Chelsea Novak's Blog

A Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper - Fall 2011

November 9, 2011

Dear Stephen Harper,

In honour of Vancouver’s 125th anniversary, Geist has published a special issue that includes “Signs of Literary Life: Literary Vancouver in the 1970s”—a 25-page in-depth feature that acknowledges the publishers and writers who shaped Vancouver’s literary scene.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada is also celebrating an anniversary this year—their 75th.

Your government has a funny way of celebrating this occasion.

On October 31, 2011, your Conservative colleagues, Mr. Rob Anders and Mr. Garry Breitkreuz, presented petitions to de-fund the CBC.

The CBC was further discussed on November 2, 2011: Ms. Jean Crowder, the Chair of the Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee, responded to a question from Mr. Tyrone about the decision to discuss the de-funding of the CBC behind closed doors with the following:

“Mr. Speaker, incredibly, a majority of committee members voted to meet in camera at this time to deal with the business before the committee. This keeps our committee deliberations secret and effectively prevents committee members from commenting on the business before the committee.

I know many members believe Canadians have a right to know, but I must report that the majority of members decided that the public will not be allowed to hear these debates.”

How your government can question the validity of a broadcaster that has served this country for 75 years, while spitting in the face of democracy by discussing public policy behind closed doors—failing to serve all Canadians—is beyond me.

Please enjoy the enclosed copy of Geist 82, Fall 2011.


Chelsea Novak

Managing Editor

for Geist



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