1. Petition to save the CBC. The CBC is a national treasure that plays a vital role in Canadian culture. While the private companies of CTV and Canwest are rumored to be in consideration for federal bailout loans, the public CBC has been denied bridging loans from the government and are being forced to cut 10% of their workforce and programming. Avaaz.org has started a petition asking the government to grant the loans. Please read more here and sign the petition here.
2. Officials in Ottawa demanded an apology from Greg Gutfeld, host of the Fox News program “Red Eye”, for his mocking of the Canadian Military, Mounties, and culture on his March 17th show. I wrote about it the day after the show here. The show prompted Rick Mercer, Canadian political satirist, to say, “They should be ignored. If you’re going to do satire, three of the most important rules are you have to tell the truth, you can’t be a bully and don’t be an asshole. Being a bully is not satire.” Greg Gutfeld apologized in a roundabout way by issuing a statement through Fox News’ corporate channels saying, “It was not my intent to disrespect the brave men, women and families of the Canadian military, and for that I apologize.” But saying you were ‘misunderstood’ is not apologizing. Story at the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, and CTV.
3. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has eliminated interest on student loans. Education Minister Joan Burke said the province is the first in Canada to make such a move and it will only cost $5 million over the coming year. The government is also raising its student grant programs from $70 to $80 per week and is extending a long-running tuition freeze at several post-secondary institutions. “Almost 50,000 people who currently fall under the student loan portfolio here in the province are going to be in a much better situation coming out of this,” said Daniel Smith, the provincial chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. Story at the CBC and the Western Star.