Recently I was highly critical of Foreign Affairs trade negotiator Colin Robertson (currently “on loan” to right-wing academic institutions to build support for new deals) for suggesting in the Globe and Mail that, having negotiated a deal with the U.S., it was now time for the Canadian government to hold a “public debate” to build support for the decision that had already been made. I was also critical of the government’s decision to brief business groups on the new agreement at a time when it was still telling the public that Harper and Obama were in negotiations. Now Impolitical has pointed to a Toronto Star article discussing the government’s leaked communications strategy, which provides further evidence of the ways in which the government attempted to manipulate the public’s understanding of the deal.Tweet
Sometimes, a newspaper’s op-ed page actually is a forum for the presentation of new and exciting ideas, or insightful commentary and reflections. Certainly that’s what they’re billed as. Usually, though, they’re just an opportunity for paid shills to spout off without having to be confronted by opponents or misquoted by a reporter. Take, for instance, this Sunday’s anti-corporate income tax screed in the Ottawa Citizen.
The article in question is a demand by Perrin Beatty that Canada lower its corporate income tax rate so that we can grow our way out of the recession. Maybe. But here’s the problem: Beatty is the head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. His organization is made up of corporate businesses. So this isn’t sober reflection on a public policy issue. This is a corporate shill saying that his patrons want to pay less taxes. Quelle surprise! (more…)Tweet