I grew up on the CBC. For some years when I was young we lived in a remote area and the CBC was the only radio or television station that we had access to. When we moved back the city, I carried on listening to the CBC. Once they built a website, I would read news on their site. About ten years ago, I started to notice that the CBC was becoming increasingly very far-left. This means something coming from me, as I have been left leaning all of my life and to reach a point where I was becoming concerned actually says quite a lot. I could handle quite a bit of leftism and had always felt that the brand of leftism that the CBC was engaged in was of the intellectually honest, fact-based and morally sound type. This means that it had at least something it could stand on to assert at least some credibility. The new leftism that the CBC was more frequently promoting was lacking in these ideals. This is the where things began to come to an end for the CBC and me.
The reason I'm telling you all this is to let you know that I'm not a person who is innately opposed to a public broadcaster - as long as it's of good quality, balanced and done with a reasonable amount of money. I used to really enjoy the CBC. They had some good shows. Lister Sinclair's Ideas was quite good sometimes and I also frequently listened to Dispatches, hosted by Rick MacInnes-Rae. Sometimes the Current or As It Happens was worth listening to. I had listened to these programs for years before it became obvious that the CBC was beginning to decline into a radical-left propaganda machine that was devoid of fact-based reporting.
Trudeau's government is increasing the already heavily bloated funding to levels that are completely obscene. Hundreds of millions in tax dollars are being funnelled to an organization that refuses to provide quality fact-based journalism. The CBC has become nothing more than a tool for the Trudeau Liberals to pump dangerous and divisive identity politics into our culture. We are being forced to fund the destruction of our own society.
I ask you, my interested reader, to please indulge me by reading two short news stories. These stories are on the same topic. One was published recently by the CBC and one was published by me. Please notice the massive disparity between the two. I was familiar with the facts of the story and had communications with those involved before the CBC published their version. When I read it, I thought that it was a new low, even for the CBC. I suggest that it is immoral for Trudeau to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into an organization that sets out to deliberately deceive and misinform our population. A person who relies on the CBC for information is going to end up dangerously misinformed.
The story is about a university professor from Acadia University who is being targeted for his efforts in using an intellectual approach and the free exchange of ideas to encourage positive solutions to problems.
Here is the CBC version. It was written by Brett Bundale.
Acadia University has launched a formal investigation into complaints against a professor over controversial comments he made on social media and in the classroom.
Heather Hemming, vice-president academic at the Wolfville, N.S., school, said in a letter to professor Rick Mehta that the university has received complaints from students, faculty and others with concerns about his views.
"These concerns relate to the manner in which you are expressing views that you are alleged to be advancing or supporting and, in some instances, time that you are spending on these issues in the classroom," she said in a letter on Feb. 13. "The university has a legal responsibility to provide an environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment and personal harassment."
Hemming added: "The nature and frequency of these complaints and the significance of the allegations is concerning for the university, and we have determined the necessity of proceeding to a formal investigation."
The university has retained Wayne MacKay, professor emeritus at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law, to investigate and provide a report to the university, she said.
A spokesperson for Acadia said in an email on Monday that the university is not in a position to comment.
Mehta 'parroting' Jordan Peterson
Mehta has been outspoken both on campus and on social media about a range of contentious issues including decolonization, immigration and gender politics, garnering both supporters and opposition.
He has come under fire for saying multiculturalism is a scam, there's no wage gap between men and women and that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has created a victim narrative to prompt "endless apologies and compensation."
Mehta bills himself as a free-speech advocate trying to build bridges across political divides, but critics say he perpetuates harmful stereotypes and is simply seeking attention.
Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor, made headlines in 2016 when he refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
"He's just sort of parroting the much more popular Jordan Peterson. He's very clearly just trying to piggyback on that to gain a certain notoriety," said Matthew Sears, associate professor of classics and ancient history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
Peterson, a University of Toronto professor and bestselling author, has become a celebrity of the right for, among other things, steadfastly refusing to use gender-neutral terms.
Prof says he's done nothing wrong
Mehta, like Peterson a psychology professor, argues he has done nothing wrong, and is only trying to offer students a different perspective from what he calls the dominant political orientation on campus.
"I would have no problem if people refuted me and told me I was being unreasonable, that is perfectly fine. I would love it if students just told me I'm wrong," the associate professor of psychology said.
"I made sure I told students they wouldn't be tested on the specific materials. I just want them to think about these concepts."
