This is a story about the active suppression of the news at the CBC, as provided by three corroborating first hand incidents of the past 30 months, involving Susan Bonner (would-be champion of the truth), CBC Radio (ditto/not so) and the the CBC’s The National (not so).
I am a big believer in the need for a public broadcaster, like PBS in the US, or the CBC here in Canada. Public broadcasters have an essential role to play as a counterpoint to the corporately owned commercial broadcaster’s whose news reporting is invariably biased by commercial concerns and commercial conflicts of interest. The income trust issue is ALL about the commercial interests of corporations in Canada, as it was exclusively corporate interests who lobbied the Harper government to kill income trusts, including corporate interests who are the majority owners of some of Canada’s largest broadcasters and other media properties.
It is in situations like these that the need for a public broadcaster becomes an absolute necessity. However the CBC has failed to tell the true story of the income trust matter, and provide the honest counterpoint to the endless lies about income trusts that are advanced elsewhere in Canadian media. For some reason the CBC has decided to actively suppress the real income trust story from being told to Canadians, and those who fund its ongoing continuation, namely Canadian taxpayers. Is this active suppression of the income trust story by the CBC a result of commercial pressure or political pressure. I have no insights to offer in helping to answer that question. What I do have is first hand knowledge of three separate incidences where the CBC has ACTIVELY suppressed the news, and Harper’s lies, about income trusts from being told to Canadians, as follows. I have never publicly discussed these incidents until now. I will deal with them in chronological order:
(1) Susan Bonner: Susan Bonner is a senior political reporter with CBC based in Ottawa and you probably know her from the show POLITICS with Don Newman, where she would often anchor when Don was absent. Susan Bonner is now with CBC News in Washington, where she covers the White House. I have great respect for Susan Bonner for her balanced in depth journalism and her tenacity to get the story told. Unfortunately Susan’s tenacity and desire to get the story told on income trusts was not enough to overcome the forces within CBC News that did not want this story told. Completely of her own volition and with no direct prompting by me or knowledge on my part. Susan Bonner was anxious for the income trusts story to get told. Her interest was piqued by the fact that the outrage would simply not go away. This led her to go to her producers on numerous occasions where she proposed to them the idea of doing a more in-depth analysis of the situation and to explore some of the assumptions that other in the press had made concerning this issue such as whether tax leakage was real or not and to explore some of the consequences of this policy like the many takeovers that had resulted.
I only became aware of Susan’s repeated failed attempts to get this story told in the few brief encounters I had with her over the phone to inform her of the latest egregious developments. Like when Flaherty said “It’s not my fault” in response to the many foreign takeovers of vulnerable and undervalued income trusts. Then I got this email from Susan on April 18, 2007:
I may be able to finally get a story on the National about the outrage building over recent conservative economic policies.
I am looking for some kind of a meeting that I might shoot in the next little while...any gathering at all where grievances are aired...that I might shoot as a hook to put a story up.
Got any ideas? Thanks.
The operative word in that message was “finally”. In response to this email from Susan I called her, and got a better understanding of what that meant, not that it was the main focus of our conversation, which was more about me getting to her the information that she was seeking. She was clearly pumped to get this story told and was almost apologetic about not getting told at that point in time, which is where she indicated to me that she had tried on three separate occasions to get the story told, but only to be suppressed in those efforts from within CBC.
In the context of the time at which this breakthrough would have occurred, ie April 2007, such a story by Susan Bonner of the CBC on POLITICS would have been very important in terms of how the issue was to unfold. Sadly to say, I learned shortly thereafter that Susan’s green light on this story, turned to red, and never got told in the way Susan had hoped it would.
(2) CBC Radio: As you know I ran as the Liberal Candidate against Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the 2008 Election. It was I who approached the Liberal Party to run against Flaherty, and not the other way around. My candidacy attracted a lot of media attention because I was so closely associated with the income trusts issue and that issue was still very much an open wound with the voting public. One of the many incoming requests that I received from the national news media was from a reporter with the French language channel of CBC Radio. He came to meet me in person at my candidacy office in Whitby, and it was there that he became intrigued by the story that I told him concerning Harper’s lie about tax leakage and the special tax loophole for the pension funds and all the foreign takeovers of trusts that would see no taxes paid in Canada and real tax leakage taking the place of Harper’s bogus tax leakage. This reporter was really pumped. He thought he had stumbled on Canada’s version of Watergate. Well, that’s because he had. Never has a Canadian politician lied to the Canadians public or caused so much harm to Canadians as Stephen Harper did with his tax leakage/income trust lie that caused Canadians to permanently lose $35 billion of their hard earning retirement savings.
