The (Right) News Rundown
- A few weeks back you may recall that we spent a good deal of time here on The Right Side going through the allegations against Patrick Brown, Kent Hehr, and Jamie Baillie.
- On February 10th this month, The Toronto Sun came out with a story where Patrick Brown tore apart the allegations against him.
- In a prior article in the Toronto Sun, Patrick Brown said, “I did the math – in 2007, I didn’t live in the home where I had a second floor bedroom. It’s just factually impossible for that to have happened.”
- The article then states, "Brown in fact lived in a duplex at 138 Collier St. in Barrie, a tiny one-bedroom, ground-floor apartment in a two-story house with a bedroom that didn’t have a door.
- The other side of the duplex was his legal office and a separate apartment upstairs was rented out to someone else."
- Patrick Brown also presented to Postmedia affidavits from former staff attesting to the configuration of the building and a Barrie real estate professional confirmed that Patrick Brown lived in the downstairs apartment.
- In regards to the second allegation, Brown says, "the reality is she kissed me. I had gone up to my bedroom. I wanted to look at the social media coverage from the night... and she followed me upstairs."
- In the actual allegation the woman alleged that her, Brown, and one of Brown's friend went up to the room and the incident happened after the "friend" left. The "friend' in question called Postmedia and said that Brown and the woman in question were never alone. The "friend" even apparently told CTV the allegations but they were not reported by CTV. Following the woman starting to kiss Brown, Brown just drove her home because at the time Brown was seeing someone else at the time and she was also at the event and was left rattled by what she saw.
- Fast forward to Tuesday, February 13th, late in the evening, and CTV published an online article stating that the girl in question from the first allegation, "now says that she was of legal drinking age and out of high school."
- The title of the CTV News article is, "Patrick Brown accusers stand by allegations."
- Though it's not until the 5th paragraph that the accuser admits that at least one aspect of her story was false.
- This effectively means that CTV accepted a story as correct for 3 weeks and then changed the facts around the story when the accuser "remembered" correctly when the event happened.
- Pollster John Wright from Angus Reid Tweeted about the story and said, “CTV now reports that accuser of Patrick Brown recounts key piece: she was not underage in bar and not in high school but she ‘stands by her core story’ and CTV stands by their original story. In a court of law this would shred a case. CTV credibility is on very, very thin ice.”
- We are now effectively in a situation where a story has been invalidated and CTV stands by their initial reporting saying. Matthew Garrow, director of communications for CTV News said, "Patrick Brown's allegations regarding our reporting are false. The two women have reiterated their allegations of sexual misconduct by Patrick Brown. His attacks on our journalistic practices are groundless and wrong."
- CTV willingly published fake news and now that the circumstances have changed, is unwilling to change their story or issue a correction.
- We've seen this so many times before, where a major news organization changes a story and admits to false reporting, by slipping in a sentence or two in mid article.
- No one usually seems to care but this is becoming more and more common in the "journalism" industry.
- The CBC also received new information about the second accuser, Mikaelea Patterson who was dating Patrick Brown in 2013 and was at the party in question and provided her account, "She just kept following him around, like clinging to him. He would come over and talk to me and she would go over, she just wanted to be around him, it seemed."
- She then corroborated Patrick Brown's story, "I remember Patrick went upstairs at one point and I vaguely remember her following. He almost immediately came back down and said he was driving her home."
- In regard to the first allegation, the man who apparently drove the first accuser to Brown's house completely denies driving her there in the first place. He said, "I do not recall a single incident where I took her to Patrick's. I didn't even know that they knew each other." The man wished to remain anonymous for the sake of his professional reputation. He was later revealed as Glen McGregor in a Facebook post that Patrick Brown made.
- The woman's lawyer then commented after this revelation saying, it's a "collateral matter" of "relative unimportance."
