CBC, in True Pravda Fashion, Omits Gas Plant Conviction on Friday’s ‘The National,’ But Has Time to Look Back at Host’s Archive Footage and for Trump, Trump, Trump

The state broadcaster is at it again with it’s disgraceful propaganda. CBC’s “The National” — pathetically in third place in the TV ratings for a Canadian nightly news broadcast, despite being given a $1.2 billion advantage over its competitors courtesy of taxpayers — disgustingly neglected to report on the conviction of former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff on Friday.

(The only time Wynne and the OLP seem to make the CBC’s nightly news is when they’re championing some socialist agenda like the minimum wage or their aides are acquitted on charges.)

It’s not every day a former premier’s top aide is criminally convicted over the deletion of public records revealing the Ontario Liberal Party canceled two gas plants, estimated to cost upwards of $1.1 billion overall to taxpayers, all in the self-interest of saving a few Liberal seats. But the CBC doesn’t have time for THAT! No, Friday was such a wild news day that they just couldn’t possibly fit a report on something that is so like 2012 news. Not that the OLP’s gas plant scandal was ever considered much of a story even then by the CBC. No, you see, Liberals can burn money with impunity as far as CBC is concerned, just so long as CBC is still overfed at the taxpayer trough. CBC, back around the same time as the gas plant scandal, instead focused on Nigel Wright cutting a $90,000 check for Senator Mike Duffy so he would pay back taxpayers for sketchy expense claimes. The only time CBC suddenly cares about Canadians money being blown is when a Conservative is caught, like Bev Oda and the infamous $16 glass of OJ. CBC really couldn’t care less about taxpayer money being wasted and the crippling debt that’s being incurred and the billions wasted in servicing the debt. They only feign outrage over wasted taxpayer money when Conservatives are in power and are the culprits because they know conservative voters don’t like to tolerate waste.

How else can you explain the CBC’s “The National” ignoring the verdict in the gas plant scandal, which, again, cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars?

Oh, sorry, I forgot, it was because Friday was an insane news day.

CBC needed to spend five minutes on Dear Leader at a reserve still in dire straights despite his by and large empty promises in the last two years. If CBC really cared about the welfare of people on the reserves they would still be hounding Trudeau over scrapping financial transparency of the chiefs and reserve band councils. But no, everything is all about keeping up appearances for the CBC. How else could you explain CBC turning a Gucci-sunglass-wearing, luxury SUV-driving  Chief Theresa Spence, whose people were homeless while she lined her and her boyfriend’s own pockets, into the next Mahatma Gandhi?

CBC also needed to spend nine minutes on a feature of two American women’s opinions on Trump’s first year. Yes, a whole nine minutes was needed for this, including a 15-second pause when one woman tries to think of one thing Trump did that was good. Groundbreaking journalism to be sure.

CBC just couldn’t afford to spare any time from a story on an Olympic speed skating coach that had alleged sexual relationships with American speed skaters in the past when he worked for the US team. Still waiting for CBC to address similar allegations made against CBC idol Peter Mansbridge.

CBC needed another four-and-a-half minutes were need to talk about the US government shutdown, as if this doesn’t ever happen or is affecting Canadians. Of course the CBC had nothing, even on its website, about the story blowing up late Thursday night on a classified memo, which Republicans in Washington are demanding be released to the public, allegedly showing the FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign were made on the “unverified” and dubious Trump dossier, which looks like collusion of top officials at the Obama Department of Justice, CIA and within the Obama administration itself to help the Clinton campaign and intervene the election process. Forget all the trumped up charges over the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians, the real smoking guns in apparent election meddling are in the Democrats’ hands. Not according to the CBC though.

CBC spent another four-and-a-half minutes on the alleged Toronto serial killer, yet somehow totally missed the revelation that Bruce McArthur was connected on social media with several of the men who disappeared in the gay village in the past seven years. Sloppy journalism to be sure.

CBC also spent five-minutes on the acquittal of three train workers in the Lac-Mégantic disaster. An important story for sure, but you’d think they could’ve reported it in three minutes and spent two minutes on the conviction at the gas plant trial?

Finally, “The National” also needed to include an airplane landing in strong winds, a bear eating cake, more union-organized Tim Hortons protests inflamed by the CBC a couple weeks ago with selective reporting and two minutes spent between the three hosts — Rosemary Barton, Adrienne Arsenault and Ian Hanomansing — discussing archive footage of Hanomansing back in the eighties.

