August 25, 2015

FACT CHECK: CBC "should be ashamed" of biased retirement pensions story -- Here's how to tell them so

Brian LilleyArchive

It’s funny to me what passes for journalism these days, especially at CBC.

Here at The Rebel and before that at Sun News, Ezra Levant and I have been accused of being biased.

Okay, guilty as charged, but unlike most media outlets -- like, say, the CBC -- I am up front with my bias. I tell you where I am coming from. You can take what I say or ignore it knowing that I am coming to you from a specific point of view.

Then you have the others. The folks that claim to be impartial and unbiased and then produce work that brings that notion into question.

This past weekend, CBC put out a story by their Access to Information specialist Dean Beeby that is either a really lazy piece of journalism or an agenda driven piece aimed at pushing an issue.

My opinion is that this story on pensions falls in the latter category.

Now this isn’t just another rant on media and media bias. I’ve talked plenty about that, I even wrote a book called CBC Exposed that laid bare so much of what is wrong with the state broadcaster.

But I’m not just going to bash the other media outlets here.

I keep saying elections matter and we need to talk policy, so let’s do that as well, as I show you how bad this story, ostensibly about pensions, really is.

Let’s start with the headline and subheadline:

“Document raises questions about Harper retirement policies: Finance Canada review of Canada's retirement system says Canada scores poorly among OECD countries”

Did the document raise questions? No, Dean Beeby did. The document was there to answer questions.

Did the review say Canada scores poorly? No, it didn’t.

Dean Beeby said that based on one aspect, what the review calls "one pillar" of retirement saving in Canada: Public pensions.

Now after the loaded headline, which I will admit, the journalist does not always get a say in, Beeby opens his piece in this way:

“Canada scores poorly among developed countries in providing public pensions to seniors, according to an internal analysis of retirement income by the federal government.”

He keeps going back to this one feature time and again, the public pension feature.

It’s part of what makes me think this story tells you more about Dean Beeby and his worldview than it does about the report on retirement income.

Because when you read the actual Access to Information documents in full, it shows that retirement income in Canada is doing much better than reported, and that Canadian seniors are less likely to live in poverty than seniors in most OECD countries including ones that spend more on public pensions.

You can read the document for yourself here:

Beeby and CBC don’t tell you that Canadian seniors are less likely to live in poverty. It wouldn’t fit their agenda.

Here’s what they do tell you. After setting up that pensions are an election issue, comes this quote from the review conducted by Finance Canada for the Privy Council Office:

"In 2010, Canada spent 5.0 per cent of GDP on public pensions (OAS/GIS and C/QPP), which is low compared with the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) of average of 9.4 per cent," it noted.

"The OECD projects that public expenditure on pensions in Canada will only increase to 6.3 per cent of GDP by 2050 – much lower than the 11.6 per cent of GDP projected for OECD countries on average."

That’s all accurate and all in there.

As he continues on in the article, Beeby cherry picks lines that show Canada spending less than the OECD average on public pensions and social programs and then turns to Ontario Liberal MP and Kathleen Wynne cabinet minister Mitzie Hunter, unloads on Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, and claims they are burying their heads in the sand. Then he turns to Susan Eng of CARP, another advocate for expanded public pensions.

This story was agenda driven from the start and this proves it. But what gives added proof is what was not included in the story.

Like I said, if you listen to Dean Beeby and CBC, you would think Granny is left on her own, or at best put out on the ice floe by an uncaring federal government.

What is the reality? Far different.

Page 6 of the PDF shows that the number of seniors living below the Low Income Cut Off, the LICO, commonly called the poverty line, has been shrinking since 1976.

The report shows that when you take all three pillars of the retirement system in this country – meaning OAS and GIS (that is the public pillar), the second pillar being CPP, and the third pillar being private savings in RRSPs and such -- then Canadian seniors have an income replacement above the OECD average:

“With support from all three pillars, the media Canadian senior earns about 91 per cent as much as the median Canadian - well above the OECD average of 84 per cent.”

Is that in the story? No. It wouldn’t push the CBC agenda of more government spending.

Are there seniors in poverty? Yes, there are but seniors in Canada are less likely to live in poverty than the general population. The poverty rate sits at about 9%, the poverty rate for seniors is 7.2% according to a study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Oh and by the way, that is well below the OECD average of 12.8%.

You didn’t see that in Dean Beeby’s story did you?

