JOURNALISM IN CANADA

JOURNALISM IN CANADA: STUCK IN A HOLDING PATTERN ON A CROSS-CULTURAL DIVIDE.

As a bilingual, bicultural native English-speaking Québecer of mixed ancestry, who’s lived or travelled in every Canadian province and one territory, I’m often befuddled, even saddened by just how entrenched our regional differences seem to be in this country.

Everywhere I’ve been in my travels or where I’ve lived in this great country of ours, the one uniting influence or common thread holding us together as a country, seems to be our regionalized disunity. As Québecers we think we’ve got a monopoly on the whole ‘regional or national specificity’ thing. Not so. Everywhere I went during my travels, especially in 2009 and 2010, when I went across the whole country by car, (except to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut), I heard the same old story straight across the country from people I’d encounter at coffee shops, in the street, at tourist sites, downtown, etc. It goes something like this:

‘What we’re going through in our part of Canada is unique and particular to us. The others in the provinces next door don’t understand us; in fact they don’t respect us, and are contemptuous of us. And gosh darn it all, those politicians in Ottawa are so far away, they don’t understand us at all, and we feel so alienated from them it’s not even funny!’

Well, what do you know; everybody in Canada is united by their common sense of regional discontent and disunity and regional specificity and navel-gazing. So what’s new? The worst part of it, is that most people in each part of the country aren’t even aware of the next guy’s regionalism, and that it is eerily similar to their own, they’re too busy griping about their little regionalist, sectional concerns, that nobody sees the big picture: Canada, a country A Mari Usque ad Mare, from sea to sea to sea.

This form of regionalism is only reinforced even more by the regional nature of our media. The CBC covers English Canada, whereas Radio-Canada covers French Canada. Videotron has the cable monopoly in Québec, whereas Shaw has it in the west, and Rogers in Ontario and the Maritimes. Can West Global sold off its print media arm to a company led by National Post CEO Paul Godfrey in English Canada, and its broadcasting arm to Shaw Media, and Bell Media now owns CTV and a bunch of specialty channels, as well as phone and internet service. Most private broadcast media in Québec is owned by Quebecor, such as TVA and the LCN 24 hr news channel, as well as owning a lot of print media, such as Journal de Montréal/Québec, Le Devoir, TV Hebdo, Archambault Music, and the Réseau Contact dating website. The rest of the print media is owned by companies mostly linked to Paul Desmarais, such as Gesca, which owns, among other papers, La Presse, in Montréal, Le Soleil in Québec city, and Le Droit in Gatineau.

So journalists are just as ghettoized as the media outlets that they work for, and seem to like perpetuating regional differences and cleavages for the sake of pumping up the sales of their products, including the information that they’re selling in the stories themselves, since we all know that controversy makes for good news, as well as keeping folks glued to their media outlets so as to continue selling advertizing so as to make money, which seems to be what it’s all about.

For once, I’d like to see those media conglomerates do something in the national interest. Everybody keeps talking about giving the private sector more reign to do things its own way. Well what about having Shaw, Bell, Rogers, and Quebecor all team up and fund a bursary program for print, broadcast, and electronic journalists to do a one year job placement, either during their studies, or while employed, in a French-speaking part of the country for English-language journalists, and vice-versa for French-speaking journalists?

I think this would go a long way towards helping to break down barriers of language, culture, and prejudice amongst journalists in our country, and would help to create lifelong bonds of friendship and professional affiliation amongst journalists across our country. I’ve always believed that once you know somebody, and have developed something of a personal bond of friendship and/or professional respect for that person, you no longer have the luxury of being able to indulge in saying disparaging things about them and people like them, seeing that you no longer are ignorant of them and who they are and what they really stand for as individuals and as a group.

This, I feel would help to build more understanding and cross-cultural and linguistic unity in our country. If the journalists who’re covering the issues know each other quite well on both sides of the ethno-linguistic divide, then I think that they’ll hesitate that much more when it comes to falling back on old and tired regionalist forms of discourse and stereotypes, the likes we’ve seen recently from people such as the Prime Minister’s top aide who recently worked at the PMO, and had no working knowledge of French, and had a long track record of publishing very virulent anti-French and anti-Québec articles in newspapers in Toronto.

Now that I’ve finished my gallivanting across Canada for the time being, I can only hope that the media moguls of this country will hear my appeal and do something positive for the country which has been so good to them. Canada, the big village. Sometimes we get so lost in it we don’t realize we’re all in it together!

