I've chronicled my vendetta against Macleans Magazine's PAP subsidy here, among other places. Basically, the magazine slurps up $3,000,000 per year in taxpayer's money to cover its mailouts, which renders Andrew Coyne's latest about subsidies to Bombadier faintly hilarious ("Do as I say, not as I do!!" Right Andrew?). Anyway, the kicker is that any publication can lose its subsidy if it
... contain[s] material considered to be hate propaganda, sexual exploitation, excessive or gratuitous violence, denigration of an identifiable group or an any other way offensive.
And, since I figure that any number of the Steyn pieces that Macleans has run qualify as offensive, I've been pestering the Heritage Minister's office about how one might go about lodging a complaint against the magazine. Finally, finally, finally, they have responded:
I am writing in response to your correspondence addressed to the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and Minister for La Francophonie, regarding the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) as it relates to Maclean's magazine.
Ms. Verner appreciates being advised of your concerns with respect to material published in Maclean's that you consider denigrating to an identifiable group or otherwise offensive. I understand that you have already discussed this matter with Department of Canadian Heritage officials. The best way to proceed would be to submit a hard copy of your concerns to the PAP for consideration.
I trust that this information is useful. Please accept my best wishes.
Dear Mr. Langelier, a package is already in preparation. I think it will include this statement from the OHRC's Barbara Hall on Mark Steyn's article "The Future Belongs To Islam":
The Commission is concerned that since the September 2001 attacks, Islamophobic attitudes are becoming more prevalent in society and Muslims are increasingly the target of intolerance, including an unwillingness to consider accommodating some of their religious beliefs and practices.
Unfortunately, the Maclean’s article, and others like it, are examples of this. By portraying Muslims as all sharing the same negative characteristics, including being a threat to ‘the West’, this explicit expression of Islamophobia further perpetuates and promotes prejudice towards Muslims and others.
The Commission strongly condemns the targeting of Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and indeed any racialized community by the media as being inconsistent with the values enshrined in the Code.
Ooo! Ooo! Ooo! That's not all. I think I will include the CHRC statement on this same topic:
The Steyn article discusses changing global demographics and other factors that the author describes as contributing to an eventual ascendancy of Muslims in the 'developed world', a prospect that the author fears for various reasons described in the article. The writing is polemical, colourful and emphatic, and was obviously calculated to excite discussion and even offend certain readers, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Lots more offensive stuff too! I haven't even touched on the articles Barbara Amiel has written over the past several years.
So watch out, Kenneth Whyte, I'm comin' for your government stamps!