Here’s a reminder of how CBC hammered Bev Oda over her “extravagant expenses” on a trip. Where was CBC’s “The National”‘s report on the news Friday (although admittedly first reported by the CBC, but not given prominence or making the flagship program) that the Health Minister’s Twitter account costs $100,000 per year to run? There could be countless stories on extravagant spending from this drunk-on-spending and big deficit Trudeau government.

Sadly the average Canadian still thinks CBC is a trusted news source they want to see get $1.2 billion from the federal government. This needs to change. The state broadcaster does not have the interest of properly informing Canadians on the shenanigans our politicians are up to, but instead feeds citizens carefully-selected pablum and agitprop, focusing on emotions and feelings instead facts and finances, that confirm their institutionalized socialist biases. May the CBC’s “The National”‘s ratings continue to tank.

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Mini-Cabinet Shuffle Strong Evidence That This Election Is Kathleen Wynne’s Last

By Josh Lieblein

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m probably the least confident person in Ontario that Patrick Brown will be our next Premier.

Though I do hold out hope for a PC government (honest!), I can’t overlook Kathleen Wynne’s ability to keep resurrecting herself or ignore how Ontarians seem wedded to the notion that she’s the the devil they know.

So when I say that win, lose, or draw, Kathleen Wynne is a spent political force who will step down after June’s go-round, I think my bearishness on Brown gives that particular prediction a little extra weight.

Lost in the speculation over today’s Liberal cabinet shuffle — which is, to be sure, slapping a new coat of red paint on a very old car — is once Wynne moves relatively new MPPs into ministerial roles and retiring/more seasoned MPPs out, that just puts more focus on how long she’s been in politics.

Let’s look at the numbers.

Of the 56 Liberals currently at Queen’s Park, Wynne is one of 11 who were elected in 2003 and, as of this writing, have not called it quits. (The other 10 are Vic Dhillon, Shafiq Qaadri, Harinder Takhar, Bob Delaney, Lou Rinaldi, Kevin Flynn, Jeff Leal, Lorenzo Berardinetti, Bill Mauro, and David Zimmer).

Of those 11, she and 4 others (Rinaldi, Berardinetti, Leal, and Zimmer) appear as confirmed candidates on the Ontario Liberal Party website.  Only 5 Liberals have been at QP longer than her, and of those 5 only one — Ted McMeekin — is a confirmed candidate for June’s election. Both McMeekin and Jim Bradley — who’s served since 1977 — were dropped from cabinet in this shuffle, leaving only Bob Chiarelli and Michael Gravelle on the inside. The fifth member of this long-serving group is Michael Colle, who hasn’t been close to cabinet since he was tarred with the Cricket Club Scandal.

I don’t mean to disrespect my elders, but the sands of time have been pouring against Kathleen Wynne and what’s left of her Class of 2003 for quite a while now, and there are fewer and fewer Liberals who make her look like a fresh face by comparison.

It takes a long, long time for Liberals to reach the level of duplicity that qualifies them to lead the party — just ask Steven Del Duca or Yasir Naqvi — but even by this abominably slow standard there is small chance Wynne will still have a credible claim to lead in 2022 even if she ekes out a win here.

And as it happens, this isn’t the first time the Ontario Liberals have cleared the decks of political toxic waste. Once one-time perennial contender Chris Bentley opened his big mouth about the gas plant scandal, he and a bunch of Dalton McGuinty holdovers such as Dwight Duncan, John Milloy, Greg Sorbara and McGuinty himself had to get flushed to clear the smell away. Of course this time we don’t have a cabinet minister going rogue, so the process is a bit more orderly and subtle.

One way or another, we will be in a no Wynne scenario before the 43rd general election.

Hijab Hoax: Unanswered Questions for Toronto Police, Some Questions Answered by the Toronto District School Board

So the appalling Toronto story that made international headlines of a man committing a hate crime against an 11-year-old child by attacking her with scissors and cutting her hijab twice turned out to be a hoax.

Here was the curt update from Toronto Police Services at 10:38 a.m.

“After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen.

The investigation is concluded.”

Wait, not so fast. Does that mean there will be another investigation into the child’s family to pursue possible charges under the Criminal Code for public mischief for making a false statement?

On a Zoomer Radio podcast Toronto Police Services Unit Commander/Director Mark Pugash for Corporate Communications said the case was closed repeatedly.

“Are investigation is concluded. I won’t anticipate anything further coming from it.”

“No, as I just said, the investigation is concluded and I wouldn’t expect there to be anything else to arise from this.”

“We make decisions in every case based on the evidence we have, what is appropriate as far as any action we take in regards to any action we take in charging people. And we’ve decided with the conclusion of this case, and the finding of the events that were described on Friday did not happen, that we will not be taking this any further.”

