What does ‘LGBTQ Ally’ mean to Toronto Centre Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland?

Last night, the campaign of Toronto Centre Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland posted a pic that would have had anyone familiar with the history of gay rights in Canada scratching their heads.

In the pic, Freeland poses with her arm around Liberal MP John McKay.

Yes, that’s a pic of the candidate vying for a position representing the riding with Canada’s highest proportion of LGBTQ people posing with her arm around a guy with a long record of opposing the rights of many of those same LGBTQ people.

Here’s McKay’s shameful record:

September 2003: The Canadian Alliance introduced a motion in the House of Commons to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This motion was narrowly defeated by a margin of 137-132.

Liberal MP John McKay voted in favour of the Alliance motion.

February 2005: The government introduced Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, which extended the right of marriage to same-sex couples. The Act was passed by a margin of 158 to 133.

Liberal MP John McKay voted against Bill C-38.

December 2006: the Canadian House of Commons voted on a motion “to restore the traditional definition of marriage without affecting civil unions and while respecting existing same-sex marriages.” The motion was defeated by a vote of 123 to 175.

You guessed it, Liberal MP John McKay voted in favour of restoring the “traditional definition of marriage.”

Sure, you may say, Liberal MP John McKay has an unquestionable record of opposing gay rights but it’s 2013 now, and what does this have to do with Freeland?

First, McKay’s site still boasts about McKay’s support for the “traditional view of marriage” Liberal MP John McKay backs "traditional" marriage

If he were ashamed of his voting record it wouldn’t still appear on his site (not to mention: has anyone asked Trudeau about this “traditional marriage” shit on a Liberal MP’s site? McKay is a member of Trudeau’s caucus. Hey, maybe next year a condition of Trudeau marching with our community at Pride is the party he leads doesn’t include members who boast about their support for “traditional marriage”?).

Second, the primary issue isn’t McKay’s record of opposing the rights of a large portion of Toronto Centre’s residents, it’s why Freeland would be happy to appear with her arm around him in pics on her own Twitter and Facebook accounts while she claims to be a LGBTQ Ally.

Freeland has presented herself as an LGBTQ Ally, but what kind of Ally welcomes a guy with a long record of opposing gay rights into her campaign for the home of Canada’s largest celebration of LGBT rights? Is being an Ally simply saying you’re cool with gay people like it was in the 90s? Or does the role come with certain responsibilities? (like, not appearing with your arm around people boasting about their opposition to gay rights on their publicly accessible website, for example.)

Worse, here’s the tweet her campaign posted soon after McKay:

So hours after posing with her arm around a Liberal MP who VOTED AGAINST C-38 she’s now hoping you’ll just be excited that she once had her pic taken at the 519 Community Centre and would you look at that rainbow colour palette! So hypnotic.

Freeland is fine exaggerating her own party’s role in advancing gay rights in this country minutes after posing with a guy from her party who actively opposed those rights.

As for Freeland’s stance on LGBT rights, here’s an interview she did with a gay Liberal that includes a question about it: Question: We talked a bit about the LGBT community. One of the biggest in Toronto Centre. What are your thoughts on the state of LGBT rights in Canada or abroad and if you are elected, how will you forge ties with the local LGBT community as the MP?

Freeland: So the LGBT community is obviously an essential and really exciting part of the Toronto Centre community and that’s one of the things I love about Toronto Centre. I think it’s such an important community and part of what makes Toronto Centre such a great community. I think immediately something that I can do and something I’m excited about doing is bringing the areas of expertise I do have to the service of LGBT causes. As it happens there’s one issue where I’ve already been advocating which is around the Sochi Olympics. Russia is something I know a lot about, and I’m a person with expertise that a lot of people listen to there. And I do think that this is an international LGBT issue and I’m delighted to speak about it now, which I’ve been doing. Again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but that’s an area where some of my international strengths could be harnessed to support issues that frankly I think are human rights – you don’t have to be a member of the LGBT community to care about it. But something where I can have a particularly listened to voice could be valuable.

So she’s really eager to one day speak out against Russia’s anti-gay laws and feels that when that day comes it’s going to be super effective because she’s going to do it in Russian.

