Archive for category Conservative

The Conservatives Have No Right To Argue Against The Due Process Rights of Canadians

 

Due process is a right that ensures every Canadian citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and the ability to properly defend and question evidence before an independent court. It is a constitutional right.

There’s been a lot of anger regarding the Omar Khadr settlement, and a lot of it coming from the alt-right side of the political spectrum, even suggestions that the constitution should not apply to those who are terrorists.  Just think for a minute. If due process rights are suspended on suspected terrorists, who decides who’s a terrorists and based on what evidence? The Supreme Court of Canada has set rules regarding how much evidence is needed to convict someone of a terrorist offense.  If you throw the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of “suspected” terrorists out the window, then there are no such rules that apply.

If you speak out against government, does that make you a terrorist? Do opposition parties then become terrorists of the state? If you had an argument with your neighbor does he get to call in the authorities and have you arrested on terrorism charges? Does witchcraft, and questioning the christian bible make you a terrorist?  All of these are strong possibilities when due process rights are not actively administered. If there is no evidence threshold because there’s no rights guaranteed by the charter and upheld by the supreme court, than a simple thing like picking up your coffee mug different than you did the morning before could be enough to land you with a room mate named bubba.

In Khadr’s case it was the US government who decided Khadr was a terrorist and this was based on a coerced confession and evidence that even former crown prosecutors in Canada have confessed wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, let alone be able to obtain any sort of conviction in a Canadian court.  There was no trial, and no court conviction.  The only conviction Khadr received was that through the court of public opinion as a result of due process not being awarded, and being tortured into confession. He’s getting paid $10.5 million to compensate for damages he has suffered as a result.  As far as I am concerned that number should be a lot higher.

I’m going to have a lot more on this in the next few days, and weeks but I wanted to weigh in, because the real tragedy in all of this, is that I feel almost ashamed to be Canadian.  Not because we paid Khadr $10.5 million but that we have allowed the alt-right to take control of the political messaging on this for a week (as a result of the Government not coming out ahead on this), all the while they have argued against our constitution, against our Canadian values, and are calling those that support our constitution and freedoms within it, supporters of terrorism.

I must say, that as a proud patriotic Canadian, the past few days I have kicked all of my friends who claim to be from the alt-right out of my circle, without any hesitation, some of which were close friends for decades and recently bought into this cult and started attacking me for supporting our constitution, and there will be no hesitation if I find more. After what I’ve heard this week, I have no sympathy for any movement or political party that has launched such an all out assault on our constitution, which is a lot more disgusting and treasonous to me as a Canadian than ensuring one of our own is compensated for a “witch hunt” that three consecutive governments (two Liberal and one Conservative) had a hand in.

 

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Supreme Court Says Get Out of Our Data to Trudeau Government

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The Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Court Martial Appeal Court and Tax Court are preparing to take the Canadian government to task on ensuring independence from the federal government regarding its data.  Under the past conservative government, all these levels of the courts were to submit to a super-IT department as of September 1st of last year that would see all government services including Canadian courts using the same IT department.  The move by the last government to amalgamate IT services was seemingly to save money and streamline IT security.

According to the Supreme Court of Canada, one super IT department could threaten its independence from Government.  Briefing notes obtained by the Canadian Press last week, and provided to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau days after taking office, shows the courts are gearing up for a constitutional challenge on data independence.  The briefing stated:

“[The courts] must maintain control of their data, not only because of concerns about confidentiality, but also because an independent judiciary cannot tolerate having its sensitive information controlled by a separate branch of government.”

The briefing notes also warned that if the Government doesn’t backtrack on this soon, it could face legal action and likely a constitutional challenge by the top judges in Canada.  Advice given to Trudeau on how to handle this situation by his advisers was redacted in the briefing notes.

Prior to September 1st last year when these new IT rules came into play, top court officials wrote a letter to senior bureaucrats in the Conservative government demanding that agents of Parliament such as the Auditor General, Privacy Commissioner and Information Commissioner should be exempt from amalgamated IT services.  Yesterday, the new Liberal government went before the Supreme Court asking for a six month extension on right to die legislation.  Should the court deny that extension, this spat over IT services and data independence could end up being an interesting back story.

