With summer winding down, it seems things are just heating up in terms of some long-standing #cdnpoli matters…
No trial for robocalls?
More details are emerging from the evolving robocalls scandal that took place in Guelph, Ontario in 2011 as Michael Sona, former communications director for Conservative candidate Marty Burke, is facing a charge under the Elections Act for sending thousands of voters to the wrong polling station. Sona claims that he is innocent and is just being used as a scapegoat by the Conservative Party. If Sona is convicted, he could face a fine of $5,000 or up to 5 years in prison.
Today, federal prosecutors and Sona’s lawyer concluded a pre-trial conference in Guelph. New court documents in regard to the case were made public this Monday, but have been subject to a strict publication ban, which Ottawa Citizen is considering challenging.
Bell Media president asked for preferential coverage
Dwayne Winseck, Professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication, has obtained emails that show Bell Media president Kevin Crull contacted various news organizations, including CTV, asking them to cover a report that alleges Canada’s wireless industry is doing fairly well. In addition to Winseck’s blog post, which explains the issue in more detail, the Huffington Post published an article yesterday which details the matter.
The two key points that Crull asked news organizations to focus on were that cellphone rates in Canada have fallen in recent years and that they are generally cheaper than in the U.S.
This all relates back to the already heated Verizon debate wherein US telecom company Verizon has expressed interest in entering the Canadian market. Canada’s Big 3 telecom companies (Rogers, Bell and Telus) have responded to the news in a very aggressive way, which included their highly criticized Fair for Canada campaign.
Marijuana debate rages on
Following Justin Trudeau’s admission that he has smoked marijuana after becoming an MP, a number of other politicians admitted to doing so as well. Most notably, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s confession to “smoking a lot” of pot led to a number of headlines and Twitter mentions tagged with #cdnpoli. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she has also smoked marijuana “very, very infrequently” and that she does not judge Trudeau for doing it.
All of these reports have created a Twitter debate on Canada’s laws in regard to the use of marijuana, with some people using this as an opportunity to try to push for its legalization.