#113 Everyone Loves Marineland
CANADALAND
#113 Everyone Loves Marineland
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against The Toronto Star, Phil Demers and others.
December 22, 2015

Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others.

Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.”

They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false.

After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate.

You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below.

We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show.

THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star. 

DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND

– THE ROSEN REPORT (link)

– HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link)

– PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link)

– MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link)

CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND:

FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com

TO:  marketing@marineland.ca

Hello,

I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto.

For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland.

Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers.

We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week?

Please let me know as soon as possible.

Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015.

Sincerely,

Jesse Brown
Host/Publisher
CANADALAND.news
@jessebrown
****

FROM: marketing@marineland.ca

TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com

Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland.

Dear Sir:

We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015.

Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events.

His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory.

Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused.

There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements.

Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened.

You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements.

Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you.

You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed.

You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form.

Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer.

As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that

Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland.

Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements.

There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”.

The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory.

There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them.

As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication.

A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false.

If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused.

Sincerely,

Marketing Department
marketing@marineland.ca
Marineland Canada, Inc.
8375 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0C8
www.marineland.ca

****

FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com

TO:  marketing@marineland.ca

Thank you for your timely response.

Here are 3 follow-up questions:

1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”?

3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.”

Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected?

Best,

Jesse Brown

***

FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com

TO:  marketing@marineland.ca

Hello,
I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request.
In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments.
Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested.
Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website.
Can you respond to:

1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland?

3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals?

4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit?

5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there?

6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy?

7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite?

8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything?

9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet?

10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland?

11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months?

12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage?

13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit?

14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA?

15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale?

16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”?

17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure?

18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going?

19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude?

20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property?

21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit?

22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools?

23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs?

Thank you for your attention to this.

Best,

Jesse Brown

****

FROM: marketing@marineland.ca

TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com

Dear Sir:

Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations.

The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested.

The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety.

In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available.

Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered.

The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers.

Those individuals must be interviewed.

The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request.

The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false.

The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods.

In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.

****

FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com

TO: marketing@marineland.ca

Dear Marineland representative,

We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage.
We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage.
The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source.
Sincerely,
Jesse Brown
****

FROM: marketing@marineland.ca

TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com

Dear Sir:

Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment.

There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired.

Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect.

The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations.

The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious.

The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source.

Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations.

His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing.

To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge.

Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations.

All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false.

If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know.

Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy.

The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications.

In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false.

There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations.

The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts.

You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant.

