My complaint filed with CBC Ombudsman on story’s omission of Ontario Liberal’s Walkerton funding cuts


Sent today to CBC Ombudsman Esther Enkin based on this previous post (see here):

During the highly-charged, partisan climate of a provincial election campaign, it is critical for journalists to avoid any appearance of bias or unduly favourable coverage that would seek to promote the interests of one candidate or party over another. One of the most important ways journalists can uphold this standard, in turn, is to ensure whenever possible, all available facts on a controversial matter are fully reported, particularly when the controversy involves one candidate or politician making allegations of another’s past record or future agenda.

In a May 20, 2014 article by CBC commentator Robert Fisher, Mr. Fisher offers a lengthy analysis of the legacy of the Walkerton water plant scandal, and the challenge the issue presents for both the PC and Liberal parties’ electoral chances. Though the column makes mention of the fact that PC leader Tim Hudak “served as a loyal and enthusiastic member of cabinet” during the Harris years as a way of indicating Hudak’s connection to the government whose budget cuts some consider responsible for the Walkerton scandal, Mr. Fisher’s piece made no mention of the equally relevant fact that the Liberal government of which Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne was part cut funding for the Walkerton Clean Water Centre by $1 million in their 2011-2012 budget.

Since Mr. Fisher’s column is described on the CBC website as neutral “analysis,” and not partisan commentary, I believe it was inexcusable for the omission of the Liberal government’s $1 million cuts to the Walkerton facility in an article on the political impact of Walkerton on the provincial election.

I’ve asked Mr. Fisher about this omission yet received no reply and am making this complaint in order to compel the CBC to respond and explain.

Thank you.


23 Responses to “My complaint filed with CBC Ombudsman on story’s omission of Ontario Liberal’s Walkerton funding cuts”

  1. paulsstuff Says:

    Nice job buddy.

  2. ohboy Says:

    It will be interesting to see what she has to say about this should she reply.

    This is a gross omission by Fisher … one that cannot be fobbed off as an error unless he wants to admit to over the top incompetence.
    Somehow I would find that a stretch!
    Mainstream Journalism needs a massive tune-up… The disingenuousness of it is staggering.

  3. oldwhiteguy Says:

    you wasted your time.

    • BC Blue Says:

      It’s never a waste of time to: 1) get it on record 2) let it be known someone will call them on it


      • jmw Says:

        I agree Dean. The power of free speech is to hold those to account who hold power over us. Government should fear the people, not the other way around. If we each continue to strive for this, it WILL make a difference. Thanks for all you efforts!

  4. Mary Hines Says:

    Thanks for what you do. There are so many of us – out there, that really, really notice and care, but we do nothing about it…. Watching Ditchburn on Power and Politics or as a guest panel member on Peter’s liberal panel, makes my “blood boil”… she will turn inside out to defend her liberal party and liberal leader.. P&P always has more liberals guests than any other party making sure they have more liberal views than any others…….. sad case of journalism…..

  5. Bubba Brown Says:

    Exactly Dean it lets them know we are watching and not being snowed by their BS.
    Speaking of which Juniors throwing every Liberal off the bus that does not agree with him re Abortion.
    They are referencing a “Petition” that 10,000 people “Allegedly”
    have signed supporting Justin.
    So where the heck is the petition?
    I googled it 6 different ways and came up with nada.

  6. robins111 Says:

    Good one… Thanks.

  7. Dave B. Says:

    Thanks Dean for all your posts. I enjoy the insight. One question I have that maybe you can help. Why are we hearing nothing of a potential coalition Gov’t in Ontario. A very likely result is a Hudak minority. If this is the case, will Kathleen and Andrea put the wheels in motion to defeat Hudak at the first opportunity and then have a formal agreement they can present to the lieutenant Govenor. Kathleen will be back in the Premiers chair with some N.D.P. In Cabinet. Seems like a likely scenario to me. If this scenario was ever in the headlines of the media party, Hudaks support would grow rapidly.

    • Martin Says:

      If Hudak can win a minority with the most seats, he should be OK. We know from the past 3 years how difficult it is to get a NC motion to the floor, he would have to be defeated on a money bill. Precedent should also come into play here; Liberals have been in power for over 10 years and are declining in popularity, it would be hard to justify clinging to power with another minority if they have less seats than PCs. This did happen before but it was the PCs who had been in government a long while, the Liberal-NDP coalition was formed. Not that some Liberals wouldn’t try it, but if Hudak wins most seats momentum, public opinion and fairness should dictate that he be given a chance to govern..

  8. Ed B Says:

    Well done but I suspect like most things this will fall on deaf ears at the CBC (Can’t Bother Correcting). They have always had their own agenda be it Promoting the entitlement party for a run at Gov Gen, Global war…er I meant Climate Change, or something David Snoozooky comes up with after a 3 day mushroom trip. When you’re talking fair and balanced coverage I find it more concerning that the various Billion dollar spends for things not happening aren’t being mentioned in the articles regarding the million jobs plan… or the fact there simply doesn’t appear to be any plan from Wynner’s team

  9. Liz J Says:

    Used to be Quebec had the distinction of being the most corrupt province, it’s being rivaled by Ontario under the McGuinty Liberals. If the same Liberals with McGuinty’s successor Wynne get back to power Ontario will have that distinction. It will also shed some light on the type of citizens who reside in Ontario, they love being lied to, paying high taxes and taken to the cleaners across the board. Quebec’s new government has a leader who sounds like someone who is serious about turning that province in the right direction, I think he agrees with Finance Minister Oliver about getting Quebec off the dole through equalization.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Whatever the outcome you have to make your voice be heard. So good for you for bringing this matter up to the ombudsman.

  11. Jen Says:



    Neither before nor after his successful run to become prime minister did the mass of the mainstream tell us the truth about Trudeau. An exception was Lubor Zink of the Toronto Telegram, who for his pains was ridiculed as some kind of right-wing nut. Just as, today, anyone who challenges leftist extremism gets the same treatment.Doug Collins
    September 12, 2000

    So, the media remains committed to Trudeau and to the liberals.

  12. Angus Says:

    The CBC are Liberal labdogs. You think they are going to report on something their hero Justin has done/not done. Don’t hold your breath. This dinosaur organization needs to be put to sleep.

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