angus Reid Institute’s Shachi Kurl then joined in pointing out how Morneau has “alienated” himself from the small business community and everyday Canadians. Overall the panel was much more honest and accurate than Cochrane’s reporting over the past week. And I understand Cochrane is suppposed to do an objective news report, but his leaving out of the details that make Morneau look bad is unacceptable, and The National barely reporting on the scandal as it developed was also unacceptable.

Anyway, moving on to Friday’s The National. Noe of the reports from that day were really noteworthy enough to report on, and didn’t really have much to do with CBC bias. However, the rerun report on asylum seekers illegally entering Canada was pretty telling. At one point Ormiston spoke with an American border guard.

Ormiston: And so do you think that the messaging was that Canada was open to this?

American Border Guard: I think that’s what the Premier said right up front, didn’t he? The Prime Minister said that right up front, right [eyebrows raised]? So I think people took that literally.

Yeah, no shit. I’ve heard from several Canadians who have travelled abroad in the developing world that many people they met on their travels mentioned their intentions to want to come to Canada because of Trudeau’s careless words. It amazes me how the CBC and most of the media has forgotten or chosen to ignore that Trudeau tweeted to the world that Canada would welcome anyone to Canada. Why would a 12-minute report leave out Trudeau’s tweets, which encouraged these migrants to jump the immigration queue illegally? Perhaps it’s because the majority of Canadians are against it. Like I said, I wrote a CBC opinion piece warning about Trudeau’s ill-advised virtue-signalling tweets that resonated with many Canadians and was very popular online. It’s frustrating that the media tends to only cover the humanitarian side of this story. There are many criminals entering Canada as well, and it is promoting a black market for human trafficking and people flying to America simply to then illegally enter Canada.

Once again the Finance Minister’s story was no where to be found on Friday, despite Morneau’s arrogant refusal to admit he’d done anything wrong the night before. The National has also done zero reporting on the latest investigations started in relation to Hillary Clinton, or the Canadian connection in the sale of uranium to Russia that has also been developing over the past several days. Don’t hold your breath.

If you’re unhappy with CBC’s The National coverage click on the YouTube links below and give them both a thumb down.

The National (October 26, 2017)

The National (October 27, 2017)

A Brief Look Back on Albertan Alienation

By Mark Walker

The Liberal Party of Canada has a knack for inciting regional alienation and constitutional crises.  Western Canadians, particularly Albertans, expect Liberal federal governments to have a disdain bordering on antipathy for people outside of the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal “golden triangle”, and why not? A look at electoral maps since the days of Pearson shows the West consistently rejects the progressive paternal brand of politics that passes for “liberalism” in the LPC. There is simply no political upside for the Liberals to create policy that serves western Canada when they can rely on enough votes from central Canada to form government–which they do more often than not.

This is the reality of Canadian federal politics under which the West has laboured, and generally thrived in spite of a hostile Canadian political and media regime–a cabal held in check only by the Constitution (the real one from 1867) and the odd win by the federal Conservatives.

The modern roots of western alienation are often traced back to Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program–although, in fact, the West’s resentment could reasonably be the result of more than a century of federal government policies that compelled the region to feed the Central Canadian appetite for everything from wheat to oil to cannon fodder for military adventures while more favoured regions, particularly Quebec, were held exempt from contributing in any real way to the national experiment. These inequities continue to this day with the Orwellian Equalization Program being the best example.

The NEP was recognized in Alberta, and to a large extent in Saskatchewan and NE British Columbia for the corrupt, naked grab for power and money that it was. The oil producing regions increasing wealth posed an existential threat to the LPC’s role as the “natural governing” party of Canada. At the same time Alberta’s burgeoning economy represented a pot of money that the Liberals convinced themselves, and much of the “Rest of Canada”, was really owed to them, for all the help they’d heaped on the West in the past. While there was a degree of spite for Alberta in the NEP, it was largely a money grab by Central Canadian interests. It failed, as all national programs do, but it created a rallying point for a rising western separatism that manifested itself in the Reform-Alliance party, the destruction of the PC Party of Canada (which was at least complicit in support of the NEP) and the eventual rise of the Conservative Party under Harper.

All that is history–and most Westerners understand the realities of Canada and the motivation of the “East”. Parallels drawn between the spite of Pierre Trudeau and the hubris of his progeny are not wrong. Both Trudeaus can be described as slightly effeminate dilettantes who choose their daily wardrobes more carefully than their words or actions. All hat, no cattle as it were–which is a tough sell in the prairies where self-reliance, family, faith and honesty are accepted not just as virtues, but as what it means to be Canadian.

What is different this time, and why the growing resentment in the West for Central Canada is understated, is the attack on western Canadian values by the current Trudeau gang isn’t just economic–it’s personal. Trudeau and the LPC are punishing western Canada, not just for it’s rejection of LPC, but for the very virtues that make up the social fabric of the West. LPC policy suffers from a heavy dose of cultural Marxism which reveals itself as radical environmentalism, an obsession with the futile fight against climate change, and endless lectures on identity politics and white guilt.

People have an innate understanding of fairness and tolerance. Contributing significantly more economically to the national effort when things are going well is something most western Canadians are proud to do. When the Liberal Party of Canada, and to a large extent Conservatives outside of the West, accuse the people of  the productive, stable West of being bigots, tax cheats, homophobes and White Supremacists, westerners quite rightly begin to question the utility of a continued Confederation.  When the injury of a concerted effort to shut down the West’s resource industry in the name of Gaia is added to the insults hurled by Trudeau at the people who have kept Canada’s economy going for the past six decades, a growing resentment for Central Canada from the West  is not only to be expected, it’s encouraged.

What Was Wrong With CBC’s ‘The National’ Tuesday and Wednesday Night (October 24 & 25, 2017)

Mission Statement for “What Was Wrong With The National”:

During the last federal election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised to give the CBC additional funding if he became PM. This clearly affected the CBC’s election coverage, where the so-called impartial public broadcaster actively promoted Trudeau as Harper’s replacement. After winning the election, Trudeau rewarded CBC for it’s assistance in the federal election by awarding the state broadcaster with an additional $675 million in early 2016 to be spread out until the end of 2021. This renewal of funding added to the annual $1.1 billion (it’s unclear if this is the true amount the CBC receives, some argue it’s closer to $1.5 billion) the federal government already gives the CBC courtesy of Canadian taxpayers. Trudeau’s gift to the CBC has been returned in kind. Who can forget Peter Mansbridge grossly fawning over Trudeau when he was sworn-in? Or when CBC did a special reality-TV-like special called “Face-to-Face with the PM” for Trudeau, which Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted to emulate? Or when CBC let the PM do the opening monologue for it’s Canada 150 history special? But the CBC bias goes far beyond creating propaganda for Trudeau and the Liberals. The broadcaster is run by Canadian elites on both sides of the aisle, and for that reason, the broadcaster doesn’t have much teeth in going after high-profile Canadians abusing power in general, and usually ends up doing PR-style damage control for them instead. Exacerbating the situation is how CBC goes beyond its mandate of providing only what private broadcasters won’t, instead actively scavenging the Canadian media landscape, all with the unfair advantage of billions pouring in from Ottawa. To top it all off, with this massive financial advantage CBC is able to dominate the conversation and control the narrative in Canada. This needs to stop. That’s why I’ve begun deconstructing CBC’s flagship program, The National, which is emblematic of everything wrong with the CBC’s biased coverage. If you like what I’m doing, please make sure to share these posts on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually we’ll work on sending some polite but pointed letters to the CBC ombudsman for the most egregious coverage on The National, letting them know a large group of Canadians are not pleased with the so-called public broadcaster.

Here’s another double-header deconstruction of CBC’s The National‘s coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday’s episodes.

First, here is the time allotment for stories on those two nights.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vSjavDVipNzCEBX1vfIfJ1Plw4V8Pbbi2hCsFhHcZ17O7sITvBAKHTAd1OzFTmbjSbXBJ21BsXy-p-H/pubchart?oid=597163971&format=interactive

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQkP51Fs-T1XXo0LRrVcLf4S9vkJVLpNBh8B4uHE7Nhsye19Xu4jtoVRft_OeKY1JGzyihpA52arvHX/pubchart?oid=420950170&format=interactive

Before I begin, I’d first like to highlight what coverage has been most fascinating from my critiquing of The National thus far. It amazes me how little coverage has been given to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s scandalous conflicts of interest that have been pouring out in the last week. The media had been left under the impression for years that Morneau had put his vast fortune in a blind trust when he became Finance Minister. He suggested as much in a CBC interview back in 2015 and also led employees at his family company Morneau Shepell into believing the same thing. But then it turned out he still owned millions of shares, using an ethics loophole to avoid putting his assets into a blind trust. This revelation was especially ironic because Morneau is in the middle of cracking down on small businesses for so-called “tax loopholes”, yet the loopholes for the extravagantly wealthy like himself and the PM are being left untouched and being taken advantage of in full. On top of this, it turns out that Morneau has most likely worked on pension legislation that positively affected his shares in his family business, pension company Morneau Shepell. Adding to this absurd conflicts of interest, Morneau’s proposed tax changes would also likely benefit Morneau Shepell and his millions of shares. And it doesn’t end there, Morneau Shepell also has many contracts with the government. And then there is the tone-deaf response from Morneau to the feeding frenzy over these egregious conflicts of interest. He’s tried to pretend like everything was above board and told reporters off. Yet, as you’ll see by The National‘s coverage, there is no appetite by these so-called journalists in an extremely newsworthy story. Instead, it’s an “unusual scandal” or “stir” because he followed the letter of the law. (I’ll address the latest developments from Thursday, including Morneau announcing he’ll donate the profits from his shares to charity and his inability to admit he did anything wrong in the next post.)

