This is a really bad time to be a progressive leftist type in Canada these days. As the whole Ghomeshi scandal demonstrated, beneath the seemingly progressive, pro feminist, pro leftist causes, archetypal CBC/Canadian cultural icon (Ghomeshi), was a slimy jerk who took sexual pleasure in allegedly beating, choking, punching and slapping women.
(Note, Ghomeshi’s alleged abuse of women both within and without CBC, was well known to CBC for many years, but CBC senior officials and employees turned a blind eye to Ghomeshi’s alleged mistreatment of women, because he was seemingly progressive, pro climate change and multicultural. Even when a blogging journalist in the blog, “Canadaland”, blew the whistle on Ghomeshi, still leftist progressive women such as Elizabeth May and Sheila Copps and other leftist Canadian progressive types shamefully came to Ghomeshi’s defence. )
Similarly, beneath the seemingly leftist, progressive, pro multicultural, pro Charter of Rights, pro freedom of the press and pro freedom of expression NDP Alberta Government of Premier Rachel (Vladimir) Notley, lies a seemingly authoritarian, anti-democratic Putin-like disregard for Canadian rights- including a free and open press and freedom of expression.
As reported in the National Post, the Alberta NDP government of Rachel Notley has banned all journalists, commentators and employees of The Rebel Media from attending any government news conferences.
The specious and ridiculous reason given by the Alberta government is that Ezra Levant, the founder and head of the Rebel Media is a mere blogger and not a reporter, according to Levant’s testimony in a libel trial in 2014.
In other words, because Levant testified that he was not a reporter but a pundit and a commentator, the NDP government of Rachel Notley declared Levant not a journalist and none of the countless number of individuals who work at the Rebel Media as journalists.
Levant’s reply as reported in the National Post was as follows:
“Of course I’m a journalist. I have been for more than 20 years,” Levant told the Post via email. “Opinion journalists are journalists, and are naturally allowed to cover the government. Is Oates (Notley’s Director of Communications) the press secretly claiming otherwise?”
“It’s outrageous that a government would arrogate unto itself the power to choose who is and isn’t a journalist and would enforce that blacklist with armed sheriffs and Department of Justice lawyers.”
Earlier this month, The Rebel’s Alberta bureau chief, Sheila Gunn Reid, said security escorted her out of the legislature before a press conference with Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau.
(Full disclosure. I am a regular contributor to the Megaphone section of The Rebel Media. I too consider myself an opinion journalist, a commentator, pundit and political analyst. I have written for such other online news media sites as Huffington Post, iPolitics, Canada Free Press, the Jewish Tribune and CIJNews, all of which consider me a journalist.)
A review of the Rebel Media site would indicate that many writers, pundits, commentators and analysts contributing to this news site are former reporters and journalists at the Toronto Sun or the Sun News Network. All are legitimate journalists and should be treated as such.
The real reason for banning Levant and all employees, writers and contributors to the Rebel Media, is because the Rebel Media has performed its journalistic duty in holding the Notley government to account on a whole host of issues. Namely, the NDP government near fatal botching of the oil and gas industry, (the engine of the Alberta’s economy), its unpopular and financially disastrous climate change polices and its unrealistic gamble on developing a green energy industry, notwithstanding the proven failures of the Ontario’s McGuinty/Wynne green energy initiatives.
I predict that the leftwing media, such as it still exists for now, ie the CBC, CTV, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail will remain silent as the fascist-like Alberta leftist NDP government bashes the Rebel Media and prevents them from doing their journalistic jobs in a free and democratic society. And holding this NDP government to account to the people of Alberta and Canada.
Thus proving once again for all Canadians to see, regardless of political stripes, that the leftwing mainstream press are nothing but Pravda-like flacks and propagandists for leftist progressive governments and should be treated and dismissed as such.