LETTER: Government and media collusion?

From the local candidate for the People’s Party of Canada

Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a criminal breach of our fundamental right to a free press and other media in Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Even more disturbing than the breach itself is the actual source, which is the government we elected to protect those rights.

For most of us, we read and watch the free press and form our own thoughts and beliefs regarding world events, politics and social affairs. If media services were suddenly stopped, we would insist that “freedom of the press” be immediately restored, as is our right under the Charter. This is fairly obvious.

Not so obvious is a supposedly “free” media subverted by money, censorship, collusion and bias. While some bias is expected based on the source of media, we have the option of changing the source, whether it be mainstream news, a periodical or website. However, collusion of the mainstream news sources and unregulated censorship in social media has made this option nearly meaningless or non-existent.

Social media uses algorithms and bots to remove or de-platform postings and entire sites that they deem inappropriate with absolutely no oversight to promote products, influence politics and set the narrative regarding acceptable social norms.

The Liberal government has given CBC over $1 billion a year since being elected in 2015 and have now added a $565 million fund over five years for other “approved” news outlets. This influence of money and lack of independence in Canadian mainstream media is also apparent with all major news channels carrying the same anti-Trump message virtually every evening. Additionally, the stories that are not reported are as telling as those that are reported.

What really puts this into perspective is Elections Canada rules regarding campaign-spending limits. All election spending by a political party in a federal riding is limited to an average of $90,000. Justin Trudeau’s $1.2 billion contribution to the media in this election year alone equates to over $3.5 million in each of Canada’s 338 electoral districts. Even a small amount of collusion, influence and bias resulting from these massive expenditures of our tax dollars puts into question the impartiality of our 2019 federal election.

Regardless of your political stripes, acceptance of media influence and collusion bought with taxpayers’ money is a travesty for all Canadians who value the legitimacy of the democratic process. The responsibility to hold government accountable at the highest level to protect freedom of the press and other media is reasonable and essential, not only to honour those who died defending these rights, but for the sake of those who come after us.

Rick Stewart

People’s Party of Canada candidate

Kootenay-Columbia

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