To her credit, she also mentions the significance of Toronto Centre to LGBTQ youth, particularly as a place where the most vulnerable go when they’re forced to leave home. Though I’m curious how she’d explain to those youth why she’s chumming around with people actively opposed to their rights.

Here’s her NDP opponent Linda McQuaig’s petition calling on the Canadian government to take a strong stance now against Russia’s anti-gay laws and to institute a visa ban against the politicians behind the laws.

McQuaig and the NDP aren’t waiting until the by-election’s end to call for specific actions against Russia’s anti-gay laws (BONUS: no pics with bigots!).

UPDATE: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s advisor Gerald Butts responds to questions about Liberal MP John McKay:

 

Butts is employing the oldest, and most insulting, tactic in the book: claim your opponent’s accusations are so offensive they’re not worth responding to. Yes, questions about Liberal MP McKay’s record of voting against LGBTQ rights more offensive than Liberal MP McKay’s record of voting against LGBTQ rights.

You’ll note however that his “< than 100% pro LGBT” calculations include neither McKay’s own webpage nor McKay’s own words: “I’ll be supporting the traditional definition of marriage.” Both proof that Butts’ “100%” claims are complete baloney.

UPDATE (2): Some related tweets.

David Akin is the National Bureau Chief for Sun News. Which leads to the question: why is the National Bureau Chief for Sun News correcting the record on Liberal claims that they were responsible for same sex marriage? Do we not have some kind of national gay and lesbian media who should be doing that? Or any progressive media at all?

UPDATE (3): Everyone is losing their shit over Freeland’s horrible interview with Xtra.

Akin again! Don’t we have any progressive media in this country?

An Open Letter from Leanne Iskander and Casey Oraa Regarding Laurel Broten as a Co-Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade

(reprinted below)
June 29, 2012


“Today, we are writing to you — whomever the you may be – to offer our perspective on Minister of Education, Laurel Broten, being named a co-grand marshal of this year’s Toronto Pride Parade. In a year where Pride has put a noticeable amount of energy into weaving politics back into the festival, we felt that bestowing this honour to the Minister of a Government that fought so hard against supporting LGBTQ youth is a huge error. Given the long history of our work around this issue, this letter could go on and onabout why choosing to honour Broten and by extension the Liberals for their work on Bill 13 is problematic, as well as for reasons beyond the specific parameters of our work, but instead, we are goingto focus in on two main issues: the Liberals lack of support for LGBTQ youth in Catholic schools and as well, the Liberals resistance to including specific language in Bill 13 that would clearly state the rights of LGBTQ youth to form LGBTQ support groups using names of their choosing including calling them Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) if they wished.

During the course of the battle to establish LGBTQ support groups such as GSAs in Catholic schools,both of us continually called on the governing Liberals to enforce their existing policy  – PPM 145  – that explicitly mandates Boards across Ontario to support students that wish to form GSAs or like groups.Time and time again the Ministry and the governing Liberals refused to enforce this policy and repeatedly devolved responsibility down to the Boards. We both made many requests to meet with the Ministry and again, were met with silence. All while this was going on, youth who continued to step up and challenge their Boards to do their duty and to support them had their struggles silenced by the unsupportive Ministry of Education that did have the tools in place to support the youth via policy (ex/ PPM 145) but refused to use them. Silence from above further marginalizing and silencing LGBTQ youth who were already being bullied in the hallways and by their administrators as they sought to break the silence around their struggles.


With the emergence of Bill 13, we saw the Liberals coalesce numerous pre-existing policies and enshrine them in a Bill as if they were new measures to support youth in schools province wide. Again though,they resisted the inclusion of language that would specifically give students naming rights over the LGBTQ support groups that they sought to form. This specific amendment was only won through political pressure from the NDP, including Pride’s other grand marshal Cheri DiNovo, who proposed and stood solidly in support of language that supported the rights of LGBTQ youth to name their groups GSAs if they so desired. Once again, the Liberals were willing to continue the silence around the struggles of LGBTQ youth in Catholic schools who wished to form GSAs and deny them their right to self-identify as they saw fit.


