Saturday, 20 April 2013

Reading newspapers

I ask myself sometimes what is the point of reading newspapers either in print or on the internet. Most National papers in Canada are now owned by large corporations who have little to do with the news world, owning a paper is a matter of prestige and more to the point of pushing ones business/corporate agenda on the public. Canadians believe or want to believe that newspapers are independent and stories based on facts, editorials are serious unbiased reflections on events. Not so anymore, the news is all about entertainment and influencing public opinion.

This past week I read about the Harper government doing away with the Canadian Health Board which  monitors health program delivery in all provinces in Canada. Reason given by PM Harper is that as of 2014 the agreement on health care program funding between the Federal government and the Provinces will come to an end. The Federal government will no longer be involved and this means that Western Provinces who currently are wealthier will have better health coverage than poor Eastern Provinces (this includes Ontario), in general the health of Canadians will be affected.

In Parliament the New Democratic Party (NDP) who are the Official Opposition are presenting a motion on the secret FIPA treaty between China and Canada, the life of this so called free trade treaty is 31 years. The Chinese Government will be able to sue secretly Canadian Companies and demand damages which is to be paid by the Federal Government. You can well imagine that the Communist Party in China will go after all Canadian companies, think Bombardier and will undermine them so that Chinese companies can take over, economic colonization. PM Harper sees nothing wrong with that claiming it will create jobs. Canadian companies will not gain anything in the process and certainly will not be able to sue Chinese companies (mostly owned by the Communist party) for damages in China.
Strangely the little Western African Country of Benin has been able to negotiate a better trade deal with the Chinese.

Parliament is broken, it was revealed by the Whip of the Conservative Party that Members of Parliament do not represent their constituents but the views of the Party Leader. In Canada we do not elect our Prime Minister, the leader of a Political Party is chosen to form a Government by the Governor General based on the majority of seats won by any Party after an election. Something most Canadians do not understand. The right of Members to ask questions in the House on what is of concerns to their Constituents has been taken away by the Party Leaders and instead MPs ask questions based on what the Party Leader wants to hear. The Speaker of the House has become a lap dog to the Prime Minister.  Currently there is a fight in Parliament for more independence for Members of Parliament so they can re-assert their rights. Otherwise what is the point of Parliament if the business once conducted in the House, like the latest Budget, is now handled by un-elected staffers in secret who work for the PM.

In the last 7 days the attack ads against Justin Trudeau have been shown more than a quarter of a million times on television by the Conservative Government of Mr. Harper. Who pays for all this, the taxpayers.  On Radio-Canada this morning a commentator gave this analogy, it was Herr Goebbels, Propaganda Minister to the Fuhrer, who said repeat a lie 10 times and it is still a lie, repeat it 1000 times and it becomes the truth.

The Minister responsible for the now defunct Canadian International Development Agency (now a branch of the Dept of Foreign Affairs) asked for all his briefings to be written in English only, in other words ''Speak White''. The Harper Government tried to deny this but unfortunately for them, there is a paper trail pointing to the Minister. So much for Official Languages in Canada, most of the Members and Ministers of the Harper Government do not speak French and have no interest in respecting Bilingualism. It was Sir John A. MacDonald our first Prime Minister who said in 1867 that if you wanted a man to vote for you, you had to speak his language. Sir John A. a Conservative, spoke French.

Also this morning a story in the papers about a Cézanne discovered in the vaults of the National Gallery of Canada. The morning show on Radio-Canada said that the painting had been lost in 1983 and was only discovered again by accident last week. Great deal of laughter all around, how can you loose a Cézanne. However in the English paper The Ottawa Citizen, the story is very differently presented. Apparently this painting which is just a sketch and is unsigned though it is known to be a Cézanne arrived in Canada from Europe via Bermuda during the Second World War and it is believed that it could be part of stolen art works belonging to a Jewish family or someone, that is not clear. The Citizen goes on to suggest that maybe the NGC knew this all along and was not forthcoming in returning to painting to its rightful owners whoever that may be, no one knows despite research into the matter.

The Ottawa Citizen has always been anti-museum, its editorial line is, why do we need to spend money on art in general, its not efficient and it brings in no money, its for the elite, the masses have no need of art and culture, unless we are speaking of Justin Bieber.

The Director of the NGC pointed out correctly that the National Gallery does not claim to own this painting, it is only acting as custodian for the time being, it is a very complex situation given the lack of records on it and no known owner. The director pointed out that the NGC has never in its long history been involved in looted or stolen art works, The Ottawa Citizen appears unsatisfied.

I have also noticed how the Globe and Mail which use to be a respectable National Newspaper has now sided very clearly with the Prime Minister, the editorial line now appears to be Mr. Harper can do no wrong, while the Opposition and the new Liberal Leader are fumblers.

Canada use to be known as a wealthy country, it is now referred to by political commentators as a relatively poor country.

There is a lot more, this is why I wonder why read the news.



  1. Maybe it's time to go on a "media fast." Lots of people do that rather than going mental with all the terrible goings-on in the world.

    1. Well this is why I prefer to get more involved with the NGC and do volunteer work.