“Again, I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to go into speculation about how it might have started or who may have been involved, our concern was that there were very serious allegations, which caused alarm and dismay to people in the city and beyond investigators worked very aggresively to gather a significant amount of evidence that they looked at, that they tested, that they analyzed, and the only conclusion that they could come to was that it didn’t happen.

It seems odd that the Toronto Police wouldn’t pursue an investigation into the family over what appears to be an elaborate hoax that has similar red flags — family participating in press conference, poised children, a phony story grabbing a lot of publicity —  like the Balloon Boy, whose parents had him participate in a hoax that fooled media into believing the boy had flown away on a large balloon. In the case of the Balloon Boy, his parents were sentenced to jail time, probation, community service hours, and fined.

(I’d include Clock Boy as well, but that has never definitively been proven to be a hoax, although Ahmed Mohamed’s father is a well-known publicity hound and the story of how he brought in the guts of a clock that looked very similar to a bomb and that his sister had said disturbing comments prior and that Mohamed basked in the spotlight all raise red flags.)

Of course laws are different in Ontario than in Colorado.

In Canada, charges can’t be laid on anyone under 12 years old, and for good reason, but if the mother or someone else was involved in hatching this hijab hoax, coaching the children to make a false report, then certainly the police should pursue the investigation and possibly laying charges.

It’s no laughing matter to waste considerable amounts of police resources and time on a false report and if any adults were involved they should face legal consequences.

I’ve reached out to Pugash for further comment on why they wouldn’t pursue investigating who was involved in this hoax and how much Toronto Police time and resources were used on this case. I will update this story if and when I hear back.

Re-watching the below video, where the girl tells the tall tale, it certainly seems suspicious now. The mother looks expectantly and nods her head when her daughter says “I felt really scared” and “I didn’t feel comfortable”, signs suggesting she might have coached her daughter.

(I found this video doing a search and don’t know or endorse the account @BasedMonitored.)

It also seems unlikely two siblings would concoct an elaborate plan on their own to cut twelve inches of a hijab and then make a false report that would trick police and the press (the police had the sliced hijab in their possession as evidence).

Although false reports are relatively rare, Toronto Sun columnist Anthony Furey pointed out — in “Hijab Hoax Girl Family Owe Canadians an Apology” — that another false report ended up with the offender getting off scot-free.

“There are too many questions remaining for the cops to leave it like this. Last August, police considered charging a man in Durham Region for misleading them about a false Islamophobia complaint. Section 140 of the Criminal Code covers public mischief. It says that ‘making a false statement that accuses some other person of having committed and offence’ could see you locked up for up to five years. They even arrested a homeless man in the case, only to later find the complainant’s story didn’t add up.”

I think the majority of Canadians would agree that they would want to see people giving police false reports punished.

There has been much furor from right-wing circles online over politicians and the press rushing to report and comment on Friday’s ongoing investigation, suspending any disbelief in a story that should’ve smelled fishy from the get go.

Although some healthy skepticism had being voiced, a lot of it descended into far-fetched, far-right conspiracy theories that will only grow now that it’s turned out it’s a hoax.

Perhaps the media do deserve some blame for not pushing back on the child’s narrative that didn’t seem to add up, but reporters were put in a difficult situation. It was an international story blowing up and they needed to quickly send copy to their editors. Furthermore, who wants to question a child on their story or believe that she is lying about being attacked by a man that morning? (Although, the original story certainly does fit the agenda of progressives in the media who tried to claim hate crimes were on the rise because of the so-called Trump-effect, with CBC being the worst offender in trying to bait people into buying white supremacist T-shirt after the U.S. election so the state broadcaster could falsely prove a non-existent trend and reconfirm their confirmation bias.) And only bigoted individuals would think these actions of kids, and perhaps her parent(s), have anything to do with the Muslim community at large.

Nevertheless, on the other side of the coin, leftist commentators should not immediately believe that this was just the imaginings of two children, simply because they don’t want to find out whether or not a Muslim mother put her children up to this. People should be judged upon their actions, and if it turns out the family was involved there should be consequences in wasting the police force’s time and resources, as well as for putting men, who fit the false description given to police, at risk of being arrested by police and possibly in danger.

With all that being said, I think it was unfortunate how quickly the political class in Canada were quick to comment on an incident that had just started to be investigated. Politicians helped raise the profile of this story to an incredible magnitude to score political points, which now makes it all the more difficult for the girl and boy to move on from this unfortunate chapter in their lives.