- The internet was also quick to identify this as fake news coming from CTV. In a reddit posting on the r/Canada subreddit, a place where people can post links and news items and have others vote on them, the top comment on the Toronto Sun story read, "Am i reading this wrong? is this a news organization saying that they stand behind news that was proven factually incorrect?" r/Canada and Reddit in general are not among the normal crowd to complain about fake news in the first place, the fact that this is the top comment says something.
- To give credit where credit is due, Global News gave Patrick Brown 30 minute long interview that aired immediately after Global National in Ontario on Wednesday where he shared his side of the story.
- He went through each of the allegations and provided details on the timeline.
- So much so that we learnt that his resignation was sent out via Twitter without his permission, the reporter, taken back by this, asked in clarification, "You're saying you did not resign?" Brown replied, "The resignation was sent without my permission."
- Following this weeks chain of events, Patrick Brown has entered the PC leadership race, hoping to become leader of the party that he apparently did not resign from.
- And to close this story off here are some words from veteran journalist Charles Adler, “If the objective was to paint #PatrickBrown as a serial sex thug, it's been a fail. He's just shy of 40. The story is 24 news cycles old. If he was a predator #CTV phones would've been ringing off the hook w new leads.They're silent. Not even the telemarketers are calling.”
- There's been a few stories out of BC this week, the trade war with Alberta notwithstanding. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley promises that further sanctions against BC will happen if the BC government do not back down from their stance of limiting bitumen flow pending an environmental review. Those could happen as early as next week, so we'll follow that as it happens for you listeners.
- Another story to break was the throne speech to begin the spring session of the legislature, and outside of a few surprises it went pretty much as expected. Included in the throne speech was a promise to "address demand and stabilize B.C.’s out-of-control real estate and rental market". In doing so they will address the effect of speculation on the housing market, which has seen prices soar in recent years.
- A lot of the commitments in the throne speech come directly from the NDP’s 2017 election platform. The speech includes a promise to start making the largest investment in affordable housing in B.C.’s history. That includes social housing, student housing, seniors housing, Indigenous housing and affordable rentals for middle-income families. However nothing concrete has been laid out. Absent in the speech was the $400 renter's rebate that the NDP campaigned on in the election last year.
- Other than housing, the biggest priority in the throne speech is childcare. The provincial government signed an agreement last week with the federal government that will see $153 million over three years come from Ottawa to cover additional spaces and affordable care. “Safe, affordable, licensed care will become B.C.’s standard, giving parents the peace of mind they need and quality care they can rely on,” was the lofty quote. Despite being talked about a lot, $10/day daycare was not mentioned in the throne speech and as such remains a longer term goal for the NDP.
- What shouldn't be a surprise to many is that there is little to no focus on BC's economy and natural resource sector. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was conspicuously missing, and the only thing mentioned in regards to forestry is that the government commits to ‘revitalize the forest industry’s social contract’ - which could mean anything from increased regulation to reduced operations. The only other thing to do with the economy is that an "Emerging Economy Task Force will be launched in the spring", whatever that means. Other than that, it's a whole load of spending on social issues. We'll have to see how the government plans to raise the money to pay for all the campaign promises that they are beginning to fulfill this term, and what that does to the province's balance books.
- However, the biggest news out of the throne speech deserves to be talked about all on its own. The minimum wage in BC will be going up again, and will increase on every June 1st for the next 4 years. On June 1st 2018 it will jump to $12.65/hr, in 2019 to 13.85/hr, in 2020 to 14.60/hr and in 2021 to 15.20/hr. While not as quick as an increase as seen in Ontario and Alberta, it will still jump up fast enough to cause concern for small businesses and consumers alike.
- The CBC is quick to note that the BC Federation of Labour was unhappy with the staggering rise. "Making 500,000 low-paid workers who currently make less than $15 wait until June 1, 2021 to climb above poverty wage rates is not fair," president Irene Lanzinger said in a statement. They also interviewed a random barista who was hoping for a faster rise in pay. They did this rather than consult an economist to explain what impact the increase would have on the economy, especially increased prices and lower staffing for quick service industries like the food service industry.
