A motion to call several CBC employees before the standing committee on public accounts to explain a leaked internal email regarding their coverage of the Hamas-Israel conflict was voted down by the Liberal-NDP coalition on Tuesday.
“It has never been more clear that Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization and it’s appalling that the taxpayer-funded CBC won’t recognize this. For this reason, common sense Conservatives wanted to summon the President of the CBC, Catherine Tait and the Director of Journalistic Standards, George Achi, to testify before committee and answer why the CBC doesn’t consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization,” said Lantsman.
Conservative Deputy Leader Melissa Lantsman moved a motion to summon members of the CBC to speak before the committee to explain their actions after a leaked email revealed that the broadcaster was telling its employees not to use the word “terrorist” when referring to Hamas militants.
“If the CBC can’t call an organization that murders the elderly, kidnaps children and rapes women the terrorist organization that they are, they don’t deserve taxpayer money. We’re bringing this to Parliament because Canadians are paying for it,” Lantsman posted on X.
The internal email was written by CBC’s director of journalistic standards and public trust, George Achi, who told CBC journalists not to refer to anyone as “terrorists” when reporting on the conflict.
“The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story,” said Achi.
“Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as ‘terrorists,’ we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact. That includes statements from the Canadian government and Canadian politicians.”
Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government since 2002.
“Last weekend, Hamas carried out one of the most horrific terror attacks in history on innocent Israelis, killing and injuring thousands of people. Six Canadians have now died in this horrific attack and many Canadians remain unaccounted for,” said Lantsman.
“Despite the brutality of Hamas’ crimes, Canadians were shocked to discover that the CBC has been advising its journalists not to use the word “terrorist” when referring to Hamas. The CBC refuses to do this in spite of Hamas being recognized as a terrorist organization for over 20 years by the Government of Canada.”
Lantsman and Conservative MP Rachael Thomas wanted to summon Achi for two hours of questioning before the committee, along with CBC President Catherine Tait and CBC Ombudsman Jack Nagler to explain the leaked email and to defend their position regarding their reporting on the Hamas-Israel conflict.
The motion was ultimately voted down by the Liberal-NDP coalition and supported by the Bloc Quebecois. Those voting against argued that CBC should remain independent from government pressure when it comes to the angles they take on their reporting.
“The Liberal-NDP government must stop protecting the CBC’s gross journalistic incompetence and allow Conservatives to demand answers from the CBC’s senior leadership. The CBC continues to fail Canadians by protecting Hamas in the court of public opinion. Conservatives will not stop until the CBC provides answers for this disgraceful editorial stance,” said Lantsman.