(Why would the PM use the girl’s name? And why is the tweet still up and/or not corrected? The original story did play into the Liberals’ hand, since they may advocate strengthening hate speech laws to protect Muslim-Canadians in the wake of the mosque shooting. It’s worth pointing out that there are far more hate crimes committed against Jews in Canada than Muslims (not that it’s a competition, but to point out the disparity in the coverage), since the media and Liberals might make you think otherwise.)

(At least Toronto Mayor John Tory, or his staff, had the sense to delete his original tweet and update the record.)

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Retweets still on the TDSB Twitter page. TDSB has not tweeted out an update.

I also reached out to the Toronto District School Board — criticized in the past for being overly political correct and ideologically left-leaning in its teaching — to get comment. Below is the email exchange.

To whom this concerns,

I’m Toronto-based freelance journalist writing a piece on the alleged Friday attack that turned out to be a hoax.

I realize TDSB has released a short statement and says it will not be commenting any further on this matter.

However, there are still some unanswered questions many in the public likely still have for TDSB that I will be addressing in a column. I would like to give the TDSB the opportunity to answer them.

1) Why did the TDSB think it was a good idea to hold a press conference within the school and to have the attacked student take questions at that same press conference? Should TDSB not have been protecting the girls identitiy?

2) Why has the TDSB suddenly decided to not speak to the media any further after being so open back on Friday?

3) Are the young girl and boy being disciplined by their school for lying to school teachers and administrators?

I look forward to hearing from you and getting some clarification on these questions.

Thank you for your time.

Regards,
Graeme Gordon

Hi Graeme,

Here’s a statement that we’ve provided with regards to how the media avail came to be on Friday. I think this answers your questions.

“On Friday morning, Toronto Police tweeted about an initial report of an assault at the school involving a man cutting off a student’s hijab. As a result, a TDSB spokesperson was dispatched to the school, where multiple media outlets were already present and wanting to speak to the student and/or her family. At no time, did the TDSB call a press conference, however spokespeople from the TDSB and Toronto Police made themselves available to answer any questions. This was done inside the school due to the bad weather outside. After expressing concern that they were going to be approached by media outside while trying to leave, as well as a concern that no members of the community be subject to the alleged perpetrator, the family was asked if they would like to join the TDSB spokesperson as she spoke to media. The family members said they would speak to media and it was our understanding that this happened after, not before, they provided statements to police. Once again, we are very thankful that this assault did not in fact happen. Our motivation for commenting on the issue at the time was only out of compassion, care, concern and support — as did many elected leaders nationally, provincially and locally via interviews or social media.”

With regards to any possible disciplinary action, for privacy reasons, I’m not able to provide any more information on that. Hope you understand.

Thanks,

Ryan [Bird, TDSB spokesperson]

(The CBC loves to include comments from the PM in many reports unrelated to his job.)

Expect some on the left to want to move on from this story because it doesn’t fit their ideological agenda that free speech needs to be curtailed because of supposedly rapid rises in hate crimes on Muslims in Canada. And expect some on the right to be somehow convinced that this was an elaborate conspiracy, coordinated by politicians and the press.

Below are excerpts from an email sent from Rebel founder Ezra Levant, eager to exploit the situation and whip up anger by making sweeping statements. I’ve also included the video included in the email.

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So, What Ever Happened to Those (Possibly Ex-)Liberal MPPs Accused of Sexual Harassment Years Ago?

By Josh Lieblein

Oh, I’m sorry — did you forget how Wynne revealed that at least two Liberal MPPs were accused of sexual harassment, long before #MeToo started trending? Because she totally did. I’ll wait a minute while you get back up to speed.

All done? Great.

Isn’t it strange how people keep needing to be reminded of Liberals who’ve behaved in this way towards women? I’ll bet you already forgot about Scott Andrews and Massimo Pacetti, two Liberal MPs who Trudeau dealt with summarily. Then there’s Darshan Kang and Hunter Tootoo (his technically not harassment, but disgraceful nonetheless), who received a bit more attention before and after they resigned. Then there’s the case of Liberal MP Nicola Di lorio joking that Conservative MP Dianne Watts was a stripper in front of other colleagues after hearing her ringtone, which Liberal-friendly online publication iPolitics thought was funny enough to include in its end-of-the-year top ten list of funniest stories in Canadian politics.

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Excerpt from the iPolitics article.

Liberal MP Sherry Romanado tried to even the score a bit by leveling accusations of harassment against Conservative James Bezan that one time, but seeing as how he had been open and transparent about what he’d said and his attempts to apologize and make the situation right, it didn’t have the desired effect.