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Conservative Party Hacking Into Facebook Accounts For Likes

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Has the Conservative Party of Canada hacked into your profile and “liked” their Facebook page on your behalf without your knowledge or consent?  Reports are popping up including  one from a reporter at the CBC that they are being “like hijacked” by the Conservative party.  According to a CBC report, the hijacked likes could be a result of embedded computer script in Facebook videos and links launching malware bought and paid for by the Conservatives.  The computer script could have the potential to reach deep into your personal profile.  When questioned on this, all the other parties denied that they are engaged in the activity of hijacking Facebook users accounts, however a Conservative spokesperson wouldn’t confirm or deny the party was behind the malicious hijacks.

In an e-mail to the CBC the Conservatives stated it was “an internal party issue.”  The Conservatives may be acting against their own anti-spam laws with respect to this, and if the Conservatives are hijacking Facebook users accounts, one has to question what other information has been collected by the Conservatives (if they have access to your account to like their page) that was transmitted to the party which could be very personal information the Conservatives might use to profile you as a potential voter, which also could be against Canadian privacy laws.

Whatever the case maybe, hacking into users Facebook accounts is not just extremely creepy and potentially illegal; it’s also a form of stalking and desperation by a party who is not very popular on social media and having trouble getting their message out. Liking any Facebook page will automatically show updates to that page in your news feed. Facebook users are encouraged to look at their “activity logs” to ensure there are no unwanted Conservative Party Facebook page “likes”.

More to come on the legal aspect of all of this soon.

 

 

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Arab Countries Need To Be Doing More On Syrian Refugees

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(Arab League Flag)

Like many Canadians I had a very heart felt response to the picture of the three year old who laid face down dead after trying to cross the Mediterranean for the EU escaping the Syrian civil war. What I found more disturbing was Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s cold response to the story on CBC, and subsequent inaction of the Conservative government for days on the issue.

The cold response coming from the Conservatives is something that also is very prevalent in some of the richest Arab nations in the world. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates’, Qatar, and Egypt have all received absolutely zero of the Syrian refugees. The only Arab nation to accept these refugees is Syria’s neighbor Lebanon.

Opposition parties here in Canada have been quick to blame the Conservative government for their cold response (and rightfully so), however no one from the Liberals, NDP or Greens are speaking about the inaction of the Arab nations we call allies on this crisis. There needs to be immense diplomatic pressure on the Arab nations to do their part if Canada gets involved in accepting refugees.

Why are the Arab nations not accepting refugees? Short answer is that they think it’s a problem with Western influence in the region, and we caused it.  ISIS was born out of the US lead Iraq war and subsequent election of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who was a Shia Muslim. Shias were oppressed by Saddam Hussein. Once al-Maliki came into power, he started to target Hussein’s supporters. Rather than including them in the democratic process, many were thrown in jail and even executed out of vengeance. Historically what happens when a political group is excluded from the democratic process and oppressed? Often times it’s a revolution and/or civil war.

The Arab spring is a prime example of the 20 somethings in the Arab world rising against oppressive power. The Arab spring started in Yemen, spread to Egypt and then to Syria. ISIS and many terror related groups took the opportunity the Arab spring provided to recruit to their extreme ideologies, and has now become a threat to our Arab allies.

Every time we seem to get involved in Middle-Eastern politics, we seem to make a mess of it in large part because the politics in the Middle-East works much differently than here in Canada or the US. It’s based on different interpretations of religion. We should be playing a more supportive role in the region with our Arab allies in regards to these refugees than accepting large amounts of them here in Canada.

Almost all security experts that have been interviewed by media agree that security concerns regarding these refugee’s is a minimal concern, due to screening processes that are in place. Why can’t we work with other Arab nations on the security screening issues for these refugees so that they can be accepted by Arab nations?

Offloading tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of refugees in Canada may be the desired emotional response to the crisis, however where are all these families going to live? Social housing in Canada is falling apart. Federal funding for social housing has been completely cut off by the Conservatives. It’ll take years to repair, let alone create the amount of spaces needed to house these individuals.  Jobs? Many coming over here from Syria I would suspect would be in the youth range and young families. Right now we have a youth unemployment crisis in Canada, which again will take years to solve. Then there’s also the culture shock especially for children who would be attending our public school system. We’re going to need social programs here to integrate these refugee’s into our society.

