The Comment

This week, the world commemorates Press Freedom (1)

TORONTO – At the Corriere Canadese, we believe in the privileges and obligations the founders of our country wrote into the ‘contract’ (Constitution) for Confederation for all Canadians.

A free press, not to be confused with monetary cost, is a pre-condition for maintaining rights and responsibilities inherent in our Constitution. The transparency it fosters is fundamental to maintaining that culture. Not all our readers share that view.

Regrettably, those in elected office, or institutions dependent on their decisions, tend to be among them. We soldier on.

It is a fact that governments and institutions want to send out ONLY positive messages. But, as we assemble the “breaking news for evaluation, every day, in our editorial board, we always ask “what else is happening that might be related to this event?” In the world of politics, “coincidences” are rare. Skepticism is the best safeguard against “parroting the party line”.

This is especially necessary in the evaluation of “news” that springs from Ministerial offices, no matter the level of government or the colour of the flag over their doorway. It is particularly true for “announcements” made public on Fridays, usually for the purpose of emphasizing some favourable “accomplishments” or associating the government with some “advancements”.

The past week has been a “blockbuster week for news”, from the ‘substantive’ to the ‘ridiculous’ in nature. Some is patently absurd, as the attention drawn to non-existing Parliamentary ‘crisis’  – everything has to be a crisis these days – because one MP called another MP and his views “wacko”.

This was nothing compared to the ironic stupidity uttered, or supported, by some Catholic trustees who referred to advocating for birth and Life as indoctrination. What do they think is the purpose of Catholic schools if not to nurture and critique Catholic doctrine, in Catholic schools whose existence in law is to serve Catholic families?

How does one tell fellow citizens we should keep our ‘collective eye on the ball’? Our Parliament commissioned questionable inquiries to hold off making decisions regarding public protests and foreign interference in our electoral process. They look to semi-retired judges to ‘split hairs’ or calm the feigned paranoia generated by the finger-pointing. A couple reported this week.

The big three communities (given recent immigration, Chinese, Indian and Muslim) are now at the center of concern. So, yes, the inquiries say China has been trying to interfere… but it has been unsuccessful, they add. If you are an MP in a constituency with a large Chinese demographic, how do you prove whose interests you are defending?

If you are Muslim, from whom do you take your orders on the Middle East? Who tells you which occasions and events are anti-Netanyahu, and which are antisemitic? If you are from the Indian sub-continent, are you being pressured by the Modi-led Indian government or local by local Canadian extremists?

Then, ‘out of the blue’, the RCMP announced the arrest of three assassins, in Edmonton, Alberta, all men in their early twenties, all Indian nationals living here on “temporary visas” which conditions they allegedly violated.

The RCMP, apparently acting on the instigation of  credible information (including USA authorities, no less) justified the arrest with a twofold allegation: 1. In June of 2023, they trio murdered Hardeep Nijjar, a Canadian citizen who was president of the Guru Nanak Temple in Vancouver and a leader in the Khalistan independence movement – Khalistan is NOT in Canada, 2. The extra jurisdictional execution came on the orders of Indian government.

Setting aside the “reliability of the sources” for the investigation, and assuming the allegations stand up in Court, the pace of investigation and results have taken place at the speed of light. To the contrary, relative the murder of a Canadian journalist, on Canadian soil – allegedly by Khalistani radicals – twenty-five years ago. He deserves his own column.

Journalism would seem a dangerous business. Government, in Canada, not so much.

Trustee Angela Kennedy (TCDSB)

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