March 18, 2016

BREAKING: Notley’s hand-picked advisor recommends a CENSORSHIP cartel

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

Heather Boyd, the retired journalist hand-picked by Rachel Notley to give her advice about media censorship, has issued her report. It’s a 122-page hodgepodge, more than 100 pages of which are Boyd simply cutting and pasting the bylaws of press galleries from other provinces. Boyd was paid $10,000 for eighteen pages of writing.

But not even Boyd could bring herself to approve of Notley’s tactics of banning The Rebel from government property, as she did several weeks ago.

Notley had sent an armed sheriff to kick out The Rebel’s Alberta bureau chief, Sheila Gunn Reid, and followed up with a shocking letter on Department of Justice stationery, banning anyone even “connected” to The Rebel.

That disgraceful attack on freedom of the press earned Notley national scorn, and she backed down out of embarrassment.

But Boyd came up with two suggestions that Notley can use to ban The Rebel indirectly:

By setting up a cartel of existing journalists who can keep out new competitors like The Rebel; and an audacious scheme to funnel government funding to this cartel, to do Notley's “vetting” for her.

Both schemes are unconstitutional.

Notley cannot directly ban journalists she doesn’t like; and she cannot ban us indirectly, either.

Here are the two suggestions made by Boyd:

2. While wide-open access to legislative bodies may be ideal in a democracy, security concerns and the need to main (sic) a semblance of order make that impractical. The Alberta Government would be wise to follow the lead of other Canadian jurisdictions and let journalists decide questions of accreditation. This protects government from the perception of bias. This is not a perfect solution, and several journalists have made it clear they do not believe they should be subject in any way to control by their peers, but it appears to be the best compromise.

This is a red herring. Sheila Gunn Reid, the Rebel reporter banned by Notley, has never been a security threat or disorderly.

And even if she had been, it is a non-sequitur to then call for a cartel of journalists to decide upon “accreditation”. What does one have to do with the other?

(If Notley is interested in banning people with criminal records from press scrums, she might start with her director of communications, Cheryl Oates — a convicted criminal.)

Here’s Boyd’s other scheme:

4. The Alberta Legislature Press Gallery says it lacks the resources to assume responsibility for day-to-day accreditation. Give serious consideration to setting up a mechanism akin to the Secretariat in Ottawa, where staff funded by the House of Commons assist the press gallery with accreditation of daily events. Funding could be made available via Alberta’s legislative assembly through the Speaker’s office – not through the government itself. Such a system could involve vetting of qualifications, security checks, and enforcement of rules and codes of conduct.

Boyd bizarrely characterizes funnelling government funding through the Legislative Assembly, to hire staff with taxpayer money, to vet journalists, as somehow not being the same as if “the government itself” did it. That is absurd, and shows the real goal of Boyd’s report — to attempt to give a fig leaf to let Notley ban media she doesn’t like, but using an arm’s length proxy to do it.

The Rebel was willing to go to court to fight against Notley banning our journalists. We’ll surely go to court to fight against any of our competitors who take government money to do Notley’s dirty work for her.

One last point. In a 122-page report, Boyd had plenty of room for gossip and anecdotes, but only a few sentences about “legal considerations”:

Canadian courts have not provided a great deal of direction to help define the word “journalist,” although they acknowledge that the media landscape is changing. It used to be a relatively simple matter to determine if a media outlet had been in contempt of court. Now information from a case can pop up online in many forms on numerous platforms.

The Supreme Court itself has written that recent defamation cases involve blogs and other online media, “which are potentially both more ephemeral and more ubiquitous than traditional print media.”

What does that even mean? It doesn’t even make sense; it doesn’t even cite the Supreme Court case in question.

The Supreme Court case in question was decided in 2009; you can read it here. It ruled that there are no special free speech rights for journalists — those rights apply to all citizens, even amateur citizen-journalists. Here’s the court:

"...traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists.  These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets."

The Rebel, of course, is a legitimate news company — with fifteen full-time staff, including Sheila Gunn Reid, a full-time reporter and national, best-selling author.

But even amateur, citizen journalists are still journalists in the eyes of the Supreme Court. Not in the eyes of Heather Boyd though — or Rachel Notley.

The Rebel will continue to do what made Notley ban us in the first place — providing Albertans with news, opinion and activism that they can’t find anywhere else.

If anyone tries to stop us — whether it’s Notley, or other journalists willing to run errands for Notley, we will defy them, even if that means taking them all the way to the Supreme Court.