As we weren’t silent in our fight to allow students the right to form LGBTQ support groups in Catholic schools, we decided we wouldn’t be silent about this either. The decision to honour a representative of the government that has been actively silencing the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth in Catholic schools is a huge misstep and nothing less than an insult to the youth of our communities who have fought so hard and will continue to struggle to find the proper supports and safer spaces in their schools. As we approach the day of the Parade, we encourage you to wonder much as we have why we are honouring a government that has silenced so many of the youth within our communities. While we don’t know why Pride Toronto made this decision, we do know one thing –  there’ll be one person we won’t be cheering for in the Parade.

Yours truly,


Leanne Iskander & Casey Oraa”
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“‎Our banks did not have to be bailed out.” — Andrew Coyne

According to a report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Coyne doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

CBC reports:

Canada’s banking system is often lauded for being one of the world’s safest. But an analysis by CCPA senior economist David Macdonald found that Canada’s major lenders were in a far worse position during the downturn than has ever been previously believed.

Macdonald pored over data provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and the big banks themselves for his report published Monday.

It says support for Canadian banks from various agencies reached $114 billion at its peak. That works out to $3,400 for every man, woman and child in Canada, and also to seven per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2009.

The figure is also 10 times the size of the amount Canadian taxpayers spent on the auto industry in 2009.

It gets better/more awful:

“Indeed, the scale of the funding is eye-opening.

At its peak, CIBC received $21 billion in support — almost 1.5 times the value of the company at the time. BMO maxed out at $17 billion or 118 per cent, Scotiabank peaked at $25 billion or 100 per cent of its value, while TD and RBC maxed out at $26 billion and $25 billion — good enough for 69 and 63 per cent, respectively, of the total value of those companies at the time.

“It would have been cheaper to buy every single share in these companies,” Macdonald said.”

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Doctors for Fair Taxation back Andrea Horwath’s proposal to tax the most wealthy in Ontario

With the media busying themselves carrying the zeroes on their calculators, Doctor Michael Rachlis from Doctors For Taxation was left to make the MORAL argument for taxing the rich. I had to find the audio and edit/upload it myself since – for some reason – Metro Morning didn’t post it as a stand alone audio post as they did with every other interview that day.

Doctor Rachlis denounces Dalton McGuinty’s dismissal of Horwath’s idea as “immoral.”

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Is Ontario funding an anti-gay school system?

Dan SavageRick MercerAdamo RuggieroJoeMyGodchange.org and evenPerez Hilton were all chiming in on our story on the Halton Catholic District School Board’s (HCDSB) gay-straight alliance ban this weekend. And today the mainstream media followed suit.

Not only did our report produce an unprecedented number of visitors to our site, but a petition and a Facebook page also sprang up in an effort to mobilize others to take action against the HCDSB’s decision.

In response to our article, the HCDSB posted a statement on its site Friday defending its decision and claiming a commitment to the promotion of “equity, inclusion and respect for the dignity of each human being in our system.”

The line is a nod to Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, a policy all school boards in Ontario are required to comply with.

All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity. The strategy is helping educators across the province better identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers to student achievement. These barriers — related to racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination — may prevent some students from reaching their full potential.

Below we’ve embedded the minutes from the November 2010 HCDSB meeting in which the board approved amendments to the ministry’s equity policy that not only banned gay-straight alliances, but also revised the section of the policy referring to learning materials and instructional strategies.

The minutes reveal it was a letter dated Jan 19, 2010, from Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher, chair of the Education Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO), addressed to the HCDSB and all Catholic school boards in Ontario, that led to the ban:

Whereas, Bishop Durocher explains that the ministry-proposed “gay-straight alliances” or clubs, imply a self-identification with sexual orientation that is often premature among high school students.

The bishop’s strategy: there is no violation of a policy prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation if you claim high school students are too young to have a sexual orientation. No doubt heterosexual Halton students would be surprised to discover they’re too young to identify as straight (though many heterosexual students also have the benefit of being in a position to ignore the prescriptions of their educational institution’s religious patriarchs).

Before the board voted on the ban, Michael Pautler, the education director of the HCDSB, explained to board members that since the authors of the policy template were made aware of the bishop’s concerns back in January, they must have made changes to the final policy document, as it was approved by the ACBO. And though approval by the bishops implies accordance with Catholic teaching — they still proceed ruthlessly to ban GSAs.

Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher

Following the vote, the board amends a list of additional teaching resources provided by the policy that aim to “assist with the care of students experiencing same-sex attraction.” What do they add? Two resources  in clear violation of  the equity policy:

Teachers must consult the following: Section 2357 and 2358 (always together) of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1997. Letter to All Involved in Catholic Education – Church Teaching on Sexual Maturity (Document 370303 Assembly of Catholic Bishops); and any other relevant document fully and entirely consistent with the Doctrine of the Catholic Church following: “…as reference and resource”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2357 reads:

…tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

While the letter “to All Involved in Catholic Education” from the AOCB can be found on their site.

For most young people, romantic attachments and behaviour are part and parcel of their blossoming sexuality and their growth toward the commitment of marriage. Romantic attachments and behaviour are fully expected of heterosexual couples. Behaviour such as holding hands, embracing, kissing, dating and dancing that are romantically intended are all acceptable within appropriate limits.

It will be especially difficult for young persons who are experiencing homosexual romantic yearnings to understand and accept this teaching of the Church since it discourages romantic behaviour that would be acceptable in a heterosexual context.

In other words, according to the Assembly of Catholic Bishops, (straight) high-school students’ self-identification with a sexual orientation isn’t “premature,” it’s “fully expected.” Yet, should a student express homosexuality instead of heterosexuality it’s to be condemned as unacceptable — again another document in violation of the Equity and Inclusion Education policy. And while the AOCB’s Church Teaching OnSexual Maturity acknowledges teen (hetero)sexuality — up to first base at least— and condemns homophobia, it also instructs the educator to prepare gay students for a “journey toward chastity.” So while some produce It Gets Better videos to give gay kids hope, the Ontario Catholic School Board has long been committed to it’s own counter-campaign: It Gets Abstinent.

The HCDSB’s decision to include the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official text of the teaching of the Catholic Church and a document in clear violation of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s own Equity and Inclusion Education policy, might lead some to ask why the Ontario Separate School Board continues to receive public funding in the province. It’s a question other Catholic boards might’ve hoped to avoid by approving the policy without amendments that could attract the attention of the media.

Now, thanks to the Halton Catholic Board and Alice Anne LeMay’s inflammatory comments to Xtra, it’s a question many voters in Ontario will no doubt continue to ask in the months leading up to this year’s provincial election.

 

 

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Is Ontario Premier McGuinty afraid of sex?

Is Premier Dalton McGuinty afraid to talk about sex? It certainly would explain a few things.

In response to a question from NDP MPP Rosario Marchese, Ontario Education Minister Leona Dombrowsky admitted no progress has been made on a new sex ed curriculum almost a year after Premier McGuinty’s government caved to religious groups and withdrew a revised program. 

Following his decision to pull the new curriculum last April, McGuinty promised a “rethink” and further consultations with parents.

But based on an exchange between Marchese and Dombrowsky in the Queen’s Park legislature March 3, it appears the government has done little to follow up on its promise.

Dombrowsky: What was evident with the sex education part of our curriculum was that we needed to do a better job. My ministry is working to understand what is the best way, given that we did have a consultation process that obviously was not adequate for parents. So we are looking at ways that we can do a better job of getting their feedback on a very important curriculum for students in our schools.<

Dombrowsky’s dodge provoked Marchese to ask if McGuinty is “the education premier” for everything except sex education.

 

Marchese: Why is the premier afraid to talk about sex?  

The education minister’s comments come less than a month after MPP Glen Murray told community members, in a Feb 8 meeting he hosted at the 519 Church Street Community Centre, a new policy could be expected soon.

Murray says the public can expect a revised curriculum soon. “I think the new curriculum is pretty good,” he said. “I have to tell you, many of the things that offended people are already in the curriculum. We talk about all kinds of families and human sexuality in our elementary schools.”

The question on the floor of the legislature comes as Minister Dombrowsky continues to avoid questions about the Ontario Catholic school system’s ban on the word “gay” and a provincewide prohibition on gay-straight alliances ordered by the Association of Catholic Bishops of Ontario.

