Showing of 45 results
Government Watchdog To Review Postmedia-Torstar Deal

But experts aren’t confident that the Competition Bureau will do anything about the agreement to eliminate competition.

Student Journalists Caught In Crossfire Of Ontario College Strike

About half of the school papers have stopped publishing.

Quebec News Aggregator Shuttered Following Court Injunction

La DOSE is being sued for copyright infringement by a trio of newspapers, in a case that could set a legal precedent for how much of an article can be aggregated.

Kevin O’Leary Is Still Being Paid To Talk Politics On U.S. Cable TV

The Conservative leadership hopeful regularly big-ups his candidacy on CNBC spots.

CANADALAND’s Most Read Stories Of 2016

2016 was another awful year for media in Canada.
Legacy newspapers continued their slow march to oblivion, laying off dozens of journalists in markets big and small. Postmedia executives took bonuses as its employees took buyouts. Reporters, editors, and photographers from Nova Scotia’s Chronicle Herald entered their second bitter winter on strike. The Guelph Mercury and the Nanaimo Daily News, two of the oldest regional newspapers in the country, ceased publication.
In a grasp for survival, Canadian newspapers stuck out their hands, hoping for a government bailout.
Maclean’s was diminished to a monthly schedule, where it will be slowly starved to death along with a handful of titles Rogers Publishing was unable to either sell or kill.
An owl was fucked to death in the fiction pages of The Walrus.
We covered it all and much more, but one media story dominated the traffic at CANADALAND: the sexual assault trial of Jian Ghomeshi. We know this because three of the top five most-read stories on our site were about the disgraced former Q host.
Here’s what you read the most this year:
1. Why Did Jian Ghomeshi Keep Lucy DeCoutere’s Letter?
The former CBC host kept DeCoutere’s handwritten letter to him for 13 years. She was never his girlfriend. They never had sex. Given what was heard at Ghomeshi’s trial, it’s hard to imagine he was carrying a flame for her. So, CANADALAND publisher Jesse Brown asks, why did he hold on to it for more than a decade?
2. Let’s Talk About How My Job at Bell Gave Me Mental Health Issues and No Benefits
Bell makes a big show every year of how much it cares about mental health issues with it’s “Let’s Talk” campaign. But what’s Bell doing for its own employees? Karen K. Ho tells her story of needing help while working as a “permalancer” for the media giant.
3. Thoughts on Lucy DeCoutere from Jesse Brown
“At the time she came forward, Lucy had no reason to expect anything but scorn, doubt and anger from the public. She did it anyway.” A brief tweetstorm from our publisher on the strength required of DeCoutere to publicly take the stand against Ghomeshi.
4. We Found Out How Much the CBC Really Pays Mansbridge
Publicly, the salary listed for CBC’s chief correspondent is in the $80,000 range. But that can’t be right, can it? We found out what he’s really paid.
5. When Your Friend Is On the Stand at the Ghomeshi Trial
Writer Stacey May Fowles tells the story of what it was like to be there with, and for, DeCoutere in the courtroom as she testified.

Here’s The Story SUN Vanished Without Explanation In Wake Of A Lawsuit

Postmedia has removed a story about the Muslim Brotherhood’s ties to Canada from its SUN websites after settling a lawsuit.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Wael Haddara, a London, Ont. man briefly mentioned in the story, said he sued reporter Brian Daly and Quebecor Media Inc. over an article headlined “Muslim Brotherhood under the microscope in Canada.” The SUN papers were bought by Postmedia from QMI in 2015.
A link Haddara provided to the story leads to an error page on the Toronto SUN website. The story also appears to have been removed from other Sun papers. There is no retraction, correction, or any other sign of what was once published there, or why the link has gone dead.
“I am happy that the matter has now been settled in a mutually satisfactory manner. The terms of the settlement are confidential and hence I will not be able to share any further details, other than to say I am very satisfied with the outcome,” said Haddara, a former advisor to deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi who lives in London, Ont.
When reached for further comment, Haddara said his Facebook statement was all he could say on the matter.
James Wallace, Postmedia’s vice-president in charge of the SUN papers, said he had “no comment” when asked about the story. He was also asked about the story’s disappearance, and whether an apology or correction would be issued, but only offered a “no comment.”
While the Brotherhood story can no longer be found on the Sun’s websites, CANADALAND was able to access a copy in Google cache. It focuses on an investigation by Daly into the Muslim Brotherhood’s fundraising activities in Canada. (The whole story can be read at the bottom of this post.)
Haddara wasn’t mentioned in the body of the story, but was listed at the end in a section titled “Other figures in Canada linked to the Muslim Brotherhood”:
Dr. Wael Haddara, intensive-care physician, London, Ont.