With all that in mind, let’s see what was wrong with CBC’s The National‘s coverage Tuesday night:

  • The opening of the show led with Quebec’s face-covering law yet again, only showing one side of the debate.
  • CBC continues to do damage control for the Finance Minister by leading with Morneau’s fall fiscal update. Mesley said at the beginning of the program, “The government announces a windfall and parents of young children will benefit.” It’s not really a windfall if you have added revenue coming in but are still spending billions more than you take in overall.
  • The story on two Ontario Liberals being acquitted on charges of bribery portrayed Wynne as being exonerated and a “huge weight” lifted off her back. The story made it appear as if the bribery trial is a main reason why she is historically unpopular (the report mentioned she’s the most unpopular premier in Canada, not her record low approval ratings). The report also trumpeted Wynne’s new minimum wage and other social welfare spending, spending the province can’t really afford.
  • The CBC’s deeper look into the context of Quebec’s face-covering law apparently is “prompting accusations of racism outside Quebec.” Whenever the CBC believes in something if just says what it believes as if it’s generally thought by everyone. Also, not sure how this is a racist bill. If someone cannot be idetntified by public officials that’s a problem, it has nothing do with one’s race. Mesley would then repeat the charge, saying many people are saying this is racist.
  • The CBC decided to do a feature on hospice patients in their last days of life that lasted a whopping 17 minutes and 45 seconds. It’s inexplicable why this is news, but remember, the CBC likes stories about the dead and the dying, you don’t speak ill of them.

Finally, CBC’s coverage of Finance Minister Bill Morneau is worth going over in detail. The fall fiscal update started off with Mesley saying, “…and to some, it’s a crowd-pleaser. As we first reported last night, the Finance Minister announced a boost to the Canada Child Benefit, as well as help for the working poor and shrinking federal deficits. All thanks to a windfall in unexpected growth. David Cochrane has the details from Ottawa.”

[Scene change to Morneau receiving roaring applause from his fellow Liberal MPs in the House of Commons]

Cochrane: The Finance Minister hasn’t had a day like this in a while. A chance to talk about the country’s finances instead of his own.

Morneau: I came to office knowing growing the middle class is how we grow the economy. Today, we’re doubling down on that strategy becuase it’s a strategy that’s working.

Cochrane: Morneau announced billions in new spending to enrich old programs. Pumping up Canada CHild Benefit checks that parents get every month by indexing them to the cost of living. He also boosted a tax benefit to help low-income workers.

Morneau: When Canadians succeed, they grow our economy, they create jobs, and together we build a better future.

[Scene changes to cute kid playing with a pumpkin]

(I’m starting to see why Cochrane is the PMO’s (Prime Minister’s Office) favourite parrot to give government “leaks”. The deficits better be shrinking, they’re already three-times what they were supposed to be, and reducing from those high levels is no feat worth mentioning. As for the supposed windfall, that is largely because the government is stimulating the economy by pouring billions into it while racking up debt. Another thing not to be proud of.)

Cochrane: Morneau argues that programs like the Child Benefit are driving economic growth by putting money in the hands of people who need it and will spend it. As proof, he says, growth and jobs are up while the deficit is down by more than $8 billion, but it’s not gone.

(Why not say how much it’s at still, Cochrane?)

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre: There’s literally not a single year into the distant future when this government–ever–projects eliminating the deficit.

Cochrane: Morneau is projecting that the federal deficit will shrink, but it never gets to zero.

(Finally a graph shows this year’s $19.9 billion deficit.)

Cochrane: Instead he is planning to borrow money for the new spending.

Former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page: Where’s the risk? I think the risk that inflation will be higher, the risk that interest rates will be higher. You know and the risk the government will be able to control program spending growth.

(Finally, some belated truth.)

NDP MP Guy Caron: So it’s obviously a way for the Liberal government to deflect attention away from the problems the minister is experiencing right now.

Cochrane: Today may not deflect from the problems Morneau has had over how he’s handled his personal fortune, but tomorrow he is set to meet with the Ethics Commissioner and seek advice on how to sell his assets and setup his blind trust and trying to put all of this behind him. David Cochrane, CBC News, Ottawa.

Wendy Mesley [back in studio]: Today’s update was a chance for Bill Morneau to change the channel. The Finance Minister has been at the center of a conflict-of-interest controversy. Chris Hall joins me now. So these updates–they’re always political–but this one in particular, tell us about that.

Hall: Well that’s right. The Liberals have really been off message in recent weeks. Whether it was Morneau’s continued ownership of millions of shares in his family company or a plan to tax employee discounts, they were looking anything but like a party of the middle class.

(So CBC just assumes because Trudeau says it endlessly that the Liberals are actually a party of the middle class?)

Hall: And that was the political imperative of today. To remind middle class voters that the Liberals are still on their side. To credit some of the measures, like the Canada Child Benefit and the Working Income Benefit for the great growth in the economy in the past two years. And that was the entire purpose here, to try and remind those middle class voters that they will be better off, that they can look into their pockets and see more money. And they’re betting that they’re more concerned about that then, for example, the size of the deficit.

(Reiterating the Liberals’ talking points just like Cochrane did.)

Mesley: So, will the tactic work?

(Looks like it, already working on you guys. Although you’re complicit in changing the channel.)

Hall: Well it’s an interesting question. It didn’t work in Question Period. The opposition was still asking Bill Morneau about his perceived conflict of interest.

(“Perceived,” right. Because the Finance Minister not recusing himself from working on pension legislation while still holding on to millions of shares in Morneau Shepell, all while convincing the media he’d put his assets into a blind trust, was not a conflict of interest at all.)

Hall: And there are a lot of risks here with this political reward that they are trying to get. first is, the NAFTA talks are not going well, so economic growth is not guaranteed in the future. And there’s also the concern with consumer debt at almost historic highs there is not a lot of wiggle room for Bill Morneau to have here if it doesn’t go as he plans. Again, the betting, though, politically, is that out there in the real world where Canadians are far more concerned about their own economic well-being and far less concerned with any appearance of conflict of interest here in Ottawa.

Pfffffft. CBC couldn’t stop talking over Mike Duffy for over a year, over $90,000 in phony housing allowances claimed. But now when a sitting Finance makes millions off of decisions he makes as a legislator through his private assets is just an appearance of conflict of interest. Just like Cochrane would probably deny any appearance of conflict of interest between him and the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) in him getting the leaks first.

Now, moving on to Wednesday’s episode.

  • CBC led with new census numbers released that day. The main story from the census was the increase in people identifying as aboriginal. “A growth spurt that is largely due to growing pride,” claimed Susan Ormiston. I don’t know how she came up with that theory, but as the following report pointed out, the Indigenous community in Canada has a much higher birth rate and more people decided to claim Indian status. The latter reason may be more out of self-interest in getting the benefits of Indian status, like government settlements and tax exemption, than necessarily out of pride. But CBC won’t let that get in the way of their own unfounded narrative.

The only other story worth mentioning is the long feature on the Russian Magnitsky story. This was actually a fascinating feature, and I highly recommend readers watch it. However, this story is old news, and it is very strange, but also telling, that The National has made no mention of new stories about how Hillary and Bill Clinton are linked to a Russian uranium deal involving Canadian mining companies, as well as friend and Clinton Foundation partner Canadian Billionaire Frank Giustra. The Clintons have long been beneficiaries of millions from Canada’s corporate elite, so perhaps that’s why the latest two investigations opened by House Republicans got no coverage by The National. And there was also the bombshell story from the Washington Post revealing Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for the fake Russian dossier on Trump that led to the FBI investigating his campaign during the election, suggesting possible collusion between Clinton, Obama, the FBI and Russia. Better to report on the murdered than the possibly corrupt living, unless it’s President Trump that is. Don’t get me wrong, by all means report on the antics of Trump, but this turning a blind eye by CBC’s The National to Democrats’ corruption is mind-boggling.