Yet that story was given time on The National, it played on CBC radio and on CBC’s news channel. And yet it a false story built upon selective reading of a report.

It is a story guilty of the sin of omission. It didn’t tell you the whole story, in fact it didn’t come close.

But like most stories on CBC, it did the main job it was intended to do, it helped convince the audience that Stephen Harper is mean and needs to be defeated.

CBC, its news department, its editors and their management should all be ashamed of themselves over this.

If you agree, you can help them. You can EMAIL CBC’s ombudsman and tell them the problems with this story. Tell them that for $1 billion per year of taxpayer money you deserve the truth.

It’s simple: is the address and the ombudsman is Esther Enkin. Be polite, be concise and tell them you expect better.

There is an election campaign on, policy matters, reporting matters and the truth matters.

READ Brian Lilley's book CBC Exposed -- it's been called "the political book of the year.”

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commented 2015-08-26 06:17:40 -0400
Ya well, I don’t think I can be polite or eloquent or completely express my disdain I’ve had since l realized they were lying some 30 years ago, so I defer to Vlad. Let em have it
commented 2015-08-26 05:33:41 -0400
Whether it’s the so-called “Netflix tax” or the Twitter criminal harassment case, and now this, the CBC will never acknowledge its own bias and/or conflict of interest.
commented 2015-08-26 01:07:18 -0400
Christian Inkster said “Then will come reality and the reactions will be the interesting part”.

If Mulcair or Trudeau come to power. Or both. You can be sure unless Mr. Harper wins a majority. He is out. Then it will take 4 years to kick them out and another 10 years to repair the damage they caused. I may not be alive then.
commented 2015-08-25 23:25:32 -0400
Glenn it is not so much the whether the people that would vote for the Conservatives who also support the CBC would therefore switch their vote to another party if the Conservatives defunded the CBC, but that the left in Canada play very dirty politics from legal cases from the CBC against the Conservatives possibly taking all the way to the SCoC an all paid for by us, to those “friends of CBC” that would wage a propaganda hate war against the Conservatives, to the other media that depend upon the CBC for income would also wage a hate war against the Conservatives. You would see an all out war (PR and legal war, not civil war) if the Conservatives defunded the CBC. At least that is my take on the subject, but don’t get me wrong, I would love to see the CBC defunded, but I want the Conservatives in office this next election even more than I want the CBC defunded.
commented 2015-08-25 20:56:37 -0400
Brian, the CBC is in the business of spreading this type of misinformation; they certainly would not be ashamed, because they simply are not honourable people. They promote a Liberal, leftist agenda and call it journalism, a blatant lie.
Call their ombudsman? You’ve got to be kidding… what would a CBC shill ombudsman do to correct this?
Her job is to PROMOTE it.
The comment below that to de-fund the CBC would be political suicide is questionable; how many people think it’s OK for the CBC to be carried on the backs of the taxpayer would actually vote Conservative? It would be interesting to know…..
commented 2015-08-25 20:55:02 -0400
Brian, A member of my men’s rights site challenges on a factual basis on the CBC on an almost daily basis (I am barred from the site altogether for advocating defunding).

All protocols have been observed….all procedures followed in tendering our grievances and complaints.

No joy…..

It is like going to Dracula’s Castle to complain that vampires suck blood.

My suggested alternative………

Complain to those who are paying for it…..join the taxpayer’s federation drive for defunding….where slogans and ideology fail….refusal to pay prevails.
commented 2015-08-25 20:03:34 -0400
Thank you, Brian, for this excellent piece of reportage. I heard this story on CBC Radio not long after waking one morning, and anyone who is careful listener and without a bias toward believing any negative thing said about the current government would sense that this was biased, agenda-driven reporting. Of all the parts of the Civil Service, the Finance Department is one of the more non-partisan and dispassionate ones. By cherry-picking the data and the words, the reporter pretends to tell us what the report “says” when he is constructing a narrative of what he wants it to say or of what it can be manipulated to say. The government itself, for reasons best known to itself, has tactically decided, questionably perhaps, to ignore these daily attacks and focus only on their message. But it is important to the broader well-being of our citizenry for reporters like you to investigate, expose, and call out the relentless perpetrators of the Big Lie.
commented 2015-08-25 18:19:18 -0400
Christian Inkster, I tend to think that if either Justin or Thomas got into office, any screwups they make will be buried by the main stream media as fast as it happens along with any extra taxes. Any extra spending will be heralded by that same corrupt MSM as the best thing to every happen to Canada.