Key adviser to Egyptian president and Brotherhood stalwart Mohamed Morsi in 2012. Denies Brotherhood membership.
As president of the Muslim Association of Canada in 2011, Dr. Haddara endorsed the Brotherhood and the teachings of founder Hassan Al-Banna.
He was a founding director of IRFAN-Canada, and a board member until 2002. IRFAN was audited in 2004 and banned in 2011 for allegedly donating millions to Hamas.
When contacted by QMI Agency, he said he had no knowledge of IRFAN sending money to Hamas.

The whole story, as retrieved through Google cache:

Muslim Brotherhood under the microscope in Canada
MONTREAL — The federal government is coming under increased pressure to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terror outfit, as more evidence piles up that the group has tentacles in Canada.
Its two main offshoots, Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, are listed as terrorist organizations in Canada.
The last Canadian organization to be added to the list is the alleged Hamas fundraiser IRFAN-Canada, which has worked closely with the Brotherhood, according to an RCMP warrant.
A source tells QMI that the Brotherhood itself, long considered the ideological godfather of Islamist terrorism, has also been under close watch by security officials.
A QMI investigation found that top Brotherhood leaders have lived in Canada for decades. They have led pro-Sharia organizations and sent money and resources to groups that the RCMP and the Canada Revenue Agency say are owned or controlled by Hamas.
Brotherhood-linked facilities have invited extremist speakers to Canada who defended child suicide bombers, amputation for thieves and stoning for adulterers.
A U.S. terror financing trial heard a secret Brotherhood plan for North America calling for a “grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.”
Stockwell Day, who served in Stephen Harper’s cabinet for five years, tells QMI that Islamist ideology is being propagated in Canada by Brotherhood “sympathizers.”
“The government really has to drill down and look at statements from the Brotherhood,” the former public safety minister said from Vancouver, where he works as a consultant.
“If they find in fact that there’s a preponderance of evidence that shows that they are actively promoting, encouraging, glorifying, killing of Canadians … then they should be labelled as a terrorist group.”
Coptic Christians, whose churches have reportedly been torched by Muslim Brotherhood backers in Egypt, asked the Harper government last year to ban the Brotherhood.
School teacher Hassan Al-Banna founded the Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, calling for a global Islamic caliphate.
Its intellectual leaders have gained worldwide renown as preachers, scholars and activists but Brotherhood supporters also have a long history of violence dating back to the 1948 assassination of Egyptian prime minister Mahmud al-Nuqrashi.
The Brotherhood creed, shared by Hamas, is: “Allah is our objective, the prophet is our leader, the Qur’an is our law, jihad is our way, dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
While Brotherhood analysts say the group is unlikely to launch attacks on Canadian soil, there’s evidence the group is spreading extremist messages in Canada, aside from its alleged financing of terror abroad.
Documents tabled at a U.S. Hamas financing trial indicate the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) played a key role in spreading the Brotherhood message.
The Brotherhood lists ISNA U.S.A. as one of its 29 key North American affiliates. While ISNA’s Mississauga, Ont., office claims to be independent from the Indiana-based umbrella group, it shares board members both past and present with ISNA U.S.A., as well as a name and a logo.
QMI Agency found extremist materials at two ISNA locations in Canada.
A book advocating Palestinian terrorism and suicide bombings was displayed at the ISNA-owned Muslim Community of Quebec mosque in Montreal.
U.S. prosecutors at the 2007 Holy Land terrorism financing trial also tabled a phone directory, seized from a Brotherhood operative, which lists five Canadians among the top Brotherhood leaders in North America.
One of them, Dr. Jamal Badawi of Halifax, is a noted Muslim scholar, speaker and television host. His name appears three times in evidence at the Holy Land trial, the largest terrorist financing case in U.S. history.
Badawi has publicly preached nonviolence and tolerance. However, a compilation of his teachings on makes it clear he believes establishing an Islamic state is a duty for Muslims.
“The Qur’an is full of indications that are direct, indirect, explicit, implicit that show without any shred of doubt that the establishment of Islamic order or rule is mandatory that Muslims must establish,” the website reads.
QMI Agency reached Badawi at his Halifax home, at the same phone number listed in the Brotherhood directory tabled at the Holy Land trial.
He insisted his links to the Brotherhood are “a myth” and that “there’s no Muslim Brotherhood in Canada.”
The longtime Haligonian described his own views as “no fanaticism on one side or no looseness on the other side.”
The Prime Minister’s Office wouldn’t name the Muslim Brotherhood when asked for its official position on the group.
“Our government is taking strong action to protect law-abiding Canadians from those who wish to harm us,” PMO spokesman Jason MacDonald said in an e-mail. “The Criminal Code terrorist entity listing process is an important tool in preventing terrorist attacks from being carried out.”
Dr. Wael Haddara, intensive-care physician, London, Ont.