If you’re bothered by The National‘s coverage, please click on the links below and give them both a thumb down.

The National (October 24,2017)

The National (October 25, 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Was Wrong With ‘The National’ Sunday and Monday Night (October 22-23, 2017)

Mission Statement for “What Was Wrong With The National”:

During the last federal election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised to give the CBC additional funding if he became PM. This clearly affected the CBC’s election coverage, where the so-called impartial public broadcaster actively promoted Trudeau as Harper’s replacement. After winning the election, Trudeau rewarded CBC for it’s assistance in the federal election by awarding the state broadcaster with an additional $675 million in early 2016 to be spread out until the end of 2021. This renewal of funding added to the annual $1.1 billion (it’s unclear if this is the true amount the CBC receives, some argue it’s closer to $1.5 billion) the federal government already gives the CBC courtesy of Canadian taxpayers. Trudeau’s gift to the CBC has been returned in kind. Who can forget Peter Mansbridge grossly fawning over Trudeau when he was sworn-in? Or when CBC did a special reality-TV-like special called “Face-to-Face with the PM” for Trudeau, which Hillary Clinton’s campaign wanted to emulate? Or when CBC let the PM do the opening monologue for it’s Canada 150 history special? But the CBC bias goes far beyond creating propaganda for Trudeau and the Liberals. The broadcaster is run by Canadian elites on both sides of the aisle, and for that reason, the broadcaster doesn’t have much teeth in going after high-profile Canadians abusing power in general, and usually ends up doing PR-style damage control for them instead. Exacerbating the situation is how CBC goes beyond its mandate of providing only what private broadcasters won’t, instead actively scavenging the Canadian media landscape, all with the unfair advantage of billions pouring in from Ottawa. To top it all off, with this massive financial advantage CBC is able to dominate the conversation and control the narrative in Canada. This needs to stop. That’s why I’ve begun deconstructing CBC’s flagship program, The National, which is emblematic of everything wrong with the CBC’s biased coverage. If you like what I’m doing, please make sure to share these posts on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually we’ll work on sending some polite but pointed letters to the CBC ombudsman for the most egregious coverage on The National, letting them know a large group of Canadians are not pleased with the so-called public broadcaster.

So, lucky for me, The National doesn’t air on Saturdays. I’m trying to catch up with the previous nights’ episodes of the CBC’s flagship so I figured I’d do a doubleheader here.

First off, here were the time allotments for news stories on Sunday and Monday’s episodes of The National respectively.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQGOy8GVa-vLznLkkd1E_babwMeINRPa2AtmXTga7GZDwAae7aEVtX6ah8RnP_g_s777li5Ez9J5gX2/pubchart?oid=1208703580&format=interactive

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQnETa68TcbvLwzv4OwP7I1QlUi6MbKdjpaFAo0Hmz4Mo3Fv7lP99fjzhmU0PvwSq4gc__lP7UIkDsU/pubchart?oid=274361991&format=interactive

On Sunday’s program most of the stories were non-political and aren’t really worth mentioning here. However, the CBC has been reporting on the Fernie tragedy for the past several days and continued to do so on Sunday, even without any new developments and it’s more of a local tragedy. However, the Morneau scandal was building momentum all throughout last week, yet The National didn’t mention it in two of its broadcasts last week and downplayed and buried it two other nights. The Finance Minister was involved in legislation on pensions while holding at least a million shares in his family pension company Morneau Shepell, yet CBC thinks that this is an “unusual” scandal not worth reporting as it develops. Finally, the Quebec face-covering ban was reported on again with almost all the sources for the story being overwhelmingly against the ban (one lone supporter of the ban was included), despite the majority of the province being behind it. (That being said, as Paul Wells points out, the new law is likely to fail a court challenge.)

What is worth looking at on Sunday’s The National was The Insiders segment. The National‘s guest host Susan Ormiston started off the segment by saying, “Well Justin Trudeau’s Liberals campaigned on a lot of big promises and faced high expectations when they swept into office. Two years in, some of those promises remain unfulfilled, and for some momentum has slowed. But there are two years left in their mandate.

Really? No broken ones? Just some unfulfilled ones, eh? And another two years to get it done. If you want to see the real record you can go to Trudeau Meter, many promises have not been kept. Now, back to the spin show.

Ormiston then introduced The Insiders: (NDP strategist) Kathleen Monk (Conservative strategist) Jamie Watt and (Liberal strategist) David Herle in Toronto. First question was about how they’ve done with the middle class. They basically all said the same thing, the Liberals’ have a good economy (which doesn’t necessarily mean anything for the general public) and their tax breaks are helping. The whole thing was a bit of a snoozer and there was no mention of the Finance Minister. Most of the conversation was also positive for the PM. David Herle got the last word, “Justin Trudeau because of his name recognition around the world is the most important and influential Canadian prime minister globally in history. In all the big issues confronting the planet: climate change, migration of peoples, making globalization work. He’s perceived as the exemplar of small-l liberalism and the anti-Trump. This is an opportunity for Canada to exercise influence like it never has.”

That remains to be seen, but that sure is some obscene obsequiousness from Wynne’s campaign manager for the 2018 election.

After the break, Ormiston spent over ten minutes interviewing American conservative Andrew Sullivan about his hatred of Donald Trump. To be fair, Ormiston did do a good job of playing devil’s advocate. After that break, Ormiston spent another three-and-a-half minutes with Sullivan discussing pot. The rest of the show isn’t really worth mentioning, except the brief report on how Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale is asking his U.S. counterpart for help from the Americans in deterring people from illegally crossing into Canada. No mention was made of Trudeau’s virtue-signalling Tweets earlier in the year that has falsely advertised anyone can come to Canada, which I pointed out was reckless in a wildly popular CBC opinion piece–ironically enough–back at the time. (It was the top article for the day on CBC’s website and was shared over 18,000 times.) Suddenly The National didn’t want to include Trudeau in a report.

Now, moving on to Monday’s episode. Wendy Mesley was back at the helm. The show opened with a big scoop, “A boost to the Child Benefit Plan.” The other lead stories were the remains found on a farm in an area in B.C. where multiple women are missing, who gets to keep the ships of the doomed Franklin expedition and a feature story on a new northern highway.

Mesley: The government’s Canada Child Benefit has been touted as a Liberal success story and CBC has learned the government intends to double-down on that success. In tomorrow’s fall fiscal update the Finance Minister will announce plans to boost the benefit. David Cochrane broke the story for us and he joins us now from Ottawa.

So the PMO fed Cochrane this information so it could lead The National on Monday night. How disingenuous is it for CBC to claim Cochrane broke the story, when he was fed the story by the government. If the government has you as one of your favourites to feed stories to it’s probably because they like and trust you to give them favourable coverage. And boy was Finance Minister Bill Morneau in need of some good news. (The same quid pro quo happens in other jurisdictions between certain journalists and governments, but I’ll refrain from naming names.) What’s kind of funny is that National Post‘s John Ivison used to be a government favourite for leaking information to, but perhaps with the Post‘s waning influence the PMO has decided Cochrane and CBC are a better way to control the news cycle by leaking them the announcements now. Ivison doesn’t seem too happy with the government’s decision to snub him of “scoops” he can then “break.”

As one person in Ottawa told me:  “For the last couple of years Finance has fed “stories” to the Globe; Bill Currie, Steve Chase. These are basically day-before news releases. Now it’s the CBC, like David Cochrane’s excellent “scoop” yesterday about an announcement beefing up child benefit. He appears to be the number one stooge. Makes sense. Government isn’t subsidizing publishers but plumping up the CBC. Listen to Cochrane line by line for your National updates.

Yes, let’s listen to Cochrane line by line.

Cochrane: Well Wendy, what we’ve learned–CBC news has learned–that a boost to the Canada Child Benefit would be the centerpiece of a series of new spending measures aimed at helping working class and middle class Canadians that will be announced Tuesday as part of the fiscal update. Now the specific details of the boost won’t be rolled out until later in the week.

You don’t give the trained seal the fish right away you see. You dangle the fish throughout the week so they keep their eye on the prize instead of the scandal that has been plaguing you for a week.

Cochrane: It’s not clear at this point if it’s a straight bump in the size of the checks that parents get each month or whether this is a move to index these benefits to inflation a few years earlier than promised. But what is clear is this is a signature policy of this government, one that they are quite proud of, and on that people like the Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz has praised as really helping to boost the economy, and also for giving a base level of income to families to help people, especially women, pay for things like child care or get a second car so they can transition back into the workforce. So expect the Liberals to seize on that message and also reinforce on this and the other measures that they are going to announce are designed to ensure that Canadians are sharing in the country’s solid economic performance.

