Minna loses it over CBC slag
Those wounds from last summer's CBC lockout are still a little raw in Beaches-East York, where Grit MP Maria Minna is fighting for re-election.
On Monday, the Canadian Media Guild's CBC Toronto president, Joe Hill , tore a strip off Minna for circulating campaign lit showing the MP on the picket line with CBC workers.
"Using the photo to pretend that you have been a staunch supporter of the CBC and its employees is misleading at best," Hill writes in an open letter to Minna.
He points out that the Liberals have not only failed to keep their promise to provide "long-term stable funding" for the CBC, but have "actually implemented the biggest cut ever to the CBC's budget.
"As well, [this government] appointed and reappointed a president who has locked out its employees three times in five years. Your words of support for the CBC seem nothing more than cynical electioneering." Ouch.
Minna, who hadn't seen the letter until NOW forwarded an e-mail version to her, says she's furious anyone would suggest she hasn't stood up for the CBC. On the contrary, she says she's worked to ensure funding not only for the CBC, but also for arts and culture in the riding.
"If anybody's electioneering, it's [Hill], and I'd like to know who he's electioneering for," says Minna. "You talk to Ian Morrison [of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting ]. He can tell you how much time I've spent with him over the years whenever he needed to have someone on the inside. This is absolutely disgusting. It's unreal."
Says Morrison: "Maria Minna has been one of our top supporters. She's been instrumental in seeing CBC funding increased and helping behind the scenes. The Media Guild may have a political agenda. We've had our own difficulties dealing with its leadership."
Maclean's Coyne flip
If it's publicity the long-struggling Maclean's is after, then publisher Kenneth Whyte has been on the right track (or is that right-wing track?) with the mag's election coverage.
First, the mag poses NDP leader Jack Layton on the cover to look like the second coming of Lenin, then it exhorts voters in Vancouver Centre to send NDPer Svend Robinson packing.
But the Linda Frum Q&A with Liberal Deborah Coyne in the same issue (Coyne's running against Layton in Toronto-Danforth) is a real knee-slapper - more because of Frum's bizarre line of questioning than any sense of humour Coyne may possess.
Frum: "Many women don't go into politics because it's too hard on marriages. Given this, being a single woman can actually be an advantage, don't you think? There's one less thing to go wrong."
Coyne: "Ah... no comment."
Then there's this delightful exchange.
Frum: "Another barrier to women entering politics is their fear of the sometimes cruel scrutiny of their appearance: their hair, their shoes. Does that worry you?"
Coyne: "I'm not worried about it. The people who are voting, more than half of them are women."
Then the gotcha.
Frum: "If the Liberals win re-election, their reign could continue for 14 to 16 years. At some point - do you not agree? - it erodes the democratic process to live in a single-party state."
Coyne rightly points out that we live in a democratic country. Finally, a little clarity.