I’m in no way suggesting that Canada shouldn’t do anything, just that we stop and think past the emotional response we all have. We’re in an election right now, and serious questions need to be posed to our leaders regarding the logistics of all of this, when our Arab allies in the region are refusing to help, and turning their backs on their own people. Western nations shouldn’t be shouldering this responsibility alone. Why are we, and is accepting tens of thousands of refugees helpful to the spread of democracy in the Middle East?

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Conservatives Agree to Censor Internet In Latest Trade Negotiations

The Conservatives seem to be tying to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement one of Harper’s legacy items.  After the election call the Conservatives moved to change “caretaker” rules in order to continue negotiating this trade agreement.  It appears now that the Conservatives are so much in a rush to get the TPP signed that they’ll pretty much agree to almost anything, even though it may mean tromping on civil liberties as a result. Michael Geist an Internet Law professor stated in his most recent blog:

For Canada, the deal on ISPs means that government has agreed to induce providers to “remove or disable” access to content upon becoming aware of a decision of a court of a copyright infringement. The broadly worded provision could force Canadian ISPs to block content on websites after being notified of a foreign court order – without first having to assess whether the site is even legal under Canadian law.

So will China now be the worlds authority on what content is viewed on the web thanks to Harper’s legacy?

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Harper’s House of Cards is Falling Down

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If you haven’t tuned into the Duffy trial over the past week, than you are living under a rock, or you’re missing one of the best political dramas in Canadian history.  The cross examination of Nigel Wright in Senator Mike Duffy’s trial over inappropriate expenses, is becoming quite interesting to many Canadians.  Canada seems to be tuned into this political drama playing out in an Ottawa court room in droves, albeit in the middle of the summer when most tune out politics.  CBC saw ratings rise to record levels during the cross examination last week in its At Issue political panel, and the political talk show Power and Politics:

On top of this, latest poll numbers put the Conservatives in third place behind the NDP.  What all of this is suggesting is that Canadians are now tuned in big time to the trail and Wright’s testimony.  I’ve been following this closely as well on Twitter, where I’ve been commenting on the testimony on a daily basis.

Nigel Wright was Harper’s chief of staff.  The main job for the chief of staff of the prime minister is to protect the prime minister politically.  For those of you who have ever watched House of Cards, Wright’s responsibilities were similar too Michael Kelly’s character Doug Stamper.  For those of you not familiar with House of Cards, Wright was the go-to man for the Prime Minister to make political problems go away, and with his testimony, he’s unintentionally creating more problems for the Conservative party than he is deflecting them away from the Prime Minister.

The media is doing a very good job at simplifying a very complicated web of deception, spun by the Prime Minister’s staff to fend off questions on Senator Mike Duffy’s expenses. Duffy did a lot of fund raising for the Conservative party over the years and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) felt that this expense scandal the media uncovered regarding Senator Duffy, would damage the Conservative brand, thus the prime minister.  Nigel Wright who was then the Prime Minister Harper’s chief of staff was in charge of making Duffy go away quietly.

While a lot of political pundits are focusing on what the Prime Minister knew and when regarding a payment to Duffy by Wright, my main interest is that several ministers including my own (then house leader) Peter Van Loan were fed “public relations” lines to say in the media and the house of commons by the PMO regarding Duffy re-paying his own expenses which were utterly false.  It turns out that the PMO knew about Wright’s payment to Duffy, all while scripting a false and misleading response that Duffy paid his own expenses for Ministers to try and control the problem politically.

Why does all of this matter?  The e-mail threads submitted into evidence show a deliberate attempt by Wright and PMO staff (some of which are handling Harper’s election campaign currently) to mislead Canadians on Duffy’s expenses to try and protect the Conservative party. They also point to the PMO interfering with what is supposed to be an independent Senate audit of Senator’s expenses.   If the PMO is deliberately misleading Canadians to protect their own brand, are we in a huge deficit right now, and not on a balanced budget? What else has the PMO been guilty of misleading Canadians on, and are we getting any truthful information on government policy and if it’s working or not?  We could be in the dark quite a bit on a lot of important policy that is steering the economic, and social engine of the country as a result of a culture of deceit and almost near total control over the party and independent processes that seems very well established in the PMO.

If you want to follow this past weeks events regarding Wright’s testimony a good place to start is Evan Solomon’s new podcast Everything is Political which aired on August 13th.  Friday August 14ths testimony is summed up nicely here

As the Duffy trial winds it’s way through the election campaign, more testimony is expected from people in the inner circle of the Conservative party.  With this many people tuned into Wright’s testimony, this will be hard for the Conservatives to simply use plausible deniability tactics at a time when even their own base is questioning the ethics of the party and their poll numbers dropping.