Wait, I’m confused. Is the economy doing well because of the Canada Child Benefit and other government-borrowed money being poured into the economy or is the Canada Child Benefit et al. being given to Canadians because the economy is doing so well? When the Liberals run deficit budgets three-times what they promised and pour a lot of money into the economy by racking up the debt it’s not really fair to just report that the economy is doing well. A lot of our “solid economic performance” might have something to do with the boogeyman down South.  And also, if the economy were really doing so well why would the government need to step in to help the working and middle classes, and why would the Bank of Canada not want to raise such a low interest rate if the economy were so bullish? These are all complicated details though, easier to just parrot the talking points of your tight connection within the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) I guess.

Mesley: It’s been a very challenging few weeks for the government, Finance Minister in particular…

Even though CBC wasn’t particularly interested in the particulars of that story.

Mesley: …so David is this announcement enough to change track?

Cochrane: Well you know, no one needs a good news day quite as much as Bill Morneau…

And by God, we’re going to give it to him. Hell, why not a whole week’s worth!

Cochrane: …and he should have the chance to get that tomorrow. The fiscal update should be good news for him. The economy is up, jobs are up, revenue is up, the deficit is down.

Right, the deficit is down but still way higher than it was ever promised, so is that really an accomplishment Cochrane?

Cochrane: The challenge is the deficit isn’t gone and the fiscal update may not show exactly when it will disappear.

Increasing the Child Benefit Plan will surely make it grow, Cochrane.

Cochrane: …and boosting child benefits will cost at least several billion dollars. So this is something that the opposition, especially the Conservatives, will seize on. It’s been weeks of attacks over Morneau’s personal fortune, his villa in France, his big retreat on his controversial tax reforms, and you know to borrow a line from the Liberals…

I think you meant “to borrow another line from the Liberals.”

Cochrane: …there are governments with balanced budgets and those working hard to join them. We know the Liberals don’t fall into that first group, we’ll find out with the fiscal update whether they fit into that second group. If they do not, expect the opposition Conservatives to pounce if Bill Morneau does not balance the books while he’s got a hot economy.

Yeah, watch out for those nasty Conservatives attacking a government over breaking their promises on the amount of debt they would accumulate. And again, so hot the Bank of Canada won’t raise the interest rate?

I won’t bore you with too much details on the rest of the program. A story bashing President Trump for his dealing with an African American widow of a soldier that died in Niger recently got a couple minutes. I’ll be interested to see if the bombshells about Hillary Clinton’s campaign paying for the phony dossier or the uranium scandal involving Russia and a Canadian billionaire get any coverage. The remains found in B.C. were reported on again. Despite their being nothing new to really report, the CBC devoted nearly 13 minutes to it. Remember, CBC likes to report on the dead more than the living because you don’t have to speak ill of the dead. The CBC also spent an exorbitant amount of time on the Myanmar ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, spending nearly 13 minutes speaking to Trudeau’s special envoy and former Liberal leader Bob Rae. The Liberals and CBC both love to pretend Canada “exercises influence” that it never really has.And in regards to the conflict in Myanmar, it is only one of many massacres going on in the world, but CBC and the Liberals likes to latch onto one and make it their pet project, meanwhile largely ignoring the rest. This isn’t to say what is going on in Myanmar shouldn’t be reported, but the great amount of coverage devoted to it seems questionable with everything else going on domestically and globally. The National also included a short interview between Rosemary Barton and the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft. You could see the underlying contempt Barton has for Trump and policies throughout the short exchange.

For instance, Finance Minister Morneau’s scandal continues to blow up and on Friday he told off reporters. You would think that would get covered on Sunday or Monday? But no, The National has no interest in covering the developments of the scandal. We’ll see if that changes in another double-header of Tuesday and Wednesday’s The National episodes.

If you’re unhappy with CBC’s The National‘s coverage please click on the links below and put the thumb down. It takes only a moment, but if enough readers start getting in the habit of doing it we can let the CBC know our dissatisfaction with their product.

The National (October 22, 2017)

The National (October 23, 2017)

 

 
 

 

Canada, Alberta Is Ready To Break Up

By Ryan Rados

Alberta is closing in on a $40 billion provincial debt. Our economy took the biggest hit during the oil crash, and yet we’re still sending money to Ontario and Quebec. Albertans can’t be blamed for any resentment they might feel toward Eastern Canada, especially when people like Montreal’s mayor take pride in shutting down pipelines like Energy East. If anyone thinks Albertans are angry, they’re right—but it’s not an irrational anger. We have every reason to be angry when deadbeat provinces like Ontario re-elect wasteful, big spending governments and then expect us to foot the bill.

Ontario’s debt is near $300 billion. There isn’t a chance in hell we’ll let Rachel Notley take us that far. Albertans have elected conservative governments for over 50 consecutive years before her, so when we see Ontarians and Quebeckers re-electing leftist governments, it doesn’t make any sense to us. We’ve consistently elected governments that have spent and taxed less and we’ve rarely expected anyone else to pay our bills. The bitterness that we have toward the East right now isn’t irrational or based on any kind of bigotry—we genuinely feel used and abused by bureaucrats in Ottawa and Ontario. We also fear for Ontario’s future, a province that’s fourth largest expense is servicing its ever-ballooning provincial debt. When (not if) Ontario goes bust, who’s going to end up paying for it?

While we were paying off our debts in the 1990s under Ralph Klein, Ontarians were accumulating theirs. (Ontario Premier Mike Harris cut spending but the debt barely went down.) It wasn’t until our Progressive Conservatives got trapped in a series of spending scandals that we rage-voted them out of office. Looking at Ontario, we see a long history of big spending and scandals that were never addressed by voters. Instead of kicking the Liberals out after all that Dalton McGuinty did, Ontario voters essentially re-elected the same government that rebranded itself under Wynne’s identity as a minority, LGBT woman. Now, as Albertans struggle to find work while banks foreclose on their homes, there’s a legitimate level of anger directed at Ontario and Quebec—two provinces that never bothered to clean up their acts via the electoral process, taking Alberta’s equalization payments for granted.

Albertans made a big move when they elected Notley’s NDP. As her approval ratings show, there’s a sense of buyer’s remorse in Alberta. Once 2019 comes around, history books will retell how Rachel Notley single-handedly unified conservatives and returned Alberta to its former glory days of promoting small government, liberty and fiscal/personal responsibility. When Alberta returns to true conservative principles, Notley’s election won’t be viewed so much as a mistake as it will be seen as a pivotal moment where Alberta cleansed itself of a corrupt government and started a renewal as Canada’s most prosperous province. After Rachel Notley, there won’t be much of an appetite in Alberta to return to the kind of politics that has destroyed both Ontario and Quebec.

This is what makes Alberta different from the East. While we’ve continued to learn from our mistakes, the East has stubbornly repeated theirs. This includes most of Atlantic Canada, which has suffered under high unemployment, high taxes and big spending. Despite the failures of their governments, most Eastern provinces have been too cowardly to give conservatism a try. They’ve accumulated unsustainable debts, increased spending, increased taxes, let their credit ratings sink and then expected Western provinces to bail them out. Even during our roughest times, Albertans are paying Eastern Canada’s bills.

Ask us again why we’ve had enough of your parasitic tendencies.

Albertans would have no problem sending equalization payments to Eastern Canada if Eastern Canada put some effort into cleaning up its act. Instead, we see the mayor of Montreal boasting about shutting down Energy East, a Prime Minister who sheds tears for a Canadian rockstar but carries on with dry eyes when addressing Alberta’s economic woes, and a series of Liberal governments in Atlantic Canada that shut down their own economic potential in the energy industry. And let’s not forget the time Justin Trudeau forgot to mention Alberta in a Canada Day speech.

If Alberta were a person, he/she would be angry as hell.

It looks like Ontario is angry at Kathleen Wynne, but they were angry at the Liberals in 2014 and then they gave them another majority—so what are we to expect? Patrick Brown is far from an ideal conservative replacement, but if Ontario doesn’t fix itself, expect Alberta and Saskatchewan to become more hostile. If Quebec keeps demonizing our oil industry while enjoying their furnaces in January, expect the West to become more enraged. If Justin Trudeau continues to pander to the East and shrug off Alberta’s hardships, expect the Wild Rose Country to retaliate.

It might be time for Canada to experience a new kind of separatist movement. If Alberta isn’t able to shake off this Liberal disease in 2019 with enough federal seats to wield power in Ottawa, the fractures might get so deep and wide that Quebec’s 1995 separatist vote will look like amateur night. If Eastern Canada wants to keep testing Alberta, we’re more than happy to fight back. A glance at social media, a conversation at a pub and a chat over a neighbour’s fence is all it takes to get an idea of the general sentiment here in Alberta right now. We aren’t happy and we’ve had a suitcase packed since 2015.

Just say when, Canada.

