Terrence Watson has a nice post on the Western Standard's Shotgun Blog here, which refers to several earlier posts of mine on the topic of Maclean's Magazine and its $3,000,000 per year subsidy from the Canadian Heritage Publications Assistance Program(PAP), which offset[s] the mailing costs of Canadian content magazines and non-daily newspapers mailed within Canada. This is just a rewrite of a comment I made on the WS blog:
Part of what I wanted to communicate in these earlier posts (esp. to people who might be pissed off with MaCleans etc. for publishing allegedly offensive material like Steyn's) is that there are other, less controversial and maybe more effective ways of expressing your displeasure than via HRC complaints. Comparisons to C-10 aside, we should all agree that, if we ever figure out what "offensive" means, we should be able to call a magazine like Macleans for being offensive if they're doing it on the government dime.
More generally, there ought to be at least a set of methods of protest which both Right And Left can agree are legitimate. So for example: boycotts. If pro-lifers can actually convince Disney to be less Gay-centric by refusing to visit Disneyland, and thus causing Disney to hemorage profits, more power to them. Same with picketing: If Mo Elasmry's bunch could dig up forty Muslims to wave placards in front of the Rogers building, they would get far more positive coverage for their cause, and far less media hassles, than channeling their aggression through HRCs.
When such methods are employed, the whole argument that "you are trying to silence debate" becomes irrelevant. OF COURSE I AM TRYING TO SILENCE DEBATE. I personally would have Macleans sack Steyn and hire someone that finished highschool (I, for example, am available). But the point is: there ought to be some common ground on which means are legitimate for accomplishing this end.
Cutting MacLeans PAP funding seems to me to be one of these legitimate means.
An interesting tidbit from the Shotgun Comments section:
In the final days of the Citizens Centre Report (the final incarnation of Alberta/BC/Western Report), the decision was made to reject this funding. The magazine went out of business just a few months later.The rejection didn't put the magazine under, but it didn't help. The argument for accepting the funds had long been that the magazine would put itself at a competitive disadvantage by ripping up the cheque. That is, if all other magazines were accepting the money (as they did), we would be tying a millstone around our necks by not accepting the money too.As well, it could also be argued that, in light of the fact the government took large amounts of money from us in the form of taxes, accepting the Heritage money was simply a matter of getting back some of the money that was ours to start with.
The Western Standard, by the way, accepted the grant money: $132,000 in 2006-07, for example. See: http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ac-ca/progs/pap/pubs/report-rapport/annualreport2007/7_e.cfm
You mean Über Capitalist Ezra Levant accepted government funds? Oh My!