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The US May Have Trump; But Canada Has An Alien

Let’s put it this way; we could have used the swagger and unexpectedness Donald Trump presented in last nights US Republican debates in the Canadian leaders debate.  Instead, the first hour the Canadian debate consisted of Conservative leader Stephen Harper doing what he does best which is misleading Canadians on facts.  Green Party leader Elizabeth May catching Harper on misleading facts (which is why she needs to be in every debate).  Liberal leader Justin Trudeau attacking the NDP leader Tom Mulcair over a non-issue regarding Quebec separatism because he’s lost a tremendous amount of support to Mulcair over the anti-terror bill.  Finally Mulcair looked like he was part of some alien race freaking people out on social media with his weird smile, and alien like black eyes peering into their living rooms when he looked directly into the camera when debating the other leaders.

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The two that had the best body language in the debate were the two national debate veterans, May and Harper.  Trudeau came across as a kid with something to prove (Liberals think his downfall is due to Harper’s attack ads, not his position on supporting the new anti-terror bill.  Liberals are still tone deaf on that because they have nothing to fear but fear itself), and Mulcair just looked nervous for the first hour.  On the other hand May seemed very well prepared, however didn’t do well in the first hour to inject her voice over the others.  Harper was calm and cool to begin with, however came across as though he got annoyed at the fact he actually had to debate the other parties and defend his record.

Those of us who follow Canadian politics closely saw relatively nothing new regarding policy positions.  Harper played the expected “steady as you go” position on the economy warning that the opposition parties would raise taxes and put the country in a horrible economic  position.  Mulcair and May made a good point that corporate taxes have remained low, and the Bank of Canada has been extremely worried in the past that these corporations are just sitting on the money they saved from tax breaks rather than creating jobs.

The environment debate which happened in the second hour, May just owned it and the other parties let her have the floor.  May called Harper to account on his environmental commitments, getting Harper to admit that emission reduction targets will not be reached by 2020, but by 2030.  May also questioned Mulcair on his support of pipelines, which Mulcair remained non-committal on, and May kept pressing him on.

On the new anti-terror bill, there are stark differences between the parties.  Harper said it was necessary;  Trudeau is for and against the bill; Mulcair starkly pledged to Canadians he would repeal the bill (looking directly into the camera with his alien like black eyes) and if new powers were needed, Mulcair consult the experts first.  Essentially Mulcair wants proof these new powers would be needed, and how to implement them in a way that doesn’t impede the rights of Canadians.  Trudeau actually did admit that he may have been naive in his support of the anti-terror bill, but continues to support it.

I think the major news from this debate that Canadians need to be aware of, is not what happened during the debates but after.  May, Trudeau and Mulcair all took questions from the press after the debate.  Harper didn’t take any questions nor did he appear before the press after which I found very bizarre and arrogant.  We’re in an election Harper.  Deal with it!

All in all, I think it was a good introduction to the party leaders to those who do not follow politics closely.  I don’t think this first debate will have that much of an impact on voters.  If your a conservative supporter, you’re likely to remain that way and same with the other party’s supporters.  Mulcair needs to bring his style of debating that he has during question period to future debates.  That’s where he shines, and Trudeau needs to stop bouncing around like a boxer and listen to Canadians more as to why he’s so low in the polls:

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The Munk School of Global Affairs on Possible Conflict of Interest In Debates

Last week, I wrote that the Munk School of Global Affairs received $9 million in federal research grants, and hinted about a possible  conflict of interest this funding may have on the federal leaders debate, and with the leader selection processes for these debates.  The Munk School of Global Affairs responded to that blog.  Munk School Director Steven Toope released this statement (emphasis added):

To be clear, we at the Munk School are neither hosting nor running the foreign policy election debate. The semi-annual Munk Debates are a project of the Aurea Foundation; a federally registered charity dedicated to public policy research and discussion.  Our only potential role is to give advice on questions that might be posed, but as part of an independent national advisory committee.  We have nothing to do with the decision about who can participate.

Essentially what this says is that the Munk School of Global Affairs is a separate organization from the Munk Debates.  A fact that the school seems to be rather intent in correcting since numerous news agencies recently have been tying the Munk School to the Munk debates.  Sick of Munks yet?  Wait there’s more.