The only problem this reporter had was I don’t speak a word of French (for all practical purposes). He needed a credible person who could speak French and who was as knowledgeable about this matter as I was. I then put this reporter in touch with Jean-Marie Lapointe, who is a retired former bank manager and who had testified before Parliament at the Income Trust Hearings. The CBC reporter and Jean-Marie quickly hooked up with one another and a meeting/interview was scheduled at Jean=Marie’s home that was recorded and videotaped. This was in the middle of the 2008 election, and would have had a profound effect on the election had Canadians (especially French speaking Canadians, as I am told by Jean-Marie) learned that Stephen Harper had lied to them about the reasons behind his income trust reversal, namely Harper’s lie about tax leakage. CBC Radio did a lot to verify with third parties what it was that both I and Jean-Marie were telling them, This radio segment was all ready to go and to be aired, but was ultimately suppressed. Evidently someone within the CBC thought it was best that Canadians not learn during a federal election that Stephen Harper had lied to then about tax leakage. Contrast this “need not to know” with the turning point for Stephane Dion’s entire campaign, that occurred at the late stage of the 2008 election when Dion was surging to the point of almost being a contender, until the CTV decided it would do a hatchet job on him by airing some out takes from that infamous interview, in which Dion asked the interview to clarify what he was asking, given the convoluted way in which it was being asked.” CBC suppresses factual evidence of gross material wrong doing by a sitting Prime Minister during an election, while CTV airs out takes that it said it would not, in order to do a hatchet job on the man who sought to replace him.”
These are the standards of Canada’s news media organizations. Makes you wonder whose conduct is worse. The commercially owned CTV or the publciy owned CBC. I will let other be the judge. All I know is that had these two incidents been dealt with in accordance with the fair practices of honest and professional journalism, Stephen Harper would probably not be Prime Minister today, an outcome that certain, yet to be identified people within CTV and the CBC were seeking to avoid. I am not suggesting they knowingly worked in concert with one another as that would be absurd, but in terms the consequences of their deliberate acts, it didn’t matter, as one candidate for office was gunned down by the media, while the other was allowed to falsely remain standing. Thank you CTV and CBC. You are the Giuliano Zaccardelli’s of the 2008 Canadian Federal Election. You nailed Dion in the middle of the 2008 election the way Zaccardelli toasted Paul Martin/Ralph Goodale in the middle of the 2006 election. But you are the media and not the cops. Perhaps you are a new hybrid entity: The media cops?
(3) The National’s “Question Period” segment: The third and final strike against the CBC that reveals the extent to which the CBC is clearly suppressing the truth about Harper’s scandal from reaching prominence in the minds of its viewers occurred over the last 48 hours. This example took place in broad public for all to see. In much the same manner that Facebook afforded Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament an opportunity to express the breadth of their discontent, without filtering of that news by the media, this most recent example of the suppression of the income trusts story by the CBC does as well. I will make this brief and provide you with a link to a more fulsome telling of this story that appears at the end of this piece.
In light of the sudden prorogation of Parliament, CBC funds itself faced with a bit of a news void. Gone will be the daily antics of Parliament’s Question Period as the source of news. Some creative soul in CBC came up with the idea of replicating Question Period with a suurogate Question Period in which average Canadians would be given the chance to pose question of the government. CBC would bring access to power to the grass roots by allowing Canadians to post suggested questions on line that others could vote for and the questions with the most votes would actually be posed to politicians. Well, turns out that was a complete charade of an exercise as it didn’t go down like that at all. When faced with the outcome that the two most popular questions by a wide margin that were posted on CBC’s website that was open to all Canadians to vote on were about the income trusts issue, something that millions of Canadians have been seeking solid answers to for three years, the CBC had a dilemma.
The news story that CBC had been actively suppressing for three years had raised its ugly head once again. So what did CBC do? They totally abandoned the process they had laid down for their Question Period, and suppressed the income trust story once again by going with five softball questions, none of which came within a mile of revealing anything new about the income trust issue.
Who wthing CBC is doing this? Why are they doing it? When will Canadians learn the truth about Stephen Harper’s patently false and infinitely provable lie about tax leakage and all the damaging consequences of his income trust policy, when viewed from the perspective of ALL Canadians? Why do we even have a public broadcaster when it is no less conflicted in its news coverage of stories that are commercial in nature than the commercial broadcaster itself?