Sincerely,

Marketing Department
marketing@marineland.ca
Marineland Canada, Inc.
8375 Stanley Avenue
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0C8
www.marineland.ca
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#76 “Michael Bryant Killed My Son”
CANADALAND has obtained two eyewitness accounts of the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard. Neither has been publicly released before. They tell a very different tale of the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard than what the media has previously reported. They are followed by an interview with Sheppard's father, Allan Sheppard.
April 5, 2015
#77 When Global News Killed A Documentary About The Koch Brothers
Veteran investigative reporter Bruce Livesey was fired by Global News after they spiked his report on the billionaire Koch Brothers and their influence in Canada.
April 12, 2015
#78 Duffy Fallout
Journalist Mark Bourrie has vowed to sue CANADALAND for an article about his dealings with Senator Mike Duffy. Instead, Mark and Jesse talk it out.
April 19, 2015
#79 Our Oily Media
The energy sector has flooded Canada's media with money, be it in ad dollars, speaking fees, charitable donations or "native content" partnerships. What this has bought, in effect, is a lack of critical mainstream discourse on oil and the environment. The National Observer has launched to counter this reality. Linda Solomon Wood is its founder, and she speaks to Jesse about her effort.
April 26, 2015
80
Chantal Hébert
It's possible that Chantal Hébert's journalism once held Canada together. She joins Jesse for a discussion about what's appropriate in political news coverage, and what (if anything) needs to change.
May 3, 2015
#32 Jan Wong Isn’t Over It
The betrayed reporter is still fighting the Globe and Mail.
May 11, 2015
#81 Leah McLaren
Leah McLaren was telling the world about her private life before we all started doing it. She talks to Jesse about haters, journalism and acts of provocation.
May 11, 2015
#33 A Federal Minister Explains why the Government Creeps your Facebook
Harper cabinet member Tony Clement describes how government outsources social media monitoring of the public. Is it legal? He's not sure yet.
May 18, 2015
#82 Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Aboriginal people make up over 4% of Canada's population, but less than .5% of Canadian news stories have anything to do with them. What little we do hear from the media about indigenous people is often negative. APTN is the first, and perhaps the only aboriginal TV network in the world. Jesse visits their Winnipeg HQ and speaks to Karyn Pugliese, APTN's Director of News and Current Affairs.
May 18, 2015
#34 The Linden MacIntyre Interview
"I don't have to be nice to them anymore."
May 25, 2015
#83 Jay & Jesse Solve Canada
Jay Baruchel on the Canadian film & TV racket and how to smash it. Taped before a live audience at the Bloor HotDocs Theatre in Toronto.
May 25, 2015
#84 My Socalled Friend
Josh Dolgin is one of Canada's most idiosyncratic talents. He is a rapper, a producer, an accordian player, a magician, a cartoonist, a puppeteer, and a cook book author. He is also Jesse's former creative partner, and this conversation should probably have taken place in private, if at all.
May 31, 2015
#85 The Tim Hortons “Boycott” Fiasco
Last week a Conservative strategist fooled the media into thinking there was a popular, grassroots movement to boycott Tim Hortons on behalf of the oil industry. There was not. BuzzFeed Canada's politics editor Paul McLeod revealed the scheme, and talks to Jesse about how reporters get played by people in politics all the time.
June 7, 2015
#36 Is Video Game Journalism Corrupt?
Globe and Mail video game critic Peter Nowak on the "fucking nonsense" of the gaming press.
June 8, 2015
#86 Hongcouver
South China Morning Post's Vancouver correspondent Ian Young speaks with Jesse about wealth migration, racism, and immigration schemes.
June 14, 2015
#37 The Globe And Mail’s Plan To Force Reporters To Write Ads
Mathew Ingram, formerly of the Globe, explains why that plan won't work.
June 15, 2015
#87 CANADIAN MUSIC (is horribly broken) WEEK
Musician Paul Lawton discusses FACTOR, NXNE, CMW, the Canadian music industry, and why the current system is broken.
June 22, 2015
#38 The Tyee
The Tyee may be the oldest surviving "digital native" news site in Canada. Who funds it and why has it stuck around for so long while so many others have faded away? Founder David Beers explains.
June 22, 2015
#88 Dirty Halifax
Journalist and Halifax Examiner founder Tim Bousquet talks about corruption, investigative journalism, and conflicts of interest in Halifax media.
June 27, 2015
#89 James Dubro, True Crime Writer
Crime writer James Dubro discusses the symbiotic relationship between criminals and the press, and the four decades he's spent covering the mob in Canada.
July 5, 2015
#90 Stephen Harper Will Participate In A Photo Opportunity
VICE's parliamentary reporter Justin Ling is mad as hell at the PMO, and he's not gonna take it anymore.
July 12, 2015
#91 Paul Watson
Paul Watson discusses his resignation from the Toronto Star, his upcoming article that the Star refused to publish, and his career spent reporting from hot zones.
July 19, 2015
#92 Women and Newspapers
Veteran journalist Vivian Smith on institutional sexism, metaphorical pink and blue aisles, why some women choose to leave the profession, and how to fix it.
July 27, 2015
#93 Operation Anonymous Down
Anthropologist and author Gabriella Coleman on Operation Anon Down and what it's like studying Anonymous from the inside.
August 2, 2015
#94 Scott Thompson
Veteran comedian Scott Thompson on why nothing happened after The Kids In The Hall, the biggest problems with the Canadian film & TV industry, and why gay men still have to be defanged to be accepted.
August 9, 2015
#95 Interview With Anonymous
First, the National Post's Adrian Humphreys on working with Anonymous. Then, Jesse interviews #OpAnonDown about their recent leaks on CSIS foreign stations, their John Baird threat, and more.
August 17, 2015
#96 The Ashley Madison Affair
The Ashley Madison hack was shitty and evil. But is reporting on it shitty and evil? Fortune Magazine's Mathew Ingram discusses where to draw the line.
August 21, 2015
#97 Hart Pomerantz
Hart Pomerantz was Lorne Michaels's original partner, back when Michaels was still known as Lorne Lipowitz. Their top-rated CBC variety show, The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, was a precursor for Saturday Night Live before it was pulled from the airwaves after two short seasons.
August 30, 2015
#98 Performance Review
Time to check in with CANADALAND's supporters. How are we doing? What are we getting right & wrong?
September 6, 2015
#99 Christie Blatchford
A difficult interview with the controversial columnist.
September 13, 2015
#100 Margaret Atwood
Prize-winning author, Twitter enthusiast, and censored columnist Margaret Atwood schools Jesse on technology, dictators, and CanLit.
September 21, 2015
#102 John Furlong’s Privilege
Laura Robinson has lost her libel suit against John Furlong. The ruling, which could limit the media's willingness to report on abuse allegations, is based on erroneous information. Lawyer William McDowell discusses the possible impact.
October 5, 2015
#103 TPP: Spying, Blocking, and the Internet
University of Ottawa's Michael Geist breaks down the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), a proposed trade agreement that Stephen Harper has been toiling over in secret for the last five years - an agreement that will have huge impacts on Canada's internet freedom and copyright issues.
October 12, 2015
#104 Steve Paikin
Steve Paikin just might be the best TV host in the country. But who needs TV hosts anymore?
October 18, 2015
#105 @Kady
Kady O'Malley might be the 1st Canadian journalist who gets paid, primarily, to report the news via Twitter. Ottawa Citizen calls her Canada’s first mobile-focused political journalist. Jesse and Kady discuss social media journalism and the relationship between journalists and politicians.
October 26, 2015
#106 Abuse And Ethics At The Walrus
The Walrus is in meltdown: stories of office bullying, exploitation and workplace chaos are leaking from "Canada's best magazine". Three of the people at the centre of the controversy speak.
November 2, 2015
#107 The Wrong Kind of Black Person
What does it really mean to be represented, in the media or in government? Can one kind of minority stand-in for another? What is shadeism? Does the media demand that minorities conform to whiteness in order to get in front of a camera? Is Canada finally, truly ready to deal with race? Septembre Anderson takes it all on.
November 8, 2015
#108 The Reporter Who Fought City Hall
Joey Coleman was often the only reporter at Hamilton Ontario City Hall: a one-man digital newsroom, funded by his audience. His constant presence irritated a city councillor, who lost his temper and got physical. Joey didn't fight back, but he was the one punished: through a series of retaliations he was pushed out of the building and his news coverage became impossible. He joins Jesse to tell his story.
