What in heavens name can the staff or volunteers at the FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting be thinking to send out a fundraising letter via regular mail, dated summer 2016, bashing former Prime Minister Stephen Harper by putting the following question in bright red letters on both their envelope and letter:
Has Stephen Harper poisoned the well?
Poisoned the well? Which well are they talking about? As a former Stephen Harper supporter, I don’t believe he poisoned anything.
Yet, here are a few sections from the letter that my husband and I received at the end of last week. A scan of part of the first page is shown to the left. Which makes me wonder how FRIENDS got our personal information?
Anyway, in the first paragraph it states: “Has Stephen Harper poisoned the well? You bet he has. I’m referring to the CBC and our Canadian Broadcasting system. If you’ve got a minute or two I’d like to tell you all about it. And then I hope you’ll join me in putting things right….
In the final paragraph, FRIENDS sum up with: “If you love the CBC, if your vision of a strong independent Canada includes a vibrant Canadian broadcasting industry, then please become a FRIEND. Yes, the end may be in sight, but we need one more push to get us over the finish line. With your help by monthly donations or a single donation if that’s not possible, we’ll push the government to reform the CBC Board…”
Reform the CBC Board? So that is what this is all about. Former PM Harper had the audacity to appoint qualified candidates to the CBC Board that are known to have contributed to the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) at one time or another? And, that is related to poisoning the well?
To put it bluntly, are the FRIENDS suggesting that those appointees are poisonous?
I mean, if the current Liberal government eventually replaces the so-called conservative appointees with those who have contributed to the Liberal Party of Canada in the past — is that what FRIENDS mean by cleaning up the CBC Board? And, is that what FRIENDS are referring to as non-partisan governance?
Good grief. Canada is a free, democratic society. There is nothing wrong with people contributing to any registered political party or any prime minister making appointments to public boards with qualified people who may have contributed money to his or her political party. In fact, our Charter guarantees all Canadians such affiliations — to conservatives, as well as liberals and progressives.
In my opinion, the FRIENDS is not only partisan, its fundraising clearly crosses the line into political activism. I mean, of the several images scrolling on the main page of their website, one is of a smiling PM Justin Trudeau and an interview related to the Leaders Series on the CBC.
Another is the featured image I am using in this post of the 8 members of the CBC Board who are deemed Conservative simply because they donated money to the CPC. Note that FRIENDS included a hint of the partisan image when they used the letter “C” of the Conservative Party’s logo in the headline — CBC?
FRIENDS also used the CPC’s logo beside each of their 8 names in an April 26th, 2016 blog post — alongside the word “Donor.” Talk about negative stereotyping!
So, has Stephen Harper poisoned the well? Absolutely not. Rather, he did what he was constitutionally allowed to do and supposed to do. On other hand, has FRIENDS poisoned the well using the former PM in such a disrespectful manner to fundraise with people like my husband and myself?
Absolutely. Talk about a witch hunt!
The crux of the matter is that the FRIENDS of CANADIAN BROADCASTING owes former PM Harper and all conservative Canadians an apology. And, if FRIENDS are truly non-partisan and do not favour one broadcaster over another, they should immediately withdraw this negative fundraising campaign.