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3 comments on “JOURNALISM IN CANADA
  1. wolfzone77 says:

    Dear Peter,

    It would seem that as Canada as component parts is melting away in a worldwide western cultural apathy towards others we may actually be moving towards an arguably American way of looking at things. In the same grain as your blog commentary, Quebec has been the foundation stronghold of such separatist views that redefine unity in diversity.
    “they’re too busy griping about their little regionalist, sectional concerns, that nobody sees the big picture: Canada, a country A Mari Usque ad Mare, from sea to sea to sea.”
    Quebec has been a largely Catholic community for centuries but is it a spiritual community? Is there a problem with the failure of Canadians to see succinctly unified on matters of cultural or regional division? It sounds impossible doesn’t it. But is it? Is it a cultural regional matter or is it something else?
    Consider the question in a spiritual context, consider Galations Chapter 5 in a christian context vs a free sectarian society.

    <> http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gal%205&version=NASB

    Can any spiritually minded person actually argue that any free man does not have to be spiritual to feel free or act freely. A spiritual person knows that in faith in God we are free but we remain bound to our natures, that is our nature of sin. Therefore; to the free man of no spiritual persuasion, the right not to feel convicted of such absence of spiritual nature denies the right or benefit of spiritual life. There can be no justification of self guided views before the cross of Christ. The “free” man has no need to justify behavior but must as a singular entity self justify himself and his immediate surroundings as to self and self betterment and profit for survival or otherwise.

    I believe “The wealth of Nations” (1) discusses some of this relevance in regards to the importance of individual purpose in context of specific wealth. “Political economy is the corresponding art in relation to state.” (Book 4 considers 2 main theories, ‘mercantile and physiocrat’, the first in knowing you will not grow your own surplus and therefore providing some other service in exchange and the second increased by agriculture and the production of ones own sustenance.) In short, what is profitable is best so long as free enterprise has reign to chose and act as best profits the free enterprise system. The theory portends to action by the government to intercede in the affairs of the industries, it is a Darwinian approach to self realization, and that as a direct result of the non-manipulation of private affairs, free enterprise devises to define itself regardless of fair play or not.

    “…the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord”
    (1) http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/y64l02.html

    Let us re-examine then what is obvious, The Crown system in Canada was the foundation set for in Crown Business. I will not read to you the Acts of Confederation of 1867 nor the Canadian Constitution. The Crown itself standing for business and “nobility” was defeated in the American Revolution by George Washington with some crazy French allies Et. Al. What remains in Canada as in free America is the free enterprise system though in Canada remains the intentions of noble conduct by rule of the Crown and in 1983 by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so long as your profits have allowed for legal expenses to protect your own interests.

    I divest as would have book 3 of the Wealth of Nations to describe a particular cause. Why would any free Canadian step out of their own secure bubble to help another if for only free enterprise reasons. Certainly such would have to imply some additional profit or benefit to offset potential contingencies as well as the potential for security damages and costs. So why would any free Canadian even write a simple letter to justify a friend, even a friend exiled without just cause, where such is to compromise their own personal security versus the Crown as it would intend some disrespect to the authority that granted your freedom in the first place. Do you have a lawyer to back that up: otherwise there is no discrimination or harm done; there is no complaint, this is the truth for all under the Canadian Justice system and this in effect sponsors effective individualism and segregation of the population to individual intent. There is no law in Canada or the United States that says you or I have to think alike and all views are weighted in the ability of the producer to financially justify their opinion.

    The individual in Canada is under the obligation to first profit and represent righteous and noble concepts hopefully represented by the Crown as written in law only. Dignity and respect enjoined by the Constitution, that does not mean that all concepts in noble conduct are represented for lack of resource or even question where the Crown system historically was very prejudiced and to intimate misconduct or non-noble behavior of the Crown might have meant exile or worse death for treason. I believe treason may still enjoin the death in penalty in Canada. What remains is the system of government we know has no means to define any spiritual issue other than presumption in the 1983 Canadian Charter preface: “Whereas we believe in the Supremacy of God and the Rule of the Law. This would intend by legal definition first the Supremacy of God, the rule of the law is not necessarily that which is God’s though by noble intent of the Crown should well be if the Charter was signed by the Queen herself, with all due honor and respect.