Key adviser to Egyptian president and Brotherhood stalwart Mohamed Morsi in 2012. Denies Brotherhood membership.
As president of the Muslim Association of Canada in 2011, Dr. Haddara endorsed the Brotherhood and the teachings of founder Hassan Al-Banna.
He was a founding director of IRFAN-Canada, and a board member until 2002. IRFAN was audited in 2004 and banned in 2011 for allegedly donating millions to Hamas.
When contacted by QMI Agency, he said he had no knowledge of IRFAN sending money to Hamas.

Rasem Abdel-Majid, fundraiser, Mississauga, Ont.

General manager of IRFAN-Canada and its predecessor, the Jerusalem Fund for Human Services (JFHS).
Attended a secret Brotherhood meeting in 1993 at which Hamas funding was discussed, says an RCMP warrant.
U.S. officials say IRFAN was part of the “the Global Hamas financing mechanism.”
Calls to Adbel-Majid were not returned

Aside from IRFAN, two other Canadian charities with links to the Muslim Brotherhood have had their status revoked, or been denied charity status:

World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) was a donor to Brotherhood-linked groups in Canada. It was delisted in 2012 for alleged ties to Saudi-based organizations that funnelled money to al-Qaida and the Taliban.
ISNA Development Foundation (IDF) was delisted in 2013 for allegedly giving more than $280,000 to an agency linked to Jamaat-e-Islami, a Pakistani Islamist group that’s an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

DISCLOSURE: Wallace was my boss for a time at Postmedia’s Editorial Services in 2014. We got along well enough, and he even gave me, and everyone else in the building, a raise one time.

In Ontario, A VIP Health Program

Prime minister, foreign leaders among those given immediate care

CBC Publishing Advertorials

‘People who write for CBC Life are not journalists,’ CBC spokesman says

Ricochet Sued For Defamation By Montreal Columnist Over Satirical Obituary

Journal de Montréal columnist Richard Martineau is suing the crowdfunded media outlet Ricochet for defamation over a sharply satirical fake obituary.
Ricochet says while they’re confident they’ll eventually win the $350,000 suit, fighting it in court could bankrupt them. “He never contacted us, he went straight to a lawsuit seeking a ridiculous, totally unreasonable amount of money. It certainly seems like the intent here is to drag us through a long legal process which he hopes will bankrupt us before a judge ever gets an opportunity to rule on the case,” Ricochet co-founder and editor Ethan Cox said.
The obituary, posted in February, included a cartoon of dogs lining up to pee on Martineau’s grave, and another God tossing Martineau’s orphaned soul in the trash, after it’s dropped off by Death for entrance to heaven. Written by Marc-André Cyr and illustrated by Alexandre Fatta, the obituary takes aim at Martineau’s ideas and intelligence.
“His remains will be exhibited at the corner of St. Catherine and St. Laurent in Montreal. Rain, wind, dogs and birds will have the chance to turn those scraps into a homage of the infinite profundity of human stupidity,” the obit closes.
Cox said the obituary wasn’t an to wish Martineau death, but to lampoon his writing. “It was a satirical death notice, but the intent was to say that his style had jumped the shark, that his style was dead,” he said.
“[Martineau] was really unhappy about it at the time, and he published a column complaining about it,” Cox said. “So he used his platform to respond and that was that, and it was all done.” Martineau never contacted Ricochet to request a retraction, and the only direct correspondence they got from him was the lawsuit, Cox said.
Martineau could not be reached by CANADALAND for comment. As always, if we hear back we’ll update our story.
One of the cartoons featured in the satirical obituary of Richard Martineau. Alexandre Fatta/Ricochet
Cox said over the summer Ricochet received a notice from the Quebec Press Council a complaint had been filed about the obituary. The council said in the letter they’d dismissed the complaint and there was no ethical fault in the obit, according to Cox.
The same press council has censured Martineau for his work. “In two separate decisions upholding complaints against the columnist, the council found he had used “discriminatory words and expressions of prejudice” towards Muslims and others,” a press release from Ricochet says.
In addition to writing his Journal column, Martineau hosts a program on the LCN cable news network in Quebec. Martineau was a vocal supporter of the Quebec Charter of Values, pitched by the Parti Quebecois in the last provincial election to ban government employees from wearing religious attire—including hijabs, turbans, and too-large crucifixes.
Martineau’s history was all the target of Cyr’s piece, which portrays him as a commentator past his usefulness. “When a person without too much intelligence is unable to respond to rational reasoning by another, they must caricature the position of their opponent by denigrating it to a level intelligible to him,” Cyr wrote in French. “To do this, Richard Martineau used his essential strawmen: the ‘Muslim-terrorists,’…the ‘violent-unions,’ the ‘frustrated feminists,’ the ‘dictator’s pressure groups.’ ”
Martineau has long been a free speech advocate, but not quite an absolutist. When Quebec comedian Mike Ward was ordered by to pay $35,000 to a handicapped boy featured on reality TV he joked about, Martineau supported the fine.
“You can not say you test the limits of freedom of expression, and then bawl because we told you that you have exceeded the permitted limits!” Martineau wrote. “No freedom is absolute, all rights have limits, and the law is the same for everyone.” But, Martineau has also chastised the press council for reprimanding him for making up a quote he called obvious “caricature” and “satire.”
Before the case goes before a judge, Ricochet is looking to crowdfund $50,000 for a legal defence fund. As of Monday afternoon, they’d raised nearly $20,000.
DISCLOSURE: My mother-in-law is a columnist at the Journal de Montréal and a colleague of Martineau’s.