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commented 2016-03-21 12:53:34 -0400
Bill elder

He is like all other liberals. A few dozen hours of exposure to us and they start to wake up. Liberty is the truth and it comes for everyone. Some are slower than others. On the plus side, I am guessing by Ron christensen’s recent anger that he is about to crack
commented 2016-03-21 12:50:23 -0400
Fascism requires quiet and ignorance to operate fully. Notley is fulfilling her fascist pig duty. Bootlickers Nathan and Ron will slurp it up
commented 2016-03-20 21:27:05 -0400
Nathan W has a small streak of populism and a tiny tiny bit of libertarian civl liberty in his make up – promising Nathan, promising ;-)
commented 2016-03-20 15:24:25 -0400
Nathan, your UN story lacks context. When did you do this? How long did it take? If it took you a month or more, in the last say, 10 to 15 years or so, then 4 grand sounds about right. If it took you less than that, then we’re right in our condemnation of the UN for wasting money. Now, about what else you said; why would Harper talk to Rabble? He talked to the CBC lots, that should be enough for the left wing media. I can’t imagine what Rabble would ask, that’s relevant, that the mothercorp isn’t going to ask. How many times should a politician be asked when he stopped beating his wife before it’s okay for that politician to start ignoring that reporter (or news source, or website, or whatever)? There’s a plethora of left wing news sites, any particular one isn’t any better than any other. Not a lot of right wing news sites, though. And this one is the best to represent the Canadian right, IMO. Now, as far as what Harper did or didn’t do, or will, or whatever. It’s been pointed out here before, there’s never been any kind of ban on any reporter or organization at any events. You know it and we all do; if it ever did happen the MSM would have skewered him for it. So, lie much?
commented 2016-03-20 15:21:14 -0400
only the completely obtuse support the fascist left..
commented 2016-03-20 15:20:04 -0400
here is one for all and especially cbc.. i have been banned under my “real name” from replying to hrh prince zoolander of shallows gratuitous tweets… censorship and “liberal” fascism go hand in hand.
commented 2016-03-19 21:10:14 -0400
“To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – Voltaire
commented 2016-03-19 19:15:04 -0400
Right out of the Lenin hand book, if you defy the tyrant you are an enemy of the state. Especially as Ezra points out the "red herring "as you are a DISTRUBTION to the cause. In this case banishment is the punishment, next time incarnation, next step death squads and death panels. They will render your cause useless by fines and bankruptcy. If you look closely to every bill that is passed if you become non compliant they will ruin you financially first.
Governmentphobia = when you lose trust and are afraid to speak out against your rulers. We are not governed in this country we are being ruled.
commented 2016-03-19 17:18:46 -0400
Nathan W said “even if the primary objectives is to twist anything into a hit piece in any possible way”

You know, Nathan, you keep accusing TheRebel of doing this type of thing, but you never prove it. And when you are challenged to prove it you never respond. This means that all you are is a fucking liar, the very thing you accuse TheRebel of being.

“A thief has the most locks on the door to his house.”
commented 2016-03-19 17:15:19 -0400
Nathan W said, “Did he once, ever, in his entire career, field a question from Rabble, or similar such outlets?”

Not once did Harper ever attempt to stop any media organization from attending anything. The NDP did.

Harper simply did not talk to the media, and considering how the media intentionally tried to “rip him a new one” every time they talked to him, I don’t blame him for avoiding those media bastards.
commented 2016-03-19 17:02:07 -0400
Do we know what the terms of reference for this contract were? Just wondering if Notley wanted recommendations on ways to keep The Rebel’s staff out of the Legislature (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
commented 2016-03-19 16:56:28 -0400
“Boyd was paid $10,000 for eighteen pages of writing.”

Well, she could have delivered it in 200-page format, but thankfully, she brought it down to digestible size. That it is 18 pages is to her credit, not the opposite.

That having been said, I’ve love to have gotten the gig. I once had to digest many hundreds of entire national development plans across about a dozen Asian countries and turn it into a report on how development plans evolved over the last 50 years in Asia. UN project. Oh, but you think everything in the UN is a waste of money and overpaid. I got paid $4000 for the project.

Question: any comments on Harper’s openness to diverse media? Did he once, ever, in his entire career, field a question from Rabble, or similar such outlets? Hypocrites.

Anyways, obviously you guys should be allowed to show up, even if the primary objectives is to twist anything into a hit piece in any possible way. Too bad you never defended such rights when Harper was around. It would come across a little more credibly that way.

Also, having to go through accreditation might do you guys some good. You’d still be free to ignore what you’d have to learn to pass the test, but at least you’d have to go through the motions of learning about some responsible journalism.