- It's been said before but let's say it again. When surveyed on how to deal with the costs of minimum wage increases, most companies are content to pass along the costs to consumers or to employees by cutting benefits or staff. Eventually, the offsets are not worth the rise in pay, and all it does is speed up the rate of inflation.
- This Thursday ATB Financial released its 2018 economic outlook report.
- The report overall sets a good tone for the Alberta economy but things could be better.
- Most in the media and government circles will say that this means things are just fine in Alberta.
- However, it's not until we drill down into the data that we see what's actually happening.
- Highlighted first and foremost as an issue is the growing divide between the WTI (West Texas Intermediate) and WCS (Western Canada Select) oil prices.
- While the WTI oil price hovered at about $64/barrel USD the WCS price has covered at around $37/barrel USD.
- This is of course caused by our inability to get our product to market.
- The GDP, the entire output of the economy, is forecast to grow at 2.8% in 2018, shrinking to 2.2% in 2019 and then 2% in 2020.
- These amounts of GDP growth are alright but aren't a sign of an economy that is taking off heading towards boom.
- More troubling however is the unemployment rate, averaged at 7.9% through 2017, forecast to drop to 6.8% this year and then down to 6.1% by 2020.
- In comparison Canada's October 2017 unemployment rate was 6.3%. During this time period Alberta along with the Atlantic provinces were the only provinces in Canada to be above this average.
- An optimal unemployment rate for both job seekers and job creators falls somewhere between the range of 3% to 5%.
- Though while still above the national average, 88,000 jobs were created since this time last year and most have been in the manufacturing, natural resources and finance, and real estate industries.
- Housing starts for the next few years are also expected to be down due to higher interest rates and tighter rules on mortgages.
- This of course then ripples into the construction industry limiting the amount of new jobs that can be created there.
- Finally the report outright states that, "This is not to say everything in Alberta’s economy is easy. Many businesses continue to struggle. The unemployment rate is still too high. And threats beyond our control- such as NAFTA negotiations and opposition to pipeline expansion- continue to add layers of uncertainty to our economy."
- Most media hailed this report as something positive for the province but at the end of the day there's still a lot of work to be done.
- As an example of this, Frank McKenna (TD Bank deputy chairman) estimated that over the last 7 years Canada has lost roughly $117b in potential revenue from natural resources due to pipeline issues.
- By fixing the issues highlighted in the ATB Financial report, we will restore investor confidence in Alberta and Canada, and we will transform our economy from one that's just getting along nicely to one that drives boom and expansion.
- Canada is losing money, Alberta is losing money, and we all lose unless this gets fixed.
The Firing Line
- A Saskatchewan farmer made national news last week. Gerald Stanley, 56, was charged with second-degree murder of Colten Boushie, a 22 year old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation, located northwest of Saskatoon. Stanley pleaded not guilty. His two-week jury trial ended Feb. 9 with a not guilty verdict.
- For those who aren't aware of what happen in the incident that cost Boushie his life, it's important to understand what happened beforehand to know what caused the jury to reach the verdict it did.
- A group of 4 natives, including Boushie, set out from the reserve roughly 50 kms north of Stanley's farm near Biggar. They had been drinking, and went for a swimming trip in a river. when coming back, they got a flat tire. Boushie and his friends had a loaded rifle in the vehicle. They drove the SUV onto three farms. At the first farm, no one left the vehicle. At the second farm, they attempted to steal a truck and they used the rifle to try to break the window. After that failed, the rifle ended up in the passenger's seat between Boushie's legs.
- They drove onto Stanley's property and tried to start his ATV. Stanley is a part-time mechanic, so there were other vehicles in the yard. While one went for the ATV, another went to a truck that belonged to one of Stanley's customer's. Boushie's friends denied stealing Stanley’s ATV, but admitted to jumping on the ATV and trying to start it the night of the incident.