What Was Wrong With CBC’s ‘The National’ Friday Night (October 20, 2017)

I continue to get overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers on my media criticism of CBC’s flagship program. However, I did notice some on Twitter dismissing the whole exercise as a waste of time.

My response to these people is apathy begets no change. Also, for those who think “everyone thinks it’s a joke”, the sad reality is the vast majority of Canadians still approve of the CBC (as much as 80%, although admittedly the one poll was commissioned by Friends of Canadian Broadcasting) and want it supported by the government. They’re completely oblivious to the inherent biases permeating throughout the Mother Corp. So complacency and the assumption most Canadians dislike the CBC are both foolish mistakes.

Anyhow, from now on I will try and keep these short and bittersweet so their palatable for a wide audience. I will also be calling on readers to voice their dissatisfaction with the CBC’s coverage in a polite but relentless way so that we can invoke real change at the so-called public broadcaster. More on that at the end of this piece.

On Friday night CBC’s Duncan McCue sat in as the host of CBC’s The National. But first I was bombarded with another one of the Wynne government’s ads in it’s ad bonanza buy in a desperate attempt to dupe Ontarians into thinking they’re doing a good job.

McCue: Canadians struggle to cope with a frightening new reality [chyron (an electronically generated caption) BORN ADDICTED was placed at the bottom of the screen as images of a baby and then heroine being heated up flash across the screen] the smallest victims of the opioid crisis. The saddest town in British Columbia [MOURNING IN FERNIE] Residents mourn the death of three men who died of an ammonia leak at a local arena. The Fortress of Louisbourg fronts a new enemy. [THE NEW ENEMY] Expert: ‘The sea level has risen about a meter since the eighteenth century.’ When Gord Downie died Canadians lost a beloved musician [The Downie Brothers]. Mike and Pat lost a brother. Tom Power of ‘q’ talks to the Downie brothers.

Like I said, CBC likes to talk more about the dead than the living because you don’t have to speak ill of the dead.

I guess the Morneau scandal had suddenly dissipated by Friday according to CBC. Why is the opioid crisissuddenly the lead story? Is this sadly new? A good feature on this is definitely a warranted story, but why is it the lead story? The Fernie story was important to report on, but I’m not sure it deserves to be reported repeatedly on a national news broadcast as a lead story? As cold-hearted as that might sound, do Canadians been to be informed about the details of the funeral and mourning of this tragedy? Of course the CBC loves a good climate change story as much as the Liberal government does. New enemy? And does The National really need to spend more time on remembering Gord Downie? They already spent over 30 minutes of the 45-minute program remembering him on Wednesday.

Here’s the breakdown of the time allotment to each story last night.

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Now the opioid crisis is clearly worth covering. As McCue pointed out, there were 2,816 deaths in Canada last year caused by the drug. And the reason for The National led with this story was data showing 1,846 babies were born with addiction in a recent 12-month time-span throughout the provinces, minus Quebec. My problem is that this story isn’t breaking news, so should be presented later in a news program. But the CBC likes to shock viewers with distractions from the most important news of the day. The report then segued into a 30-second report on the country’s health ministers meeting to discuss ways to deal with the crisis and with the legalization of marijuana.

Next up, The National spent almost three minutes on hearings from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry. This seems to be a favourite story for The National to cover, as they give several updates weekly. Long unsolved deaths and murders of indigenous women is definitely a tragedy worth some coverage, but the outcomes of the inquiry are already obvious to anyone who knows enough about Canadian indigenous issues. Drug and alcohol addiction on many reserves, caused in large part from former Canadian governments’ abusive treatment of indigenous people, including the government policy of residential schooling, which led to a whole generation of indigenous people being physically, sexually and emotionally abused. On top of this add the racist Indian Act, which treats indigenous people like children instead of equals keeps them segregated on mostly undesirable lands. This has led to abject poverty. All of this, in combination with many band chiefs and their families’ corruption and greedy graft, has led to despair in many of these communities. This results in many indigenous men committing crime and being incarcerated at much higher rates than the general population. It also results in many indigenous women to drug addiction and resorting to making money in the highly dangerous sex trade. These are hard and extremely uncomfortable truths for all Canadians to face. But Canada has already had other inquiries and reparations given to the indigenous community, and I personally think Trudeau cynically decided to do an inquiry into only indigenous women–not the many indigenous men also struggling–because it plays to his brand of him being a feminist, and makes it look like he truly cares about indigenous peoples when he scrapped the   First Nations Financial Transparency Act, despite the former governmnet’s legislation helping to reveal some greedy band chiefs’ families–the ones that had complied to the new legislation at least–were hoarding government reservation money for themselves. Trudeau made a bargain with the devil by promising to scrap the legislation in order to get the corrupt chiefs’–let me be clear, this is not to say all band chiefs are corrupt–support in the last federal election. So as Trudeau helped to re-hide reservations’ finances from scrutiny of the average indigenous band member, ultimately allowing for them to be continued to be taken advantage of, Trudeau threw them and the media a bone in creating yet another inquiry into what we already know the findings will be. The recommendations will then largely be ignored or inadequate and the toxic system many indigenous people live on will stay the same. But CBC has fallen for MMIWG inquiry hook, line and sinker because they like the narrative. Friday’s report only presented criticism of the disastrously managed inquiry from indigenous families saying they weren’t getting enough time to give their testimony. No mention of the people running it quitting and The Native Women’s Association of Canada calling the inquiry a failure were mentioned.

After that report, The National cut to break, but not before letting viewers know they would be reviewing Trudeau’s record on keeping his election promises after the break.

After the break a follow-upreport on “Quebec’s controversial religious neutrality law” looked at both sides of the arguemnt. Of course that meant, including 15 seconds of Trudeau in a construction hat and then bespoke suit, all the experts and vast majority of people interviewed were against Bill-62. Even though the report admitted a recent poll shows a strong majority of Quebeckers support the bill, the only people the reporter could find were a couple country bumpkins from a “farming community” who agreed with it.

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After that, CBC turned to Ontario politics for a brief 25-second segment. No, it wasn’t to report on how Wynne’s government is blowing an additional $4 billion on her government’s Fair Hydro Plan to service the debt in a convoluted accounting scheme that keeps all of the additional billions in debt added by the plan off the so-called balanced budget this year. No, instead they needed to help the historically unpopular Liberal Premiere by reporting on how she is suing her opponent for libel because he said she was standing on trial in the Sudbury byelection bribery case. Although Wynne is not herself standing her trial, two of her aides are, and so her government by extension is sort of on trial for corruption, and she was allegedly involved in offering someone a job to step aside. None of this was made clear of course, only that “Brown has refused to retract and apologize for his statements.” Basically the short clip was out to make Brown look bad, instead of reflecting the far more important reality that the Ontario Premiere is desperate to distract from her horrendous approval ratings and her Fair Hydro Plan scheme. The National was all too happy to oblige her.

The next segment worth mentioning was on Fort Louisbourg, which basically just assumed as the gospel that the island is under attack from man-made climate change. Case closed.

Then came another Gord Downie marathon where 590 seconds was spent on Tom Powers’s interview with his brothers. Of course the interview turned political, discussing Gord’s last effort to push for reconciliation between indigenous people and the rest of Canada, which the The National‘s previous segment from that night on the inquiry falsely suggests the Trudeau government is working on to accomplish.

After the break, the CBC spent 45 seconds again reminiscing over Trudeau’s “strong majority mandate” (according to CBC it wasn’t a strong mandate when Harper got 0.2% less of the popular vote in 2011) in his “remarkable turnaround” (not too surprising for CBC employees themselves though, as they did their darnedest to push him into power) and “pull[ed] off a huge upset from positive messaging and big promises.” The segment opened with Trudeau himself: “If you want a government that is hopeful, and the vision, stands up for this country, that is positive and ambitious and hopeful…” This fawning introduction also made sure to have plenty of adoring pictures.

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Finally McCue got to the point and started going over promises made by Trudeau and his record so far. First, was the promise of infrastructure spending and how the Canadian infrastructure bank, which The National made no mention of how Canadian taxpayers will get hosed by corporate investors with exorbitantly high interest rates, is going to be operational next year. At least they did mention how $2.5 billion of the promised amount “was missing from the projected infrastructure spending this fiscal year.” next was the Trudeau’s record on the environment, mentioning he’s in the middle of introducing a federally enforced carbon tax (failing to mention he promised not to do that). At least The National did give him a failing grade on this file thus far however. Then The National looked at Trudeau promises to indigenous people, say “he delivered” in launching the inquiry “but so far the inquiry is widely seen as a failure.” But then CBC downplayed it by saying “Trudeau made another show of his commitment to indigenous people by splitting the Ministery of Indigenous and Northern Affairs…” If anything splitting the ministry will just cause more bureaucratic headaches and is just virtue-signalling, there is no proof this will actually help indigenous people in any way. However, at least the one department is supposed to work on the long-term goal of ending the Indian Act (don’t hold your breath). Next was health care, where the government did succeed in renegotiating health care with the provinces. Then came marijuana, a VERY important promise being kept. “The young and cool leader who admitted to trying pot brought in some votes.” Next was the electoral reform promise Trudeau’s government intentionally sabotaged electoral reform, saying it was one of his first broken promises in February of this year. Not so, as you can see in this great resource, https://trudeaumetre.polimeter.org/. Then came his delivered promise of the Child Benefit Plan, which CBC made clear was Trudeau being Robin Hood after a miserly Harper. By the way, this whole segment continued to be littered with Trudeau glamour shots. (I understand he’s very photogenic and boradcast needs lot of images, but CBC goes overboard with the videos and camera shots of the PM, many coming courtesy of his personal photographer.)