Is The Media’s Need For “Canada’s Trump” Making Leitch A Shoe-In?

For one day this week, Kellie Leitch wasn’t the focus of press coverage in the Conservative leadership race. Her rival Maxime Bernier captured some headlines with a plan to drastically change the CBC’s mandate and funding model, removing ads and slashing funding.
Then Leitch jumped on the same topic, and trumped Bernier’s radical plan with a downright extreme one.
“My fellow leadership candidate, Maxime Bernier, has called for CBC reforms. I totally disagree,” she said in a Facebook post. “The CBC doesn’t need to be reformed, it needs to be dismantled. Period.”
The press took the bait. Stories quickly appeared from the Toronto Star, iPolitics, the National Post, and The Canadian Press.
It’s part of a running pattern for a candidate who’s stealing tone, tactics and even tweet style from the victorious Donald Trump campaign. The similarities are hard to ignore.
Here’s Leitch praising Trump:
“Tonight our American cousins threw out the elites and elected Donald Trump as their next president. It’s an exciting message and one that we need delivered in Canada as well. It’s the message I’m bringing with my campaign to be the next prime minister of Canada.”
Here’s Leitch tweeting like Trump:

The Liberal decision to fund UNRWA, a group with alleged ties to terrorist organization Hamas, is outrageous and dangerous. Bad judgement!
— Kellie Leitch (@KellieLeitch) November 17, 2016

Look at the way Crooked Hillary is handling the e-mail case and the total mess she is in. She is unfit to be president. Bad judgement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2016

Here’s Leitch being belligerent with the press, like Trump.
Here’s Leitch misspelling a bunch of simple words, which was taken by some as a deliberate attempt to get “elites” to mock her, like they did Trump:

Multiple typos in this Kellie Leitch announcement, including misspelling @MaximeBernier’s name.
— Jason Fekete (@jasonfekete) November 24, 2016

It keeps them mocking her, which is the whole point.
— Chris Selley (@cselley) November 24, 2016