Or is there a more innocuous explanation? Maybe the CBC is incompetent as a new organization. Maybe the CBC is unable to see a huge news story when its starring them in the face? In much the same way that the US Homeland Security is unable to protect Americans from the threat of underwear bombers after they have been told directly about the threat posed by that very individual or in exactly the same way that the SEC was unwilling to apprehend the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme artist after being repeatedly being led to the scene of the crime.
That’s it. The CBC is simply downright incompetent, rather than rampantly politically and/or commercially conflicted. Quite frankly I don’t care which explanation the CBC wants to go with, but I do know that the only way to prove that they are neither (1) commercially conflicted, or (2) politically conflicted, or (3) incompetent, or (4) none of the above, is to let the income trust story to be told in all its factual glory.
For that, they will need to have Susan Bonner (or someone equal to her calibre) give me a call so Susan Bonner can do what she was suppressed from doing by her bosses at CBC, ever since this story first went totally unreported by the CBC, in terms of the real facts of the situation. My number is 647 505-2224. In the meantime, perhaps CBC Radio could air that segment with Jean-Marie Lapointe that was produced during the 2008 Election, but also suppresses by the CBC. On second thought it would have to be updated for the many takeovers of trusts that could have been averted if the CBC had not suppressed this news from entering the public’s consciousness like the $4 billion takeover of Harvest Energy Trust by Korean state-owned Korean National Oil Company.
PS: Maybe that’s whose interests that Canada’s public network works on behalf of? The people of Korea or the the people of Abu Dhabi? Add to that list, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing, Goldman Sachs, etc. etc., all of whom have made a killing picking off these articicially devalued income trusts that precipitate major losses to Canadian investors and major losses in Canadian tax dollars, while the CBC is asleep at the switch, covering pulp garbage like Dragon’s Den or that nonsense that passes for news on the Lang and O’Leary Exchange. Known on Bay Street as the LOL Exchange, i.e. a “joke” that passes itself off as business news.
PPS: CBC’s Senior Business Reporter Amanda Lang has proven herself to be a shill for Flaherty on this income trust matter ever since her days on BNN. Therefore, please do not consider having her call me as a substitute for Susan Bonner in the event Susan Bonner is too busy. Maybe have CBC’s Harvey Cashore call me. He’s the one who broke the Mulroney Schreiber affair on the Fifth Estate, He’s not afraid to go into a hot kitchen in search of the real truth, consequences to politicians be damned.
From: Brent Fullard
Subject: CBC aka Charade Broadcast Corp
HELLO CBC: aka Charade Broadcast Corp
Just exactly where did you come up with this list of 5 questions? You told your viewers last night that you were going to select question from those submitted by vieweres and invited them to post their questions on dedicated site, where others could voice their preferences by voting.
Viewers did so. Voters did so. CBC appears to have ignored both the viewers and voters who did so.
That dedicated site has over 100 questions, with the two top questions being on the highly unresolved question of Harper's income trust tax that has caused millions to lose billions of their retirement savings, based on a premise that Harper has never proven, and that we all know to be FALSE, namely tax leakage.
Where is that question in YOUR list of 5 questions?
Your viewers and the voters selected these questions above all others:
#1 Harper's income trust tax leakage lie submitted by Brent Fullard 753 votes
#2 Harper's income trust policy that taxes individuals ar 31.5% but not the pension funds submitted by Dr. Mike: 298 votes
#3 Some other issue; 231 votes.
Why are you not following the procedures you set down when you announce this concept that you described as :
(1) We need your help.
(2) You name the question you'd like us to ask a specific MP about a government matter and we'll chase down the answers on your behalf.
(3) And don't forget to vote on the responses.
(4) We'll select from some of the top-rated comments, and build a national poll.
(5) The top responses will be assigned to CBC reporters to chase the answers, and address during our At Issue panel.
(6) It's your government, so we want your question, period.
Judging from your list of 5 questions you didn’t (1) need our help, since (3) we did vote, and (5) you didn’t select the top response. Instead you avoided the top response
This is like false advertising. Why do I feel duped? Dealing with CBC is like dealing with Harper. All smoke and mirrors. A charade. Says one thing does another. We have been prorogued by the CBC.
What is the CBC afraid of? Exposing Harper for the liar that he is? Harper lied to Canadians about tax leakage, which caused Canadians to lose $35 billion of their retirement savings, and the CBC is sweeping it under the rug.
And you call yourself a news organization? LOL