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Then came the supposed balanced budget by 2019, pointing out that he’s not on track for balanced budgets. CBC did point out how he’s run two consecutive deficits budgets three-times as high as he promised, but of course Trudeau can burn all this money in the three years, adding to the total national debt, then clean the books like Wynne in the latter part of his mandate and speak no more of the billions and billions he added in our debt burden. And that was it. Pretty pathetic review overall. Here are some of Trudeau’s other failed and kept promises below via TrudeauMeter.

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After that The National spent well over 11 minutes on veterans turning to playing the guitar to cope with PTSD. The report had one veteran thanking Vets Canada, no mention of Trudeau’s betrayal of veterans in breaking four promises to them was included in the report of course. Instead you would get the impression Trudeau has been helping them because “only in recent years has the government provided a small contract to help Vets Canada reach more people.” Yes, Trudeau has really shown he cares about the veterans.

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After throwing so many precious minutes on this feature story, there was no more time to include a follow-up report on the “unusual” scandal involving the Finance Minister, even though he was hammered in Question Period on Friday or the new juicy revelations just learned.

I will have more direction for readers fed-up with CBC bias coming up, but for now I ask that you share these critiques on Facebook and Twitter. Trust me, these deconstructions take a lot of time and it is torturous to subject oneself to state media propaganda, but I think it is a worthy endeavour to expose it. Also, please click on the link below to the YouTube video of The National from Friday night and put a thumbs down if you are disgusted with the coverage from that night. Thank you, and stay tuned for more.

The National (October 20, 2017)

 

 

 

 

What Was Wrong With CBC’s The National Last Thursday (October 19, 2017)

I’m b-a-a-a-c-k. Sorry for the hiatus readers, I was halfway through this post on Friday–I also had to work on an article for another publication earlier in the day–but then the clock started running into the evening and I had already made plans for the rest of the weekend. Anyway, none of you are paying for this yet, so there should be no bellyaching from freeloaders (I’ll be monetizing the website once I’ve built more of a following and reputation for bringing the goods). I hope to catch up and do posts for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s The National in quick succession throughout the next few days to make up for my absence.

Once again, the second installment did quite well, reaching over 1,000 readers. The first post had some help from an aggregate site that put it up, the second post reached a little more people from simply kind readers sharing the post. Remember, we’re trying to harness our dissatisfaction and disillusionment with CBC’s bias by exposing the odd editorial decisions made on CBC’s flagship program, The National, by working together. You may think reading critiques of The National repeatedly would grow tiresome, but again, as I humorously break down the CBC program I’m also providing links and analysis on the day’s events that really matter, even if The National left most of them or key information out. So you also get a daily dose of news as well and my (hopefully) entertaining prose.

The best way for us to work together in our goal of holding the CBC’s feet to the fire is if everyone shares these devastating critiques on Twitter and Facebook to get the message out far and wide. Last post proves it’s already working; I’m getting a lot more visitors from both Twitter and Facebook thanks to you, and lots of new Twitter followers as well.

Okay, so before diving into deconstructing Thursday’s The National, I’d like to briefly discuss a tweet I made Friday that was pretty popular.

 

My tweet was in response to Butts tweeting out a Walrus magazine article.

Now, the article makes a few good points, but is overshadowed by hyperbolic rhetorical flourishes, which I’ll delve into in another post. For those who don’t know, The Walrus is a literary journalism magazine billing itself as the Canadian New Yorker. Unfortunately, as is often the case with Canadian cultural product, it is third-rate at best. (Sure, the writing is top-notch technically-wise (grammar, syntax, wording) but the content is b-o-r-i-n-g and mostly literary journalism that falls off a cliff into left-wing fantasy. Apologies upfront, this Graeme is not a pedantic grammarian, which The Walrus is full of. I wouldn’t mind about The Walrus at all though, except for the fact the magazine is a registered charity (I believe charity journalism is an oxymoron, if you have something valuable to say there will be enough people who will willingly pay you to say it) and receives hundreds of thousands from the Canadian Periodical Fund: Aid to Publishers grant annually and the foundation is riddled with Liberals. A couple of those Liberals just so happen to be Jodi Butts (Board of Directors), Gerald’s wife, and Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan (National Advisory Council), Gerald and Trudeau’s close friend. In an especially brazen act, The Walrus placed O’Regan as the head of the editorial review committee in the run-up to the last election, the same time period pro-Liberal stories were being published. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. If you’d like to read my stunning exposé on The Walrus, the story gets even more absurd, you can read “The Cushy Connections Between The Walrus and the Liberal Party of Canada”, which is on the media criticism outlet CANADALAND. What really grinds my gears about Butts tweeting out that story is no so much that that story was reported but that it was published by a magazine with charity status, a tonne of government funding, and only really does pro-Liberal, anti-NDP and anti-Conservative. Why would the magazine commission a trumped-up story to smear Andrew Scheer, but would stay mum on the Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s jaw-dropping scandal? I’ll have more on this later, including a funny little anecdote infiltrating the last Walrus Talk here in Toronto (my friend had tickets). Walrus publisher and head honcho Shelley Ambrose in her opening speech made sure to say The Walrus is not left-wing of right-wing, we have no wings. I’ll put a stop to that phony nonsense in my post on the blubbery Walrus.

Alright, moving on to eviscerating CBC’s The National last Thursday.

The opening stories previewed as top stories were: “The Finance Minister takes a grilling over his personal assets”; “The founder of the world-famous comedy festival resigns over allegations of sexual misconduct”; “Accommodation or intimidation? [Muslim women in niqab “We will not even have the right to go outside. I’m sure of it.”]  The backlash over Quebec’s new law”; [Justin Trudeau, “Sunny ways my friends, sunny ways.”] “It’s exactly two years after that historic night. At Issue takes your questions about the Prime Minister and how he and his Liberal government are faring.”

Finally, The National led with the proper stories. However, the face-covering ban in Quebec was presented in an incredibly bias way for the upcoming one-sided report.

Wendy Mesely: There is the letter of the law and then there are optics. The Finance Minister has learned that the hard way. So today, Bill Morneau said he will place all of his assets into a blind trust. Even though the Ethics Commissioner told him two years ago that wasn’t necessary. And as David Cochrane explains, it may not quiet the outrage.

Here was the divvying up of time devoted to the different stories on this episode. (You’ll have to click the links for now because I apparently have to upgrade my account now in order to embed charts.)

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Host Wendy Mesley: It’s an unusual political scandal. The minister follows the law to the letter but still pays a heavy price.

Ummm so did Mike Duffy, but that didn’t stop the CBC from obsessing over $90,000 in housing allowances. And what ever happened to the story of Justin Trudeau top aides spending over $200,000 to move from Toronto to Ottawa? There’s nothing “unusual” about the public being outraged over a Finance Minister making decisions on pension legislation that would greatly benefit him personally because he held millions of shares in his family business still, when he had told people he was putting his assets into a blind trust and then never did.

Morneau: What we’ve seen over the last week is that I need to do more. As Minister of Fiance in this role make sure people have absolute confidence.

Cochrane: Doing more means selling the shares he owns in his former company Morneau Shepell and putting everything else in a blind trust. Something just last year the Ethics Commissioner advised him last year wasn’t necessary. ‘…a blind trust agreement is not required… the best measure of compliance would be to establish a conflict of interest screen.’

Morneau: I, perhaps naively, thought that, you know–in Canada, following the rules, respecting the recommendations of the Ethics Commissioner, respecting the recommendations of an officer of parliament would be what Canadians would expect.

Sure, the patsy Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson said he could do it so it must be okay.

Cochrane: “But that’s ethics. This is politics.

Right. It’s just his opponents playing politics and casting doubt on his being ethically sound.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre: Why does he expect us to blindly trust that he’s not hiding other conflicts of interests?

Bergen: We all thought he had placed his shares in a blind trust.

Cochrane: Each attack elicited the same answer.

