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Policies & Politics

Why The English Consortium Debate Was Cancelled

Originally Published on the ECOreport

Though Elizabeth May was not as concerned about being left out of the “elite corporate” Globe and Mail or Munk’s debates, cancelling the English Consortium debate is an altogether different matter. Around 11 million Canadians watched watched the so-called “people’s debate” – televised by CBC, CTV, Global, and Tele-Quebec – during Canada’s 2011 election. This election is different. In the video below, May explains why the English Consortium Debate was cancelled.

Why The English Consortium Debate Was Cancelled

The reasons for cancelling this year’s debate can be summed up in two names: Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair.

“The English language debate was planned for October 8. The Greens were invited, because we have seats in parliament. That’s the rule. Stephen Harper, as soon as he found out I was in the debate said I wouldn’t come. The NDP said they would come. The Liberals said they would come. CTV, CBC and Global said they would run the debates without Stephen Harper and leave an empty podium for him. Perfect plan to call his bluff, until Thomas Mulcair decided to change his mind – months after he said he would. Once Mulcair pulled out of the debates, it was in limbo. We went back and begged him again this week. We though we had the NDP interested. Instead he said ‘nope, not showing up’ and so the English Language debate, that in 2011 reached 11 million Canadians has now been cancelled,” said Elizabeth May.

Harper Does Not Want To Face May

Stephen Harper’ reasons for not wanting to debate with Elizabeth May are obvious. Harper does not want to face May. Look at the way she embarrassed him in the MacLean’s National Leadership debate.

Harper wasn’t the only person Elizabeth May embarrassed. Remember the way she pressed Thomas Mulcair about his reluctance to take a stand against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline? If not, listen to this clip:

The “Elite Corporate” Debates

It is easy to see why Elizabeth May refers to the Munks debate as “elite” and “corporate” in the video at the top of this page.

According to Professor Anthony James Hall, from the University of Lethbridge, “The Canadian federal election of 2015 is rigged. Stephen Harper has leaned on his corporate cronies and assets in order to fix the outcome of two federal election debates in English-speaking Canada. The Leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, is excluded from both events.”

He was referring to the Globe and Mail’s economic debate in Calgary, September 17, and the Munks debate on Canadian Foreign Policy, in Toronto, September 28.

Among other things, Hall pointed out that Munk was both a close friend of Harper’s former Chief of Staff, Nigel Wright, and that the Federal government gave the Munk School of Global Affairs a grant for $9 million in January.

According to the Toronto Sun, in January Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird “announced $9 million in federal funds for the Digital Public Square Project, a project headed by the Munk School of Global Affairs, to ‘increase digital space for free expression and open political dialogue in places where civil society and citizen participation are under threat.'”

In March, Baird “Barrick Gold revealed that the mining giant had hired Baird to its international advisory board”

To which the Sun comments, “In hindsight, it is easy to see how Baird’s position as Minister of Foreign Affairs could have benefitted both Barrick and Barrick founder Peter Munk’s pet project, the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.”

Ms May did post the comments she would have said at the Munk’s debate, if she had been invited, and you can watch them below.




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