November 16, 2015
#109 News Police
Who keeps the media in check? The newly-formed National Newsmedia Council, according to John Fraser and Don McCurdy. Can a bunch of journalists and public members wrangle the entire Canadian journalism industry?
November 23, 2015
#110 VICE
Is VICE a cult? Is it a sweatshop? Does their partnership with ROGERS influence their content? VICE Canada's head of content Patrick McGuire and executive vice president of TV Michael Kronish sit down for a tense chat with Jesse.
November 30, 2015
#111 What is Sugar Sammy?
Comedian Sugar Sammy might be the most famous Canadian you haven't heard of. He plays to sell-out crowds in Paris, India, South Africa, and night after night in Montreal. He has sold hundreds of thousands of tickets. Yet he has yet to break through in english Canada or in the States. Jesse asks him why, and waxes nostalgic for the time he and Sammy were at the same university.
December 6, 2015
#112 Newsworthy Victims: MMIW and the Media
It's taken 40 years for the media to pay attention to the permanent crisis of missing and murdered aboriginal women. Karyn Pugliese, APTN's Director of News and Current Affairs, talks about what has finally changed and why it's taken so long.
December 13, 2015
#101 Anne Kingston
How will we know how bad things have gotten when most of the records have been erased? Anne Kingston discusses how Canada has thrown its data in the dumpster and become an international cautionary tale.
December 17, 2015
#113 Everyone Loves Marineland
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against The Toronto Star, Phil Demers and others.
December 22, 2015
#114 CANADALAND Staff Meeting
What is CANADALAND doing wrong? What are we getting right? Where should we be headed? Listen in and find out: we recorded our annual staff meeting/staff mixer.
December 27, 2015
#115 The Unbundling
It's a brutal time for the Canadian television industry and it's about to get worse.
January 3, 2016
#116 Is The News Biz a Lost Cause?
Do Canada's legacy news orgs have digital strategies? Do they make any sense? Is profitability online even possible?
January 7, 2016
#117 State Of The Unions
Do media unions protect journalists at the expense of journalism? Do they make it impossible for struggling news orgs to survive? Do they protect older workers at the expense of the younger generation? Nora Loreto, author and union activist, talks about what place organized labour might have in today's media.
January 17, 2016
#66 The Government’s Secret Newswire
News Canada (NC) looks like a wire service, but distributes stories produced by the federal government.
January 18, 2016
#118 The Collapse Of Postmedia
Last week, Postmedia laid off 90 journalists from newsrooms across Canada, months after absorbing the Sun newspaper chain. What if a slow, painful death was the plan all along? The National Observer's Bruce Livesey weighs in on the implosion of Postmedia.
January 24, 2016
#119 More Trouble at The Walrus
When Ken Alexander co-founded the Walrus in 2003, he wanted it to be a left-leaning literary magazine that also functioned as an educational charity. Now he says The Walrus has lost its way, strayed from its editorial mandate, abused its staff and violated its charitable obligations.
January 31, 2016
#74 Shad
The new host of CBC's Q talks about what he'll change post-Ghomeshi, and what he won't.
February 7, 2016
#120 Indigenous Media Roundtable
Most Canadians don't hear about the stories Indigenous peoples tell within their communities. Mainstream media only covers the most tragic events affecting Indigenous communities — if it chooses to cover them at all. Now, alternative digital platforms have created an opportunity for these stories to travel outside the communities they are about.
February 9, 2016
#121 Glen McGregor
Glen McGregor just left the Ottawa Citizen (along with 14 others) after breaking many major political stories of the last few years. So what's next for him, for the Citizen, and for print journalism in Canada's capital?
February 14, 2016
#70 Journalism vs. Science
The Toronto Star's HPV fail reveals a wider problem: the journalists who inform us about science are increasingly scientifically illiterate.
February 15, 2016
#122 The Dismantling of Claude Jutra
Is it ok for an anonymous sexual assault allegation to destroy the reputation a beloved cultural hero?
February 22, 2016
#123 The Unsolved Murders of Halifax
Dozens of women and girls have been murdered in the Halifax area over the past few decades. Tim Bousquet is capturing it all on his independent news site, the Halifax Examiner. 
February 29, 2016
124
#124 Second Class Journalists
Should journalists have control over what other journalists have access to? Allison Smith is the publisher of Queen's Park Today, a daily news website that reports on Ontario politics. For the last four years, the Queen's Park Press Gallery - a group of journalists - has denied her membership on dubious grounds.
March 8, 2016
#125 House Horny
The media is fuelling our real estate obsession and Garth Turner, ex-Conservative MP turned real estate blogger, is pouring cold water on us.
March 13, 2016
#126 Failing Up
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 21, 2016
#127 The Imposter
NOTE: Since this episode aired, The Imposter was put on hold, and has re-launched with new host Aliya Pabani.
March 27, 2016
#75 What It Was Like At SUN News TV
Adrienne Batra and Alex Pierson were SUN News TV hosts until the network suddenly went dark last month. Now, they join Jesse to come clean about what it was like to work at the most hated TV station in Canada.
March 29, 2016
#128 The Ethnic Aisle
The Ethnic Aisle is a crowdfunded digital magazine tackling issues of multiculturalism, diversity, and race in Toronto and the GTA. Chantal Braganza is the managing editor of The Ethnic Aisle and a digital media producer at TVO. Guest hosted by Scaachi Koul.
April 4, 2016
#129 Spy Shit
Freelance journalist Matt Braga joins Jesse to talk about spy shit - the Panama Papers, CSIS, C-51, and Ben Makuch's ongoing battle with the RCMP.
April 10, 2016
#130 Trial By Media, Media On Trial
What happens when three lawyers argue with Jesse Brown?
April 18, 2016
#132 Andrew Loku, Desmond Cole & Black Lives Matter
For the past year, Desmond Cole has been the media's go-to guy whenever a story about black Canadians would come up. Now, he discusses what's to come after hosting COMMONS.
May 4, 2016
#133 First Scandal of the Trudeau Government
Justin Trudeau's government told us that selling weapons to Saudi Arabia was a "done deal" of the Conservative government, but reporting by The Globe and Mail's Steven Chase revealed that it was entirely within the Liberals' power to stop it. The Globe called the government hypocrites, the NDP called them liars. What about the public?
May 9, 2016
#131 Newfoundland Is Screwed
In Newfoundland and Labrador, massive numbers of workers are getting laid off. Taxes are skyrocketing. The oil industry is collapsing. Meanwhile, journalist James McLeod has independently published a Sunshine List that exposes just how cosy the province really is.
May 24, 2016
#135 Dangerous Cartoonists
Live from the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, cartoonists Ted Rall, Chip Zdarsky, and Rokudenashiko talk censorship, the surprisingly subversive power of cartoons, and the dying art of comics journalism.
May 24, 2016
#134 Failing Up, Pt. 2
When it came to Canadian arts administration, Jeff Melanson was the king. Until his messy annulment papers from frozen food heiress Eleanor McCain alleged that he left more than just administrative damage in his wake from the National Ballet School, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Banff Centre for the Arts. Anne Kingston dives deep into the hushed world of Canadian arts institutions.
May 25, 2016
#136 How We Investigate
CBC still has a bullying & harassment problem. Jesse and Jane discuss how they investigated it for their recent report, "Bullying & Harassment Claims Emerge at CBC's As It Happens, TV Sports, and HR."
May 30, 2016
#137 I Stand With Gawker
Gawker is in trouble. Writer Stephen Marche, a frequent target of the gossip site, expands on his defense of the blog that smears him.
June 6, 2016
#138 How Justin Won
How did the Liberals win the election? Author Susan Delacourt knows.
June 12, 2016
#139 “It Was A Power Play” – Sexual Harassment Claim At Global News B.C.
Global News anchor Chris Gailus is one of British Columbia's most renowned television broadcasters. He's been accused of sexually harassing his former makeup artist, Dawne Koke. Koke speaks to Jesse about her claims and about sexual harassment in the news business.
June 19, 2016
#140 Is The Canadian-Chinese Press Controlled By Beijing?
Is the Communist Party of China influencing the Canadian-Chinese press? Journalist and paralegal Jonathan Fon joins Jesse for a discussion on the influence of Beijing.
June 26, 2016
#141 The Case For Local Television
When disaster strikes, local television matters. But does anyone actually care about small-town daily news coverage anymore?
