Yesterday Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau brought in their annual budget.
The main thing to know is that it no Canadian government has ever spent more; Canadians have never paid more taxes; and the national debt has never been higher.
This budget finally reveals a few details about the massive $595 million media bail-out that Trudeau promised last fall. You know: The money that will only go to journalists that Trudeau can "trust"?
Among other things, Trudeau is promising:
"[A] new refundable tax credit for journalism organizations; a new non-refundable tax credit for subscriptions to Canadian digital news; and access to charitable tax incentives for not-for-profit journalism.”
Do you get nervous when you hear that the government is going to help the media be better?
Can you think of any situation where government involvement would make journalism more accurate, more independent, more anything — other than more controlled?
(Instead, this week the Liberals served notice that they are looking to revive the censorship powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission — the ones used to prosecute Maclean’s Magazine and Mark Steyn, and me and the Western Standard.)
I was just in the UK last week, and a judge asked all the journalists in the room to produce their licenses. I’m not kidding. And they whipped out their little journalism licences so quickly, so proudly, as if to say, I’m part of the chosen elite! I told the judge, yeah, I’m from Canada, we don’t have to register with the government to be journalists here. And they were all confused, and almost angry, that I didn’t have to bend the knee to the establishment, in the way that they had to do.
Well, I guess I won’t be able to do that for much longer, because the Liberals also want to bring in something called "Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization (QCJO) status."
But my favourite part of this section of the budget is what I call the Ban The Rebel clause, which I'm sure was included as a poison pill to bring us down.
Don’t take my word for it; Here’s Kent Driscoll, a reporter with APTN:
Tax credits are a decent way to help support media. Go buy a @TorontoStar subscription and get it counted against your taxes. Sticky wicket is going to be when Ezra and his ilk come looking to get on the eligible list. Panel needs to be really strong.
Here’s Andrew Potter, of the Ottawa Citizen:
Who is Ezra you ask, and why should we be worried? If you don't know the answer to that, then that's part of the problem.
Here’s an article on the budget by Paul Wells, who is personal friends with Trudeau. Writing about the "panel of experts" the Liberals want formed, Wells writes:
One suspects this line is designed to keep the kitty out of the hands of anyone named Ezra.
The good news for Paul Wells, and Kent Driscoll, who I actually never heard of before today, and Althia Raj, and that funny looking guy Andrew Potter, is:
I’m not coming to take any money.
And to Trudeau, and the hand-picked panel of “experts” who will come up with the list of approved QCJOs:
Just like I would never degrade myself by trying to get one of those UK journalism licenses, I’m not really interested in bending the knee for some washed up hacks to “approve” of me as a journalist.
I get that approval every single day, from hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Being able to say that we’re the last, free, independent, trustworthy journalists in the country, who aren’t certified and inspected and funded by Trudeau?
That’s worth a lot more to me than my share at the $595 million trough, don’t you think?
NEXT: We keep hearing that, somehow, President Trump is "responsible" for a rise in "hateful rhetoric" and, therefore, "hate crimes."
However, as my guest Joel Pollak of Breitbart explains, even the left-leaning Anti-Defamation League is reporting that "extremist killings" are down dramatically under Trump (a fact the ADL actually buried in its own report!)
FINALLY: Your messages to me!