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CBC journalist falsely claimed B.C.’s carbon tax is revenue-neutral, article quietly changed later

Parliamentary Press Gallery member and CBC journalist Aaron Wherry wrote a column this week in which he falsely claimed B.C.’s carbon tax is revenue neutral
Graeme Gordon Montreal, QC

Parliamentary Press Gallery member and CBC journalist Aaron Wherry wrote a column this week in which he falsely claimed B.C.’s carbon tax is revenue neutral and “the touchstone of climate policy.”

“British Columbia is the clearest example of a revenue-neutral carbon tax…” falsely claimed Wherry, who was given special access to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to write a biography of his time in office. Trudeau handlers reserve such unfettered access to a journalist they can trust to write flatteringly of Trudeau. (On the other hand, Liberals have blocked aggressive, ideologically adversarial journalists from covering Trudeau’s election campaign, even calling the police on one.)

“Before the charade was abandoned entirely, this is what ‘revenue neutral’ meant for the B.C. carbon tax: In 2016–17 the provincial government raked in $1.2 billion in the carbon tax from taxpayers. The amount is listed on page 68 in the budget document as a frame entitled: ‘Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax Plan.’ Then, the government scraped together 17 sundry tax credits and stuffed them into the carbon-tax frame, making the tax sum balance out to zero,” explained B.C. director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation Kris Sims in the Financial Post about how her provincial government used to lie about the tax being revenue-neutral before dropping all false pretense.

CBC’s floundering flagship The National co-anchor Rosemary Barton shared the article with the falsehood on Twitter.

Retired civil servant, former chief of staff to prime minister Brian Mulroney and journalist Norman Spector called out Wherry’s bogus assertion on Twitter. It took the public broadcaster hours to correct after publishing the piece and the initial revisions did not include a correction notice as is standard CBC practice.

“They acknowledged the story should have included an explanation as to why changes were made,” said Spector, a B.C. resident, to The Post Millennial. “They promised to add that to the story. They thanked me for pointing this out.”

Wherry typically writes columns defending Trudeau and Liberal policies that CBC then labels “analysis” instead of opinion. Fellow CBC columnists Robyn Urback and Neil Macdonald have their columns designated “opinion”, although the latter wrote his columns under analysis for years until a few years ago.

Eighteen hours after the initial piece was published, CBC finally issued a corrections notice explaining the multiple revisions to the incorrect piece.

“This story has been edited from earlier versions that incorrectly referred to the B.C. carbon tax as ‘revenue neutral’ in the present tense. In fact, while the carbon tax was initially revenue neutral—with revenues from the tax offset by corresponding cuts to other taxes—in recent years the B.C. government has chosen to use some of the revenue from the carbon tax in other ways. The story was also updated to add specific numbers for population and economic growth. Additionally, the earlier changes to this story should have been accompanied by a correction notice.”

The “revenue-neutral” claim is conveniently the same one the Trudeau Liberals are currently making.

CBC’s senior online disinformation reporter has yet to file a report on this disinformation that spread far and wide, but has previously filed to set the record straight on a “misleading Trudeau ‘joke’ video” and sound the alarm on Twitter bots.

Neither Wherry nor Barton issued corrections on Twitter of the falsehood they spread online. Barton also obfuscated information on Trudeau this week, dismissing the fact Trudeau has expressed he’s personally pro-life.

Barton and three of the other four debate moderators for next week’s English leaders’ debate have records of showing preferential bias for the Liberals. The Post Millennial reported earlier this week that CBC “At Issue” panellist and Huffington Post Parliamentary Press Gallery member Althia Raj went to dinner last Sunday with Trudeau’s best friend, a disgraced top aide and now Liberal campaign pitbull Gerald Butts.

CBC critics have pointed out how the self-described public broadcaster has been incredibly biased towards Trudeau’s Liberals this election, including harassing the individual who provided Time magazine with the yearbook of Trudeau in blackface and fact-checking Scheer relentlessly while largely letting Trudeau off the hook.

In a now-deleted tweet, former federal Liberal leader Bob Rae recently reminded the CBC that Trudeau increased its funding (by $150 million annually) and should act accordingly.

Graeme Gordon
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