Those concepts include gender equity and the wage gap, which he said can explained by people's choices and differences between the sexes.
Mehta pointed to a study that showed men prefer more competitive careers "whereas the women on average tended to prefer spending time in the community."
He said he would encourage debate from students, which would help them be critical thinkers and informed citizens.
Outside area of expertise
But Sears called Mehta's "free-speech absolutism" extreme, noting that free speech does not mean consequence-free speech. The university must weigh a professor's right to free speech with a student's right to be safe and supported in class, he noted.
"He does have a constitutional right to be an ignoramus about residential schools and even a racist if he wants to be, but he can't do that and expect he can be an effective and fair and appropriate teacher for students," Sears said. "You don't have a constitutional right to be a university professor."
Sears said Mehta is spending his time trying to be a controversial figure and an iconoclast — stepping outside his area of expertise — rather than teaching course material.
"The idea that there is a power balance and equivalence between a professor and a student — let alone an Indigenous student in one of his classes — that they can just walk out and say to him he's wrong" is problematic and disingenuous, he said.
Reduced course load
Moreover, Sears argued that topics like decolonization and multiculturalism fall outside Mehta's field of psychology, Sears said.
Meanwhile, Mehta said he is worried the investigation into his commentary may not lead to a fair outcome given the university has already taken steps to reduce his course load.
After several years of teaching the large sections of the required introductory psychology courses, he said Acadia has changed his teaching allocation so that he's teaching smaller courses.
He said the change is not warranted based on his record, and that he hasn't been offered a satisfactory explanation despite an appeal.
Another Canadian university and one of its professors have both fallen victim to what many say is a dangerous, poorly constructed, incoherent and overreaching harassment policy.
Acadia University is located in Nova Scotia, Canada. In 2014 it had revenue of $95,346,000, but managed to spend $101,020,000. They were also the recipient of a $24,500,000 bailout for the 2016/17 fiscal year. Acadia has been accused of obscene administrative excess and extreme bureaucratic incompetence and mismanagement. They are now engaged in another troubling controversy that is likely to further damage their already battered reputation.
Professor Rick Mehta received a letter from his employer dated February 13, 2018, informing him that he is being investigated in response to "complaints and expressions of concern" over "...the manner in which you are expressing views that you are alleged to be advancing or supporting..." I could not find anyone who could accurately describe what an "expression of concern" is. It is possible that this might mean a facial expression of some sort.
Mehta is a well spoken and mild mannered psychology professor who has expressed an interest in seeing more than one perspective explored while problem solving. For example, for Indigenous Peoples reconciliation discussions, he has supported the idea that there could be more than one perspective and that perhaps if more perspectives were to be introduced, there would be more meaningful and productive conversations, and that this might bring about some genuinely positive progress. He has stated that he does not wish to diminish or disregard the past suffering of Indigenous Peoples, but rather, feels that the free exchange of ideas and a more open conversation would be helpful in achieving positive outcomes. He also created a video in which he discusses, in great detail, free speech in universities.
While Mehta's position is very reasonable, measured and productive, and is in keeping with traditional approaches to problem solving and learning, the university's harassment policy guarantees trouble. The policy appears to have been hastily crafted. As soon as you read the policy inherent flaws begin to jump out at you. Here are two relevant sections:
C.18 Discrimination, sexual harassment, and personal harassment can occur during one incident, or over a series of incidents including single incidents, which, in isolation, would not necessarily constitute discrimination, sexual harassment, or personal harassment. This can occur on or off campus and at any time, provided it is an extension of the workplace or the learning environment.
C.19 The fact that someone did not intend to harass or discriminate is no defense to a complaint. Regardless of intent, it is the effect and characteristics of the behaviour that determine whether the behaviour constitutes discrimination, sexual harassment or personal harassment.
As you can see from the above policy components, anyone who expresses an opinion that any other person might disagree with has acted contrary to the policy. Professor Mehta's position that the free exchange of ideas is helpful in problem solving would cause someone who wanted only their own opinion to be heard, at the exclusion of all others, to be offended. The offended party would then only need to say that they "felt harassed" or 'felt marginalized" or "felt discriminated against" in order to successfully meet the threshold for a successful harassment complaint as described in the policy. This makes serious discussions on any topic impossible and makes the policy into a political weapon which can be used as a deterrent against the uttering of statements that are contrary to the current enforced group-think.