July 4, 2016
#142 Kathryn Borel
Kathryn Borel reveals new details about the Jian Ghomeshi case.
July 10, 2016
#143 Monica Heisey
Baroness Von Sketch, CBC's new sketch show, is funny. What happened? Jesse asks Baroness writer, author, and standup comedian Monica Heisey about what went right and what may be changing in Canadian comedy.
July 18, 2016
#144 Follow Up: John Furlong
John Furlong has been accused of abusing dozens of First Nations children when he was a teacher in Burns Lake in the 1960s. Journalist Laura Robinson told this story and ended up on the wrong side of a defamation lawsuit.
July 25, 2016
#145 Why You Can’t Set a TV Show in Canada
Media scholar Karen Burrows discusses the impact on our power as media consumers.
August 1, 2016
#146 Should The Government Bail Out The News Business?
The Trudeau government is actually considering it.
August 8, 2016
#147 Why Johnny Can’t Innovate: Canada’s Tech Sector
Canada's tech sector is hemorrhaging talent. Between tax credits, targeted R&D programs, and Trudeau's cheerleading, can we stop the bleeding?
August 15, 2016
#148 What The Hell Happened At The Toronto Star?
Answers to some of the questions about reporter Raveena Aulakh's suicide. How much did the Toronto Star know about its "toxic" workplace and what did they do about it?
August 28, 2016
#149 Canadaland At The Movies
Last winter, Canadaland invited journalists to The Revue Cinema in Toronto to discuss the films that made them want to become journalists.
September 5, 2016
#150 The News Is Dead So What Comes Next?
The Collapse of the News Business is Irreversible. So what will emerge from the ashes?
September 11, 2016
#151 Trained To Ignore: The Media And First Nations
Why does indigenous representation in settler media matter?
September 19, 2016
#152 Paywall “Blackmail”
If you share paywalled content, does that constitute copyright infringement?
September 26, 2016
#153 Pipeline Antics
When Jean Charest was a paid agent of an energy company he had a secret meeting with the government pipeline regulator, who then lied about it.
October 3, 2016
#154 The BBC & The New York Times Come To Canada
The BBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Bloomberg: all of them are increasing their presence in Canada at the exact same time that the Canadian media is cutting back like never before. Jessica Murphy, head of the BBC's new Canadian bureau and the New York Times' Canada correspondent Ian Austen discuss the influx.
October 10, 2016
#155 Guys, We’re Having Some Problems
We lost almost half our staff this month. We need to pay better to retain our amazing team. Help us on Patreon and everybody but Jesse will get a raise.
October 17, 2016
#156 The Media Disruptors
Is solutions-based journalism the future of Canadian news?
October 24, 2016
#157 The Occupation Of Muskrat Falls
Justin Brake caught the nation's attention by broadcasting the peaceful protests of Muskrat Falls. And then he got served with a court injunction.
October 31, 2016
#158 Tabloid!
Every day at 12:36pm, Marc Weisblott sends out his "tabloid" newsletter. Is he a cultural critic? A media visionary? Or just a crank?
November 7, 2016
#159 The Surveillance of Patrick Lagacé
La Presse journalist Patrick Lagacé tells all about why the Montreal police spied on him and other journalists, and why the free press is under attack.
November 14, 2016
#160 People Like Fake News Better
Fake news sites won the American election. BuzzFeed Canada's Craig Silverman discusses how bogus Facebook stories blew credible news out of the water.
November 21, 2016
#161 How To Save Our CBC
The Government is about to change the CBC.
November 28, 2016
#162 Do First Nations Have A Free Press?
First Nations reporting usually falls into the four D's: drumming, dancing, drinking, and death. Wawmeesh Hamilton is trying to change that.
December 4, 2016
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#163 Edmonton Is Weird
Suburbs frozen in the 1950s. Progressives in the middle of oil country. Jesse explores the eccentricities of Edmonton, past and present.
December 12, 2016
#164 There’s A Hidden VIP Program In The Ontario Health Care System
Do politicians and foreign dignitaries have better access to health care than everyone else?
December 19, 2016
#165 The Best Of The Imposter (So Far) pt.1
Featuring the best moments from Canadaland's new arts & culture show, hosted by Aliya Pabani.
December 26, 2016
#100 The Best Of The Imposter (So Far) pt.2
Featuring the best moments from Canadaland's new arts & culture show, hosted by Aliya Pabani.
December 28, 2016
#166 Misha Glouberman
Misha Glouberman has been hosting Trampoline Hall, a barroom lecture series created by author Sheila Heti, for 15 years. He and Jesse are almost, but not quite, friends.
January 9, 2017
#167 Post-Truth Fact Check
When reporters are more relevant as unwilling political props than as chroniclers of facts, what happens to the job of journalism?
January 16, 2017
#168 The Killing of Colten Boushie (Live in Saskatoon)
In the wake of Colten Boushie's death, Jesse discusses racial tensions in Saskatoon with panelists Betty Ann Adam, Rob Innes, and Mylan Tootoosis. Recorded live at Winterruption in Cosmo Seniors Centre on January 20th, 2017.
January 23, 2017
#169 Down By Law In Yellowknife
Yellowknife crime reporter John McFadden has been getting into problems with the local police for a while now. But that won't stop him from doing his job.
January 30, 2017
#170 Are We Too Mean To CBC Comedy?
On this episode, guest host Ashey Csanady and Vicky Mochama look at CBC's recently launched comedy portal and wonders if it's relevant and, you know, funny.
February 6, 2017
#171 Don’t Fling Mud At The Scud Stud
In 2008, political pundit Don Martin penned a negative screed against former NBC wartime correspondent and - at the time - Alberta provincial electoral candidate Arthur Kent, aka the Scud Stud. Convinced that Martin had violated basic journalistic ethics, Kent took him and the CanWest newspaper chain (later Postmedia) to court for defamation of character.
February 13, 2017
#172 Satan Vampire Zombie Bloodbath: The State Of Canadian Newspapers
Late last month the Public Policy Forum released its long-anticipated report on the state of Canadian newspapers. Somewhat unexpectedly, this was a bold and far-reaching document, exploring the changing face of media in this country. The principal author of the paper, former Globe & Mail Editor-In-Chief Ed Greenspon, joins Jesse to dig deep into its findings. Read the entire report (no, seriously, read it) here.
February 20, 2017
#173 Robyn Doolittle On Breaking The Story Of The Year
In the months after Robyn Doolittle's groundbreaking series of exposés about the scandal-ridden Toronto mayor Rob Ford, she left the Toronto Star for a new investigative role at the Globe & Mail. Then, mostly, silence. Her lack of bylines belied her hard work behind the scenes as she dug into what would become the story of the year: a 20-month investigation into police departments across Canada and their chronic underreporting of sexual assaults being filed.
February 27, 2017
#174 Is Atlantic Journalism Fucked?
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 6, 2017
#175 Michael Chong
Michael Chong is trying to sell an inclusive, sober conservatism. Are conservatives buying it?
March 13, 2017
#176 The VICE Media Cocaine Caper
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 20, 2017
#177 Being Jewish In Public
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 27, 2017
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Space Vs. Canada
Something special to announce today, new show on Thursday.
April 3, 2017
#178 The Ugly Anglo
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
April 10, 2017
#179 Post-Postmedia
Postmedia, the largest newspaper chain in Canada is in its death throes.
April 17, 2017
#180 Who Buys A Newspaper Chain In 2017?
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
April 24, 2017
#181 Desmond Cole: Celebrated and Resented
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
May 1, 2017
#182 It Was Illegal To Print Their Names: Alberta’s Lost Children
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
May 8, 2017
#183 Why Your Rap Lyrics Could Land You In Prison
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
May 15, 2017
#184 Jason Kenney Is A Charming Man: Inside Alberta’s Weird Conservatism
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
May 22, 2017
#185 Travel Journalism’s Dirty Little Secret
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
May 29, 2017
#186 End Of The CanLit Hustle
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
June 5, 2017
#187 We Got Played
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
June 12, 2017
#188 The Images Are Merciless
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
June 19, 2017
#189 The Great Newspaper Bailout
The newspaper industry is pleading for hundred of millions of dollars per year to help prop itself up.
June 26, 2017
#190 Queer Media
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
July 3, 2017
#191 Revenge Porn
