From The Maple: In the first episode of The Maple’s Great Gilded North podcast series, we spoke to writer Sam Smart about her recent article titled “A Guide To The Ruling Class’s Domination And Destruction Of Canadian Media.”

  • Smart told The Maple that the domination of Canadian media by wealthy elites was driven by the financialization of media companies in the 1990s, as the owners hoped to turn substantial profits from those companies.

However, many papers went bankrupt and were bought out after 2000, paving the way for further corporate control, which in turn resulted in cutbacks and layoffs.

  • At the same time, outlets came to be dominated by wealthy individuals who typically hold right-wing political views.

Asked about this trend, Smart said: “I really think it comes down to the nature of capitalism, at the end of it. A lot of the people that partake in really hyper capitalist practices, like owning a lot of publications, and having a mass media company, and making cuts and laying people off, are also the ones that lean conservative, I find.”

Find the episode on SoundCloud, Apple, Spotify, or Google.

Read Smart's full article here.

A Guide To The Ruling Class’s Domination And Destruction Of Canadian Media
“News coverage and the opinion journalism of the largest newspapers in Canada has now been weaponized and monetized by the owners.”

From the Toronto Star: The RCMP forced their way through a blockade on Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C. Thursday and arrested land defenders who are attempting to halt the construction of the Coastal GasLink liquefied natural gas pipeline, according to the Toronto Star.

  • A spokesperson for the land defenders, Jennifer Wickham, said in a video posted to Twitter Thursday afternoon that the incursion amounted to an invasion by the RCMP. Wickham said approximately 15 people were arrested, including media, legal observers and Wet’suwet’en elders.

Wickham continued: “This invasion once again speaks to the genocide that is happening to Indigenous people that are trying to protect our water for our future generations … We need to shut down Canada.”

  • According to the Star, the RCMP were armed and present with canine units. On Sunday, members of the Gidimt’en clan, one of five belonging to the Wet'suwet'en First Nation, prepared the blockade, and gave Coastal GasLink workers eight hours to leave Wet’suwet’en territory, plus a two hour extension.

Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their allies say the pipeline has no right to be built as it wasn’t given permission through the Nation’s traditional governance system.

  • Elected band councils along the pipeline route have signed agreements with the project, and the B.C. Supreme Court issued an injunction in December 2019 against the land defenders.

Read the Star’s full story here.

From The Tyee: The RCMP have characterized their invasion of Wet'suwet'en territory as an operation to “rescue” pipeline workers, who were trapped following the blockade. The land defenders say the blockade was set up as a reinforcement of an eviction order first introduced against Coastal GasLink back in January 2020.

  • But according to The Tyee, Coastal GasLink failed to warn their employees about the blockade, which made leaving and entering the area impossible.

A worker who has been trapped in the area for days told The Tyee that he and others would have left the territory if they had been warned.

  • The worker added that the company has not relayed any information or updates about the protests that have been going on for years.

Wickham, the spokesperson for the land defenders, said: “I think it’s really awful that Coastal GasLink wouldn’t give their workers the option to leave, knowing they wouldn’t be able to get any supplies in for them.”

  • The company blamed the blockade for endangering the workers' health and safety, but would not respond to questions about whether the workers were warned about the road closure, according to The Tyee.

The worker told The Tyee he doesn’t feel threatened by the protesters, and just wants to go home.

Read The Tyee’s full story here.

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