[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Globe and Mail editorial mocks the notion of private-sector sponsorship of a government conference. Good. They’re right to. But their disdain is not surprising, given the liberal media’s reluctance to embrace anything “corporate” or in any way capitalist.

“The Premiers’ conference: And now, a word from our sponsor”

Let’s watch how they, and others in the liberal-left’s media division, craft this.

The Globe and Mail’s editorial begins with a lamentation about “corporate sponsorships” paying the bill for the conference.

…is being paid for in large part by corporate sponsorships. This is government brought to you by “insert sponsor name here.” And it’s dead wrong.

“Dead wrong.” Wow. That’s pretty adamant.

They go on: in the second paragraph, they sneer, “But this year it has hit new heights of indecency…”

And then they list some of the “wrong,” “indecent,” “corporate” sponsors, such as Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor and CUPE.

Yeah exactly. Wut? We thought you said “corporate.” They’re more like anti-corporate than “corporate.”

Oh and by the way, also on the sponsorship list is BCE (an actual corporation), which partly owns the Globe and Mail; a newspaper represented by the union UNIFOR. So that’s a neat package of “dead wrong” and “indecent” Globe and Mail influence.  At this point one might invoke some snark, and ask if they’ve even got editors over there at the Globe and Mail. Alas, this editorial about “dead wrongs” and “indecencies” was written by their editorial board. So.

We have at least two problems here, Canada: (1) that there is non-governmental sponsorship of a supposedly ever-so vital government conference; and (2) that the media is being so, well, how about just “insert word here”  – in their reporting, and in their own culpability.

Ottawa_CitizenAccording to the Ottawa Citizen, those “corporations” –  Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor and CUPE – each gave $25,000 of their union members’ cash to, essentially, the government; but the unions, the Citizen also dares point out, represent numerous workers whose jobs and personal salaries and benefits and pensions are paid in one way or another with provincial taxpayers’ – government – money.

That has at least the appearance of a shady situation in which there could be a conflict of interest, influence peddling, corruption, and just very poor government. It’s a situation even worse than the similar-sounding labor unions’ ownership of the federal and provincial NDP, um, “corporations,” to use the Globe and Mail‘s crafty terminology, and how they elect and run governments who in turn pay them and such. That too is “dead wrong,” and “indecent.” But you won’t hear them saying it.

But wait! No influence-peddling could possibly happen here, folks. Trust us! We are the government! The Charlottetown newspaper The Guardian goes right ahead and conflates the two problems with their reporting: they put the “corporate” sleight-of-hand right in their headline, while going to bat for the apologetics of an apparently “bought” Liberal premier Robert Ghiz, in the process:

Corporate sponsors for premiers meeting not conflict of interest, says Ghiz

…and they go on about how “hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised through “corporate sponsors,” and even quote
Ghiz explaining, “If we’re bringing in people from all over the country, I want to show them a good time”  – a pretty Froot_Loopsgalling statement, even from a big-government progressive.

Well yeah, we all expect government to be “a good time,” first and foremost. Our concern for big, growing government, its corruption, waste, high taxes, the joblessness, aboriginal murder and mayhem, and governments’ propensity to do utterly nothing positive, are all way down the list, in that big-government leader’s mind, apparently brought to you by Froot Loops. Insert other appropriate slams here.

Which brings us back to our problem #1.

The Ottawa Citizen‘s writer concludes:

When our political executives meet to do the people’s business, it should be on the people’s dime. If they can’t afford to have receptions, or don’t want to be seen paying for them with public money, they shouldn’t have them. The way the premiers have grown accustomed to doing it is tawdry.

The Globe and Mail finally allows this in their editorial about the “corporate” sponsorships:

…If this is a valuable conference, it should be paid for by taxpayers. If it can’t be justified as a worthwhile expense, it should be abandoned or cut back in scale or frequency. Do it in a high-school gym under a basketball net, if you have to. …

You had us at “If this is a valuable conference.” It is not.

Joel Johannesen
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