The media seem pretty content to let the Liberals deal with these cases internally. No articles about whether the Liberals as a party have a sexual harassment problem, like the endless ones they do positing if conservatives have a racism or extremism problem on even weaker evidence. Not many real follow-ups to determine the nature of the allegations. No questions about how the investigations are proceeding or how they work or what the victims want or would like.

But at least we know the names of the men accused in the case of the five MPs I mentioned. As for the two, and possibly more, that exist for the provincial Liberals? Not even the names of the accused have been given.

We know that ex-Liberal MPP Kim Craitor (and his son) were accused of sexual harassment. Was he one of the two? Quite possibly, though there isn’t a definitive answer as of now.

Did Craitor become an ex-Liberal MPP for this reason? Christina Blizzard seemed to think so. Martin Regg Cohn, as is his wont, praised the Premier for “sacrificing” a riding to show how seriously she takes the issue despite acknowledging in the same column that she only acted after the complainant took her concerns to the media.

Is the other MPP(s) still in caucus? No one can say. All we get is the most wild speculation. Could it have been Bas Balkisoon, the Scarborough MPP who resigned suddenly in 2016? Shrugs all around.

Does the Opposition have their own cases they’re dealing with? Is that why they don’t try to resurrect this story? Are they satisfied with the process enacted by the Premier? Some things the public are just not meant to know, I suppose.

What we do know is that media in this province do a shoddy job of following these stories that it’s hard to tell whether this trail went cold out of negligence or lack of resources or a desire to shield the Premier — and by extension the province and alleged perpetrators — from scandal.

 

 

 

 

Kathleen Wynne and Loblaw’s Subsidy Bobble

Photo Credit: Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

By Josh Lieblein

Woke Ontarians have been going on for weeks about all the ethically responsible and socially conscious things they’re going to do with the $25 gift card that the soulless corporatist monsters at Loblaw Company Ltd. have been giving out to get themselves off the hook for fixing the price of bread over the last fourteen years.

Let’s not exaggerate the situation: being caught with one of these gift cards in your wallet is the equivalent of branding yourself with a scarlet letter “A” for Asshole. Lynne Beyak wearing a MCGA (Make Canada Great Again) hat tweeting that we should just raise the minimum wage to $1M/hour so that EVERYBODY can be rich would be more popular in today’s Ontario than these gift cards.

There seems to be a widespread consensus that going along with Loblaw’s slimy attempts at reputation management schemes is NOT who we are as Canadians. And as is the case with the Tim Hortons’ minimum wage fight or the brouhaha over Beyak, the speed and alacrity with which the left went into formation over Loblaw’s price-fixing suggests to me a co-ordinated campaign by the Liberals and their union allies in achieving that consensus.

The thing about these full-court presses is that even the Liberals can only focus on a few at a time, and they tend to forget that Loblaw recently bought 25 of Tesla’s new all-electric trucks “as part of our commitment to electrify our fleet…” — trucks that Premier Kathleen Wynne offered a rebate of up to $75,000 for.

(I won’t get into the somewhat related issue of former Liberal MPP Glen Murray’s former chief of staff landing a job with Tesla early last year, or how in that same month the former chief of staff joined Tesla then-Environment Minister Murray announced rebates of up to $14,000 for luxury cars, including Tesla models. Woke leftists can only manage a few selective outrages at a time and I don’t want to overwhelm them any further, especially with an issue surely to leave them with cognitive dissonance in feeling happiness over more money being thrown at new green schemes and anger over Loblaw getting a gift of nearly $2 million from the government.)

So, I have to ask: is Loblaw’s attempt to green-wash their image by buying Liberal-subsidized, i.e. discounted trucks courtesy of Ontario taxpayers (some Loblaw’s customers or former customers), trucks less reprehensible than their attempt to buy goodwill with $25 gift cards to fix the PR disaster of them admitting to fixing the price of bread? Or does the fact that the Liberals gave the electric trucks their seal of approval over a supposed green energy initiative excuse Loblaw in this instance?

I think I may have an answer to this conundrum. You see, while Tesla’s electric vehicles aren’t economically viable to exist without some form of government subsidy, Loblaw Companies Ltd. has received no corporate welfare from Industry Canada.

While the left sneers at big business partnering with the state, it seems that they have much more time and energy to go after companies that the government can’t control. So while it’s convenient for the Liberals to have Loblaw opt into their subsidy scheme, the fact is that Loblaw could, until recently,  fix the price of bread behind the government’s back — and that’s a big no-no. Lucky for Loblaw corporate that they admitted their sin and apologized, so they only got their chains yanked on social media, instead of getting pummeled by the full wrath of the Liberals and their union overlords that Tim Hortons is now in the midst of receiving.

