Today I sent an urgent letter to Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Immigration Minister. He has been attacking me in Parliament for my reporting on the UN Global Compact for Migration.
I normally would regard being attacked by Liberals as a badge of honour, but this time it’s different. Because right as that was happening, the United Nations refused to grant me and my cameraman journalistic accreditation to go to the UN conference on this Global Compact for Migration, next week in Morocco. Here’s what they said:
"Your media accreditation request with reference no: M38414322 has been declined for the following reason: Outlet activities not compatible with the status of accredited journalists”
I’ve been a working journalist for more than 30 years. I got my degree in journalism from Ryerson in 1984; my first job was with the St. Paul Journal, in St. Paul Alberta. Since then I’ve worked for everyone from the Financial Post to Maclean’s magazine to even being the editor of Canadian Car Owner magazine. And for the past three years, I’ve worked for The Rebel. What are they talking about?
I wrote back to the anonymous bureaucrat, who said that the UN
"reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation of journalists from media organizations whose activities run counter to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, or who abuse the privileges so extended or put the accreditation to improper use or act in a way not consistent with the principles of the Organization. The decisions are final”
What is he talking about? I’m a reporter! I’ve done real work on mass migration — actually going into the field. Just last month I embedded myself with the Mexican migrant caravan, interviewing migrants, pro-migration NGOs, other journalists and locals, in both Spanish and English. I follow the facts wherever they lead, and I am not afraid to engage with people of opposing views and give them a fair hearing. You can see all of my work at www.CaravanReports.com, and they have collectively been viewed more than one million times.
So the attacks on me by Ahmed Hussen and the United Nations are baseless. And even if I did do something that was “not consistent with the principles of the UN”, it is part of a free press to be able to defy the political views of any public institution.
But look at this — this is from paragraph 33(c) of the UN Global Compact for Migration. It says governments including Canada agree to:
"sensitizing and educating media professionals on migration-related issues and terminology, investing in ethical reporting standards and advertising, and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants…”
Is that what’s happening here? It sure looks like it. So I put that to Hussen in a letter today, and I wrote four questions to him:
*Is the UN decision to ban me, my cameraman, and anyone else at The Rebel based on paragraph 33(c) of the UN Global Compact for Migration?
*Have you or anyone else in the Canadian government indicated that The Rebel ought to be blacklisted from reporting at UN conferences?
*Do you believe that ban is reflective of Canadian values, including our Charter values of freedom of the press?
*And if you value accurate reporting — as your accusation of “conspiracy theories” suggests — why wouldn’t you want critical journalists to have access to all the facts and information at a conference about migration?"
Here’s the full copy of my letter:
I put those questions to Hussen, and then I asked for his help. I know that’s probably unrealistic, but I have to pretend that our government still respects free speech, even though they increasingly don’t act like it. So I asked him to:
"immediately direct the United Nations to accredit me and my cameraman, and should they fail to do so, to deem me and my cameraman as part of your official delegation, for purposes of admission only.”
As we are scheduled to fly to Marrakech imminently, I asked him to reply to this letter urgently.
So far, nothing. I’ll let you know if I hear back.
By the way, we’re still going to go to Marrakech, even if Hussen backs the UN decision to ban us from the actual conference building. We’ll just do our reports from the city, as opposed to the media room of the conference.
If the Liberal government attacks us, and if the UN bans us — don’t you think that’s actually proof that we really, absolutely need to be reporting about what they’re doing? And that you just can’t trust the mainstream media that actually receive Ahmed Hussen’s approval, and the UN’s approval?
Help us bring you the real news — help us be the only truly independent news media at the conference. Whether they let us in the doors or not, I know we’ll do a better job than the mainstream media taking Trudeau's bailout.
Please help cover the airfare and accommodation for me and my cameraman. We’ve bought the lowest-priced flights available, and we’re staying in low cost hotel rooms, and we’ll eat on the cheap. We have to — we’re not taking any of Trudeau’s media bail-out money. So we need to raise about $5,000 dollars.