    So if in Canada we have enjoined God in Law and we must respect all individual definitions of God in law, the supposition of Galatians 5 again in spiritual behavior surmises: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The intent of scripture being in unity further: Ephesians 4:3 …being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    Not all individuals propose such views. This therefore implicates the Christian faith in conflict directly with free enterprise and regional disparity where free enterprise does not have to justify itself in peace or in unity where profit may fail.

    It is the essence of legal truth in western free society that we do not all have to have the same views in faith or in religion. Ergo, the enjoining of God in Law becomes redundant where no non secular definition of the essence of peaceful unity in Canadian citizenship is necessarily defined. So long as the individual has raised no marketable surplus or cannot raise the question, or has neither proposed change in a profitable fashion, there can be no change. There is no reason for change.

    It is a free competitive aspect of reality that defines that a luxury suite at the Dallas stadium is an easy 5 million and drinks are free and that enough capital runs through the same place for its own cause to pay for the national deficit over and over again. It is a question of priorities and human social definitions within reasonable means to define priorities based in survival. Sundays would not be so entertaining without Football would they?

    So the question that remains is, how do we market peaceful unified God theory for Canada in response to overwhelming market pressure. What could the socio-economic buy lines be that will uncontrovertibly define a peaceful unified co-existence with God theory in our economy regardless of religious or atheistic dependencies? Would you write a letter for me if it meant a better world? Does it mean a better world for you if you help me in my campaign? We all labor in presence of the faithful until we meet God alone face to face. There will be no mirrors then, no flashy shows, only justice for all and life ever after in God’s love. But that is just my opinion, concluding that in your article that it is all based on where you are in life and further that the choices we make are free. We can always turn off the television or turn off the commercials but then how would we know the truth about our free market society and our neighbors?

    Jacques F. Boulet

    Like

  2. wolfzone77 says:

    Revised…
    Disregard firtst copy…
    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Commentary on Peter’s blog…
    On matters of free enterprise and unified society in peaceful co-existence…

    Dear Peter,

    It would seem that as Canada as component parts is melting away in a worldwide western cultural apathy towards others, we may actually be moving towards an arguably North American way of looking at things. In the same grain as your blog commentary, Quebec has been the foundation stronghold of such separatist views that redefine unity in diversity. Historically the French defied the English until they lost in Canada and assisted in the founding of the United States and are still arguing.
    “they’re too busy griping about their little regionalist, sectional concerns, that nobody sees the big picture: Canada, a country A Mari Usque ad Mare, from sea to sea to sea.”
    Quebec as an example has been a largely Catholic community for centuries but is it a spiritual community? Is there a problem with the failure of Canadians generally to see succinctly unified on matters of cultural or regional division? Impossible, no, fact; it is a way of life entrenched in us for hundreds of years. Is it a cultural regional matter, a spiritual matter, or is it something else?
    Consider first the question in a spiritual context, consider Galatians Chapter 5 in a Christian context vs. a free sectarian society.

    “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Gal%205&version=NASB

    Can any spiritually minded person actually argue that any free man does not have to be spiritual to feel free or act freely? Of course not it is the essence of freedom to allow others to live freely. A spiritual person knows that in faith in God we are free but we remain bound to our natures, that is our nature of sin. Therefore; to the free man of no spiritual persuasion, the right not to feel convicted of such absence of spiritual nature denies even the right or benefit of spiritual life. There can be no justification of self guided views before the cross of Christ for a Christian. The “free” man has no need to justify behavior but must as a singular entity self justify himself and his immediate surroundings as to self and self betterment and profit for survival or otherwise self benefit.

    I believe “The wealth of Nations” (1) discusses some of this relevance in regards to the importance of individual purpose in context of specific wealth. “Political economy is the corresponding art in relation to state.” (Book 4 considers 2 main theories, ‘mercantile and physiocrat’, the first in knowing you will not grow your own surplus and therefore providing some other service in exchange and the second increased by agriculture and the production of ones own sustenance.) In short, what is profitable is best so long as free enterprise has reign to chose and act as best profits the free enterprise system. The theory portends that action by the government to intercede in the affairs of the industries is harmful. It is a Darwinian approach to self realization that as a direct result of the non-manipulation of private affairs, free enterprise devises to define itself regardless of fair play or not: our life defined by our actions in providing mutual benefit for self profit.