In short, the MSM will do whatever they can to smooth over any misdoings by a left wing government all the while Canada spirals down the drain.
commented 2015-08-25 18:09:42 -0400
Senior’s cups are half full… The 300m NDP proposed subsidy to seniors, if it is an annul funding, equates to 88 cents per senior per day, or about enough to buy half a cup of coffee… more probable, it’s a multi-year plan, ignoring demographics, which will give every senior a nickel or perhaps a dime per day…. lefties, be it CBC or NDP at times claim to be red, at times to be orange, but in my view, every time to be brown.
commented 2015-08-25 17:50:36 -0400
I was just thinking about this, that if the CBC and the other drive bys are twisting and distorting things all in the name of ramming through a big time liberal agenda in this election, it will be interesting to see what most people will really honestly think of a Prime Minister Justin or Tom one to three years from now. This is based on one of them coming into office with ones who will be happy of course to see Steve being shown the door, but no doubt they will also have very high expectations of either man once he is in the PMO. Then will come reality and the reactions will be the interesting part.
commented 2015-08-25 17:29:05 -0400
Tom Mulcair has promised to invest $40 million over four years into increasing GIC payments to Canada’s poorest seniors.
commented 2015-08-25 16:45:17 -0400
Very well done Brian. I tried calling the Ombudsman. No answer. 1-416-205-2825 . So I sent this e-mail.

Dear Madame or Sir, The CBC gets over one Billion dollars annually from taxpayers. This means some of my tax dollars go to the CBC. I find the CBC is nothing but a left wing propaganda machine. I want the funding to the CBC to end. You guys cherry pick data and manipulate stories to make Prime Minister Harper look bad. This is propaganda. Not responsible journalism. You have continued to support David Suzuki all through the years. I first heard of Suzuki in the late 70’s when he successfully blocked a business from being developed somewhere in Northwestern BC. Today that town has an unemployment rate of 78% and the whole town is hooked on drugs. I feel that if that business was developed there. This town would have been better off. I am sure you know about the forum that Suzuki attended in Australia a few years back. The scientists there made a mockery of Suzuki’s environmental opinions. Don’t you think Canadians have the right to know this?

What about the legality of Suzuki’s Charity officially supporting the Liberal Party? Do you not think this should be made public to the people you take taxes from?
What about accusations of Suzuki being a pedophile. Does the CBC not think this is worth looking into? It sickens me to see Suzuki get rich off of my tax dollars.

Everybody at the CBC tries to make the Prime Minister and the Conservatives look bad. Why? Look at the way Terry Milewski comments on Harper. Look at also the way he asks a question to our PM. I am disgusted in him. There are many other examples of my disgust with the CBC.

You, as the Ombudsman, know that there is something going on. As a taxpayer, I demand an explanation.

Alex Armutlu
Canadian Citizen

commented 2015-08-25 16:27:53 -0400
Only really frigin fools and commie shit for brains beleives anything out of that bias media shit hole. Defund CBC now!!!
commented 2015-08-25 16:20:09 -0400
Lying CBC! Defund the CBC and redirect those monies into the Canada Pension Plan! Voila! The imaginary pension problem is solved!
commented 2015-08-25 14:33:51 -0400
Will somebody please defund that POS organization known as the CBC?
commented 2015-08-25 14:10:30 -0400
Check out troodo’s next play – PAUL SH*TBAG MARTIN – Harper’s first target practice kill. And the MSM picks up the story like it’s some kind of break through for douche bag troodo.

Blob and Mail is a POS rag.

Digging up fossils is troodo’s next genius move. Paul Martin was a failure at PM and this says what to voters.

troodo is just plain fkg stupid.
commented 2015-08-25 14:08:42 -0400
Let me be real clear. If the Conservatives defunded the CBC, we WILL have a socialist government next election. WILL

And that new socialist government WILL reinstate the CBCs’ funding. That is a reality on par with gravity.
commented 2015-08-25 14:05:12 -0400
Egil said, “Can’t understand why the Conservatives did not stop the subsidy to the CBC when they had the chance.”

