Canadian Broadcast Standards Council national chairman Ron Cohen says his organization has received more than 4,100 complaints about a June 1 interview between host Krista Erickson and Quebec-born dancer Margie Gillis.They base their complaint on clause 5 - that "news shall be represented with accuracy and without bias... that news broadcasts are not editorial". But this wasn't a news broadcast, this was an interview. Here, both the interviewer and the guest are entitled to their own opinions. If it's ok for Terry Milewski to grill Harper with tough questions, there's nothing wrong about Krista Erickson demanding Margie Gillis to explain what exactly did she mean by saying "we were I thought a compassionate society, I don't think that way anymore" - in the year when the very same society gave her and her foundation over $100,000 in grants. (Somehow I believe that Gillis' remark was not about the ultimate sacrifice made by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, but about the government of the time planning to slightly reduce arts funding.)
The council typically receives about 2,000 complaints in an entire year.
“It’s the most individual complaints we’ve received about a single incident,” said Cohen in a telephone interview from Ottawa on Tuesday, noting that the number is only surpassed if petitions are included.
In fact, the council issued a release Tuesday asking Canadians to stop sending in complaints because the volume of letters already exceeds the council’s resources.
And another thing - $1.2M over 13 years (or - slightly less than $100,000 a year,) that's barely noticeable in a $250B federal budget. But at the same time - this is not such a large amount that it couldn't be raised without government help. If all that Gillis mentioned about compassion, about the "sacrifice of the arts community", about "giving a great deal for the common good" was even remotely true, she and her organization wouldn't have any problem raising $100,000 through charity drives, bake sales and other fundraising events.