It is important to note that Janice Stein who is the founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs sits on the advisory board of the Munk Debates.  I raised concerns regarding Ms. Steins role on the advisory committee at the Munk Debates being a potential conflict of interest, along with the fact that the Munk School of Global Affairs is advising a committee on questions that might be posed to the leaders.  Questions posed could be tailored in a way that could very well lean towards the Conservatives to give them the upper hand in answering them.

Questions I posed to Toope on his statement were the following:

1)    Is it ethical or even considered independent that the Munk School would have any potential role in asking leaders questions while in receipt of $9 million in public funds?

2)    Your founding director sits on the advisory committee for the Munk Debates. Is that not a conflict of interest?

Munk School of Global Affairs spokesperson Kelley Teahen e-mailed the following on the conflict of interest questions on Stein and the Munk School’s position on the advisory committee regarding leader questions:

You brought up the fact the school recently was awarded a research grant from a federal ministry to support the Digital Public Square project.

Professor Toope explains that the Munk School, like all Canadian post-secondary institutions involved in conducting research, receives many grants from the federal government, and other governments, related to supporting research. These are awarded through competitive processes, or agreed to after processes in and due diligence with the departments involved. They are not awarded politically.

Why is the Munk School of Global Affairs advising a committee on potential leadership debate questions, when those questions should be coming from the voters to begin with?  Why are the Munk Debates still refusing to let all leaders participate in these debates?

In a recent article Munk Debates Chairman Rudyard Griffiths was recently questioned on Green Leader Elizabeth May`s exclusion from the Munk Debates:

The chairman of Munk Debates, Rudyard Griffiths, said back in May that inviting all six parties with MPs “would unduly limit our ability to hold a substantive debate.” Now he says he “really struggled” with this decision.

The academic community doesn’t seem to quite fully understand the public’s perception of conflict of interest, nor do they seem they care that these debates belong to the Canadian public, so do the funds they are receiving from the federal government.

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Big Media Influencing Canadian Election For Political Favoritism

As the debates over the debates has raged on over the past several months, one thing is becoming increasingly clear.  Journalists in Canada seem to be throwing out their duty of independence and holding our political parties to account for political favors; thus Canadians can’t rely on the media to do their traditional role of independently reporting on the election and providing the public with proper facts on policy to make an informed choice at the voter booth.  Due to this, our democratic system looks more like a 3rd world two bit operation than a thriving democracy which depends on a free independent press as a major pillar to the democratic system of government.

I’ve reported extensively on this blog about how the consortium colluded together against the Conservatives, and how that collusion is highly illegal and has yet to be dealt with in law.  On the flip side, last week award winning Toronto Star journalist Paul Watson quit his job in protest after being silenced by the Star while trying to report misinformation on the Franklin expeditions and how the expeditions were being purposely influenced by ties to the Prime Ministers Office.  Facts during the expedition according to Watson were left out of this feel good story to purposely mislead the public in favor of the PMO’s preferred version of events.  According to Watson he was punished by the Star executives in trying to confront his superiors with misinformation on this story with a 6 week reporting ban.

It’s not just the Toronto Star or the broadcast consortium looking for political favors.  This week, the Globe and Mail responded to stark criticism of it’s readers not allowing Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in the Munk Debates.  The Globe replied to angry readers with this following statement:

The Globe & Mail is hosting a federal election debate in September in partnership with Google Canada.  The debate, to be hosted in Calgary, will be streamed live on The Globe’s website and distributed on YouTube, and will focus on the Canadian economy.

We have invited the major party leaders to this debate  – those who have official status in The House of Commons.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau have been asked to take part, because we believe a more streamlined, effective conversation about the Canadian economy will take place in that format.

David Walmsley, The Globe’s editor-in-chief says,  “We’ve set up the debate this way because we believe that by limiting the format to Canada’s three main party leaders, we will create a truly focused, successful discussion about the state of the Canadian economy.”

There are now at least three independently organized leaders’ debates in the works. Politics reporter Steven Chase writes:

“Mr. Harper’s Conservatives kicked off a spat with major broadcasters including the CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and Global when they announced they would refuse an invitation to participate in debates organized by the broadcasting consortium, instead opting for a variety of independent debates.‎ Kory Teneycke, a spokesman for the Conservative Party campaign, said in a statement that he hopes major broadcasters will cover the independent debates.”