I can. It is called political suicide. I would love to see the CBC defunded. I dream of the day. But even more, I want to see our “just barely right of center” Conservative party back into office because the alternatives of far, far worse!
commented 2015-08-25 13:49:36 -0400
sorry warren but privately owned ctv can do and say whatever they like.. as long as advertisers go along. cbc on the other hand “we dont make the news”? is a joke being played on decent canadians by a selfish egocentric mob
commented 2015-08-25 13:44:30 -0400
“Hard to imagine that the CBC would ever “be ashamed” …”

You got that right, RON VOSS.
commented 2015-08-25 13:35:22 -0400
Shutting down the left wing CBC is long overdue. What’s worse is CTV being every bit as bad. Can’t watch news on TV in Canada without non stop human interest propaganda and left wing ideology as they try to indoctrinate the masses. Sad
commented 2015-08-25 13:10:03 -0400
Headline: FACT CHECK: CBC “should be ashamed” of biased retirement pensions story — Here’s how to tell them so

commented 2015-08-25 13:05:51 -0400
I took a look at the article and they quote a Conservative party spokesman of saying that rate of Canadian seniors living in low income/poverty situations is among the lowest in the OECD. That is about the closest they get to mentioning other the other facts that Brian mentions in this video, which of course give a broader, better perspective on the issue. Looking at the comments section below, be careful as you might feel the need to take a bath or shower after reading a few of them (they are that bad).
commented 2015-08-25 12:57:41 -0400
The time has come for the cbc to die, a swift, harsh death…
That’s a billion right there!

Want more?

The “network” itself is still very viable, (assets…property, equipment, etc.)
Why not LEASE the “network” (20-25 years) as a whole or in pieces to the highest bidders?

Just saying…
commented 2015-08-25 12:57:21 -0400
Brian, I contacted the CBC ombudsman, not the current ombudsman, several times in the past and like ALEX POPOVIC, found it to be a waste of time and effort. However, perhaps worth another try. Hard to imagine that the CBC would ever “be ashamed” with their ‘the end justifies the means’ philosophy. One of the greatest irritants is knowing that my tax dollars help buoy up the propagandist CBC!
commented 2015-08-25 12:54:47 -0400
Can’t understand why the Conservatives did not stop the subsidy to the CBC when they had the chance. There could have been a very good case to show where the billion dollars could have helped others in Canada. The supporters of the CBC will never vote for the conservatives.
commented 2015-08-25 12:20:24 -0400
LMFAO!!!! There’s no/none/nada pension in the world that IS FUNDED properly. All pensions at a global level are royally fkd financially. Europe doesn’t report their pending failures – they prefer surprises with their pension collapse, just ask the greeks.

Ontario teachers continue to take pension cuts with rising dues. Now the rest of the world news – that is reported.

Chicago’s pension?? Rated junk: – and the law won’t allow cuts – over the cliff they will go.


Stupid fk-off pea brain Canadian MSM mentality – never mind what’s going on in the rest of the world, we want what we want – wahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Fk off and die CBC – you communist pukes.

The future to retirement is RSP’s and more importantly TFSA’s. The gubbamints for decades have destroyed pensions.
commented 2015-08-25 12:04:18 -0400
Typical left wing CBC miss-information. These low life Spin Doctors are after conning Senior Citizens into voting for the left wing Scum, whom they (CBC) support. They make me sick. As Tax Payers, we support their lies. Sell the CBC.
commented 2015-08-25 11:51:17 -0400
How relevant is CBC reporting;, that is, how many bother with it. I haven’t since news has gone to the net. For my Canadian news: right wing perspective I go Rebel, Sun, N/P and for my left wing I go Star, G&M. International news I go to BBC and Al Jazeera for opposing perspectives, both of which makes CBC look like a High School Student’s project. For local news, I listen to local radio. Being a music lover, I listen to “listener supported CKUA”, the music knowledge of which their hosts have make CBC, again, look like a High School Project. So, again, I am interested in how relevant the CBC is to the average Canadian and how many actually pay attention to it; tens of thousands or less is my bet.

I don’t think I have listened, watched, or surfed CBC for over 10 years. So why do I get to donate to the CBC through my tax dollar? It needs to be cut loose into the private sector to be financially supported directly by its niche supporters, I should not have to support this niche. CKUA made a very successful go of it being financed by its niche after it was cut loose by the Klein government; and is not looking backward but always forward.
commented 2015-08-25 11:46:14 -0400
What disturbs me is that the CBC is unethical and this represents the left who may form government again. They fight dirty and they lie and exaggerate and want to indoctrinate people into this kind of ideology . These are not the kind of people we should have running this country. The CBC has been hijacked by these people and no longer represents all Canadians. The entire staff at CBC should be fired.