CBC admits wrong to omit mentioning Scott Gilmore married to Liberal minister

Below is the response from CBC Executive Producer Kathleen Goldhar to my complaint filed (see here) with the CBC Ombudsman:

Dear Dean Skoreyko:

I am writing to you in response to the April 26 complaint you sent to our Ombudsman concerning a story broadcast on the March 31 edition of The Current. Please accept my apologies for the delay.

You wrote that we should have been more transparent in identifying one of the participants in the story that morning, and I agree I think we should have.

In an edition that hit the streets a couple of days earlier, Maclean’s magazine columnist and self-proclaimed Conservative Party member, Scott Gilmore had written a ringing manifesto for the creation of a new kind of party for conservatives disenchanted with the current direction of the CPC (“Confessions of a self-loathing Tory”)

The column appeared on March 29 and a couple of days later we invited Mr. Gilmour on the program to talk about why he felt the 14-year-old party had failed him and conservatives like him. To join the conversation, we also invited Alise Mills, a conservative political analyst in Vancouver, who feels the issue is a far more complex one than the column suggests, and Colby Badhwar, a Conservative Party member and youth organizer, who argued that a better option would be a grassroots effort to change the party rather than again splitting the right. It was an interesting conversation, insightful in many respects, and entirely focussed on the Conservative Party and conservative movement in Canada.

As you noted, Mr. Gilmore is married to Catherine Mckenna, the Liberal government’s Minister of the Environment. We knew that. (And, no, the relationship was not “intentionally hidden”, as you suggest.) We discussed whether we should include it in the story, but in the long run, in view of the story’s focus, decided it wasn’t especially relevant.

That was our decision, but in retrospect, I think we should have included the information and left it up to our listeners to decide its relevance. We have now added that information to the story on the program’s web page.

Thank you again for your email. I hope my reply has reassured you of the continuing integrity of our program and our news service.

Sincerely,
Kathleen Goldhar
Executive Producer
The Current

Cc. Esther Enkin, CBC Ombudsman

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