Industry Minister James Moore yesterday announced the federal government will be forwarding $9 million in tax payers money to support the Munk School of Global Affairs.

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The “Munks”  are disallowing Green Party Elizabeth May to debate in their debates as well.  Most Canadians believed that the last time May got her time in the federal elections debate during the 2008 economic crisis, that she won that debate hands down regarding the economy and other election issues.  While I’m not a Green Party supporter, I remember those debates very well, and May brought forth an independent non-partisan view towards the facts, including the fact that we were in a recession in 2008, which all parties at that time were denying we were in.  Enter 2015, and all indications are pointing to the fact we are in a recession with the Conservatives dodging the bad economy at every step.  Readers can draw their own conclusions.

The story that’s emerging here is one where media executives who are in charge of overseeing our election debates seem to be acting without independence.  Watson in a recent interview had this to say regarding political interference over our “independent” media:

This is a symptom of a broader disease that is eating away at the core of our democracy. Experts on climate, on medicine, on things that are central to our society are being silenced by a government that does favours for the politically connected. And that is just very dangerous for our future.

Due to the current partisan nature of the politics in this country facts are being left out.  Media independence is not a left vs right or right vs left issue, it’s both.  The broadcast consortium back in October threw journalism ethics out the window with solid evidence  that the CBC was colluding with the other broadcasters against government regarding political advertising which is a highly illegal offense under the competition act.

At heart was the attack ad scandal, and the broadcasters threatened to not air political advertising using broadcast consortium materials.  The broadcasters claimed journalism ethics and independence was being threatened by misleading advertisements.  Today the CBC is still threatening to illegally take down any content that anyone uses without their permission.  The law allows the use for such material under certain circumstances.  This is called the “fair use” copyright exemption.  In some of my comments on my recent blog posts, I compared internationally accepted journalism ethics to that of the broadcasters used to justify not airing or interfering with political advertisements:

From the society of professional journalism’s code of ethics (ethics listed is here are the ones the consortium has been in breach of):

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode….

“- Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.”

Original reports in October 2014 on the copyright issue neglected to take into account on the record comments (provided links to internal CBC e-mails and cited those comments in a previous blog here’s the link http://www.scribd.com/doc/242543668/CBC-Political-Ads-ATIP Pg. 112) from legal experts disputing that fair use for political ads was stealing. Instead they went to air knowing the facts were wrong.

“– Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story”

As a result of not reporting on the legal experts in original news reports, context was not provided and facts were misrepresented.

” Gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.”

This was done the day after, however CTV decided only to correct this information on CTV news channel, and went to air on their nationally syndicated newscast again without the context of legal sources throughout the life of this story back in October.

“– Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.”

No explanation needed regarding the content of political ads.

“– Provide access to source material when it is relevant and appropriate.”

CBC misplaced their original lead story on this to avoid being punished by the CRTC

“– Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.”

Fair dealing is stealing is a stereotype often used by copyright extremists and copyright trolls.

“– Label advocacy and commentary.”

Original consortium newscasts were not labelled as such further misrepresenting the facts when reporting on the political advocacy and commentary of the stations own views.

“– Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information.”

Again legal sources left out of original stories in October 2014, and CBC is again deliberately distorting the facts and context of copyright law in it’s most recent release.

This is a big one: “Act Independently

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Journalists should:

– Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.”

Never happened. Conflicts of interest is the fact they are rights holders.

” – Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment,
and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise
integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility.”

Peter Mansbridge and Amanda Lang the biggest CBC personalities to throw this out the window, yet they fired Evan Solomon for this.

And my favorite:

” – Deny favored treatment to advertisers, donors or any other special interests, and resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage.”

Most recently: http://canadalandshow.com/arti…

Role for broadcasters is to allow all parties equal air time in advertisements regardless of how distorted or distasteful the ads might be. CBC cites journalism ethics regarding the fair use of those materials, but the entire consortium has breached a fair amount of accepted ethics by the journalism community, to stop political attack ads that are pretty much backfiring anyway. Question is why? That needs to be answered.