Ren Bostelaar posted nude pictures of women to 4chan without their consent. He avoided a criminal record by taking a peace bond. Is revenge porn legal in Canada?
July 9, 2017
#192 15 Years Covering Omar Khadr
Michelle Shephard has been covering Omar Khadr since the beginning. She talks to guest host Omar Mouallem about what the media keeps getting wrong about the story.
July 16, 2017
#193 Summer Dump
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
July 24, 2017
#194 Live From New York, It’s CANADALAND
In it: should you fuck your Prime Minister?; Why Canadians secretly love climate change; why we love the RCMP; and a peek at the Canada of the not-too-distant future. The stage show for our book, the CANADALAND Guide to Canada.
July 31, 2017
#195 Bleeding Edge Outrage Meme Generators
Following the election of Donald Trump, Craig Silverman wrote the defining article on fake news. Now he dives into hyperpartisan media -- websites that blend legitimate reporting with clickbait viral headlines to create a morass where you can't be sure what's real and what isn't.
August 14, 2017
#196 Ezra’s Very Bad Week
It's been, to put it mildly, a shit week for Rebel Media's self-styled 'Rebel Commander' Ezra Levant.
August 21, 2017
#197 I Don’t Speak Sports
Sports journalism is facing many of the same issues as other facets of the industry: declining ad revenues, job insecurities, and too much content vying for too few eyeballs.
September 5, 2017
#198 Punching Nazis… With The Law!
Who thought we'd have a Nazi problem in 2017? Richard Warman did. Years before the current "Should I punch a Nazi" debate took off, he attacked neo-Nazis with the law. And the media hated him.
September 11, 2017
#199 TIFF Is A Monster That’s Eating Itself
Every year, Toronto hosts some of the biggest stars in Hollywood as they debut their new films. But is the Toronto International Film Festival actually good for the city?
September 17, 2017
#200 Blame Michael Enright
Michael Enright got Jesse his first job in radio. He was also CANADALAND’s first ever guest, drinking bourbon and talking shit about the Canadian media. For our 200th show, he’s back to talk about how the media has changed since that day.
September 24, 2017
#201 Saudi Arabia Is Using Canadian Weapons Against Its Own Citizens And Nobody Seems To Care
Over the summer, videos came out that appeared to show Saudi Arabia deploying Canadian combat vehicles against their own citizens. And it barely made a splash in the Canadian media.
October 1, 2017
#202 It’s The End Of CanCon As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly had the thankless task of crafting a new culture plan that was sure to disappoint. She is now being viciously attacked by the press.
October 9, 2017
#203 My Awkward Date With Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley talks about how she helped Jesse break a major story. And she discusses domestic abuse, sexual harassment and assault, and the culture that fuels it.
October 15, 2017
#204 Daniel Dale
The Toronto Star's Daniel Dale has become one of the most-watched journalists in Washington in part by simply enumerating Donald Trump's lies.
October 23, 2017
#205 Out Of My Depth With Adam Gopnik
Adam Gopnik lived out a certain Canadian fantasy. He left the country and became a prominent New York intellectual.
October 30, 2017
#206 Jeremy Scahill: Mistrust First, Then Verify
“Objectivity for the sake of objectivity often means make sure that the powerful always get their say. And sometimes Caesar shouldn’t have his say. Sometimes the truth is just true.”
November 6, 2017
#207 Village Of The Sprawling Phoenix: New Models for Local News
Is local media doomed? We speak to three entrepreneurs who are making a go of it with three very different models.
November 13, 2017
#208 Ahead Of The Times: Jezebel Reporters On Investigating Louis CK
Reporters Anna Merlan and Madeleine Davies were investigating and writing about Louis CK well before the New York Times story came out. And they faced a lot of criticism for it.
November 19, 2017
#209 The Man Behind The Paradise Papers
“I do think that people should be marching in the streets over this,” says ICIJ director Gerard Ryle.
November 26, 2017
#210 Why Newspapers Don’t Have to Die
And why you can't just blame Google and Facebook for what happened last week.
December 3, 2017
#211 Inside a Right-Wing Meme Machine
This Facebook group gets more engagement than the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail combined.
December 10, 2017
#212 Meet The New Partisan Press
PressProgress looks like the news, but it's funded by a leftist think tank. Who are they and what are they trying to do?
December 17, 2017
COMMONS – Invisible Victims: How Police Botched The Robert Pickton Case
Over the holidays, CANADALAND is presenting the best work across our network. Here's a recent episode of COMMONS about Robert Pickton, marginalized communities and police accountability.
December 24, 2017
The Imposter – I Pity The Country Part 1
This episode of The Imposter was featured alongside shows like The Heart and Radiolab as Constant Listener's best podcasts of the year.
December 27, 2017
The Imposter – Aliya Tries Comedy
This week, we're presenting some of the best work from across our network. In this series of The Imposter, host Aliya Pabani decides that to learn more about comedy, she's going to learn how to be a comedian.
December 31, 2017
#213 How Facebook Bought-Off Canada For Peanuts
Forget taxes and regulations — why scrutinize Facebook when you can partner with them?
January 8, 2018
#214 Black Mirror Canada
"From mass dissemination of false information, to impersonation, leaking foreign documents in order to influence political and legal outcomes... the possibilities for the types of activities contemplated in [Bill C-59] are limited only by imagination."
January 15, 2018
#215 They Asked Me To Join The Militia
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
January 22, 2018
#216 As If It Never Even Happened
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
January 29, 2018
#217 The CANADALAND Guide to Jordan B. Peterson
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
February 5, 2018
#218 Robert Jago: Decolonizing Canada In His Spare Time
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
February 12, 2018
#219 Where Is Rock Bottom? Live From Saskatchewan, Before The Trial (Rebroadcast)
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
February 19, 2018
#220 We Need To Talk About Reddit
After years of dodging emails about the internal politics of the country's largest subreddit, r/Canada, Jesse finally jumps down the weirdo-message-board rabbit hole.
February 26, 2018
#221 Indie Journalists On The Government News Bailout
"I don't want to be trusted by the government."
March 5, 2018
#222 How To Slander Friends And Libel People
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 12, 2018
#223 The Misery Beat
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
March 19, 2018
#224 How To Un-F**k The Internet
"It's the wild west out there right now, and for lots of people that means it's really dangerous and their experience is horrible."
March 26, 2018
#225 Satirical News Site Fast-Tracks Reconciliation, Everything Fine Now
Tim Fontaine "set fire" to his journalism career last December, when he launched Walking Eagle News.
April 2, 2018
#226 The Great Satan Of The CBC
Richard Stursberg was the most hated CBC executive in recent history. What advice does he have for Catherine Tait, the CBC's new president? And what does he have to say about his own infamous legacy?
April 8, 2018
#227 Journalism On Trial
We hear from two Canadian journalists currently facing legal consequences for doing their jobs. The outcomes of these cases could set precedents for how the press is allowed to operate.
April 15, 2018
#228 What’s The New York Times Doing In Canada?
More than a year after their expansion into Canada, the New York Times is holding its own against our native media. And they're doing it with only three reporters. But what exactly is their goal here?
April 23, 2018
#229 The Manosphere
How did an online subculture of lonely men inspire the murders of 10 people in Toronto?
April 29, 2018
#230 The Pipeline Approval Was Rigged
No outcome other than an approval was ever possible.
May 6, 2018
#231 Robo Reporters and Blockchain Broadcasts
While journalists worry about Facebook algorithms and digital advertising, every other industry gets to be excited about technology. So today, we try our hardest to find the positive tech stories for the news industry.
May 13, 2018
#232 How We Cover Israel
Last week, Israeli forces killed over 60 people and injured thousands more at a protest in Gaza. How did Canadian media cover it?
May 20, 2018
#233 Journalists Are Done With CBC Stealing Their Scoops
Why is CBC so bad at giving credit for stories that other news outlets broke?
May 27, 2018
#234 Famous Anonymous: Celebrity Media In Canada
How do you cover celebrities in a country that's so bad at making them?
June 3, 2018
#235 Taxing Porn (And Everything Else) To Pay For CanCon
Canada's broadcast regulator has put forward a proposal to tax everything from porn to podcasts to help pay for CanCon.