The selective outrage at Loblaw and Tim Hortons from those on the left is really the Liberals whining that there are still barriers to them achieving absolute control over businesses in Canada.

 

Vilification of Tim Hortons and Ontario Small Businesses another bleak sign Canada is in a slow lockstep march towards socialistic collapse

 

Leave it to the premier of Ontario and Canada’s state broadcaster to stoke anti-business ire by using Canada’s once-beloved homegrown coffee chain as their scapegoat.

After Premier Kathleen Wynne rammed through new legislation hiking the minimum wage by 21 per cent at the start of 2018, without conducting any impact assessment and going against her old pledge to not raise it above inflation and giving only six-months notice, the CBC had the perfect news report to whip up proletarian anger at the business community, which would deflect blame from the unpopular Liberal premier.

The CBC’s report on the Tim Hortons heirs cutting paid breaks and reducing benefits at two Tim Hortons store locations resonated with everyday Canadians and their general sentiment that fat cat millionaires are exploiting their workers to line their own pockets. The article was wildly popular, shared over 185,000 times and with over 7,000 comments, with many top commenters suggesting more than one way to skin the cats.

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After CBC teed up this story for the premier, Wynne drove home the false narrative that nasty business owners are keeping Canadians from making a living wage by mimicking US President Trump’s style of attack tweeting her opponent (ironically she has repeatedly chastised the US President for his bombastic behaviour in the past, now she’s taking a page out of his populist playbook).

 

Now, I’m not suggesting CBC conspired with Wynne, but it’s worth asking why CBC chose to lead with this particular story when there are countless other stories out there of small family businesses struggling to survive under the new conditions imposed upon them by Wynne’s government, and these small business owners are putting forth similar cost-saving measures. The CBC has a long track record of attacking businesses in Canada (some of it fair game obviously, but then you have ridiculous cases like the Subway fake meat fiasco which has led to the sandwich franchise suing the CBC, i.e. Canadians, for $210 million for defamation). When it comes to the CBC going after left-leaning governments, the public broadcaster’s paymasters, the ferocity is lost.

The Tim Hortons heirs, likely very wealthy from their inheritance (which Wynne inappropriately points out as if it has relevancy to whether or not their Tim Hortons locations are making a profit), who own two franchise locations in Cobourg are an anomaly compared to the average small business owner. CBC’s use of these Tim Hortons heirs as the case study of a business reacting to this government’s rash, self-serving and disruptive hike of the minimum wage distorts the real picture of average small businesses trying to cope. Furthermore, the CBC’s viral report doesn’t mention the huge additional cost small businesses owners like a Tim Hortons franchisee are now saddled with. Only at the end of one of its several reports on CBC’s The National last week did the public network briefly mention the cost to an average Tim Hortons location. According to Great White North Franchise Association, admittedly a biased source, when factoring wage increases, CPP, EI, and training the additional costs for Tim Hortons is just under $7,000 per full-time employee or $243,889 per year per average franchise with 35 employees. Even if those numbers are inflated, the wage increase alone means the average franchise is spending close to $200,000 more a year. Yet, CBC’s coverage from last week barely touches on this and and instead focuses on the public firestorm they unfairly unleashed on franchisees. Of course the CBC doesn’t give the NDP or Progressive Conservatives any airtime either.

By the end of the week they were still bashing the Tim Hortons franchise owners. While Ian Hanomansing was interviewing the author of a book on the iconic Canadian coffee chain he asked the author how much an owner typically makes from a franchise annually. After the author tells Hanomansing the average pre-tax amount is between $300,000-$400,000, the host says, “[Franchisees] work hard, as you know from the research you did in your book, but still $300,000 to $400,000, you know there are a lot of people in Canada that will look at that and say, ‘So franchisees are complaining about a small, depending on your perspective, increase in the minimum wage?'”

Small, eh?

$200,000-$243,889 is no small amount in additional costs that the franchisee is apparently just supposed to absorb. And if you factor in their pre-tax income is $300,000-$400,000, after taxes many franchisees could be left with very little annual income now. No wonder, with Tim Horton’s head office not allowing price increases and asking franchisees to eat all of the additional costs on their own, they’re now resorting to rolling back employees’ benefits and paid breaks (perks they already offered their employees without a government decree). This also doesn’t factor in the incredible risk and investment a franchisee has to pony up to buy a Tim Hortons location, and possible debt they’re paying off from the initial loan on that investment.

