I’m not really certain at this point as to whether my subscribing to Twitter was, as Martha might say., “a good thing”; I just know that the random posts I’m now reading in accounts such as “Canada Proud” or “Concerned Canadian”, both of which express hardcore, far right political philosophies that make no bones about hating the PM while supporting the Poisonous One who now heads the Conservative Party of Canada, push the limits of extremism, and in some cases border on being hate crimes as defined in Canada’s Criminal Code.
Yes, this beginning seems to be preaching the same message as last week’s attempt at portraying just how sickening political debate has become in Canada – but with a “difference”. By looking behind the scenes as to “why” this now out-of-control rhetoric has become so popular on social media, it’s important to know the background and character of the disinformation peddlers who are peddling this trash, and note the strings of disharmony they are plucking in order to get the increasingly sick responses they receive from a public no longer seeking solutions to their own problems, but merely wanting to vent their frustrations as to how their lifelong expectations have gone astray over the past three years.
In order to get the Hate Agenda message across, online trolls use a psychological ploy that attempts to disassociate cause from effect, thus rendering its readership in forgetting one side or another of contributing factors going into influencing their feelings or sentiments. One such Saskatchewan example is how the Canada Growth Council, a creation of playboys Tyler Willox, a Sask Party major donor, Eric Clark, a former Sask Party Director and Derek Robinson, former communications director for Premier Wall, were extremely effective in having former Liberal MP Ralph Goodale defeated in the 2019 campaign. Their approach was as simple as it was simple-minded. Goodale’s name was dropped in describing how the riding had previously voted, replaced by portraying Regina-Wascana voters as being “victim of the ‘failed policies’ being implemented by an incompetent and unqualified leader, Justin Trudeau.”
Their “solution”? One could either abandon the Canadian dream and support the WEXIT Movement (which was actually what the CGC wanted to have happen), OR redirect your vote to a Conservative Party member who will restore faith in a nation worthy of being “saved” through better governance.
That this destructive approach did not work in favour of electing American Andrew Scheer as PM, nor for that matter Erin O’Toole in the 2021 campaign does not mean that the hardcore base of right-leaning membership currently dominating the Conservative Party have abandoned their attempts to disassociate economic realities from their causal linkage; rather, their adherents, pushed behind the scenes to continue along this avenue of vitriolic hatred by an now resurfacing Stephen Harper, current Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has cemented the amalgamation of the Party’s publicity wing with the Mobilizing Media Group in order to carry his message to the electorate through to the anticipated campaign date of sometime in October of 2025.
MMG is unlike most other media groups in Canada, in that through the shell structure that established its very existence it is considered by the Canada Revenue Agency to be a part of a non-profit, “charitable” organization. What this means to political “insiders” is that through a subtle twisting of tax regulation, wealthy individuals sympathetic to the hardcore Conservative agenda are able to “donate” funds to MMG in order for it to retain operational stability, and write off these funds as though they were being donated to the more legitimate “charities” or religiously affiliated groups we’re used to having described as such.
This situation is not unlike the American “political action committee” (PAC) techniques that are used by the extremely wealthy to give their philosophical approach to economic theory, practice and policies a wider range of publicity than other political affiliations or groups. Its effects, however, have even greater repercussions upon Canada’s electoral system in that essentially the Elections Act restricts persons from donating to political parties except during periods of campaigning. Thus, having a “charity” classification means that groups having such tax status can campaign indefinitely on behalf of Conservatives, even through periods of non-electoral campaign activity – and if that isn’t enough “irony” for one person to grasp in a single serving, DESPITE there being NO restriction as to when they may act as spokespersons for the Conservative Party, they must STILL provide Elections Canada with a list of their “donors” and amounts they “donated”, to a maximum value just slightly over $500,000 annually.
The political “voice” of MMG is Jeff Billingall, and its web page defines the company as being “recognized as leaders in Canadian digital public affairs and work[ing] extensively with leading North American firms to help clients change public opinion.” Prior to its current “Canada Proud” campaign, Billingall was instrumental in utilizing Ontario Proud’s social media presence to be used as a platform to relentlessly defame then Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, and is widely credited for having Doug Ford elected premier as a result.
MMG maintains that the overwhelming “majority” of its political contributions come from individuals donating $200 or less towards its specific campaigns, but that statement is dangerously misleading. For instance, during the Ontario campaign, developers and contractors contributed more than $450,000 to Ontario Proud, and all of them are new seeking payback by pushing the Ford government to open up southern Ontario’s so-called “Green Belt” to new housing and developmental initiatives. As for the Canada Proud campaign, for which Billingall is responsible in providing content, over 40% of its funding comes from one source, Calgary based Coril Holdings Ltd and its CEO, R.N. Mannix, whose net worth (in Canadian funds) exceeds $3 billion, almost all of which has been derived from investments in the petroleum and coal markets or real estate development.
The tactics used by Canada Proud could legitimately be described as “bullying”, were it not for the fact that the commentary is directed specifically at Justin Trudeau and his government’s attempts with the NDP to provide safety nets for individuals and small businesses during the Covid pandemic. Having now passed into a new era wherein the majority of the public is trying to put the isolation and sense of frustration caused by this pandemic into some form of past tense, Canada Proud now exploits key factors arising from those three years to blame the Trudeau government for literally causing them to even exist.
Inflation, caused mostly by a virtual doubling of petroleum product costs as a reflection of the market’s reaction to the Russian – Ukraine conflict and supply chain management difficulties created from so many workers having work places undermanned due to critical outbreaks of the initial Covid-19 virus, are now apparently conditions he either created or somehow mismanaged, thus creating an unsustainable pressure upon the government’s ability to effectively manage its budgetary commitments. The remaining topics are just plain “personal”, attacking the way the PM walks, talks, with women whom he may now be “cheating on wife Sophie, how he relates to women in general and how he tolerates so-called Chinese “intervention” in somehow “assisting” the Liberals to hold onto seats that should have under other circumstances “should have gone to Conservatives” – all without legitimate proof or substantiation in actual fact, but “true”, nonetheless – at least from Canada Proud’s point of view.
Ironically, newspaper reports now suggest that even labour union members are starting to buy into the trash being pushed by Poilievre and his public relations agency, MMS / Canada Proud. The sobering fact that the labour unions themselves recognize that the propaganda Canada Proud is pushing is able to make available only is being funded by major non-union construction company alliances such as Merit Contractors Association of Canada, whose major “beef” comes from the fact that their respective firms preach “right to work” rhetoric that would essentially deprive workers of benefits derived from bargaining in good faith with employers whose primary concern is to protect the investment they have made in their working crews.
Thus, while the prevailing social media free-for-all created by MMG may be recruiting an almost fanatical base, it should be recognized by the NDP that in 2015, when Justin Trudeau finally decided to fight back against the condescending campaign being conducted by the Harper regime, by even momentarily deciding to attack Trudeau on similar grounds, that change essentially prevented Tom Mulcair from becoming the first NDP Prime Minister of Canada.
In Saskatchewan, I still believe that Poilievre’s Hate Campaign will lose its current attractiveness come 2025, and by that time voters in at least four Saskatchewan ridings will elect MP’s NOT from either of the Conservative or PPC caucus.
And yes, Don Morgan, I still have that $1,000 ready to bet against you choosing to believe otherwise.