By Alex Bush

May 25, 2009 ( – Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the Canadian pro-life organization that every year organizes the National March for Life, is accusing the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) of engaging in “blatant media censorship.” According to the pro-life group, “for a broadcaster who is funded by the taxpaying Canadian public” CBC’s failure to give national coverage to this year’s March for Life “certainly constitutes unethical journalism and professional misconduct.”

A letter signed by CLC president Jim Hughes was sent to the CBC Ombudsman today, suggesting that CBC willfully “ignored” the 12,300 people who convened on Parliament Hill two weeks ago to protest the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion. This despite the fact that CLC provided CBC with information about the massive pro-life event well in advance, and the fact the station has reported on much smaller protests on the Hill in the past.

“How is it that CBC’s national news desk has in the recent past given lengthy coverage to a paltry 200 individuals at a pro-marijuana rally on the Hill,” asks the letter, “but fails to notice 12,000+ prolife citizens overflowing the grounds of Parliament Hill?”

“Is this not proof of a double standard which favours ‘socially liberal’ causes?”

The letter points out that even the local coverage of the March by the CBC was limited to a mere “25 seconds on a local affiliate which misrepresented the numbers attending as ‘hundreds’,” rather than the more than 12,000 who attended.

According to CLC, the national blackout regarding the March for Life was to all appearances initiated by the CBC “for no other reason than the CBC disagrees with our opinions on abortion.” 

CLC suggests out that the omission by the CBC is even more egregious given the unprecedented level of support given to the march by the Canadian bishops, 11 of whom were present on Parliament Hill, and the “explosive 50% growth in attendance” at the march over last year’s event.

Jim Hughes concludes the CLC letter, saying, “On behalf of millions of Canadians who have been deprived of unbiased journalism by its public broadcaster and the hundreds of thousands who are disgusted by the CBC’s annual blacklisting of the National March For Life, I request a thorough investigation into CBC’s programming practices. The results and remedies ought to receive the national publicity and exposure which CBC routinely denies to opinions with which it disagrees.”

CLC also sent the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) a letter of formal complaint, which accuses the CBC of discrimination against the March for Life.

“We believe the evidence is overwhelming to support our claim that the CBC has discriminated unfairly against our massive National March For Life in that it gave no national television coverage whatsoever to this historic event,” says CLC in that letter.

To read the CLC letter to the CBC:

To read the CLC letter to the CRTC:

Contact information for the CRTC and the CBC Ombudsman:

Toll-free: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
Outside Canada: 819-997-0313
Media inquiries: 819-997-9403

CBC Ombudsman Vince Carlin
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 416/205-2978