Canadian Values or Liberal Values?
Tue, January 30, 2018 | Author: Peter Vogel | Volume 25 Issue 5
Our Prime Minister’s idea of having an ideological test for Canada’s Summer Jobs Program is a story that has captured significant attention—even from journalists and commentators who are adamantly “pro-choice”—because even they can see that this is a problem.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) commented on it, and rightly so—what other western democracy has allowed this kind of pro-abortion litmus test for receiving public funds? The requirement that no organization can expect to receive government funding for student summer employment unless it checks a box stating that it supports abortion is a story that has made some finally question the “tolerance” of our Liberal government.
A different problem, which you might have noticed, is that most Canadian news agencies are not doing well financially. Most, but not all. The CBC is still doing fine.
The CBC can afford to cover stories of major or limited interest; they can afford to be creative, professional, and biased. They are not affected by the normal factor of cost. Their budget is replenished by our tax dollars, unaffected by public demand for their content. They tell Canadians what they want them to know and, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, frame the debate on national issues.
There is no level playing field in the news business in Canada. It has been this way for so long that everyone takes it for granted, but the role and necessity of the CBC needs to be re-examined. Small, independent news outlets that depend on advertising revenue or individual subscriptions should not have to compete with a state-subsidized monolith.
One way of levelling the playing field would be to subsidize all news outlets—this idea is being considered. There would be two problems with this: the independence of journalism would be seriously at risk, and the ongoing cost would severely burden the taxpayer.
While the cost factor alone should be enough to stop the idea of subsidies, the further erosion of journalistic integrity and resulting slant and bias should absolutely condemn this idea. We need our government and its policies to be scrutinized and criticized by the media without fear. Government subsidies would put a chill on criticizing government, if not at first, slowly over time.
And that is without an ideological litmus test.
Don’t expect an ideology test for news agencies even if the government were to decide to subsidize them—not right away. But the tests did not come right away for the summer jobs program either. We must always look ahead and see what is possible, and warn accordingly.
No government would really want to pay for a news agency that constantly criticized its actions. They would find ways of eliminating the subsidies for some while allowing their favourites to receive funding, always with an eye towards holding onto power in the next election.
No doubt, “fake news” would increase as “friendly” media outlets would churn out even more feel-good falsehoods to please the government that signs its paycheque.
Independent pro-life news sources could not expect a dime of government help. The PM would not help them survive because he considers the protection of innocent human life as “contrary to Canadian values!” What he means is that they are contrary to his own Liberal values.
Just last week, Member of Parliament and former Conservative Party leadership contestant, Kellie Leitch, announced her upcoming resignation. She was known for, and derided by the media for, proposing that immigrants be screened for “Canadian Values” (besides her concern in regard to Islamic cultural practices, her idea of Canadian Values also included a pro-choice position and acceptance of gender fluidity). She had been a proponent of a “barbaric cultural practices tip-line” in the last federal election, and the other parties expressed outrage at this idea.
Now the Liberals are for both. It is not exactly the same, but their imposition of their own “Liberal Values” test for organizations that hope to obtain grants for student summertime employees is even worse. Screening immigrants is a security issue, but screening Canadian organizations based on a new set of arbitrary values is a clear case of imposing morality—or rather, immorality in this instance.
The Liberals will also need a “tip-line” to catch organizations doing work that does not fit their agenda.
The silver lining is that this story is keeping the issue of abortion in the news. Before it surfaced it seemed very easy for proponents of abortion to keep it off the radar, completely removed from public dialogue.
Is abortion a fundamental Canadian value? The NDP under Jagmeet Singh thinks so. The Liberal Party thinks so. Their report says, “… including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights …” The Conservative Party refused to deal with the humanity of the pre-born when they served in government.
Former MP Brent Rathgeber probably summed up the whole situation best in these words: “Although no group is entitled to receive discretionary government funding, the administration of any government activity is subject to Charter scrutiny. To deny funding on the basis of one’s opinions or beliefs, or because of the tenets of one’s religion, is the antithesis of promoting Charter values.”
Take a minute to sign a petition against this “values test”, and please keep supporting the only federal political party that believes in the principles on which this country was founded—Biblical principles that respect human life and dignity at all stages of development.
See also: Signs of Tyranny In The New Canada
Other Commentary by Peter Vogel:
- Loss and Hope for Humboldt
- Assisted Living or Assisted Death?
- Who Is Paying for the News?
- If Trudeau Went to ___ What Would He Wear?
- Canadian Values or Liberal Values?
- Above Us Only Snowflakes
- Two Different Apologies
- The Right to Not Give Up
- Unofficial Opposition
- Plucking the Canada Goose
- Synergy of Abuse
- Faith, Courage, and Holy War