Morneau: I worked with the commissioner to make sure she understood my situation. I took her recommendations and made sure that I moved forward with them to not have a conflict of interest. Now, I’ve gone one step further.

Cochrane: And each answer elicited more outrage.

Those unreasonable opposition MPs.

Morneau: That, I will think, will give a great deal of confidence to all Canadians.

Cochrane: The NDP drew a straight line for Morneau’s job to Morneau’s bank account. Proposed pension legislation that could’ve boosted the share value of Morneau Sheppel which manages pensions.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen: But how does pocketing millions of dollars from his work as the minister do anything but serve himself?

It’s nice to see the CBC didn’t completely gloss over all of the sketchy parts to Morneau holding onto his assets while affecting their value while Finance Minister.

Morneau: What member opposite knows is I fully disclosed my assets to the Ethics Commissioner, I worked with the Ethics Commissioner to get her recommendations, and I followed those recommendations.

Cochrane: Today’s move comes after a retreat by Morneau on his controversial package of tax reforms. He’s tweaked some and scrapped others due to some protests. A significant public policy decision that’s been largely overshadowed by the politics of his personal wealth.

Nothing really to see here, folks, the Finance Minister was above board in following the rules set out by the honourable Ms. Dawson.

Now, the following stories may not be in order because I watched the show a few days ago, but I did make some notes and will briefly make some criticisms of the most important stories before going over the At Issue panel segment that lasted an eternity.

The CBC loves to bash President Trump. I know he’s an easy target and there is plenty of criticism to be found, but they find fault with anything and everything he does. First they made sure to include part of former president George W. Bush’s speech indirectly criticizing Tump’s politics. Then Mesley segued into a follow-up story on the Puerto Rico hurricane disaster. Mesley introduced the segment by bashing Trump, saying it still looks like the hurricane just hit. The island was completely decimated, and to imply that the problems lying ahead for Puerto Rico are Trump’s fault is patently false. Relief and aid were brought to the island quickly, but distribution was a problem because of infrastructural devastation and a lack of truck drivers showing up to work. Puerto Rico also has a long history of corrupt left-wing politicians and Trump is an easy target for them to blame, and the CBC is more than happy to take them at their word. The CBC then used the “legendary break-dancer and hip-hop star” Richard Colon, a New York Puerto Rican, as their expert on criticizing Trump

“I look at the stupidity of it. I mean he’s a manchild,” and “We’re going to rise with or without his help.”

CBC also included a Puerto Rican woman who fled the island, also blaming Trump. There are plenty of real experts out there that would not blame President Trump for the slow recovery.

I think, as we go along in the coming days, we’re going to find extremely one-sided coverage on President Trump. I find Trump to be a pretty unsavoury character, but I see why millions of voters voted for some of his policies (and CBC lionizing a corrupt Hillary Clinton is just as despicable). I made that point, funnily enough, on the CBC opinion section in a freelance contribution. But don’t expect CBC news coverage to give much of a perspective on the pro-side of Trump’s policies. CBC has a long history of Republican-bashing and lionizing of Democrat politicians. But with Trump, they’ve taken it to a whole new level. North Korea’s Rocket Man’s state broadcaster and Canada’s Socks-and-Selfie Boy Wonder’s state broadcaster both love to use Trump as a scapegoat in ignoring criticism of their own Dear leaders many own blunders.

The National‘s story on the Just for Laughs founder stepping aside after sexual misconduct allegations was pretty succinct. Although I do find issue in the CBC finding any excuse to include a response from Trudeau on any news story. They included one of our Dear Leader’s feminist sweet nothing clichés addressing the issue.

The National‘s story on Sears going out of business completely missed the plot. The CBC’s story focused on Sears customers losing their extended warranties on appliances. (Funny enough, my brother was dealing with a a Sears representative over a problem with a fridge still under warranty about a year ago, and the representative tried to dupe him into buying an extended warranty when the writing was clearly on the wall for the company.) Obviously extended warranties wouldn’t be honoured by a company no longer in existance! The real story should’ve been about how Sears execs get to keep their fat bonuses and how, as someone I know put it:

“I went to Sears this week. Not to buy or write, Just to talk to employees before the sales started. Sad. 15 year employees, multiple family members working there.”

The National also covered the fatal ammonia leak that happened in B.C. Between these last two stories, and some others in the past couple days, I’m getting the sense The National prefers to cover the dead and dead issues more than the living and live issues. The National still hasn’t, to my knowledge, covered the explosive exposé by investigative journalist Sam Cooper, “How B.C. casinos are used to launder millions in drug cash“. I guess The National prefers dead and death stories over lives ones because you don’t have to speak ill of the dead, and we know the CBC doesn’t like to rock the boat of those in power too often.

The Quebec face-covering ban was another predictable story in the way it was framed. Dear Leader explained how he respected Quebec’s decision, but at the same time doesn’t agree with it (he needs Quebec, but doesn’t want to piss off his progressive supporters who think its progressive for women to wear the burqa or niqab.) The segment also mentioned how all of the Ontario legislature condemned the legislature. The unprecedentedly unpopular Premier Kathleen Wynne got an appearance of course, and an MPP from the other two parties. (But of course the Auditor General’s scathing report on the Ontario Liberal Party’s Fair Hydro plan, hiding billions in debt off the books, didn’t make The National.) The whole story focused on those who oppose the bill, not any of the majority of Quebeckers who support the ban.

At least you can always trust CBC’s reporter Natasha Fatah to do a more nuanced report. Too bad she wasn’t on The National. 

Then there was the boring and lazy viewpoint of retired CTV News anchor Don Newman explaining how cameras in the House of Commons have befitted our democracy. Instead of explaining how that is so, he instead mostly just rehashed memorable moments. What’s funny about this is that, as I pointed in the last post, CBC goes out of it’s way to exclude embarrassing footage from question period of Justin Trudeau putting his flashy-sock-covered foot in his mouth.

Now, finally, let’s go over the At Issue panel reviewing the Liberals’ last two years in power.

Before getting into the discussion, The National decided to spend 35 seconds reviewing the historical night of Dear Leader winning the last election. Instead of having footgae from the highs and lows, the CBC decided to just have a bunch of pictures and video from the euphoric crowd at Trudeau’s victory speech and of him taking selfies with people.

When the introduction video faded back to Mesley–the featured image I used for this article–she had a beaming smile and it looked like she almost had joyous tears of nostalgia welling up in her eyes.

Then she went after the bad guy doing damage to Dear Leader and his “sunny ways” government. (The following transcription is slighty redacted and might have the odd error here or there.)

Wendy Mesely: A bit of background first. Morneau has been accused of not being clear about his assets: that company with a villa in France, not putting millions of shares of his company into a blind trust. All while proposing tax changes that would affect other people’s finances.

Wendy, the bigger problem is him directly benefiting from his decisions as Finance Minister.

Mesley: The Finance Minister, with his announcement today, said that he is going to divest those millions of dollars worth of shares, put them into a blind trust, has put the fire out?

National Post’s  Andrew Coyne: I don’t think so. It’s one thing to do it two years after the fact, it’s another thing to do it when you should’ve done it, which is when you first came into office. I mean the villa in France was really only one issue. There’s this whole issue of not just that he did not put the money into a blind trust of divested as you would normally be required to do, but going to quite elaborate lengths to sort of get around the rules and that met the letter of the law but not the spirit of it. But much worse of course he was involved in legislation, C-27, pension legislation that would, a lot of people would argue, would benefit his former company Morneau Shepell. You put all of those things together it doesn’t look good from a conflict of interest standpoint, and then integrating all of that with the whole tax reform thing. For the Prime Minister and Mr. Morneau both to be lecturing other people about their use of tax shelters and private corporations, while they themselves are skilled practitioners of this if you will, it really has done a lot of damage to this government’s credibility on this file.

Coyne is usually on point in his criticism, but he only a contributor and not part of The National team.

Mesely: What’s your sense Althia?

Huffington Post’s Althia Raj: Yeah, I think he isn’t going to rid himself of the problems that have been plaguing him for the last week and if anything, today for example, the opposition attacked on two new different fronts–the Bahamian offshore accounts and the fact that he may or may not have recused himself from that discussion on that very bill Andrew just mentioned, C-27, I think that people feel like there’s lack of trust in regards to what Mr. Morneau is saying. And so while this is a really big decision–to basically divest not just himself of his shares, but his wife’s share and his kid’s shares. It’s a company that his family had built. But I think this is a bigger problem about the law. And I think if the Conservatives and the New Democrats and the Liberals can all agree that the Conflict of Interest Act should be made, then there should be really narrowed. Because right now it seems all parties like to criticize when they’re in the opposition but in the government they don’t really do anything. And there are giant, gaping holes in this Act that basically allow what is happening with Bill C-27, which is a pension reform bill that has basically driven the stock price of Morneau Shepell and possibly made Mr. Morneau $2 million in this short period of time this bill has been tabled, that that is totally fine according to the law.