June 10, 2018
#236 Jesse Meets WNYC’s On The Media
On The Media was one of the main inspirations for CANADALAND. This week, Jesse meets them.
June 17, 2018
#237 The Legend Of Weed Toque Girl
Almost every news story about cannabis is accompanied by a stereotypical stoner pic.
June 24, 2018
#238 Authors Are Getting Bloody In The Culture Wars
The book world has been thrown into turmoil by sexual assault allegations, inter-generational fighting and questions over Indigenous ancestry. Is this inside baseball for a tiny industry, a microcosm of the culture wars or a battle over who gets to tell Canada's story?
July 1, 2018
#239 Last Chance For Newspapers: Inside La Presse
The newspaper business is in rapid decline. Can non-profit status save newspapers in Canada?
July 15, 2018
#240 How Marketing Conquered Food
Food journalist Corey Mintz speaks with Jesse about how influencers, marketing and Instagram have impacted food writing and eating. 
July 30, 2018
#241 Reporting In Ottawa Vs. Reporting In Washington
BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod has covered politics in both capitals.
August 12, 2018
#242 Live Local News Neither Live Nor Local
Paul Tadich compares his time working at Global TV to a "news sweatshop".
August 26, 2018
#243 What Does ‘Off The Record’ Actually Mean? The Toronto Star And BuzzFeed Explain.
Confusion over "off the record" played a pivotal role in global affairs this past week. So — how does this oft-misunderstood agreement actually work, and why do so many powerful people continue to misuse it?
September 10, 2018
#244 Chip Zdarsky On Marvel Money And The Canadian Comics Boom
Marineland denies the allegations made in this podcast by Phil Demers, their former animal trainer. They have launched pending legal action against the Toronto Star, Phil Demers, and others. Marineland declined to appear on this program. They told CANADALAND that if we air an episode repeating Phil Demers’ allegations, “you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment.” They referred us to court documents and third-party expert reports, which they say prove Phil Demers’ claims are false. After the first Toronto Star report on Marineland was published, CAZA (Canadian Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) inspected Marineland and found “…that at the time of the site inspection the animals in question in the Marineland collection, including the marine mammals were in overall good health and there was no evidence of animal abuse, that water quality in all the pools was very good, and it appeared that staffing levels were adequate. You can find Marineland’s complete list of documents and links to many of these documents below. We have researched and reviewed these materials carefully, we have consulted with our lawyer, and we are proceeding with today’s show. THE TORONTO STAR’S MARINELAND COVERAGE (link) NOTE: Marineland denies the allegations reported by the Star.  DOCUMENTS REFERRED TO BY MARINELAND – THE ROSEN REPORT (link) – HEARINGS ON BILL 80 (link) – PHIL DEMERS COURT DOCUMENTS (link) – MARINELAND PRESS RELEASES (link) CANADALAND’S COMPLETE CORRESPONDENCE WITH MARINELAND: FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I am writing you from CANADALAND, an independent news organization in Toronto. For an upcoming episode of our podcast, I have interviewed Phil Demers about his conflicts with Marineland. Demers makes many claims about the treatment of animals at Marineland, some of which are the subject of litigation between Marineland and Demers. We would like to balance our coverage by getting Marineland’s side of the story. Would you, John Holer, or any other Marineland representative be available to record an audio interview this week? Please let me know as soon as possible. Our publication date (tentative) is Monday, December 14th, 2015. Sincerely, Jesse Brown Host/Publisher CANADALAND.news @jessebrown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Below is a response to your request attributable to Marineland. Dear Sir: We understand from your email that you have interviewed Mr. Demers regarding his “allegations” about Marineland and Mr. Holer and that you intend to publish those “allegations” on or about December 14, 2015. Mr. Demers has not worked at Marineland since 2012.  His “allegations” pre-date his departure or he was not a witness to the alleged events. His “allegations” are no longer allegations.  They have been proven false.  They are, therefore, merely defamatory statements, the repetition of which, by anyone, is defamatory. Any repetition by you in a podcast of such statements by Mr. Demers, whether represented as “allegations” or “unproven” or otherwise is defamatory and will not be excused. There is no public interest in false “allegations” by Mr. Demers that are over three years old and have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts.  There is, therefore, no public interest defence to the publication of such statements.  Even if it is assumed, though denied, that any public interest remains in such dated and stale false allegations, you and your publication are still not excused from taking all reasonable steps to determine the truth of such statements in publishing them.  The “public interest” exception to defamation does not provide for or excuse you or your news publication from your obligations to avoid publication of defamatory statements. Given the, known to you, seriousness of the statements, the evident damage such statement cause, the public review of those statements over the last three years, and the extensive public investigations of such statements, your duty to confirm the truth of what you intend to publish is clearly heightened. You know, or ought to know, that the statements by Mr. Demers are no longer “allegations”, they are merely defamatory statements. Mr. Demers’ malice towards Marineland and Mr. Holer is evident from any basic investigation by you. You should know or ought to know, that an extant court Order of the Superior Court of Ontario prohibits the use by demonstrators at Marineland of any sign that alleges “abuse” or “criminal” conduct by Marineland or Mr. Holer, because such statements are defamatory and by their very nature cause damage.  That Order was not appealed. You are provided  with clear notice of the Order to the extent that you repeat Mr. Demers’ allegations against Marineland or Mr. Holer, in whatever form. Deliberate repetition in any form by you, your podcast or anyone else of any of Mr. Demers’ statements about Marineland or Mr. Holer is done maliciously and with the sole intent to injure Marineland and Mr. Holer. As you are aware, Mr. Demers has only a high school education and has no education, experience, qualifications or training to make any opinion regarding the health or welfare of any animal at Marineland.  He further lacks all education, training, qualification or experience to make any comment on water chemistry or the quality of water.  We assume you are also aware that he admitted to secretly and illegally taking drugs intended for animals for his own use while employed at Marineland and has not disputed Marineland’s public press release in that regard.  We also assume you are aware that Mr. Demers quit his employment as a consequence of his failure to persuade Marineland to permit him to “star” in a reality TV show he wanted to be made about him working at Marineland. Despite those facts, you are also presumably aware that all of Mr. Demers’ “allegations” were extensively investigated over the last three years by qualified national and international experts, with extensive qualifications and experience, and that a large amount of publicly available information exists, which conclusively puts the lie to his statements. There is no “other side” to the story.  There is no “story”. The statements by Mr. Demers are false and defamatory. There is no excuse or justification for further publication of them. As a “news website” you are under an obligation, prior to publication, to take all reasonable steps to confirm the truth of Mr. Demers statements.  There are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that his statements are false.  You are under an obligation to review those documents, make reasonable inquiries of those involved, and check your facts, all prior to publication. A statement that you would like to interview Mr. Holer to “balance our coverage” is not sufficient, does not satisfy your legal obligations, and does not excuse publication of statements you know, or ought to know, are false. If you proceed with publication of Mr. Demers statements, it will not be excused. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Thank you for your timely response. Here are 3 follow-up questions: 1. How have Demers’ allegations been “proven false”?;2. Can you provide any details or documents supporting your statement that the allegations “have been conclusively proven false through extensive investigations by experts, the OSPCA, an independent panel of government experts and international water quality experts”? 