Hey, let me know next time Harper allows amateur citizen journalists to attend his events and ask questions outside of political campaign season. We all know it never happened, and never would have happened had he somehow managed to finangle his way into the PM hotseat again.
commented 2016-03-19 15:45:31 -0400
commented 2016-03-19 14:09:16 -0400
Bill Elder – a very wise Irish saying!
commented 2016-03-19 13:59:37 -0400
We will have freedom when the last lawyer is hung by the guts of the last politician – Old Irish saying.
commented 2016-03-19 12:07:48 -0400
There will be freedom of speech, provided that the right messengers send the appropriate messages.

This is the beginning of press censorship on a level unseen. And if one province does it, they will all do it.
commented 2016-03-19 10:43:39 -0400
All Canadians should be worried about “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press”! This is just not an Alberta issue. When a government attempts to deny freedoms guaranteed under our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it becomes a totalitarian, fascist government. This is happening within our country at the moment and it sets a dangerous precedent. Perhaps we are reaching that point – an Orwellian society.
commented 2016-03-19 08:10:52 -0400
Journalism used to be a noble profession, and real journalists would have walked over burning coals, to ensure that the truth got to the people. Now the once proud profession has been infiltrated by liars and fairy tale spinners, who get off on misleading the public for financial and political gain!
commented 2016-03-19 08:10:38 -0400
Bill George
misogyny is legal , much like your ignorance. nobody is stopping you from leaving this forum. feel free to leave any time like now.
commented 2016-03-19 02:47:18 -0400
Ezra is at his best when he reads out the fine print, and tears it apart.
commented 2016-03-19 01:30:37 -0400
Notley is afraid of little Sheila and any Rebel mic/camera – obviously afraid, but so are dinosaur media and their camp followers
The only “press accreditation” needed is accountability to all applicable slander/defamation laws for publishing – everything else is fair comment – pretentious professional watchdog bodies are redundant – all a reporter is responsible to is the readership and the law -The whole pretense that “journalism” is a noble profession like medicine or architecture is so obviously fraudulent it’s laughable.
commented 2016-03-19 00:00:08 -0400
Bill George, if that’s your real name, you are the pot calling the kettle black. One can tell buy your post that the sicko is actually yourself. Ask yourself, who has been doing the filthy name calling?
commented 2016-03-18 23:32:25 -0400
BILL GEORGE commented 2 hours ago
I see the WRP sickos are back campaigning with all their filthy name calling, who in their right mind would become a WRP/PC/MISOGYNIST member?

Hello Bill George, From what I just read in your little statement, it seems to me that you are against freedom of speech, and the right to have the knowledge to make your own decisions.

Now if that is true then I guess you are living in the wrong part of the planet.
I think you would fit right in if you were in North Korea. Where any type of open thought is subjugated to criminal charges, or even imprisonment.

So when you post things like that.
It says to everyone on the rebel that you are brainwashed or you have never had to fight to keep anything in your life, or you are on the government purse and haven’t had to work for the damn thing in your life. But the most likely thing is.
You actually believe in communism and hope the government decides everything for you.
So you can be a good little sheep and follow all the leaders and die a very shallow human being.

Remember a real Hero only dies once.
A follower and coward die 1000 times before death.
Really think about the statement I just wrote.

Your friend and leader Charles Moulton.
commented 2016-03-18 22:20:50 -0400
We got your back Ezra!!
commented 2016-03-18 22:20:41 -0400
Hey Ezra,
Just rename it “The Refugee.Media”.
The vetting process will be nonexistent and you could play a phobia card of some kind if they still won’t admit you.
commented 2016-03-18 22:14:05 -0400
I can see how the dippers are going to get around this,by claiming to need a safe space from SHEILA .

Bill only likes "white guy’s " if they’re Liberal elites.
commented 2016-03-18 22:09:02 -0400
commented 2016-03-18 21:57:26 -0400
The Rebel is an accredited news source, probably one of a very few that tells the real truth. It has readers from the UK to India and Australia and of course the USA.

The truth in news goes against Notley’s grain. She is running scared and it looks good on her.
commented 2016-03-18 21:50:47 -0400

No surprise – seems Sean should be on here complaining as he always talks about free speech.

Censorship always comes from the left – all through history it is the same Mao, Stalin and more.

Social justice thugs also approve censorship.
commented 2016-03-18 21:43:13 -0400
EZRA—-you warned us of these very tactics . I have your snail mail address for when the legal wrangling starts