Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Charlie... can I join the "club".... OH! PLEASE....

This is just too funny... Charlie MacKay the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly has been chasing down the local media trying to get them to have a meeting to form some kind of PEI Press Gang so a "set of rules" can be established to prevent clowns like me from showing up at the Legislature as "media"... so a bunch of so called media got together at the Legislature (a little more official) last Tuesday to form an official "Press Gang" and at that meeting the Guardian's chief political reporter Wayne Thibodeau was elected "el-presidente", the Guardian's Teresa Wright as Vice-President and CBC's Brendan Elliot as Vice President.... and then Brendan Elliot nominated none other than Stephen "Pottie" Pate, a local infamous blogger, as Secretary of this famous crowd and all the others stood there stunned and I’m told were too afraid to oppose his acclamation. Apparently some of the CBC gang thought that it was much better to have him under the tent where they could watch him and make him abide by some rules as opposed to having him outside the tent "peeing in"... and the mere fact that he walked up the steps on his own might have swung the bleeding heart vote in his favour had they voted... no one seems to know who invited Mr. Pate to the meeting in the first place but I would have loved to have been in Gary MacDougall's office, the managing editor of the Guardian, when they told him "Pottie" was going to be the “recording secretary”... well the funny part is they all got home that night and had some second thoughts about it and the very next day something broke out amongst “most of the executive"... Brendan Elliot was under extreme pressure for putting Pate's name forward and he didn't "like the direction the rest of the Executive were going" so he decided to resign.... and Pottie is now "still standing” as a member of the official Press Gang... I called Wayne and he confirmed Brendan had resigned over something to do with Pottie's nomination.... Wayne or Brendan didn't know how Mr. Pottie had got invited in the first place... I left messages for Pat Martell who was at the meeting but he hasn’t responded... I spoke with Charlie and he sounded very “officially” shaken that he may not have his rules in place by the opening of the Legislature... but what I’d like to know is how Mr. Pottie and others got invited in the first place to this official “charter meeting” and I didn’t.... this is “too funny”....

From: Kathleen Casey [mailto:kmcasey@assembly.pe.ca]
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 2:12 PM
To: Tim Banks
Cc: Charles MacKay; Robert VesseySubject:
Re: Media Access

Dear Mr. Banks,

Thank you for your request to be considered as accredited media at the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island. Policy respecting media accreditation at the Legislative Assembly is presently under review with the objective of establishing a clear media accreditation process well in advance of the commencement of the next scheduled sitting of the Assembly. Your views will be considered as the accreditation process is developed and your request for accreditation will, once that process has been established, be assessed. In the interim, should you wish to access any of the business of the Legislative Assembly, please see www.assembly.pe.ca where all video/audio proceedings of the House (archived and live when meeting) and all House documents are readily available.

Kathleen Casey
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

From: Tim Banks
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2009 5:04 PM
To: kmcasey@assembly.pe.ca
Cc: Charles MacKay; Robert Vessey
Subject: Media Access

Dear Office of The Speaker of the House,

I am a social media blogger focusing on political and business events on Prince Edward Island for the last year and have a daily reading in the order of 2,000 viewers at
www.timbanks.ca. I receive an income for advertising on my media which I donate to Island charities. I was disappointed on June 17th when the members of the Standing Committee on Community Affairs and Economic Development would not allow me to tape a public presentation unless I was an accredited member of the media. All members of the committee are fully aware of my media yet only Mr. Currie (voted in favour) understood the importance of our "new Social electronic media" in today's society and it's use by our younger generation who demand instant news. How are we ever going to get this generation of our youth involved in the issues surrounding them if we don't allow them in? I think it was very short sighted of Mr. Henderson and his other Committee members as they had a great opportunity to reach out to today's youth who are suspect of Government because their views are being shut out. We need our youth here and we have to involve them in our debate.

Although I believe the practice of accrediting journalists to the P.E.I. legislature may be an infringement of s.2 (b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms I would like to take the necessary steps to do so. I would also ask you to look at the following link
http://bit.ly/G2EHs where I believe another member of the media CBC has affirmed my right to be accredited as a member of the media. I watched Mr. MacKay’s interview on CBC and he kind of implied that we should adopt the policy of some other Provinces and have the media association vote people in as accredited media. This is kind of ironic because that was what my presentation to the Standing Committee was about... a club like the PEI Gas Dealers Association objecting to more gas bars which in effect is we have too many fiefdoms here on PEI now and we don’t need any more like Mr. MacKay is suggesting. We need our politicians to open their minds to change.

As a member of the media my technical staff and I would require access to the video and audio feeds together with the ability to tape the standing committee meetings. We would require the same access as any other media source.

I hope you find this information sufficient to accredit me as a member of the media so I can reach out to today’s youth. The American writer A.J. Liebling once wrote that "freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." In today’s world, everyone's a press owner.

Thank you,

Tim Banks


Anonymous said...

Always entertaining when journalists become the news.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Tim, from this accounting there are 2 or 3 salient points.

Firstly - you are held in disdain by the media.

Secondly; it is now obvious that a social media blogger will never attain the heights (or depths) realized by some blogger who slams everyone and everything who holds a differing viewpoint. All as is seen on the NJN network.

Finally; I am highly amused at the total lack of transparency in this process of chartering a new group. It is even funnier when you consider that the media will shamelessly ridicule others others for this same lack of transparency.

Where is Rick Mercer's rapier wit/rant on this when you need him...

Editor said...

Mr. Banks,

It is my belief that you should be considered an accredited "journalist" by the PEI legislature on the basis that you have a regularly updated news/opinion website which centers on newsworthy PEI issues and events.

