A newsboy was standing on the corner with a stack of papers, yelling, “Read all about it! Fifty people swindled!”

Curious, a man bought a paper and checked the front page. Finding nothing, the man said, “There’s nothing in here about fifty people being swindled!”

The newsboy ignored him and went on, calling out, “Read all about it! Fifty-one people swindled!”

Canadians don’t want to be swindled, and that’s why the federal government’s announcement of a $595 million package to help Canada’s media sector has got them upset. In addition, the government will allow “non-profit” journalism organizations to get charitable status and issue official receipts to donors. An independent panel of members of the news and journalism industry will decide which organizations are “eligible” and “trusted” to receive this funding and/or charitable status.

Given that 2019 is an election year, Canadians can figure out which “trusted” news organizations, non-profit or otherwise, will be eligible to receive a give away the government can’t afford.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel speculated whether any journalists who accept money from the media fund would cover a rally, like the one in Calgary consisting of a pro-oil and gas crowd, in front of a hotel where the Prime Minister was speaking last week. My guess would be probably not, but it’s a great illustration.

Will anyone who writes a dissenting opinion of the federal government receive funding or get charitable status? I think we already know the answer to that question.
Conservative MP PIerre Poilievre said, “The media should be independent from the government. We should not have a situation where the government picks a panel that then decides who gets to report the news. That is very dangerous.”

“Dangerous” is a valid description, given the president of a private trade union that represents over 13,000 Canadian journalists, has posted on social media that his team will be the “resistance to Andrew Scheer and Andrew’s worst nightmare”.

Everyone on social media has an opinion on this issue. One comment encouraged Canadians to get their news from independent and trustworthy journalists, who are outside the mainstream media. But those independent news sources have to get funding from somewhere in order to keep operating. Are Canadians willing to support them financially, because it’s almost certain they won’t be getting any government money.

Meanwhile, there are a whole lot of people who regularly tune into the centre/left flavored news sources available on cable television. Add to that a bushel of their personal opinions and speculations, and you have a “dangerous” recipe.

Those are a few things everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to be aware of on a daily basis, because 2019 is an election year in Canada. And even 51 Canadians being swindled into digesting one perspective only journalism, is too much.

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