Awkward tweet from the UN

A one state solution tweet that could have come from Hamas.

Amazingly, it came from the United Nations.

The @UN later corrected their tweet:

Related:

On Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is to ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in 1967, as a non-member state. The vote is expected to pass with an overwhelming majority.
 
Israel, the United States and Canada, along with a smattering of European states and a handful of other smaller nations, are expected to oppose the motion.

Justin Trudeau apologizes

Yesterday, in response to a story in the Sun News chain that brought to light comments that Justin Trudeau made two years ago on Quebec television, the Trudeau campaign released the following statement,

“The Conservatives are using out of context statements made years ago in a long interview. They are clearly concerned that they are losing the by-election in Calgary Centre and are resorting to smear campaigns to stop their slide.”
 
“Justin knows that Calgary, Alberta and all of western Canada are at the very heart of Canada’s future. That’s a message he has taken to every part of the country, from the beginning of the campaign. We need to get beyond the divisive politics of the Conservatives and include all Canadians.”

That didn’t really wow people as much as Trudeau’s team wanted it to, leading to criticism from the NDP, Conservatives and from media pundits, including from members of CBC’s At Issue panel.

Today, in BC, Justin Trudeau offered an apology,

“I’m sorry I said what I did. I was wrong to relate the area of the country that Mr. Harper is from with the people who live there and with the policies that he has that don’t represent the values of most Canadians”
 
“It was wrong to use a shorthand to say Alberta, when I was really talking about Mr. Harper’s government, and I’m sorry I did that.”

Yet earlier this year in a radio interview in Quebec, Trudeau described of Mr. Harper’s government (rather, his imagined image of it) and suggested that he would support Quebec becoming its own country,

“I always say that if I ever believed Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper and we were going against abortion and going against gay marriage, and we were going backward in 10,000 different ways, maybe I’d think of wanting to make Quebec a country”

So now we learn that Justin Trudeau didn’t mean “Alberta” when he was trying to say something about the “Harper government. Given this revelation, have we learned that he does favour breaking up the country even if he doesn’t mean to say any bad words about Alberta?

Here are my comments on this story on the Sun News Network,

Trudeau in his own words. Liberal leadership contender slammed Alberta.

Ouch. It could not have come at a worse time for the Liberal Party of Canada, which polls say are running a close second in a by-election in Calgary Centre.

Sun News has uncovered a two year old clip of Justin Trudeau, son of the former PM and now running for leadership of the Libearal Party, saying some unfortunate and shameful things about Alberta.

This comes on the heels of comments by National Resources critic David McGuinty’s comments yesterday that the Harper government was shilling for Big Oil and that Albertan MPs have a provincial focus and should “go back to Alberta”.

Trudeau remarked that he is running a campaign to unite all Canadians but he will found that this hopeful narrative has hit a brick wall when Canadians learn about his comments.

In an interview on the Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs, he remarked,

Trudeau: “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work”

Reporter: “[we] better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans?”

Trudeau: “I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec… This country – Canada – it belongs to us.”

The Calgary Centre by-election is in 4 days.

UPDATE: Justin Trudeau’s campaign has reacted to the story in an emailed response to reporters,

“The Conservatives are using out of context statements made years ago in a long interview. They are clearly concerned that they are losing the by-election in Calgary Centre and are resorting to smear campaigns to stop their slide.”
 
“Justin knows that Calgary, Alberta and all of western Canada are at the very heart of Canada’s future. That’s a message he has taken to every part of the country, from the beginning of the campaign. We need to get beyond the divisive politics of the Conservatives and include all Canadians.”

Press Gallery’s Turf War

The Parliamentary Press Gallery (PPG) is the guild of Ottawa journalists that has been given the right to govern press access to Parliament Hill by the Speaker of the House via the Sergeant-at-Arms.

While this allows for the media to administrate media affairs on Parliament Hill, it can put the organization in conflict with the greater principles of free speech and press freedoms in this country. Longtime readers of this blog will remember my own run-in with the PPG when I tried to cover the budget-day proceedings on the Hill. In short, I concluded at the time as I do now: once the press fought for access, now the press guild is a gatekeeper of it.

