The storm surrounding Pierre Duchesne centers on the fact that he was Radio-Canada's point man covering the National Assembly and is accused of covering the political beat while negotiating his potential candidacy with the Parti Quebec, a clear conflict of interest.
His story that he left Radio-Canada in June of his own volition, never having discussed the issue of his candidacy with the PQ while on the a job, had analysts laughing at the absurdity.
“MONTREAL—Less than a month ago, Radio-Canada journalist Pierre Duchesne was on television rating the performance of Quebec’s provincial leaders on the heels of an uncommonly hot pre-election season.
On Friday, he confirmed that he plans to run in a plum Parti Québécois riding in that election.
In between, Duchesne resigned his position as bureau chief for Radio-Canada at the National Assembly. At the time, he dismissed the already rampant rumours of an impending jump to partisan politics.
In hindsight, it seems he was the last person to find out about the PQ’s designs on his own future.
According to La Presse, Carole Lavallée — a former Bloc Québécois MP with solid connections to the PQ network — was told three months ago that she should not set her sights on the vacant riding of Borduas as it was set aside for “a star candidate from Radio-Canada.”
"....Still, a fair-minded person could question whether Duchesne lived up to the exacting ethical standards that he imposed on the ministers he so recently assessed. On that score, one can only wonder how he — as a journalist — would have commented on the optics of his own actions. " Chantal Hebert, Toronto Sun
Apparently, the PQ has shown itself to be as deceitful as the Liberals.
In the news conference held by Mr. Duchesne, he was hardly convincing denying that he spoke to the PQ while on the political beat at Radio-Canada.
Mr. Duchesne was a bit nasty and indignant, making himself appear guiltier and guiltier.
"Methinks the journalist doth protest too much"
And so the Liberals have made a complaint to the Quebec Press Council, headed by none other than the infamous John Gomery, the judge who headed the Sponsorhip Scandal Inquiry.
If the complaint goes forward, it'll be interesting to see whether those involved stick to the ludicrous story that they are pedaling today.
By the way, on Mario Dumont's political show the host recalled that when he was leader of the ADQ, he considered Duchesne hostile, a reporter who tried to sabotage the ADQ campaign every which way.
All that being said, the attack by the Liberals is just another political ploy to discredit an opponent. Even if everything they say proves true, it is no biggie.
Journalists joining political parties isn't such a big deal, I don't recall any national stink when Mike Duffy, who covered Canada's Parliament, left his job to be appointed to Canada's Senate, representing the Conservative party.
Don't tell me Duffy didn't have discussions about the appointment while serving as host for a CTV's afternoon political interview show, 'Mike Duffy Live' and as a journalist, he was every bit as partisan as Mr. Duschene and was even reprimanded by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for undue partisanship.
Then the case of Peter Kent, now in the federal cabinet, another journo turned Conservative.
At any rate, this isn't the gist of today's blog piece, just a bit of background concerning the steady stream of separatists having careers at Radio-Canada, which includes the likes of Bernard Drainville and Jean-François Lisée and yes, even René Levesque.
That separatist journalists leave Radio-Canada to become PQ militants doesn't bother me at all, but the fact that so many militant separatists are working in Radio-Canada certainly does!
Let us remember that the Radio Canada, the CBC, the National Film Board (Office National du Film) are all subsidized organizations created by Ottawa to foster a national identity and to promote national unity.
It seems a bit disingenuous to employ separatists when the mission of the organization is to promote Canada.
I know you can't exactly vet people over political preferences, but let's be honest, Radio-Canada employs a heckova lot more separatists than federalists, something that should be unacceptable to those who pay the bills.
My separatist friends will argue that they too are taxpayers and as such, deserve representation where their tax dollars help pay the freight.
Now I don't particularly agree with this point of view, that Ottawa should spend federal tax dollars to promote sovereignty, but even if we accept the separatist argument of equal representation, it still doesn't make any sense.
Radio-Canada doesn't just have proportional number of separatists, they make up the vast majority of the on-air news staff and back room reporters!
Quebec's most watched political/entertainment talk-show, Tout le Monde en Parle is hosted by an openly militant sovereigntist, bringing us that certain anti-Canada slant to the issues at hand, each Sunday.
Could you imagine a universe where any Quebec government, either separatist or federalist, would underwrite a prime-time talk-show hosted by Howard Galganov?
I'm not putting forth anything new in stating that Radio-Canada is a hotbed of separatists, it's common knowledge, a fact repeated by bigger and better journalists and bloggers than I.
The most recent manifestation of this love affair with separatists was the decision to hire Gilles Duceppe as a political commentator, immediately after his defeat as Bloc Quebecois leader.
Only a firestorm of criticism had the head honchos at RadCan ducking for cover and ultimately backing down, but the temerity to hire a radical separatist on the Canadian dime, showed how comfortable the powers to be at RadCan are with promoting sovereignty.
Radio-Canada's love affiar with sovereignty goes back all the way to the beginning of the Quebec independence movement itself, Aislin, the Montreal Gazette's award winning political cartoonist took a shot at the issue way back in 1977.
|"Me a separatist at Radio-Canada? It's not true, otherwise they'd have given me the job they promised in October!|
Here's a chart showing the expenditure for both the CBC and its French equivalent Radio-Canada.
For the 22% of the French population across Canada, Radio Canada's budget for radio and television is $566 million dollars or 38% of the combined CBC/Radio Canada English and French budget.
That represents a 55% premium over what demographics dictate.
It means that over $200 million dollars is taken out of the English CBC to subsidize Radio Canada and out of that $200 million dollars, about $130 million is paid for by Canadian federalists, with about $16 million paid for by separatist taxpayers and about $54 million by advertisers.
So much for fair representation of separatist tax dollars, how about fair representation for federalist tax dollars?
That's right, Jane from Orillia, Robert from Saskatoon, Eric from Smith Falls and the other 32 million federalists in Canada, give a financial premium to Radio-Canada, all so that it can promote sovereignty!
In Canada, its hard to get people politically motivated and so the separatist shenanigans over at Radio Canada are not only tolerated by federalists, but also subsidized!
Here's an example of Radio-Canada promoting sovereignty. On Friday last, viewers of Radio-Canada's news channel, RDI, were treated to a whole hour of Louise Beaudoin shilling for sovereignty.
This wasn't a news story, it was nothing less than an hour long infomercial for sovereignty.
Here's a brief clip, where Beaudoin makes her sovereigntist pitch, after being lobbed a softball by the moderator.
Not to nitpick, but Beaudoin actually misspeaks twice in that short clip.
First she tells viewers that the number of Francophones in Canada is diminishing from census to census, which of course is not true. It is the percentage of francophones which is diminishing.
Second, she states that the number of anglophones outside Quebec who are bilingual is 6%. Again not true.
What she should have said, is the number of Anglophones who speak French is 6%.
At any rate, this is what Radio-Canada has become, an organization chock full of separatists, using Canadian tax money to provide separatists with hundreds and hundreds of hours of air time a year, all to promote the destruction of Canada.
If this is what Radio-Canada's has become, it is time to change things or get rid of the broadcaster altogether.
If separatists want to promote sovereignty over the airways, let them start their own network or buy time on commercial networks.
The recent budget cuts at CBC and Radio-Canada are a fine start, both networks are a waste of taxpayer dollars, but in Radio-Canada's case, we have created an ugly separatist monster and like Frankenstein, it is running amok.