According to Acadia's policy, if you were a professor and you stumbled across an argument between a group of people, over any topic, and you attempted to intervene by asking everyone to take turns offering their opinions on the dispute, and you said that after all of the opinions were heard the group could discuss them and attempt to arrive at a solution, you could find yourself under investigation for harassment. If one in the group decided that it was not in their best interest to let the others speak, they could simply say that they felt harassed or marginalized by having to allow others an opportunity to express opinions. If that person went further and stated that they felt that your harassment was directed at them because of their gender, you could find yourself under investigation for sexual or gender-based harassment. The fact that you did not intend harassment plays no part in the enforcement of the policy.
Some have suggested that such policies are necessary to protect students from hearing ideas that they might disagree with or cause them discomfort. Others suggest that on some subjects, the official single narrative has already been determined by people who have appointed themselves as the official spokespeople, and that there would be no value added by letting others speak on the topic.
Despite much public support for Mehta's traditional and beneficial approach to exploring ideas, there are some radical-leftists within academia who are speaking out against the concept of the free-exchange of ideas. They seem to be deeply imbedded and wield much power and have rightly noticed that the policy shown above can easily be used as a frightening weapon against those you disagree with. One radical and obscure professor, Matthew Sears, from the University of New Brunswick, who frequently rails online against white people, capitalism, free-speech, Western civilization, and professors who earn more than him, called Mehta an "ignoramus" and implied that he was a racist. No one has produced a single example of Mehta doing, saying or writing anything that could be even remotely considered racist. Mehta is himself a visible minority who publically expresses a genuine dislike of racism. Despite these facts, the CBC decided to publish an article quoting Sears. Sears recently lashed out at an unrelated target in an unrelated conversation on twitter and wrote "say hi to the Nazi's for me, dipshit". In another exchange with a journalist, he said "fuck you". Another individual questioned Sears's calling everyone he disagrees with a "Nazi" and Sears responded "...you smug sack of shit". Some have suggested that Sears' oddly unprofessional behaviour, name calling and dishonesty is actual harassment but so far his University seems uninterested in acting on it. Our universities have yet to explain how a mild mannered psychology professor calling for a cool and rational approach to seeking knowledge is a suitable candidate for a weaponized harassment policy, but the anti-civilization and online harasser and troll Sears, is not.
There have been suggestions that Sears does not intentionally wish to cause harm to those he attacks; but rather, in an effort to increase his social media presence, has taken to attacking professors who are more popular or do more serious work than him. To simply be involved in a dispute with serious thinkers like Jordan Peterson or Rick Mehta can bring attention to Sears that he would otherwise not see. Sears, based on his tweets, seems to be highly obsessed with Dr. Jordan Peterson and angrily tweets about him quite frequently. There have also been suggestions that Sears' support of collective group punishment is a sign of a dangerous, disordered and authoritarian personality that wishes for revenge on the world. Whatever the case, the CBC provided no explanation for its publishing of a taxpayer funded propaganda article that attempts to attach much weight to Sears's radical and rambling opinions. The CBC has yet to remove the bizarre and poorly written article from its website.
Supporters of Professor Mehta have started an online petition and many people are now reaching out to him to express support and gratitude for his contributions to learning and to society in general. It is too early to tell how this will all play out. It is clear that the University must now blindly plow forward with its punitive actions. It must do so for the simple reason that there are massive bureaucracies within the university that, unless put to use, would be exposed as the useless, massive and wasteful money-pits that they are. They are forced, by their very existence, to go on these witch hunts. If they did not, there would be nothing for them to do and the departments would be closed down, and the mountains of taxpayer money that they burn up each year creating work out of nothing would be returned to the taxpayer or be put to use elsewhere.
It is clear that the universities have reached a point where outside intervention is required. There are likely many entire departments that could be simply eliminated. The financial savings here would be massive and the sparing of our university's reputations would also be of great value. If there are crimes committed within universities, then police should be contacted. If there are not, then people should carry on with their work. We already have a complex legal system - perhaps the best in the world - and we do not need unbelievably costly armies of mediocre petty administrators with bizarre political beliefs, and nothing at all to do, pretending that they are competent to seek out offenses, weigh evidence and then issue punishments. I would like to know what the total cost for all of the universities in the country is and then calculate what the overall savings might be if we eliminated everything useless, unnecessary or harmful. I think the figure might really wake people up. Whatever the figure might be, I am appalled when I am forced to face the fact that my tax dollars are being used to unfairly target and punish a professor who I consider to be an asset to my country.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and please don't forget to vote.