Instead of pointing all of this out, Hanomansing and CBC perpetuate the false notion that these franchisees are greedy by suggesting $300,000-$400,000 is a lot of money (which it is if they actually got to keep all of that and not have to pay off the initial investment and taxes). Never mind how hard many franchisees work and how they’ve created jobs for dozens of people, no, instead they shall be vilified by the public network. And the CBC was remiss in not pointing out in its coverage that the independent Financial Accountability Officer, employer groups, banks, and employers have all warned against this steep and sudden increase in the minimum wage and how it would cause inflation, cuts to workers’ benefits and hours, and a net loss of tens of thousands of jobs. The CBC, in spite of Ontarians being largely fed up with their premier, only seems to give Wynne national coverage when it puts her in a positive light.

Much of the chattering class also chimed in with their two-cents, joining in on the anti-Timmies bandwagon.

All of this isn’t to say I’m a pro-business absolutist. And it’s important to point out that Tim Hortons is largely owned by a Brazilian company now and deserved a lot of flack, along with the previous federal governments, for exploiting the temporary foreign workers program. And don’t get me started on how stupidly patronizing Tim Hortons ads are in trying to exploit Canadians into thinking buying Timmies is somehow their patriotic duty, but that the majority of mainstream media cheered on or didn’t push back against the premier vilifying small businesses by implying they’re all bullies and greedy by using the Tim Hortons heirs as symbolic of business owners as a whole or distraction from the whole, is the latest sign that Canada is becoming increasingly anti-competitive and socialist.

(The Ontario Liberal government has encouraged businesses to increase prices in order to pay their employees the higher wage, yet Tim Hortons head office isn’t allowing franchisee to do so, so really protests outside franchises and the boycott are misplaced.)

This anti-competitive malady is especially dire when our only neighbour down south has just slashed taxes, making us even less competitive, and the federal Liberals closed tax “loopholes” for small businesses while allowing the 0.0001 per cent to continue to reap the benefits of the tax loopholes that benefit these fabulously wealthy individuals.

You need look no further than the corporate welfare given to Bombardier — or the company’s lucrative government contracts like the one with the City of Toronto for its apparently defective street cars it can’t deliver on — or the relatively easy time Galen Weston and Loblaws have had over the bread price-fixing scheme — or the company’s sweet deal with Wynne’s government of up to $75,000 per-Tesla-electric-truck rebate for its new fleet to see that this country, like any country descending into socialism, vilifies competition while simultaneously and quietly declaring certain large corporations the winners. In other words a kleptocracy.

(I’d be remiss not to point out that The Globe and Mail and National Post had editorials calling Wynne out on her grandstanding. Even the Toronto Star had allowed a guest column pushing back, but the overall sentiment from many in the media, especially the state broadcaster that has immense sway in this country, and the general public has been one foolish contempt for small business, the lifeblood of any healthy economy and democracy. Bizarrely, National Post’s Andrew Coyne responded to the latest Tim Hortons brouhaha by suggesting the government mandate a guaranteed income instead. I guess the old saying needs to be revised to “The only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes and and income. Yes, even a top supposedly conservative columnist thinks everyone should get a guaranteed income, i.e. expanding welfare to all, and seems to be even more socialist than the oversized left on this issue.)

In one CBC segment on Friday the public broadcaster briefly included an independent coffee shop owner, before returning to bashing Tim Hortons again, and she had this to say about having to raise her rates 22 per cent,  “We’ve had two customers already leave and say ‘Tim Hortons hasn’t raised their rates.’ So we’re losing business because of this.” She also said she would likely have to close up shop for good.

For as stupid as the outrage at Tim Hortons and franchisees is, with things like #boycottTimHortons (a great way to put their employees out of work, while letting chains like McDonalds off the hook), the real people who will suffer are mom and pop shops like the local grocer owner, corner store owner, laundromat owner, restaurant owner, tailor, retail owner, etc. and the many workers who will lose hours, benefits and jobs over this reckless increase in the minimum wage. Tim Hortons or the franchisees will weather this storm fine, but small independent businesses and startups, what fuels a better life and increased wealth for us all through competition and innovation, will take the brunt of it.

In the coming days and weeks more unfortunate stories of middle class business owners closing up shop and layoffs of workers will come to light as the full effects of the minimum wage hike are felt. Also, everyone will see and feel the inevitable rapid rise in inflation from the minimum wage hike.

Perhaps Ontarians will eventually look past Tim Hortons franchisees trying to cope with being squeezed by their government and head office and look at how this reckless Liberal policy is hurting fellow Ontarians and doing further damage to our economy. All of this, and the “free” medication for anyone under 25 has me asking in my latest Loonie Politics column, “Are Ontarians Hopelessly Addicted to ‘Free’ Stuff and Money From Their Government?” The continued irrational lashing out by Ontarians at Tim Hortons franchisees, whipped up into a frenzy by their premier that has led the province to become the greatest indebted sub-sovereign nation in the developed world, seems to answer my question with an exuberant “Yes!!!!”