The press mix on the Hill has evolved since the days when Gallery members told me that working for the Manning Centre disqualified me from reporting on the Hill. Now, Rabble and The Straight Goods are members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. (not to mention China’s Xinhua!)

Today, Hill press upstart Blacklock’s Reporter announced that it is seeking legal remedy against the PPG for effectively blocking it from membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Of course, this got my attention as someone that has fought for press access to the Hill for bloggers and new media.

Blacklock’s Reporter today served legal notice it will challenge a gag ruling that disqualifies the online publisher from the Ottawa Press Gallery unless management divulges proprietary information.
 
“If this precedent stands independent journalism is dead on Parliament Hill,” said Blacklock’s board. “No newspaper, radio or TV station would tolerate these arbitrary requirements, yet the gallery would ban an online publisher.”

But yet, Blacklock’s editor Tom Korski isn’t a stranger to strong-arm bully tactics of keeping reporters off of Parliament Hill however, if the PPG’s own minutes from February 8th, 2012 are to be believed,

Sun Media
 
The Gallery received a letter dated February 2, 2012 from member Tom Korski asking that the Gallery apply Section 10 of the Gallery Constitution and expel Sun Media from the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Section 10 provides that a member can be expelled if they use their membership or the facilities of the Gallery to obtain a benefit other than by journalism, including activities such as the representation of interests of political parties, governments. Tom Korski said Sun Media contravened that section of the Constitution in two cases – the Citizenship Reaffirmation Ceremony broadcast on SunTV in which federal bureaucrats posed as new Canadians and a 2005 case in which Brian Lilley and his family spoke in praise of government policy while appearing as grocery shoppers.

Korski himself tried to expel Sun Media from access to Parliament Hill. The PPG, to their credit rebuffed his request, yet were in the odious position of considering it. QMI (Sun Media) has the highest newspaper circulation in the country and their Quebec news channels (TVA and LCN) are among the very top-watched in the province.

Not satisfied with the PPG executive’s decision, Korski subsequently ran for it.

The Parliamentary Press Gallery is certainly set up to facilitate the business of reporting the news on Parliament Hill. Yet, it finds itself in the illiberal position of denying press freedom to citizens (reporters are simply citizens who ‘report’ — they are granted no special status by constitution or statute). Also, the Gallery seems to be rife with corporate and state-run (CBC) interests that seek to protect their turf. This Blacklock’s Reporter incident shows and serves to illustrate that PPG members will even move to protect their exclusive access by denying others and by trying to strip the press freedoms of their competition.

War memorial vandalized, CBC reaction?

On Remembrance Day, a war memorial in Toronto’s Coronation Park was vandalized scrawled with the words “CANADA WILL BURN PRAISE ALLAH”.

The news hit the pages of the Toronto Sun, CTV, Global and the Toronto Star with the Toronto Police investigating the incident as a “hate crime”.

CBC.ca, however, has not reported on the incident at the time of this writing.

Perhaps it doesn’t fit their narrative?

Days ago, a video of soldiers mocking Osama bin Laden dressed up in a turban in “brown face” surfaced and the CBC cleared space for the “exclusive”. A warning even preceded the story suggesting that viewers/listeners may be offended by the video.

Sources in Ottawa report that CBC was in possession of the video for at least a couple of months and sat on the “story” until Veteran’s Week.

CBC even covered the story on the National.

CBC ran a follow-up story on the reaction that its story generated with, er, Shaun Majumdar, their own on-air talent. The top three comments from their audience on the story?

“9 out of 10 real Canadians would not find that offensive…Its time for some people to get a life…” (2566 up votes / 569 downvotes)

“Breaking News…. “Canadians have a Sense of Humor” (2096 / 293)

“Big deal nothing wrong with it” (1923 / 356)

It’s clear that the folks over at the state-funded broadcaster seem more interested in reporting perceived insults by Canadian soldiers than an actual crime of vandalism that offends the memory of fallen Canadian soldiers.

Why is that?

UPDATE: Hope is not completely lost. CBC later covered this story on their 9pm National newscast.

UPDATE: CBC.ca posts story at 10:18pm.

UPDATE: CBC Toronto did a TV news hit on the story at around 2pm.