Jessie and I were pretty much the only bloggers calling the CBC to account on political interference. Add Paul Watson to the mix, and a story is starting to emerge that Canadian newsrooms are no longer politically independent and are being sold to the public as such. That’s the story, and these news directors and editors would just love for the public to focus on the partisanship rather than what’s before us, and that is news is changing in Canada and becoming way too politicized and as a result, unreliable, and unpredictable.

Question is; if the traditional role of the media is to independently over see our election, and media executives are acting in a way that is bias to any political ideology and or party, who is going to fulfill the role of independently overseeing our election and ensure that Canadians get independent facts on matters of public policy to ensure that they make an informed choice on election day?  I think this media problem needs to be dealt with by all party leaders, or I think Canadians are within their rights to call for UN observers over our federal election.

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CBC Says “No One” Has The Right To Use Their Content Online

Last week former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro was sentenced to one month in jail for his part in over spending in the 2008 election.  The judge thought that jail time was necessary to send a message to politicians ahead of an election that cheating election rules will have severe consequences.  After last week, most Canadians are expecting a “clean” election campaign, that is until the CBC published a blog post on Friday, warning that it was going to start taking down content posted online that uses any CBC material.

Jennifer McGuire CBC News Editor-and-Chief stated:

“No one – no individual candidate or political party, and no government, corporation or NGO – may re-use our creative and copyrighted property without our permission. This includes our brands, our talent and our content.”

It’s quite clear from this statement that it’s not just political parties the CBC has issues with, it’s Canadian copyright law.  Copyright law permits the use of clips from CBC and other broadcasters for political criticism and news.  The CBC’s decision to take down content regardless of current law that allows this, will have a profound impact on the online coverage of the consortium debates, since blogs like mine, political YouTube commentators even tweets will be subjected to false and illegal copyright take down notices.  This will impact freedom of speech and political commentary in the most profound way during the election, if mass take downs of copyright occur online.  These illegal take downs can be challenged, however it will take far beyond the election to resolve.

A lot of this started back in 2013.  Back then The Liberal “Democratic Reform” Critic Stephane Dion raised the possibility of shielding the Liberal party from political attacks using copyright.  Dion went as far as writing the Commissioner of Elections Canada on the issue which was seemingly rejected by Elections Canada.

Back last year, the consortium broadcasters again raised this concern, with starkly similar issues Dion raised to shield the Liberal party.  CBC, CTV, Global took to the airwaves in October 2014 after the Conservative government tried to “clarify” copyright law, by amending current copyright law to avoid the situation we find ourselves in now.  The amendment was later dropped by government.

Internet Law Expert Micheal Geist stated in his most recent blog:

“The CBC is simply wrong. Its guiding principle is wrong and its attempt to use copyright to take down an offensive advertisement is wrong. The claim brings to mind the story from last fall involving a government proposal (that was shelved) to create a specific copyright exception for the use of news content in political advertising.

I argued then that no exception was needed because copyright already provides latitude for political parties to use works without permission. That is because copyright does not provide the absolute rights suggested by the CBC. The CBC obviously has rights as the copyright owner in its broadcast, but those rights are constrained by limitations and exceptions under the law that allow for use of its work without the need for further permission. The CBC itself (like all broadcasters) regularly relies upon those exceptions to use the work of others without permission. Similarly, I just used the exceptions to quote the CBC policy in this blog post without their permission.”

The CBC needs to be reminded of the law, and that while the broadcaster owns the copyright it’s Canadian tax payers that pay for it!

A few weeks ago I blogged about exactly this, and how content ownership rules of the consortium debates could potentially have a very negative impact on free speech, and online coverage of the consortium debates.  It profoundly looks like those concerns have been well justified.  Both the NDP and Green’s have been stark supporters of these copyright exemptions in law.  The Greens in particular have been stark supporters of the consortium lead debates.  I’ve reached out to Green Party leader Elizabeth May on this issues, and she wasn’t available for comment.

We have exemptions in copyright law for a reason, and that is too ensure that free speech isn’t controlled by anyone.  Last week, Ontario Court of Justice Judge Lisa Cameron made it very clear in Del Mastro’s case that the courts would not accept deceitful behavior from politicians calling it “an affront to the principles of our democratic system”.  Similarly the CBC’s attack on free speech under the guise of “journalistic” principles months before an election, should be treated also as an affront to the principles of our democratic system by Canadians as well.  I highly doubt that with the message Justice Cameron sent last week, that media companies will be treated any differently by the courts if the consortium is legally challenged on this issue.

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