TheDiscourse.ca has published online content promoting Duncan Councillor Stacy Middlemiss. Here is a link to this content. This content was written by Jacqueline Ronson, TheDiscourse.ca representative in the Cowichan Valley.
Here is an excerpt from this article by TheDiscourse.ca;
“Last month in the Island Savings Centre’s Arbutus Gallery, Stacy [Middlemiss] hosted an exhibit called Stigmatized about the lived experiences of drug users in the Cowichan Valley. The space was filled with Stacy’s own photographs and quotes from the people she works with…..”
Our comments: The island Savings Centre is operated by the City of Duncan, the Municipality of North Cowichan and the CVRD. Stacy Middlemiss is on the Island Savings Centre Commission, which oversees the facility.
We wondered why Stacy Middlemiss, a member of the Commission which runs the facility, was being given display space for her own work and projects. We called the Island Savings Centre and were told that this space is run by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council and is made available free of charge to interested parties. But the Cowichan Valley Arts Council web page on the Arbutus Gallery says it is available through rental. We will look into this further.
But onto the TheDiscourse.ca article on Stacy Middlemiss.
Our first question was “So what is TheDiscourse.ca?”
TheDiscourse.ca is owned and operated by Discourse Media Inc., based at 308-877 E. Hastings, Vancouver, B.C.
Here is a Google Street View image of 877 E. Hastings, Vancouver, B.C.
TheDiscourse.ca lists its “foundational partners” as:
- CFC (Canadian Film Centre)
- McConnell Foundation
So who are these organizations that TheDiscourse.ca describes as “foundational partners”?
CFC (Canadian Film Centre)
The CFC describes itself as:
“The Canadian Film Centre (CFC), celebrating 30 years, is a charitable cultural organization that supports, develops and accelerates the content, careers and companies of Canadian creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based and digital industries. Its uniquely designed programs and initiatives span film, television, screen acting, screen composing and songwriting, and innovative work in the digital media and entertainment technology industries, all of which continue to push boundaries and generate world-class content, products and companies for the global marketplace.”
Fair enough. That sounds fairly innocuous. But the other two “Foundational Partners” are definitely more political.
The McConnell Foundation a private foundation based in Montreal. It describes itself as:
“The McConnell Foundation is a private Canadian foundation that develops and applies innovative approaches to social, cultural, economic and environmental challenges. We do so through granting and investing, capacity building, convening, and co-creation with grantees, partners and the public.
We want a country in which:
- public, private and social sectors are engaged in active efforts to close the gap between the socioeconomic wellbeing of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people
- the public sector, private investors and philanthropists separately and collaboratively deploy financial capital to create positive social and environmental impact
- social innovation is an integral part of Canada’s innovation ecosystem, enabling civic institutions to co-create policies, initiatives and programs that enable citizens to contribute a diversity of skills and perspectives to Canadian society
- public, private and civil society sectors act collaboratively and courageously to advance human thriving and address shared challenges
- humans’ social and economic footprint is in balance with the natural ecosystems that sustain life…..”
In short, the McConnell Foundation is a overtly political organization with a definite political agenda. It is not an impartial investor in Discourse Media Inc.
TheDiscourse.ca describes itself as a “media organizations” and its contributors, like Jacqueline Ronson, as “journalists”. But “media organizations” and/or “journalists” who are funded by organizations which have an overtly political agenda can hardly be considered independent or impartial “media organizations” and/or “journalists”.
SheEO describes itself as:
“SheEO is a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators.
Launched in 2015 in Canada, this visionary model is emerging as a leading global innovation that is totally unique. Rather than trying to fit women into the existing models and systems and level the playing field, we are creating an entirely new field….
Its website states:
“At SheEO we practice Radical Generosity which we believe is core to creating a new model and a better world….”
SheEo is devoted to making zero interest loans to businesses run by women. Fair enough; we have no problem with that.
But SheEO also appears to have a political purpose which is shared by TheDiscourse.ca and we think Duncan and Cowichan Valley voters should be very aware of this political agenda when reading articles in TheDiscourse.ca.
In short, TheDiscourse.ca may describe itself as a “media organization” and its contributors as “journalists” but TheDiscourse.ca appears to have a very definite political agenda. It is backed by some organizations with overtly political goals and agendas.
Duncan and Cowichan Valley voters should be very aware of these political goals and agendas when reading articles in TheDiscourse.ca.
It is not an impartial “news” organization.
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