Canadians would do best to stop reading the fictional dystopias of Margaret Atwood and start reading about real-life nightmares, past and present, of the Soviet Union, Greece, and Venezuela.

 

 

The No Wynne Scenario Podcast (Ep. 8): Municipalities and the Province (October 26, 2017)

Apologies for the long hiatus. This podcast was recorded back on October 26. In this episode Josh and his anonymous municipal political activist explain how municipalities work politically, including their relationship with the province. We also discuss the Sudbury bribery trial being thrown out by the judge, as well as Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario Patrick Brown’s decision to refuse to apologize to Premier Wynne for saying she would stand trial, even after she filed suit against him.

The Lowdown on Kathleen Wynne’s Campaign Manager David Herle

By Josh Lieblein

David Smith. Don Guy. Jean Lapierre. Gerald Butts. Laura Miller. Katie Telford.

David Herle wishes he was part of this elite group of Liberal magicians. And while it must be validating for him that Kathleen Wynne trusts him enough to manage her re-election bid–enough to reward him with 900K in lucrative contracts–there are those within the Liberal fold who have reason to doubt that ol’ Diamond Dave can get the job done.

I suppose you necessarily must grow up with a desire to prove yourself when you belong to one of the few Liberal families in the great province of Saskatchewan. Apparently Dave’s dear sister Allyce bravely faced off against current CPC leader Andrew Scheer in his first electoral outing and placed third. Dave, meanwhile, distinguished himself as a driver for then-Saskatchewan Liberal Party leader Ralph Goodale, the only MP who has hung around long enough to represent both Trudeau governments.

When you grow up with King Ralph as your political high-water mark, it tends to create a bit of insecurity when you’re in the same room with infamous Trudeau advisor Keith Davey. That’s probably why Herle admitted in a moment of weakness that he wanted his name to surpass that of the infamous Rainmaker.

Unfortunately for our hero Dave, the upper echelons of the Liberal Party looked askance at him for his rough Prairie roots. As member of the John Turner faction of the party in the 80’s, the harassed and beleaguered Herle was repeatedly undermined by Trudeau Sr.’s Laurentian elites to the point where Dave reportedly lashed out and called Davey “a son of a b*tch“.

The embattled Mr. Herle did what all Liberals spurned by the Trudeau inner circle did: join Paul Martin’s camp. From there things turned out like you’d expect–a plum position at Earnscliffe, the lobbying firm fingered in the sponsorship scandal, a decades long brawl with Chrétien loyalist Warren Kinsella, and recurrent guest spots on political panels thanks to his friendship with Peter Mansbridge.

Through it all, Herle would continue to go overboard in carrying water for his old pal Ralph Goodale, ensuring that the sole Liberal seat in Saskatchewan would be held by Ralph and nobody else. At one point, he would be found spinning one of Goodale’s nomination rival’s thank-you outings for beer and pizza for campaign volunteers into a PSA against underage drinking.

But it all came crashing down when the responsibility for the 2004 and 2006 elections were placed on Herle’s shoulders. As the Liberal numbers plummeted in 2004, Herle went public with the dispiriting assertion that his campaign was “in a spiral“, which is exactly the sort of thing a group of candidates want to hear from their skipper.

Banished to Middle Earth after the Liberals were finally driven from power, he set up his own firm, the Gandalf Group, putting out economic prospecti, cataloguing his own positive press clippings, and carrying out interesting public opinion research. By 2012, he was still carrying a torch for Paul Martin, arguing that Mr. Dithers had built the party in the West in a way that Chretien never had, and that the Liberals would have been a truly national party if it hadn’t been for that inconvenient Sponsorship Scandal ruining things. As Trudeau soaked up all the glitz and glamour, Herle was relegated to clearing the way at the provincial level, orchestrating victories for Brian Gallant in New Brunswick and Kathleen Wynne in Ontario.

For all this, though, the Liberal A-team doesn’t seem interested in letting him make the calls. Trudeau rejected his pitch to use attack ads in 2015, and when things looked grim for Justin in the pre-election run-up and rumours were circulating that Gerald Butts might end up benched, Herle was–purely coincidentally, no doubt–being tapped as a potential replacement.

Fitting, then, that the politically desperate and seminally unpopular Kathleen Wynne would turn, once again, to the only Liberal as apt to attack when cornered as she is to manage what could well be the campaign she and the Ontario Liberal Party go out in a blaze of vainglory.

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)