The Canadian Ecocide: Corporatism thrives when information is withheld from Canadian voters.

by Ron Hart

This file photo from Sept. 19, 2011, shows an aerial view of an oil sands mine facility near Fort McMurray, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

It is no secret that the Harper government is a fierce supporter of increased development of Canada’s tar sands. The resulting ecocide is conveniently ignored. When the world’s leading climate change expert, James Hansen,  suggests that full tar sands development is “game over” for the plant, Joe Oliver, Harper’s new (unpublished) ‘climate scientist’, ridicules the notion: politics over science; greed over sustainability; lies over truth; corporatism over democracy.

The stream of scientific information that pokes holes in the Harper Governments myopic energy policy has been actively frustrated by Stephen Harper,  our new CEO of Fossil Fuel Canada. Instead, Canadians have been inundated with taxpayer-funded messages promoting tar sands development.

Canada’s “Economic Action Plan” is synonymous with tar sands ecocide.

CBC president Hubert Lacroix speaks in Toronto in June, 2012. (NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
CBC president Hubert Lacroix. Giving the government a direct say in the CBC’s collective agreements would remove the arm’s-length relationship between the state and the public broadcaster.

But even as it has dutifully run the Harper Government’s misinformation advertising,  Canada’s broadcaster, the CBC, has again and again tried to present science-based information to Canadians–information that is essential for voters to  possess to fairly assess government policy. The country’s broadcaster has asked embarrassing questions. For example, the CBC had the temerity to ask,  “Is Canada becoming a ‘petro-state’?

But corporatism does not brook dissent. It demands a clear, unambiguous message–one that does not threaten shareholders’ interests. Corporatism demands obedience to government’s messaging, or else expect blow-back.

We should not be surprised then by this post from The Canadian Press:

Federal budget bill poses ‘grave threat’ to CBC, say journalists

Published May 27, 2013
OTTAWA — A number of journalist groups are asking Canadians to write to their MPs to demand changes to a controversial bill which would give the government a role in negotiating CBC contracts.

Arnold Amber of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression says Bill C-60 poses a grave threat by giving the government leverage that could be used to skew the CBC’s news coverage.

Carmel Smyth, president of the Canadian Media Guild, says it’s potentially dangerous legislation.

The bill would allow the cabinet to approve the CBC’s negotiating mandate and allow a Treasury Board representative to sit in on talks between the broadcaster and its unions.

Stephen Waddell, national executive director of ACTRA, says the bill could turn the CBC from a public broadcaster to a state broadcaster.

The government says the legislation is a financial matter, designed to allow the government to keep tabs on spending; the NDP says it will table an amendment Tuesday that would exclude CBC from the bill.

The offending clauses are contained in the latest omnibus budget bill. The journalists’ organizations want the government to exempt CBC.

“We are not bureaucrats,” said Amber.

The bill is less about money than it is about a government bid to expand its control, Smyth said. “How much control does any government need?”

Even the appearance of bias can erode journalistic integrity, he added.

Amber said people need to bring pressure on individual MPs to get the bill changed.

“We want the Canadian people to react as quickly as possible to bring the government to its senses.”

Corporatism (a.k.a.  fascism)  thrives on misinformation. It also thrives on a disengaged public.

If you value our democracy, now is the time to act!


Ian Morrison: My presentation to the Finance Committee

Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding Bill C-60

May 23, 2013

Remarks by Ian Morrison, Spokesperson – Friends of Canadian Broadcasting1

supporting the campaign to keep the CBC FREE from political interference at the hands of the Harper Conservatives.

Yesterday, I was in Ottawa presenting to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of its study of Bill C-60, the Omnibus Budget Implementation legislation that threatens to turn CBC into a state broadcaster.

When you have time, please check out the 17-minute video – the first four minutes is my statement and the  rest is questions from MPs and my responses.

During my presentation, I tabled two key documents.

The first is a letter to Prime Minster Harper from some of Canada’s most celebrated journalists and academics from all across the country.  I also gave the committee a legal opinion that that FRIENDS commissioned pinpointing precisely how Bill C-60 undermines the CBC’s editorial independence and proposing a solution to protect the CBC’s independence.

The stakes in this campaign are huge.  Canadians do not want their CBC to morph into a political propaganda machine for the government of the day.  That is precisely what would happen should Bill C-60 become law without amendments.

FRIENDS’ campaign has been more effective because of your participation!  Please help us to build this pan-Canadian effort to defend our national public broadcaster by sharing this message far and wide.


Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting

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