The Canadian Press did give the exchange, and the issue, some coverage with a CP piece that has so far appeared on CTVparentcentral.ca (TorStar) and in the Guelph Mercury.

Now, if only someone would ask about the GSA ban in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.

Video from Queen’s Park:

Transcript:

Mr Rosario Marchese: My question is to the premier. Last spring, the government introduced a new health curriculum for Ontario students, but at the last minute, under duress, it cancelled changes to sex education. The government promised it would start a new round of consultations on updates to sex education. What is the status of those consultations, Premier?

Hon Dalton McGuinty: To the minister of education.

Hon Leona Dombrowsky: What we have done, first of all with respect to the curriculum that is out there, is that we have new physical and health education, save and except for the sex education piece. All of the good work that went into that document is now being implemented in our schools, save and except for the sex education curriculum, which continues to be what was in place in our schools.

We have a process in Ontario where we review our curriculum on a regular basis, and that was the process that was followed. People — parents especially — in Ontario made it very clear that the way that they were engaged around changes to curriculum did not meet their needs, and our premier made a commitment that we were going to consider how we could do a better job of that. My ministry is taking a very careful look at how we’ve done it in the past and what some of the most effective ways are, going forward, that we can ensure that the issues of parents —

The Speaker (Hon Steve Peters): Thank you. Supplementary?

Mr Rosario Marchese: Health and education groups in Ontario haven’t heard a word about the consultations that were promised a year ago. Nothing has been done. There are no consultations.

Ontario children and youth need accurate information about sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and early pregnancy to develop into healthy adults, but Ontario’s sex education curriculum is outdated. It appears that this is the education premier for everything except sex education. Why is the premier afraid to talk about sex?

Hon Leona Dombrowsky: I think it’s important to clarify that we have sex education in our schools now. We have had it for many years, and that continues to be the case.

We have an improved physical health education curriculum in our schools. That did go forward.

We are looking at the process that we have to review curriculum. We review curriculum all the time.

What was evident with the sex education part of our curriculum was that we needed to do a better job. My ministry is working to understand what is the best way, given that we did have a consultation process that obviously was not adequate for parents. So we are looking at ways that we can do a better job of getting their feedback on a very important curriculum for students in our schools.

(originally published at Xtra.ca)

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Texas teen fights gay-straight alliance ban

UPDATE MARCH 4: The planned protest took place this morning. Caller.com, a news site out of Corpus Christi, reports the crowd reached 100 and, as might be expected in Texas, a handful of people gathered in a counter-protest across the street. See pictures from the demonstrationhere.

A local news report on the protest:

MARCH 3: We could use more heroes like 17-year-old Texas high school student Bianca “Nikki” Peet.

Four months ago Peet approached her school’s principal with a request to form a gay-straight alliance (GSA) at Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Not only was her request refused, but last week, in an effort to close all loopholes, school officials decided to ban all extracurricular clubs.

By canceling all extracurricular clubs on campus, Flour Bluff ISD hopes to avoid the  Equal Access Act — a federal law, passed in 1984, that requires schools receiving federal funding to offer “fair opportunities for students to form student-led extracurricular groups, regardless of their religious, political and philosophical leanings.” The district still maintains that they do not have to follow the Equal Access Law.

Though Peet’s fight has attracted support from such groups as Gay-Straight Alliance at Texas A&M University, the ACLU and GLADD, the superintendent of the school district, Dr Julie Carbajal, has said repeatedly there is “no chance” the district will approve the proposed GSA.

A protest against the decision is planned at the school tomorrow (March 4). Paul Rodriguez, president of the GSA at Texas A&M University, said he’s expecting more than 300 people to attend.

“I couldn’t believe my ears,” Rodriguez told Instant Tea. “I couldn’t believe that an administration of a public school would actually go to that length to show hatred, to show intolerance. It’s just appalling.”

Rodriguez said supporters of the GSA have contacted both Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, which are investigating. But the goal of the protest is to convince district officials to change their minds.

“As far as Nikki and her supporters go, they were very nervous about going to school today, because they don’t know what kind of hostility or bullying they’re going to face,” Rodriguez said. “They’re afraid they’re going to get blamed for all the non-curricular clubs not being allow to meet. We’re hoping to redirect that anger to where it really belongs. If we can get all those people on board and join us in this fight for equality, that would just be awesome.

