By Letter to the Editor on March 7, 2020.
I believe there are many factors that can contribute to the demise of our democracy, including the deterioration of our election process, corruption throughout governments and society in general, fake news/social media and people confusing personal commentary as factual news. One of my biggest fears is the loss of an unbiased free press.
This letter was prompted by an article in the Lethbridge Herald on Feb. 13 by Peter Stockland. (https://lethbridgeherald.com/commentary/opinions/2020/02/13/crtcs-dangerous-new-vision/)
Freedom of the press/free speech and, just as important, an unbiased press with journalistic integrity, searching for the truth, is in serious trouble, in my opinion. There are many ways to destroy freedom of the press and ultimately free speech. You can influence their reporting and commentary by paying the media like the Liberals are doing. Annual payout to CBC, $1.5 billion; the Liberal party’s $600-million bribe to the media that supports their agenda and $1.4 billion if you publish stories that reinforce climate change. How can you possibly expect journalistic integrity when the owners of the media are being paid off by the government?
Two other examples are how both then premier Rachel Notley and PM Trudeau both went after two journalists working for Rebel News. Both journalists have written books regarding either Ms. Notley or Mr. Trudeau. On both occasions they were attacked by the respective election bureaucrats insinuating that these books were political advertising and therefore the journalist should have registered with the respective election offices.
In both cases, government officials at taxpayers’ expense were used to hassle these authors because both Ms. Notley and Mr. Trudeau did not like what was said about them in the books. If there were some lies in the books, then both can sue for defamation of character at their expense, not use government employees. No other media outlet, except for Rex Murphy, reported on this outrageous abuse of power and a deliberate attack on free speech.
A great example that demonstrates freedom of the press is still alive is the recent SNC Lavalin corruption scandal where Justin Trudeau was found guilty of corruption over conflict of interest with his interference in the justice process. Without the journalistic integrity and searching for the truth by three journalists at the Globe and Mail, Trudeau might have gotten away with his interference. Democracy will die if we lose freedom of the press and right now, we are on life support.