3. Can you provide any details of documents concerning your statement that “there are literally hundreds of publicly available documents that establish conclusively that [Demers’] statements are false.” Also, I would like to renew my request for an interview with a Marineland representative, in person or on the phone. Can you let me know if this request is accepted or rejected? Best, Jesse Brown *** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO:  marketing@marineland.ca Hello, I haven’t received a response to my follow-up questions, sent yesterday, or renewed interview request. In the event that Marineland is unwilling or unable to do an interview with CANADALAND, it is important to us that you have every opportunity to respond to Phil Demers’ comments. Please find a list of the claims that Mr.Demers brought up. Your response and comment to all of the below is eagerly requested. Once again, our deadline is 5pm on Thursday, Dec.10. If you feel you need more time to respond, please advise. If you provide response after we publish, we will add you response to our website. Can you respond to: 1. the claim that Marineland did not require its animal trainers to have any specific training or education related to the job?2. the claim that necropsies were conducted in the arcade at Marineland? 3. the claim that there was (and still is) high turnover of animal trainers at Marineland and it did not take long until Mr.Demers was in a senior position regulating the diets and medicine of animals? 4. the claim that water quality at Marineland was poor during the last 8 months of Mr.Demers’ employment at Marineland because of a breakdown of the water disinfection unit? 5. the claim that Marineland was complacent about the poor water quality and its response was to add excessive amounts of chlorine to the pools at night when most employees were not there? 6. the claim that the poor water quality adversely impacted the health of the animals including loss of appetite, burned skin, damaged eyes and lethargy? 7. the claim that animals at the Marineland were given valium to increase appetite? 8. the claim that when told about Mr.Demers’ concerns a vet employed by Marineland said it was not her responsibility to report the alleged abuse but instead her responsibility was to the owner of Marineland to not say anything? 9. the claim that the OSPCA could not investigate allegations of abuse at Marineland because it did not have the power to do so where the animal was under the care of a vet? 10. the claim that the property where the OSPCA is located in Niagara was donated by Marineland? 11. the claim that not one baby dolphin born at Marineland lived beyond a few months? 12. the claim that a sick sea lion had to be moved out of the over-chlorinated water and later died in a small transport cage? 13. the claim that Marineland emptied the pools of the polluted water when Mr.Demers quit? 14. the claim that Mr.Demers shared his concerns with John Holer and the CFO at Marineland and the CFO advised Demers that he was bound by the terms of an NDA? 15. the claim that Marineland insisted employees sign an NDA after public statements were made about the death of Kandu the Orca whale? 16. the claim that Smooshie the walrus became sick about a month after Mr.Demers left Marineland and she had lost hundreds of pounds and was “bone dry”? 17. the claim that Smooshie’s health deteriorated after Mr.Demers left Marineland’s employment because she did not respond to other trainers and suffered due to Mr.Demers’ departure? 18. the claim that Marineland has commenced “SLAPP” (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) suits against a number of persons that have spoken out against Marineland including SLAPP suits against Mr.Demers and his girlfriend and John Hammond and those lawsuits are on-going? 19. the claim that Kiska the whale lost 5 calves and a number of tank-mates and was suffering because she was living in solitude? 20. the claim that Marineland has taken few steps to improve the conditions at the park except it dumped the polluted water, removed certain structures from the pools that were hurting the animals and culled the deer because there were too many deer on the property? 21. Mr.Demers’ claim that the lawsuit by Marineland against him are without merit? 22. the claim that there have been few improvements to Marineland since it opened except for the construction of new pools? 23. the claim that John Holer shot his neighbour’s dogs? Thank you for your attention to this. Best, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Attached is the index of materials publicly filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice which collectively establishes conclusively the falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations. The affidavit evidence of Marineland has never been cross examined upon and is, therefore, admitted by the defendants to be true and accepted by the Court as true.  No appeal was taken from any order obtained.  The truth of the content of the affidavits filed by Marineland is therefore no longer in dispute and may not be contested. The materials are publicly available to you and must reasonably be considered in their entirety. In addition, reference must be made to the Rosen Report and the evidence of witnesses, and exhibits filed, in the Bill 80 hearings, all of which is publicly available. Materials publicly filed on Marineland’s website must also be considered. The foregoing materials provide the names of actual experts who have determined the falsehood of the allegations by Mr. Demers. Those individuals must be interviewed. The independent qualified experts are relied upon by Marineland for proof of the falsehood of the statements.  Interview them if they are amenable to your request. The evidence is utterly overwhelming.  There is no “story”.  The allegations are false. The nature of your questions makes it clear that the purpose of your podcast interview is solely to repeat Mr. Demers’ falsehoods. In the event you do so you and your news site and podcast network will be sued to judgment. **** FROM: jesse@canadalandshow.com TO: marketing@marineland.ca Dear Marineland representative, We have reviewed the materials you have provided and referred to and will take them into consideration as we prepare our coverage. We would like to once again renew our request to speak with a Marineland representative on our program. Should you reconsider after we post our interview with Mr.Demers, we would be glad to expand our coverage. The allegations continue to be of public interest because there are still efforts to change the existing law regarding treatment of marine and land animals in Ontario which are a result of the allegations made against Marineland. In addition, there are lawsuits initiated by Marineland concerning these matters that are still before the courts. Finally, as a news organization focused on covering the media itself, Mr.Demers’ story is a very public example of the relationship between the press and a source. Sincerely, Jesse Brown **** FROM: marketing@marineland.ca TO: jesse@canadalandshow.com Dear Sir: Publication of the false allegations by Mr. Demers will result in a lawsuit in which you and your organization will be sued to judgment. There is no public interest in his false allegations and if there ever was, it has long since expired. Your allegation that the false allegations have any relationship to existing or proposed legislation is not logical and is factually incorrect. The legislative history of the present legislation reflects no such relationship.  Secondly, there are no proposed changes to the new legislation and none are related to any of Mr. Demers’ false allegations. The repetition of false allegations under cover of a report of a lawsuit is not of any public interest, unnecessary to the story and is malicious. The repetition of false allegations is irrelevant to a story about the press and a source. Any reasonable journalist would necessarily require independent confirmation from a credible named expert witness of Mr. Demers’ allegations. His allegations are specifically of abuse of animals and problems with water chemistry, of which he knows nothing. To your knowledge Mr. Demers has no more than a high school education and lacks all required basic education, experience and training to provide any accurate opinion with respect to any of his allegations.  He is not a vet.  He has admitted open antipathy towards Marineland and seeks its closure.  He is being sued by Marineland.  He is not a reliable source to your knowledge. Relying on his unsupported and uncorroborated allegations is like relying on the allegations of a random member of the public as proof of the “truth” regarding the medical condition or treatment of a person, when expert medical opinions by specialists in medicine are otherwise available to you, which clearly contradict those allegations. All of his allegations were, to your knowledge, investigated by qualified independent experts over several years and proven false. If there ever was any doubt there is none now, as you know. Your request suggests there is a difference of opinion.  