It looks like even the Liberal-aligned Raj realizes she can’t polish this scandal up.

Mesely: What do you think Paul, is this a conflict of interest issue? What’s the biggest offence according to you?

Maclean’s Paul Wells: If this isn’t a conflict of interest issue then I don’t know what they look like. This guy legislated on pensions while he had a clear window into the old pension company that his family ran and in which he still had millions of dollars worth of shares. Among the people who falsely thought his assets were in a blind trust were a member of his own caucus, Adam Vaughn, a Toronto MP, and the public relations department of Morneau Shepell, which both claimed–which both stated, which they took to be the truth, which was that his assets were in a blind trust and they turned out to be wrong. So the villa in France is pretty bad, but this is why conflict of interest rules are made up. That you shouldn’t legislate on something that you have a glaring personal trust. And if on the off chance that this doesn’t contravene the rules, Justin Trudeau told his cabinet ministers when they were sworn-in, in their mandate letters, that the plain text of the rules and laws isn’t enough. You have to comport yourself in a way that is beyond all suspicion. Bill Morneau is up to his neck in suspicion because he did not comport himself in the way that his Prime Minister told him to.

Ouch. So obviously Morneau must go?

Mesley: Can he carry on? It sounds like he’s trying to blame [four TV monitors in the background still show the two identical photos of Trudeau with a smile beaming in the background behind Mesley, subliminally brainwashing viewers] the Ethics Commissioner, it could be interpreted, is that what’s going? Can he be saved, Paul, what do you think?

Paul Wells: Well apparently she told him ‘it’s up to you whether it’s in a blind trust.’ And he didn’t have the sense God gave a goose to make his own decision, ‘I’ll put it in a blind trust anyway.’ It’s become clear over many, many cases that the office of the conflict-of-interest commissioner is not ideally constructed and maybe needs a second look. But look, holy cow, the week that his government brought in a pension bill that stood to materially improve the financial position of the company with his name on it and had shares, you’d think a light would’ve went off in his head.

He didn’t really answer the question, but I think it’s safe to infer he Wells doesn’t think he can.

Coyne: And were back to the Mike Duffy defence. ‘It wasn’t specifically prohibited. I was told I could do this.’ At some point you have to use common sense and how it’s going to look to the common person.

Mesley: Well and, Althia, this is the government that’s presented itself as the champions of the middle class, but I guess after the trip to the Aga Khan’s island and so on, people are focusing on them as richies. Is that fair?

Raj: Yeah, I think it would’ve been perhaps better strategy for Mr. Morneau to come out and say, ‘listen, we want to stop people from using private corporations because they can shelter money away from the tax man. And I’m totally fine, and I’m going to forfeiting x-amount of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars in extra taxes because of these changes that I think are the right thing to do.’ But that’s not what we heard. I just–[Mesley interjecting]–in the defence of Mr. Morneau he did say that the Ethics Commissioner that she went to–she suggested to him a further step. That this ethical shield was designed prevent him from conflict positions. I don’t want us to leave it like, ‘Oh, there was no blind trust and nothing else was done.’ He says that he took her advice and they went further than the law suggested, that’s what he says, that her advice to him was, in order to set this structure up so there wouldn’t be a conflict. There’s still issues with that, but…

Raj suddenly remember whose team she’s on.

Mesley: Okay. I’ve got to move on to the next question because we do want to hear from our viewers. ‘What has been the Liberals’ greatest accomplishment so far? What’s been their greatest failure?’ I don’t know, Andrew, is this the greatest failure? What’s the… And what’s the greatest accomplishment?

Coyne: Well I’ll start with the accomplishment first. You know, they’ve had several to name. I think the first and perhaps biggest was to reform child benefits. To improve peoples lives, especially at the bottom end of the income spectrum. They took a bunch of different programs and rationalized them so they were giving more to people at the lower end and giving less to people on the higher end. And it’s a very praiseworthy reform. I think they’re certainly in a bigger spot of trouble now then they’ve ever been, but if for a sheer screw-up then I think the whole electoral reform file from start to finish was terribly handled. And worse than that, cynically handled. And what ties this with the Morneau problem and everything else is, you know, people didn’t necessarily think Justin Trudeau was the sharpest knife in the drawer when they elected him, but they thought his heart was in the right place. They thought he had good intentions. They thought he was more decent, etcetra. And as time goes on we keep finding more spots of cynicism and manipulation and this kind of thing. And I think that’s toxic for this government.

How much the child benefits really help is up for debate. And Coyne reveals that he likes redistribution of money by government and taxes, very conservative of him.

Raj: I would say the accomplishment is getting along with Donald Trump [Coyne chuckles], which I think has taken a very fine set of skills and I’m not sure another leader would’ve been as good at becoming best friends with Donald Trump. Andrew’s totally right, electoral reform, where basically the Prime Minister misled Canadians for months. But I would now say, looking at this week, his comments today for example in [French city] riding where there’s a byelection, where the Prime Minister was under questioning about Bill C-62, this is the bill that prevents women who wear the niqab or the burqa from accessing government services like taking the bus or even going to the library. The Prime Minister hammered the Conservatives and the NDP in the last election on this very issue. He made speeches in which he said, ‘You have to know what a leaders values were.’ And even members in his own caucus… she said that Prime Minister was of course going to appeal this bill because it was for sure unconstitutional. Well the Prime Minister said no such thing at all today. In fact he said that it wasn’t the government’s role to intervene.I think that to just judge Justin Trudeau, you know his own advice, this is something that is pretty surprising. Perhaps that people don’t know who he is and what his values are.

Raj was not really holding back in her criticism of her Liberal friends.

Wells: The big success is similar to Althia’s but I might take it a step further. Not only has he stayed in Donald Trump’s good graces–to any extent that one can–they’ve played a really elaborate defensive game with the States: activated a cross-country Canadian network of pro-Canadian interests and really stayed in the game on NAFTA, at the same time that they’ve begun to mow the America’s lawn economically by making Canada look like a very attractive destination for highly mobile knowledge workers and for big money investors, so you get Google and Microsoft and all these other companies beginning to look at Canada as a very interesting investment destination at the same time America becomes a less interesting investment destination.

I think these “mobile knowledge workers” are going to want to stay in America now, since our government is raising taxes and Trump is lowering taxes. And the only reason businesses are interested in investing in Canada is because they can hose Canadians in contributing to the Liberal’s infrastructure bank that will allow them to rake in money from an abnormally high interest rate. But sure, mowed the lawn sounds nicer.

Mesely: …Rich Raycroft asked: Who is Trudeau more concerned about right now — Scheer of Singh? Why?

Coyne: Well I supposed Singh only because Liberal strategy from days of yore is to try and nail down the NDP vote, faint to the left and then come back to the centre in the course of the election campaign. If the NDP can break out from that, if Singh can have popular appeal as the first visible minority leader. That’s the danger to them. But of course the threat to them in terms of replacing this government is the Conservatives.

Raj: Yeah, I agree with that. Signh is the only name I hear mentioned by Liberals. Not only is their strategy to court New Democrat voters, like we say in the last election, but the electorate with whom Trudeau is particularly popular, Milennials, those voters will like to see what Jagmeet Singh has to say appealing. That he could do some serious damage to them here in Ontario.

Mesley: How does the role of Justin Trudeau’s PMO compare or contrast with the one we saw when Harper was PM?

Wells: So I’m not just being smart-ass when I say they’re eerily similar [knowing smile from Coyne]. It’s increasingly obvious they’re on the centre with major files, a very robust operation which is designed to put out fires and we’re increasingly see that that’s busy branch of this government, and extreme message discipline. Every member of caucus, every political staffer is expected to be more or less the same on the big issues even if it makes them sound a little repetitive and robotic.

Raj: I’m actually surprised at how undisciplined they are. Yes, the message control is certainly there, but the government seems to be going in all types of different directions and with Mr. Harper there was definitely a focus. Every week had a theme and everyone was directed in that theme and weren’t stepping over each other’s shoes with announcements. There also very more open, to be fair to them. I mean the Prime Minister does take questions from reporters.

Mesley: Not so much for Bill Morneau.

Coyne: Well they even appoint the ministers’ chief of staffs for them, their talking points are all written for them, it’s every bit as much controlled if not more so.

So the At Issue panel was actually not too forgiving to Trudeau and his government. Have to give credit where credit is due. That being said, the supposedly objective news coverage is still heavily slanted in Trudeau’s favour and a lot of the criticism for the Trudeau government was offloaded from the PM and directed at moneybags Morneau. Apologies for the super long post, from now on I’ll try to keep them under 700 words. Below is the full show if you’d like to subject yourself to the CBC’s agitprop.