The Legislative Assembly has no enumerated authority by which to govern journalists. Contrary, it is a fundamental concept of our Canadian democracy that any individual shall have freedom of the press. That right does not guarantee the right to be taken seriously, which each blog shall have to contend with in its own way. However, the fact remains that the PEI government, its elected officials, or its civil service employees, have no moral or legal authority by which to exclude you from all the privileges granted of the media.

Denying you these fundamentally important privileges is to deny our province of the liberty and freedom which it is justly owed.

While our province may not descend below the waterline without you poking around the legislature, it should be viewed as unpalatable that you, or any other contemporary social blogger in PEI, be barred or prevented from exercising equal liberty endowed to others operation within the same realm.

The day the government licenses some media, and discredits others, is the day PEI begins rotating Wayne Thibodeaus alongside our road crews.

It should, of course, be noted that the federal government has a similar system than that proposed by this Liberal government. That system, on the federal level, has been proven archaic and unworkable both for the government and for the journalists. Or, contrast with the US model, in which the Democrat incumbent has accredited numerous bloggers ahead of traditional journalists.

Preventing you from acting as an original source of information is simply bad policy. It is malicious, backward, and evidentiary of the incestuous relationship between The Guardian, CBC, and the some members of this temporary government.

It should serve as an indictment itself that neither The Guardian nor CBC sought fit to cover this enormous change in PEI society. They are the real journalists, you're just a nut with a taperecorder. Yet, the real journalists are silent on this change. You weren't. What further proof do we require that their chosen model is a problem?

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim, Looks like you take too many vacations. Your go for weeks between reports!!!

Anonymous said...

If I was any of those reporters I would welcome someone like yourself Mr. Banks, but I would refuse to meet with Stephen Pate. He goes way beyond the line on legal terms. He has slandered all those media people you mentioned. The guy should be sued.

There is a spot for the new media, but their voice should not be Stephen pate.

What was Brendan Elliot thinking? Does he know how cruel, ignorant, and sexually abusive Stephen pate was to his co-workers, including Maggie Brown, barb Taylor and Donna Allen? that doesn't include all the other media people he made false accusations about.

I bet he is feeling it around the water cooler.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you to the extent that if they are going to form some type of "body" of journalists who will have some say over the journalists in the legislature and give it official status they should announce the meeting and enertain anyone who would like to attend.

Ms. Casey and Charlie should set the guidelines. I'm sure there is no need to re-invent the wheel...look to other jurisdictions for guidance.

This is enbarassing.

James Haven said...

I guess the politicians of PEI think they are above the law...perhaps they think we live in China where the government decides who can report and what they can report.

Section 2(b) of the Charter states that "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication." The section potentially could cover a wide range of action, from commercial expression to political expression; from journalistic privilege to hate speech to pornography. The jurisprudence of the Supreme Court has largely been an attempt to carve out: first, the purpose of s. 2(b) (what values does it seek to protect, who should be entitled to its protection); and second, the scope of s. 2(b) (what is 'expression'?).

Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of a functioning democracy. Freedom of expression promotes certain societal values, as noted by Professor Emerson in 1963: "Maintenance of a system of free expression is necessary (1) as assuring individual self-fulfillment, (2) as a means of attaining the truth, (3) as a method of securing participation by the members of the society in social, including political, decision-making, and (4) as maintaining the balance between stability and change in society." Our constitutional commitment to free speech is predicated on the belief that a free society cannot function with coercive legal censorship in the hands of persons supporting one ideology who are motivated to use the power of the censor to suppress opposing viewpoints.

The Canadian approach to freedom of expression allows for a wide conception of "expression" within s. 2(b). The Supreme Court of Canada has stated that a wide and inclusionary approach to the interpretation of the Charter's free expression guarantee is to be preferred (see Ford v. Quebec, and Irwin Toy). Thus, in Irwin Toy, Chief Justice Dickson explained that "'expression' has both a content and a form, and the two can be inextricably connected. Activity is expressive if it attempts to convey meaning. That meaning is its content." Not only is there a freedom of expression, there is also a freedom to not express. As Justice Beetz said in National Bank of Canada v. R.C.U. [p. 377 text], "all freedoms guaranteed by s. 2 of the Charter necessarily imply reciprocal rights: ... freedom of expression includes the right to not express."

There are of course limits to free speech and free press guarantees, as the Canadian Supreme Court is quite ready to point out (see CBC v. A.G.N.B., below). For example, even though the press enjoys core constitutional rights of access and publication, they do not have protection for all operational means and methods the press may choose to adopt. The press does not, for example, enjoy immunity if they run a pedestrian down in pursuit of a new story under the guise of "freedom of the press". Nor is a violent attack on someone (however dramatic the attack may be) considered to be expression. Understanding freedom of expression requires not only understanding its place in the Canadian constitution, but also, understanding it within the context of society and society's competing values.

Unknown said...

Dear Tim,

Thanks for the publicity even if you are a rude son-of-a-bitch with the disability slam. Guess you didn't come into the modern world yet.

The fight is for both of us since the Speaker has signaled she will only grant press passes to people who are in the little boys club. That's unconstitutional but who cares on PEI.

They were talking about excluding you at the meeting, only a few people spoke up for you and it wasn't the Guardian.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the funniest thing I have ever heard.

Steven Pate on the executive I am sure MacKay and Casey and Robbie Vessey were all excited with Wayne Thibedeau getting elected President because he is control by the Premier's Office.
But for the Elliot's cou de ta by nominating Pate he just blew the Premier's Office agenda totally out of the water.

Without a doubt the wheels of justice have worked here and the Ghiz Press Gang got caught.

Will be interesting to see what they do with Pate.

If I was Pate I don;t think I would accept any free gifts or accept and free rides for while.

Unknown said...