But Leitch’s most successful media tactic is unique to Canada, and she has exploited a major vulnerability in our media to catapult her once-faltering candidacy.
Even before Donald Trump won his shocking upset victory, the Canadian press was doing what it always does with a big U.S. story: looking for a “Canadian angle.”
Leitch has positioned herself as the embodiment of this angle. If the press needs a Canadian Trump, she’s happy to play the part, in contrast to what she said to the CBC when The Donald was down in the polls, and her Canadian-values pitch was getting a Trump comparison: “This isn’t the same thing … this is about having a conversation about our Canadian values, about what we’re about, about a positive, constructive conversation about the reality of the values that built our nation.”
Google Trends* shows searches for Leitch spiked well above of her rivals as soon as she explicitly linked herself to Trump on election day. While searches for her name have dropped off slightly in the intervening weeks, her name is still being searched about 10 times more on average than Lisa Raitt’s.
Google searches for the top five candidates over the last month. Searches for Leitch, in blue, show a sharp peak just after election day in the U.S.
This leads to a question: After watching the American news media fuel Trump’s ascent with nonstop free coverage, are we making the same mistake in Canada?
Since sending a notice to her supporters about how excited she was that Trump was elected, Leitch’s campaign has garnered daily coverage. She’s getting the benefit of news stories, column piled on column. Most of the coverage trends negative, but that doesn’t seem to matter because Leitch has positioned herself as the anti-elite candidate. It doesn’t matter she’s a surgeon with an MBA who used to sit in cabinet any more than it matters that Trump flies around in a 757 with his name on it. This isn’t about reality, it’s about image and it’s about name recognition — thanks to two weeks of constant press, Leitch now has it.
Leitch has used every opportunity to link herself with the U.S. president-elect. She quickly put out a news release comparing her vision to Trump’s on election night. Leitch explicitly said she shared some of his values at a recent leadership debate. It’s unlikely the press in Canada actually want to create our own Trump, but our storytelling reflexes are leading us down that path.
Of course, Leitch has not simply been mimicking Trump’s style. She has also been aping his policies — policies Canadians arguably rejected last election.
When their prospects dimmed in the last federal election, the Conservatives turned to thinly veiled anti-Muslim xenophobia. The party got thumped for it, and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals got a majority. Canadian voters explicitly rejected this sort of politicking by a tired government.
Leitch made a tearful apology for being a part of the “barbaric cultural practices” hotline launch, set up so neighbours could snitch on the “cultural practices” of their implicitly Muslim  neighbours.
Her contrition was soon abandoned. Leitch has made screening immigrants for ill-defined “Canadian values” the central plank of her campaign. Media outlets began polling on whether her values pitch was working (notably using her terminology to do so) and they found many Canadians approved of the idea. This, in turn, fed back into Leitch’s campaign as proof she was on the right direction. The press then fed on this, and Leitch landed on the cover of Maclean’s, defiantly holding a Maple Leaf.
The cover of the Maclean’s Magazine Oct. 3 Issue.
Of course, the coverage is often negative. But there’s so much of it! Leitch has been condemned in editorials in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail (and praised by editorials in the Toronto Sun). Her pitch has been discussed at length in columns in the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, and CBC. By way of contrast, Leitch’s opponent Michael Chong only seems to get wide coverage when he’s attacking Leitch or taking part in scheduled debates.
A quick search for “Leitch” and “Trump” since the U.S. election on the media-monitoring website Infomart, and you get nearly 300 hits for stories in newspapers from around the country. And those are just the articles making the direct link between the two. Search the same website for “Maxime Bernier” — another of the leading Tory candidates, polling eight points behind Leitch — and you get 50 results over the same period.
But it’s hard to measure true support of candidates in the leadership. There are polls that show Leitch leading the pack, but there are a dozen people looking to win the top job. In the latest poll, nearly as many people are undecided as they are for Leitch. And that assumes the polls are at all trustworthy to begin with. Our confidence in polling is lower than ever, but Leitch’s numbers are showing a clearly upward trend. As she gains more attention and recognition, her numbers are following suit.
There’s one last way to measure support in the race: fundraising. In that metric Leitch is also leading. She’s been able to pull in about $450,000, according the latest fundraising documents reported by Postmedia. Following close on her heels is Quebec MP Maxime Bernier who’s raised about $425,000. After that the totals quickly fall off with Michael Chong pulling in about $200,000. (Many of the other candidates have only recently joined the race, and not had to file the paperwork for how much they’ve raised.)
Leitch’s lead, whether it’s real or just perceived, has another effect. Her platform is now seen as viable and maybe even popular. This is giving other candidates the opening to use her ideas for their own benefit. Quebec MP and former public safety minister Steven Blaney stepped into the race on a platform promising to screen immigrants “understanding and appreciation of Canada’s core principles.”
Kellie Leitch is on the path to victory. If she wins, the press will have played a major role in promoting her name and legitimizing her, even while decrying her. The possibility of simply ignoring a once-fringe candidate with ideas rejected by most Canadians, has already passed.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: Google Trends uses a relative scale to compare how popular different searches are. It does not give the absolute number of searches made for any given term. From the Trends website: “Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise a score of 0 means the term was less than 1 per cent as popular as the peak.”