By John-Henry Westen

EDMONTON, October 10, 2007 ( – Last week the founding editor of The Western Standard announced the magazine was going out of print.  Ezra Levant founded the magazine four years ago from the ashes of the then recently defunct Alberta Report, a production of the Byfield family.

“It’s a purely financial decision,” said Levant, in his article entitled, “150 million pages of fighting the good fight.” spoke with the editor of Canada’s The Interim newspaper about the news.  The Interim, Canada’s pro-life, pro-family newspaper, now represents one of only a handful of conservative print publications in the nation.

“I’m saddened by the news of the demise of the Western Standard,” said The Interim editor Paul Tuns. “It was one of the few mainstream media news outlets that challenged liberal orthodoxy in this country.”

  Tuns noted that The Western Standard broke stories on sex-selection abortions among some Asian immigrant communities in Canada and frequently commented upon the encroachment of democracy by activist judges and the threat that radical Islam poses to Canada. He also noted that the magazine published numerous pro-life columnists including Mark Steyn, David Warren, Fr. Raymond DeSouza, Ted Byfield and Michael Coren.

  The Interim does not believe that the end of The Western Standard’s print edition—it might continue as an online presence—represents the failure of conservatives and libertarians to work together, or the inability of conservatism to make inroads in predominantly liberal Canada. Tuns said The Western Standard’s demise is more a reflection of recent dramatic changes in information distribution. “Dead tree publications are a relic of the past and social conservatives must, and are, embracing the internet. With a news cycle that moves by the hour, the bi-weekly news magazine is at a great disadvantage.”

Tuns said The Interim has the advantage of being a pro-life brand for nearly 25 years, but during that time it has changed its focus. At first, the paper offered news that wasn’t available elsewhere, but with the dawn of the internet and alternative publications, “The Interim now offers context and analysis that benefits from some sober second thought rather than the immediacy of the news cycle.” he said, “The Western Standard, however, provided an odd and unsustainable combination of news, commentary and analysis, that prevented it from ever forming a coherent identity.”

  Tuns also said that conservative benefactors need to financially support publications, both online and print, to get their message to a broad public. Until people with deep pockets fund such endeavours, he emphasized, conservatives of all stripes will be at a tremendous disadvantage as liberals have the government-funded CBC and friendly media in the deep-pocketed conglomerations that own the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and most of Canada’s other daily newspapers and radio and television stations.

  See Levant’s message here: