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Media bailout panelists award taxpayer grant to themselves

The $50 million Local Journalism Initiative was created by the government in 2019.

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Corporate media moguls appointed to the federal Liberal government’s committee to decide which news organizations get bail money have picked their own to receive cash.

According to respected Ottawa political website Blacklock’s Reporter, panel memberWinnipeg Free Press‘s publisher Bob Cox awarded his paper government grants to hire two new reporters, including a “climate change correspondent”.

The $50 million Local Journalism Initiative was created by the federal Liberal government in 2019.

Managers of several top mainstream corporate media outlets – and affirmed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau supporters – are amongst the people who decide where the cash goes.

Cox – who heavily lobbied for a bailout from the federal government – told MPs in 2019 the push for taxpayers’ cash wasn’t for his own interest.

“These measures have been called a bailout by some. I would suggest this crowd knows very little about the business of operating a newspaper,” he told the Commons Finance Committee.

“There has also been the suggestion newspapers will be beholden to the federal government, not independent, and more likely to give favourable coverage. Well, I have not noticed this happening.”

Blacklock’s also reported that another panel member – the leftist National Observer‘s editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood – awarded herself two taxpayer grants by the panel.

It will be the second time the feds have sent taxpayer bailout money to the media, after a $595-million “financial-assistance” program 18 months ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge drop in advertising with dozens of newspapers being shuttered, including more than 20 in the Maritimes. There have been at least six publications in Quebec that have dropped Monday-to-Friday print editions, and four have closed in Manitoba. 

Postmedia closed 15 community newspaper in Ontario and Manitoba.

The Western Standard accepts no government funding.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Liberals considering an extra $34 million CBC bailout

The broadcaster’s advertising revenue is falling as quickly as its ratings – its 27 stations across Canada combined to an average of 319,000 viewers, 12,000 per city, for their dinner-hour news.

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The federal Liberals are considering giving the CBC another $34 million in taxpayer cash as part of a COVID-19 bailout.

The proposed bailout is found in documents from the Treasury Board released this week.

The proposed increase — $33.733 million — is described as an “internal reallocation of resources for the COVID-19 impact to advertising revenues and operating costs” reported the Toronto Sun.

CBC has reported a revenue loss of 13% in their first quarter – blaming a drop in advertising dollars because of the pandemic.

The broadcaster’s advertising revenue is falling as quickly as its ratings – its 27 stations across Canada combined to an average of 319,000 viewers, 12,000 per city, for their dinner-hour news.

Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos, Supplementary Estimates (B), 2020–21 shows $79.2 billion in budgetary spending, $58 billion in estimated statutory expenditures and nearly $21 billion in spending needing Parliament’s approval.

The CBC already receives more than $1-billion each year of taxpayer’s money.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta agriculture minister hit by rural crime

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

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Alberta’s agriculture minister has become the latest victim of rural crime.

Devin Dreeshen, the UCP MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, tweeted he was at home last week when the criminals hit.

“Woke up at 4am to the sound of my truck being stolen. Criminals were in the process of stealing quads from the shed but were scared off. Needs to be fixed – rural Albertans shouldn’t have to put up with this,” Dreeshen tweeted.

A pick-up truck belonging to the agriculture minister was taken and reportedly used in a crime spree across Alberta before being dumped and set on fire near Cold Lake.

RCMP recovered the vehicle on Thursday.

“Appropriate steps were taken immediately following the incident, involving all concerned ministries. For example, any electronic devices that may have been compromised by this incident were successfully remotely wiped by government officials,” said a government statement to Rebel News.

“Furthermore, the Government of Alberta has significant security measures in place for all of its information. Cabinet-level documents are accessed digitally through a secure, password-protected cloud-based app. Drives are password-protected and encrypted so they cannot be accessed simply by removing the drive and plugging it into another computer.”

Rural Alberta has been hit with a plague or rural crime the past two years.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Edmonton NDP MP slammed for asking feds to stop health transfers to Alberta

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

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An Edmonton NDP MP is being blasted for asking the feds if they would withhold health transfers to Alberta in the wake of Premier Jason Kenney’s moves to shake up the health care system in the province.

Heather McPherson, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona, said in the House of Commons Kenney’s changes has put the health system “under attack” with women disproportionally affected.

“Will the minister commit to protecting women in Alberta and the rest of Canada,” McPherson asked.

“Will she withhold transfer payments if Jason Kenney refuses to adhere to the Canada Health Act?”

But that move is being slammed by prominent Edmonton businessman and Tory candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, Rick Peterson.

“It is totally fine that @HMcPhersonMP disagrees with @jkenney, but asking for federal health transfers to be withheld from Alberta is unacceptable. No level of disagreement justifies threats to Albertans’ healthcare funding, especially from the #EdmontonStrathcona MP,” said Peterson, who ran for the federal Tory leadership earlier this year.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced earlier this month that Alberta Health Services was shedding 9,700 hundred jobs by shifting them to the private sector.

The UCP has also asked the AHS to remove 100 managers.

Most of the 9,700 other jobs will now be outsourced in labs, housekeeping, food services, and laundry.

There will be 2,000 laboratory jobs, 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, and 400 laundry jobs cut.

The province said about 70 per cent of lab results are already contracted out, as is 68 per cent of laundry.

AHS has 3,300 employees in management, with 68 senior leaders and 14 on the executive teams.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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