- "As soon as we heard the quad start, I started running," Sheldon Stanley, Gerald's son testified in court. The SUV then pulled up close to the ATV. Gerald Stanley testified that he kicked the tail light because he thought the SUV was headed for his son, while Sheldon admitted smashing the front windshield of the SUV with a hammer. The SUV driven by the natives then ran into a parked SUV belonging to Stanley's wife, who was mowing the lawn nearby. Gerald ran to his shop to grab his pistol, and loaded two shells and fired two warning shots into the air.
- While Gerald was getting his gun, the SUV had swung around. Gerald Stanley said he lost track of where his son was at that the time of the incident, and thought Boushie’s SUV had run over his wife. He saw the lawnmower his wife had been riding and felt "pure terror." Boushie's friend, Jackson, had assaulted Stanley's wife. "I punched her," said Jackson of the aftermath of the shooting.
- Stanley testified that he ran as fast as he could to the SUV and, after hearing the engine rev, went to the driver's window intending to turn the ignition off. He said he reached for the keys with one hand and had the handgun in the other. He said his finger was not on the trigger As he was reaching into the vehicle, he said the Tokarev accidentally fired. The defense argued it was a case of "hang fire," referring to a delay of several seconds between someone pulling a trigger (as Gerald Stanley said he did after the warning shots) and the bullet coming out.
- The shot hit Boushie in the back of the head and he died instantly. The .22-calibre rifle, which belonged to one of Boushie's friends, was found near Boushie's body. It was bent out of shape and contained five bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber.
- The jury found that the incident was a "tragic accident" and found that Stanley was not culpable of murder. There were cries of racism as the jury was all white, but it turns out that almost half of the prospective jurors in the Colten Boushie case were Aboriginal persons, according to one member of the jury pool. The reason there were no Aboriginal Canadians on the jury in this controversial case is because so many deliberately opted out of the process. Other First Nations prospective jurors, meanwhile, were openly and outwardly biased during the selection process.
- One individual said of the Aboriginal people who remained: “You could audibly hear some of them talking amongst themselves, discussing how they were going to hang Stanley, or they were going to make sure he gets hung, or that if they don’t get the results they want, that they were going to handle it themselves,”
- Also complicating things, shortly after the verdict came out, members of Trudeau's government took to Twitter to make some pretty interesting remarks. Trudeau was in California on a speaking engagement at the time, but took the time to write "I can't imagine the grief and sorrow the Boushie family is feeling tonight. Sending love to them from the US." Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould remarked "My thoughts are with the family of Colton Boushie tonight. I truly feel your pain and I hear all of your voices. As a country we can and must do better - I am committed to working everyday to ensure justice for all Canadians." Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Affairs said "Devastating news tonight for the family & friends of #ColtenBoushie. My thoughts & prayers are with you in your time of grief & pain. We all have more to do to improve justice & fairness for Indigenous Canadians."
- By doing so, the PM and his cabinet have totally contradicted the rule of law, and politicized the entire trial by interfering with the right of a jury "to reach the verdict they conclude is appropriate, in light of the evidence, the trial judge's instructions, and the burden of proof, without having to fear that they will be pilloried by public figures for having reached the 'wrong' conclusion."
- Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called Boushie's death "tragic," but said the independent judicial process must run its course without political intervention. "It's appropriate to show concern and support... for the family of the victim, but I think it is important that we remember that politicians don't decide these types of things," Scheer told reporters in Halifax. He also said that the situation warranted a discussion about challenges faced by young First Nations people. In this regard, Scheer has the right attitude.
- Other farmers have sided with Stanley, saying that they understand his actions. A GoFundme page intended to support Stanley surpassed the "Justice for Colten" page set up 5 months earlier, surpassing $100,000.
Word of the Week
a judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which the person has been charged.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The Judicial Balance
Teaser: CTV stands behind their reported allegations of Patrick Brown despite inconsistencies, BC is raising the minimum wage again, and the ATB reports that the AB economy could be better. Also, we detail the Boushie case, and settle the record on acquittals.
Recorded Date: February 17, 2018
Release Date: February 18, 2018
Edit Notes: None
Podcast Summary Notes