Blaming the activists? Sounds familiar.

Show your support for Peet’s struggle by signing this petition at change.org. You can also RSVP for tomorrow’s protest here (can’t make it to Texas tomorrow? RSVP as “maybe” to show your support and spread the word). Follow Peet on twitter here.

The email address of Flour Bluff’s principal, James Crenshaw, is jcrenshaw@flourbluffschools.net. The school’s phone number is 361-694-9100.

A local news report on the planned protest: 

A Feb 24 local news report featuring an interview with Peet:

(original published at Xtra.ca)

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McGuinty ignores calls for inquiry into G20 abuses

A scathing Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) report on police conduct during the G20 has sparked new calls for a joint federal-provincial public inquiry to determine who was responsible for “serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms.” The report was released days after the broadcast of a Fifth Estate documentary that featured shocking videotaped evidence of abuse by uniformed officers.

Premier McGuinty, busy tweeting about canoe trips, has rejected calls for an inquiry. According to the Toronto Star, McGuinty is staying mum on the arrests that took place at Queen’s Park, where he had personally invited people to protest during the G20 in a so-called free-speech zone (add victims of G20 abuse to an angry list that includes queer youth in publicly funded Catholic schools and students demanding queer-positive sex education curriculum).

March 1 editorials in the National Post and the Toronto Star both called for an inquiry.

A CBC post on the CCLA report has received a whopping 1,453 comments. The most popular, with 1,130 “agrees,” reads:

A dark day in Canadian civil liberties and free speech, 1,100 Canadians arrested and few charged. A comprehensive public inquiry is the only way to go. 

Days after the brutal events of the G20 weekend, the Toronto Police Service’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans liaison officer, Thomas Decker, was quoted in Xtra dismissing calls for answers: “The Pride weekend has shown that an overwhelming majority of the community appreciate and support [the] police.”

Decker’s comments followed a protest at the 519 Church Street Community Centre against Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s Pride reception, which was held at the community centre days after the G20.

The executive director of The 519, Maura Lawless, has since expressed regret for allowing police to host their event at the centre:

“In retrospect, the event should never have gone ahead and that’s clear. We were trying to find a balance.”

You can watch the Fifth Estate documentary on the CBC site here.

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Canadian news regulations a model for the US: Robert Kennedy

The CRTC’s decision to abandon planned revisions to a regulation that critics argue would lead to “Fox-style news” in Canada is making waves in the US.

In a March 1 column on The Huffington Post, Robert F Kennedy Jr applauds the broadcast regulator’s decision. He calls it a rejection of “efforts by Canada’s rightwing prime minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.”

Canada’s Radio Act requires that “a licenser may not broadcast…. any false or misleading news.” The provision has kept Fox News and rightwing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom. As a result of that law, Canadians enjoy high-quality news coverage, including the kind of foreign affairs and investigative journalism that flourished in this country before Ronald Reagan abolished the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987.

Kennedy claims the planned changes were meant to facilitate the launch of Sun TV News, Quebecor Media’s all-news channel. With its populist, conservative-leaning approach to reporting, many were calling the channel “Fox News North.” 

It’s clear from his piece that Kennedy, an environmental activist and the nephew of one of the most popular presidents in US history, is no fan of our current prime minister:

Harper, often referred to as “George W Bush’s Mini Me,” is known for having mounted a Bush-like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery: false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity. 

While that may be true, it hasn’t hurt Harper in the polls.

Kennedy argues that rightwing ideology can become popular only through dishonest propaganda:

Since corporate profit-taking is not an attractive vessel for populism, a political party or broadcast network that makes itself the tool of corporate and financial elites must lie to make its agenda popular with the public. In the Unites States, Fox News and talk radio, the sock puppets of billionaires and corporate robber barons have become the masters of propaganda and distortion on the public airwaves. Fox News’s notoriously biased and dishonest coverage of the Wisconsin protests is a prime example of the brand of news coverage Canada has smartly avoided.

Below is a trailer for Sun TV News:

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