OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — A retired Canadian colonel testified that legacy media outlets are “ministries of propaganda” while at the same time the federal government’s research shows that Canadians do not want members of the cabinet deciding what news is “fake” or not.
Retired Canadian Lt. Col. David Redman over a week ago told a Senate committee investigating internet regulation that mainstream media during the COVID crisis of the past three years did not accurately report news about the government’s actions.
Meanwhile, according to Blacklock’s Reporter, a report by the federal Communications Security Establishment titled Study on Online Disinformation Advertising Creative Testing noted how internet users from eight online focus groups said they were smart enough to know what is and is not misinformation online.
“Many participants expressed reservations about the Government of Canada telling Canadians what is true or false,” said the report, adding that the users suggested the focus should be on “helping Canadians identify misinformation through tips and tricks, being careful to provide neutral information without any political lens.”
The report also noted that most participants were “confident” that they could tell the “difference between real and false information you can see on the internet at least most of the time.”
The research also concluded that few if any people would go online to a Government of Canada “website for information.”
Last Tuesday, a former federal judge and retired Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chair Konrad von Finckenstein said during testimony at a Senate committee about legislation regulating the internet, “What is disinformation to one person is not to another.”
“What is legitimate dissent? These are all very gray areas,” he added.
Conservative Senator Leo Housakos of Quebec noted how political self-interest alone disqualifies any government from acting as a type of truth monitor.
“It’s a very slippery slope when governments start engaging in what is valuable information, misinformation and so on,” Housakos said.
“Every government believes they should not be open to scrutiny.”
The federal Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last Thursday passed a first-ever law that will regulate Canada’s internet, Bill C-11. However, the government said there are more laws to come.
Late last year, the Trudeau government decided to fast-track another content-regulation bill, C-18, titled the “Online News Act,” by rushing it through the House of Commons. This bill is also now before the Senate.
As for Bill C-11, it will in effect force social media companies and others to promote more Canadian content but could also regulate user content as well.
Mainstream media served as ‘ministries of propaganda’ for the government, says retired colonel
Redman made his comments during testimony at the National Citizens Inquiry (NCI), which is an independent initiative investigating the government’s COVID policies and mandates imposed on people.
The NCI has been holding hearings across Canada and was in Red Deer, Alberta last week.
Redman said Canadian news sites such as CBC, CTV, and Global News all were in effect working for the federal government but were on the “wrong side of the propaganda curve.”
“From the beginning of this pandemic, the mainstream media became, in my opinion, ministries of propaganda for the government of Canada and the premiers of Canada,” he said, adding that they “stopped becoming, in any way, investigative journalists.”
Redman noted how in 2021 he was asked to do an interview with a mainstream journalist. However, the journalist ghosted him for months afterward, but he did get a handwritten note sometime later from the reporter that said, “Please never mention my name, please never admit I never did this interview,” the note read.
In 2019, Trudeau promised that his Liberal government would give legacy media, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), an extra $595 million in federal assistance over the next four years.
The CBC, however, is mostly funded by the government. Per its 2020-2021 annual report, the CBC receives about $1.24 billion in public funding every year, which is about 70% of its funding.
However, Canada’s own Department of Canadian Heritage recently admitted the “bailout” of media has not worked in helping to prop up legacy media outlets.
Associate assistant deputy minister of heritage Thomas Ripley testified recently at a Senate transport and communications committee meeting that Canada has “seen a significant decline in journalism,” adding that legacy media remain “in a huge period of disruption and transition.”