Saturday, May 31, 2008

Macleans Magazine As Corporate Welfare Bum, Part III

Terrence Watson has a nice post on the Western Standard's Shotgun Blog here, which refers to several earlier posts of mine on the topic of Maclean's Magazine and its $3,000,000 per year subsidy from the Canadian Heritage Publications Assistance Program(PAP), which offset[s] the mailing costs of Canadian content magazines and non-daily newspapers mailed within Canada. This is just a rewrite of a comment I made on the WS blog:

Part of what I wanted to communicate in these earlier posts (esp. to people who might be pissed off with MaCleans etc. for publishing allegedly offensive material like Steyn's) is that there are other, less controversial and maybe more effective ways of expressing your displeasure than via HRC complaints. Comparisons to C-10 aside, we should all agree that, if we ever figure out what "offensive" means, we should be able to call a magazine like Macleans for being offensive if they're doing it on the government dime.

More generally, there ought to be at least a set of methods of protest which both Right And Left can agree are legitimate. So for example: boycotts. If pro-lifers can actually convince Disney to be less Gay-centric by refusing to visit Disneyland, and thus causing Disney to hemorage profits, more power to them. Same with picketing: If Mo Elasmry's bunch could dig up forty Muslims to wave placards in front of the Rogers building, they would get far more positive coverage for their cause, and far less media hassles, than channeling their aggression through HRCs.

When such methods are employed, the whole argument that "you are trying to silence debate" becomes irrelevant. OF COURSE I AM TRYING TO SILENCE DEBATE. I personally would have Macleans sack Steyn and hire someone that finished highschool (I, for example, am available). But the point is: there ought to be some common ground on which means are legitimate for accomplishing this end.

Cutting MacLeans PAP funding seems to me to be one of these legitimate means.

An interesting tidbit from the Shotgun Comments section:

In the final days of the Citizens Centre Report (the final incarnation of Alberta/BC/Western Report), the decision was made to reject this funding. The magazine went out of business just a few months later.The rejection didn't put the magazine under, but it didn't help. The argument for accepting the funds had long been that the magazine would put itself at a competitive disadvantage by ripping up the cheque. That is, if all other magazines were accepting the money (as they did), we would be tying a millstone around our necks by not accepting the money too.As well, it could also be argued that, in light of the fact the government took large amounts of money from us in the form of taxes, accepting the Heritage money was simply a matter of getting back some of the money that was ours to start with.

The Western Standard, by the way, accepted the grant money: $132,000 in 2006-07, for example. See:

Terry O'Neill

You mean Über Capitalist Ezra Levant accepted government funds? Oh My!


Ti-Guy said...

As well, it could also be argued that, in light of the fact the government took large amounts of money from us in the form of taxes, accepting the Heritage money was simply a matter of getting back some of the money that was ours to start with.

So my money goes to a rag that I would never read to save my life and that's fair? While funding for the CBC isn't?

Like I said over at RedTory's, the "conservative* can construct an argument to support or refute a proprosition, often (always?) with regard to the same proposition.

If tax money is used to fund something they like, it's *our* money. When it's something they don't like, it's *my* money.

These people are hopeless. Utterly hopeless. Intern them.

Unknown said...


The general public has no idea what the system is really like. They think fraud is ramped in Ontario Works and ODSP. Here is something to think about and it is just the tip of the iceberg according to our research.
The provincial government says welfare fraud is around 2%.
Who is really committing the fraud around here?
The federal government says income tax fraud is 13%

Ontario Works staff charged in $1.3million Fraud
By Sarah Elizabeth Brown Tuesday March 4,2008
Chronicle Journal

Budget cuts allow more Ontario Works staff fraud.

Government ODSP worker charged in $585,000 fraud case.
By Staff Wednesday, November 14, 2007

93.7 million dollars in corporate welfare
Linda Leatherdale March 7,2008
Premier Dalton McGuity is handing over a 9.7 million dollar corporate welfare cheque to Kellogg. Kellogg’s profit was $1 billion. Also Ford got a $55 million cheque and is now cutting shifts, while GM got $29million and is also cutting shifts.

$150 million called corporate welfare for a profitable industry.
Rob Ferguson January 10, 2008
Queens Park Bureau
The Ontario Government has earmarked $150 million to encourage pharmaceutical companies to do more drug research and manufacturing in the province.

Ontario government coughs up about $940 million a year on grants like this one.
Health Canada has been advised that Tic Tacs are being voluntarily recalled. Premier McGuinty should demand taxpayers get back the $5.5 million the government gave to this corporate welfare failure.

An internal audit in Hamilton, Ontario showed that Ontario Works staff were taking the city’s credit card out and enjoying a nice lunch privately.

The same audit showed that the Ontario Works workers had uninterrupted access to the main computer that issues their clients checks and admit missing cheque signatures.

Isn’t that a recipe for disaster?

Ron Payne
Welfare Legal
Hamilton, Ontario

Ti-Guy said...

Gawd, I hate blogs.

Unknown said...

Hyperbole aside, Macleans is not a corporate welfare bum. The postal subsidy is like public health care . . . every Canadian publisher receives it.

If only Macleans received this benefit, he might have a point (might).

And par for the course, ti-guy is grumping about the taxes HE has to pay. A bit of a broken record on that topic he is. ;)

Ti-Guy said...

He knows that. He's just pretending he doesn't.

He's not as stupid as I first thought. He's more manipulative and deceptive.

Examine these assertions:

Offensive is not nearly good enough to warrant censorship.

Offense is something that remains undefinable and is only resolved through mediation.

Canadian artists demand the right to be provocative and offensive and receive tax credits.

This is a lie. Industrial incentives are part of the operations of the state. Artists and other innovators are simply availing themselves of the incentives we have determined, collectively, are worth state support, for a variety of reasons.

If tax credits are good enough for layabout Canadian artists, it should be good enough for Macleans.

"Layabout Canadian artists." Such as Sarah Polley, Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, I imagine. Not to mention all those involved in the development of cultural products that "conservatives" approve of

If we are going to go down the petty and anal retentive road of spurious censorship, we might as well be consistent and hobble Canadian artists with censoring too.

This confuses censorship with withdrawal of support. And deliberately.

Paul S. will, of course, simply respond as if he knows nothing or that words have no meaning. That would be a charitable interpretation of what he writes.

But I've seen enough to conclude that he's simply a manipulative and disruptive liar, whether he realises that or not.