FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1 February 2019
Vancouver – FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting, with support from Media Democracy Day and the Simon Fraser University School of Communication, will host a by-election candidates’ forum on the question: Can Canada survive Facebook? The event is open to the public and the media.
Candidates whose parties are represented in the House of Commons have been invited to participate as follows:
- Jay Shin, Conservative Party of Canada (participation confirmed)
- Richard T. Lee, Liberal Party of Canada (participation confirmed)
- Jagmeet Singh, New Democratic Party of Canada (participation confirmed)
- Laura Lynn Tyler Thompson, People's Party of Canada (participation confirmed)
Linda Solomon Wood, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Canada's NATIONAL OBSERVER will moderate the forum.
When: Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Where:Grand Villa Delta Burnaby Hotel, 4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby
Why: Canada’s information ecosystem is dominated by Facebook, and other American tech monopolies. They trade in misinformation and promote extremism – polar opposites of Canadian decency and democracy. Yet Facebook and the like are completely unregulated in Canada. Our government permits them to operate outside of Canadian law. They pay next to no taxes here. And they enjoy special tax treatment that effectively subsidizes the price of their products with $1.6 billion in public funds. The deliberately inflammatory content these unregulated platforms broadcast undermines Canadian values of trust, co-operation, compromise, and safe communities. Meanwhile, after nearly thirty years of budget cuts, CBC is ill-equiped to fight back with truthful, trustworthy Canadian journalism. And private media outlets are on the brink of extinction. Can our democracy survive if credible, professional, Canadian journalism is displaced by the likes of Facebook? Democracy is under threat around the world. This will be a debate about what the federal government can and should do to stand up for Canada in these trying times.
“This is a critical moment in the history of Canadian democracy”, says FRIENDS’ executive director, Daniel Bernhard. “FRIENDS welcomes the candidates’ perspectives on how smart regulation and strong public service media like CBC can keep our democratic tradition alive.”
For more information: Jim Thompson firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-447-9592