There is not.  To suggest there is a difference of opinion is simply the common logical fallacy of a false dichotomy. The false dichotomy you seek to create has been used most recently by climate change deniers.  Both Mr. Demers and climate change deniers share a refusal to accept the opinion of real scientists while dressing up their false allegations in pseudo-scientific language and without credible scientific support, evidence or qualifications. In this case all the experts have concluded Mr. Demers’ allegations are false. There is no excuse or justification for the publication of the false allegations. The names and qualifications of experts are known to you.  They are independent of Marineland.  Interviewing a representative of Marineland, or not, will not and does not excuse or justify your failure to directly address the falsehood of the allegations with those experts. You are on notice of the unequivocal falsehood of Mr. Demers’ allegations all of which are now at least three years old and irrelevant. Sincerely, Marketing Department marketing@marineland.ca Marineland Canada, Inc. 8375 Stanley Avenue Niagara Falls, ON L2G 0C8 www.marineland.ca I think you should be getting our newsletterGet a weekly note about our top stories.This is a good thing that we do. You'll like this.johnsmith@example.comSign UpForm is being submitted, please wait a bit.Please fill out all required fields.
September 17, 2018
#245 The Last Labour Reporter
Sara Mojtehedzadeh may very well be Canada's only full-time labour reporter.
September 24, 2018
#246 Sheila Heti And Rachel Cusk On Why Memoir Is A Dead End
Guest Host Sheila Heti (Motherhood, How Should a Person Be?) speaks with fellow "autofiction" author Rachel Cusk (A Life's Work, Aftermath, et al).
October 1, 2018
#247 The Weed Beat
Next week, recreational weed will become legal across Canada. In anticipation, mainstream media has begun taking cannabis coverage seriously. Overnight, nearly every major outlet across the country has hired full-time reporters to cover it — but before we celebrate industry growth, how sustainable is this beat?
October 8, 2018
#248 The CANADALAND Investigation Of The Kielburgers’ WE Movement
Craig Kielburger founded WE when he was 12 to fight child labour. Now, the WE brand is used to promote products made by children.  Reporter Jaren Kerr presents the findings of his 4-month long investigation. 
October 15, 2018
#249 Thunder Bay
Episode 1 of our new series, hosted by Ryan McMahon.
October 22, 2018
#250 Canada’s First Smart City Is A Disaster
Google's sister company, Sidewalk Labs, has partnered with every level of government to build the first-ever 'smart city' in Toronto — but with several high-profile resignations and mounting privacy concerns, will this project ever break ground?
October 29, 2018
#251 How True Crime Took Over Podcasting
For a long time, CANADALAND was (proudly) the number one podcast in the country — but that's no longer true.
November 5, 2018
#252 Is Business News Amoral, Immoral, Or Just Evil?
Guest host Karen K. Ho explores how ethical concerns are becoming a core component of many big business stories, and what some reporters are doing to expand business journalism’s audience and sources.
November 12, 2018
#253 Is The Media Afraid Of The Kielburgers?
The Kielburgers' WE Movement has enjoyed more than 20 years of glowing press. They also have partnerships with 38 media organizations and a history of aggressive responses to criticism. Reporter Jaren Kerr speaks with Jesse about his investigation of WE's media relations.
November 19, 2018
#254 An Issue Worth Torching Your Job Over
After 25 years at the CBC, tech columnist Jesse Hirsh decided to risk it all. During an interview about Facebook, he turned the tables, asking why CBC continues to promote Facebook after we've seen what that company has done to undermine democracy.  CBC refused to post the segment online, raising questions about what you can and cannot say on our public broadcaster. 
November 25, 2018
#255 The Making Of Finding Cleo And Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay podcast host and creator Ryan McMahon reflects on the year-long production process, and he, Jesse and Connie Walker — host of CBC's award-winning podcast Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo —speak at ImagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival about the challenges that come with telling such sensitive, complex stories through the true crime genre. 
December 3, 2018
#256 The Dependent Press
The Canadian federal government plans to issue nearly $600M in tax credits and incentives to bolster the country's media industry over the next five years. What will this mean for the independence of the Canadian press? And will CANADALAND be applying for funds?
December 10, 2018
#257 How Not To Cover Climate Change
Blazing wildfires. Pipeline stand-offs. Unpredictable floods. Men in suits arguing... One of our era's most urgent, high-stakes stories is also the hardest one to get right.
December 17, 2018
#258 Christmas In The Newsroom
Stories of big news breaking when everyone else is on vacation. 
December 23, 2018
#259 The Mud Slinging, Meme Hustling, Rage Baiting Sites You Need To Know Before The Next Election
A bunch of new partisan political websites are fighting for the narrative in the run-up to the federal election. Reporter Graeme Gordon is here to tell you which organizations to look out for on your Facebook and Twitter feeds, what their political objectives are, and who's paying for them.
January 6, 2019
#260 Fake-Ass Internet
Something like the half of all activity on the internet is fake. Yes, there are bots. But there are also fake websites that cater to bots. And then there are the ways real people adjust their behaviour to try to game the bots. Where does this leave the idyllic internet we were promised?
January 13, 2019
#261 Oh Great, Now China Hates Us
Canada's in a bad way with China. Has the media prepared us to deal with the growing superpower?
January 20, 2019
#262 Meet Canada’s Pro-Oil, Anti-Immigrant Yellow Vest Movement
What do warnings of globalism, support for pipelines and calls to execute Trudeau have in common? They're all part of the rhetoric of the Canadian Yellow Vests. CANADALAND producer David Crosbie investigates how a French working class protest against a fuel tax has inspired a right-wing, populist movement holding recurring rallies across Canada.
January 27, 2019
#263 The Loudmouth Senator
Paula Simons did something that makes a lot of journalists cringe. She went into politics. The former Edmonton Journal columnist is now an independent senator. She speaks about crossing over, using social media to pull back the curtain on Canadian politics... and the Senate's secret snack machine.
February 4, 2019
#264 Quebec’s Fake News Problem
In English media, there are whole organizations and departments devoted to debunking fake news. But in Quebec, a lot of the work falls to one guy: Jeff Yates. He talks to guest host Brigitte Noël about the unique challenges of combatting fake news in French and why he thinks it's time to destigmatize sharing bogus stories.
February 10, 2019
#265 Decoding a Political Scandal
There's a lot to learn from what politicians and journalists can and can't tell us, their lowly constituents and readers. We read between the lines of the news coverage of the SNC-Lavalin scandal with BuzzFeed News' Paul McLeod. Then, Macleans columnist Anne Kingston helps translate politicians' passive-aggressive, condescending, or coded messages, passed to us through resignation letters, speeches, and even Twitter likes.
February 17, 2019
#266 A Guide To The Podcast Industry
In the past year or so, the podcast industry has seen an explosion --or bubble, depending on who you ask-- with companies like Entertainment One, Corus, and Rogers making big plays in the market. Who are the big players? What are they trying to do? And are their podcasts any good?
February 24, 2019
#267 Propaganda, Fascism And Murder: An Alternative History Of The Globe And Mail
This week marks 175 years of The Globe and Mail. You can read all about its accomplishments elsewhere. Writer Jamie Bradburn takes us through the paper's darker moments.
March 3, 2019
#268 Strombo
Canada's most ubiquitous TV host talks about his many, many gigs, from MuchMusic VJ to CNN interviewer -- and why he's turned to YouTube for the latest one.
March 10, 2019
#204 Pressure-Cooked Octopus
While we're all busy talking about the propriety of the SNC-Lavalin affair, it bears revisiting the company's sordid past. Also, how is the media culpable for whitewashing reconciliation? And Pizzagate comes to Canada.
March 13, 2019
#269 Ruthless Or Toothless? The News Biz Complaints Department
Who do you turn to when the news fucks up? It turns out there's a council for that.
March 18, 2019
#205 Scheer And Loathing
Andrew Scheer’s first statement about the terrorist attack by a white supremacist in New Zealand failed to mention a few things... like Muslims and white supremacy. Also, the federal budget was announced and so were the details of that controversial media bailout.
March 21, 2019