    “…the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord”
    (1) http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/y64l02.html

    Let us re-examine then what is obvious, The Crown system in Canada was the foundation set for in Crown business in North America. The United States began as independently brokered deals with the Crown by Lords and what not for separate pieces of the pie. I will not read to you the Acts of Confederation of 1867 nor the Canadian Constitution nor will I begin to evaluate American justice. The Crown in Canada itself remaining, stands for business and “nobility” and was defeated in the American Revolution by George Washington with some crazy French allies Et. Al. What remains in Canada as in free America is the free enterprise system though in Canada remains by wrote the intentions of noble conduct by rule of the Crown and in 1983 by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for the people, so long as your profits have allowed for legal expenses to protect your own interests in Court.

    I divest as would have book 3 of the Wealth of Nations to describe a particular cause. Why would any free Canadian step out of their own secure bubble to help another if for only free enterprise reasons. Certainly such would have to imply some additional profit or benefit to offset potential contingencies as well as the potential for security damages and costs. So why would any free Canadian even write a simple letter to justify a friend, even a friend exiled without just cause: where such is to compromise their own personal security versus the Crown, as it would intend some disrespect to the authority that granted freedom in the first place. Do you have a lawyer to back that up: otherwise there is no discrimination or harm done; there is no complaint, this is the truth for all under the Canadian Justice system and this in effect sponsors effective individualism and segregation of the population to individual intent. There is no law in Canada or the United States that says you or I have to think alike and all views are weighted in the ability of the producer to financially justify their opinion. Such may be to come in my case very soon.

    The individual in Canada is under the obligation to first profit and represent righteous and noble concepts hopefully represented by the Crown as written in law only. Dignity and respect enjoined by the Canadian Constitution; that does not mean that all concepts in noble conduct are represented for lack of resource or even question where the Crown system historically is very prejudiced and to intimate misconduct or non-noble behavior by the Crown might have meant exile or worse death for treason. I believe treason may still enjoin the death in penalty in Canada.

    What remains is the system of government we know now has no means to define any spiritual issue other than presumption in the 1983 Canadian Charter preface: “Whereas we believe in the Supremacy of God and the Rule of the Law. This would intend by legal definition first the Supremacy of God, the rule of the law is not necessarily that which is God’s though by noble intent of the Crown should well be if the Charter was signed by the Queen herself, with all due honor and respect to Her Majesty.

    So if in Canada we have enjoined God in Law and we must respect all individual definitions of God in law, the supposition of Galatians 5 again in spiritual behavior surmises: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The intent of scripture being in unity further: Ephesians 4:3 …being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

    Not all individuals propose such views. This therefore implicates the Christian faith in conflict directly with free enterprise and regional disparity where free enterprise does not have to justify itself in peace or in unity where profit may fail.

    It is the essence of legal truth in western free society that we do not all have to have the same views in faith or in religion. Ergo, the enjoining of God in Law becomes redundant where no non secular definition of the essence of peaceful unity in Canadian citizenship is necessarily defined. So long as the individual has raised no marketable surplus or cannot raise the question in Court, or has neither proposed change in a profitable fashion for the mutual benefit of others; there can be no change. There is no reason for change.
    It is a free competitive aspect of North American reality that defines that a luxury suite at the Dallas stadium is an easy 5 million and drinks are free and that enough capital runs through similar institutions for its own cause to pay for the national deficit over and over again. It is a question of priorities and human social definitions within reasonable means to define priorities based in survival and personal preference. Sundays would not be so entertaining without Football would they? We are living the times we are because of the choices we have made or allowed.

    So the question that remains is, how do we market peaceful unified God theory for North America in response to overwhelming market pressures. What could the socio-economic buy lines be that will uncontrovertibly define a peaceful unified co-existence within a God theory based economy regardless of religious or atheistic dependencies?

    Would you write a letter for me if it meant a better world? Would you write a letter for me if it meant my freedom again? Does it mean a better world for you if you help me in my market campaign? I remain in exile.

    We all labor in presence of the faithful until we meet God alone face to face. There will be no mirrors then, no flashy shows, only justice for all and life ever after in God’s love. But that is just my opinion: concluding that in your article that it is all based on where you are in life and further that the choices we make are free. We can always turn off the television or turn off the commercials but then how would we know the truth about our free market society and our neighbors? Maybe we could start in Church; then again when the Christian Church started they shared everything to the benefit of the poor…

    Jacques F. Boulet

    Like

  3. michael says:

    Very interesting article about the regions of Canada and their thinking.

    Like

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