Canadian journos like the National Post’s Andrew Coyne have a dirty little secret – they make a lot of money on the speakers’ circuit especially if they have a high profile weekly gig on CBC like Coyne does.
Coyne may ‘only’ make $500(?) plus expenses appearing on The National each time but that translates into top dollar billing when he is hired to give speeches bashing PM Stephen Harper like he did yesterday at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta.
Now keep in mind that Coyne spent the weekend whining about how the Media Party was treated at the Calgary Convention and being untruthful about access to delegates:
Indeed, most of Calgary’s BMO Centre was off limits. If you stood in the foyer, you could just catch a glimpse of delegates milling about inside, protected as by a cordon sanitaire from the filth that waited for them, pen in hand, without. That is, you could, until you were ordered out of the foyer.
It was all part of the weird, unsettling vibe that hung over the whole event. (We’ve grown used to seeing prime ministers sealed inside an impenetrable bubble, but a whole party?) That reporters were constrained from doing their jobs is perhaps a side issue. But that a democratic political party, at its national convention, would go to such lengths to hide from public view is just a bit creepy.
In the end it didn’t succeed in preventing reporters from talking to delegates (see here)
This was of course pure BS as blogger Alberta Ardvark put the lie (see here) to Coyne’s column and was actually standing beside Coyne during Harper’s speech.
But of course when I asked Mr Democracy himself if the University of Alberta was paying him for speaking to them in light of staff layoffs and program cuts to the tune of 7% as mandated this year by the Redford government, I didn’t receive a reply.
I then went to the U of A Faculty of Law and asked them this:
“could you please tell me if your faculty is paying Andrew Coyne a speaking fee and or expenses for his lecture today and if so, how much.”
To which I received this:
Communications and Events Coordinator | Faculty of Law
I took that as Coyne’s fees and expenses were paid for by private donations but to confirm, I followed up with this:
Thank you for your quick reply. I assume then that this fund has nothing to do with U of A monies and is administered outside of the university’s access to information scope?
No reply so far but will update if I receive one.
Update: The Faculty of Law wasn’t impressed as their blog points out Coyne has joined the lunatic David Suzuki in calling for politicians to be jailed for lying
But I am skeptical of Coyne’s law and order style proposals that would make it illegal for politicians to lie and for citizens not to vote. (see here)
Dear Mr. Skoreyko:
I regret that Katherine Thompson’s message to you in November 2013 that Andrew Coyne was being paid to deliver the Leitch Lecture at the University of Alberta was mistaken.
My office gave Ms. Thompson incorrect advice when she wrote to you. We customarily offer the person who delivers the Leitch Lecture an honorarium paid for out of a fund created to establish the Lecture in Mr. Leitch’s honour. We assumed, incorrectly, that Mr. Coyne would accept the offer of an honorarium since it is common for speakers to do so.
Mr. Coyne was dealing with our colleagues at the University of Calgary, with whom we share the Leitch Lecture, about the arrangements for the Lecture and it only became clear to us afterwards that Mr. Coyne had rejected the offer of any payment.
I apologize for any inconvenience caused to you or Mr. Coyne as a result of this mistake, the responsibility for which is mine and not Ms. Thompson’s.
Yours sincerely, Philip Bryden Dean of Law