May 19, 2024
Rookie heritage minister retreats after stepping into news regulation minefield
Guilbeault clarified his position because he could see 'people are confused.' That does happen when politicians say one thing one day and another the next.
Guilbeault clarified his position because he could see ‘people are confused.’ That does happen when politicians say one thing one day and another the next.

In any field of endeavour other than politics, a rookie making a rookie mistake would be greeted with equanimity.

But Steven Guilbeault has just learned the hard way that the parliamentary waters are full of sharks, circling and waiting for traces of blood.

Justin Trudeau’s new heritage minister appeared on CTV’s Question Period show on Sunday to offer the nation the benefit of his inexperience.

He was grilled by host Evan Solomon about a report from a panel tasked by the government to review Canada’s communications legislative framework.

A key recommendation was to extend licences currently granted to radio and television stations to all media content, along with a much stricter compliance regime.

Did the minister buy the recommendations, he was asked?

The reply was unequivocal. “We would ask that they have a licence, yes,” he said.

Anyone following the controversy over the labour-based tax credit the Liberals introduced last year – i.e. the $600 million “media bail-out” – would know that this is terrain that might produce a confusion of ideas: namely, that the government and the credit’s beneficiaries believe it is saving quality journalism; while everyone else thinks it’s a transparent bribe.

Guilbeault appeared unconcerned as he waded into this minefield.

[…]

See Also:

(1) Canadian governments give Huawei millions in funding while debate rages over its 5G role

(2) Two Canadian pipelines with capacity of 1.3M bpd are back in the courts this week — perhaps for the last time

(3) People at Cape Breton school function become ill after eating cake with THC

(4) Federal agencies mishandled sensitive documents more than 5,000 times last year

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