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CBC Continues To Ignore Its Paid Speaking Policy. Sadly.

January 5th, 2015


Re: The December 2014 list of paid speaking engagements by CBC journalists published today (Jan 5th, 2015.)

CBC’s latest policy on paid speaking engagements (April 24, 2014) states that a CBC journalist will not be allowed to accept a monetary fee for personal gain to speak to any organization: “which makes a significant effort to lobby or otherwise influence public policy, even if the speech or event seems innocuous.”

On December 5th, 2014, Evan Solomon was paid to speak at a luncheon by BOMA-Toronto, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Toronto (representing “80% of all commercial and industrial real estate in the Greater Toronto Area.”)

One of the 4 “Pillars” or “Guiding Principles” of the BOMA is “Protecting and advancing the interests of its members on important policy issues at all levels of government and the media.

The 2013 BOMA annual report (p. 7) lists among the highlights of the year that the organization:

*Advocated at all levels of Government providing a voice for commercial property owners in Ontario.

* Advanced the interests of our members on important policy issues, such as energy pricing and supply, property taxes, transit, labour requirements and building regulations.

On December 2, 2014, Amanda Lang was paid to speak at “The Real Estate Forum” in Toronto. “Since 1992, The Real Estate Forum has become Canada’s largest annual national conference on real estate investment and management issues.

The “Principal Sponsor” of this conference is identified as the Real Property Association of Canada (RealPac), which is registered as a lobbyist with the Government of Canada.

RealPac’s stated Mission is: “To bring together Canada’s real property investment leaders to collectively influence public policy, to educate government and the public, to ensure stable and beneficial real estate property and capital markets and to promote the performance of the real property sector in Canada.

Three of the five “Platinum Sponsors” of the Forum – Ivanhoe-Cambridge, KPMG and FCT – are registered lobbyists with the Government of Canada.

Three of the seven “Gold Sponsors” of the Forum – Deloitte, MCAP and Scotiabank – are registered lobbyists with the Government of Canada.

Nine of the 21 members of RealPac’s Advisory Council are registered lobbyists with the Government of Canada.

Determining if a firm is “making a significant effort to lobby or influence public policy” is not difficult.

The CBC is a vitally important public institution. By ignoring its proud traditions of ethical excellence in journalism, it is jeopardizing its ability to protect the public interest.

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