CBC bans Green from Next PM Contest – Please help

I just received the below action appeal from Camille Labchuk. Please take a moment to read it and do as she asks. The fact that this rule exists at all is ridiculous, as it punishes youth for being actively involved with their democracy. The fact that the CBC would treat her in the way she describes is even worse. I’ve added emphasis to what I believe are the key points.

ACTION ALERT: CBC kicked me out of the Next PM contest. Help me expose this injustice.

Hi friends,

I just received the shocking news that CBC has disqualified me from the Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister contest. They say it is because I ran for Parliament in 2006, but when they asked me to enter the competition in November (yes, they recruited me) I raised this point with the producer and asked if it made me ineligible. The producer told me (in writing) that I was “good to go.”

Until today, I was a front runner in the contest. Thanks to your support, my entry video got more votes than any other contestant. I devoted all of my free time to this competition over the past two months. My campaign team and I spent over 200 hours researching policy, filming videos, organizing online and encouraging people to vote for me. My efforts paid off and I was slated to become the Web Winner next week when voting closes, meaning I would have automatically advanced to the semifinals.

Another contestant has run for Parliament yet has not been deleted from the CBC’s website, like I have. There are 31 additional contestants whose videos are either too short or too long to comply with the entry rules and, according to the rules, should be disqualified too. I don’t think these candidates should be kicked out and I don’t think I should be kicked out either. CBC let us enter this competition, allowed us to spend two months of our lives on it, and they should let us finish it. I have asked CBC if they will disqualify these other candidates and they refuse to answer me.

The intent of the Next Great PM contest was supposedly to encourage youth political engagement. This outrageous treatment of a contestant who has poured her heart and soul into the contest sends an opposite message: “get involved, get kicked out.” I am appalled that our publicly funded broadcaster sees fit to backtrack on its word. I am also shocked that major sponsor Magna, run by former MP Belinda Stronach, would accept this. Ms. Stronach has had to fight every step of the way to climb to the top in politics and I can’t imagine that she would support this treatment of a young Canadian who loves politics and simply wants to make a difference.

CBC and Magna chose to disqualify the wrong young Canadian. I am launching a major campaign to draw attention to this abuse. I feel utterly crushed that my efforts have been for nothing and I refuse to just quietly go away. I will be retaining counsel and intend, if necessary, to pursue legal action against the CBC for unfair disqualification. Lawyers cost money and this is going to be difficult for me to take on financially, so if you want to contribute to my legal fund, write to me. I feel it’s the only way to hold CBC accountable.

Please help me expose this injustice by contacting CBC and Magna to tell them their actions are reprehensible. Write to:

seema.patel@cbc.ca (Seema Patel, Senior Producer)
matthew.barrington@cbc.ca (Matt Barrington, Producer)
ht.lacroix@cbc.ca (Hubert Lacroix, CBC President)
mary_gittens@magna.on.ca (Mary Gittins, Magna)

Copy your emails to me (cflbchk@mta.ca) so I can track support!

Thanks for standing with me.


10 thoughts on “CBC bans Green from Next PM Contest – Please help

  1. My goodness, first Elizabeth, and now Camille.
    Did they think we’d be too busy with Gaza to let this pass?

  2. Camille, go on a hunger strike. Otr claim sexism. Flaky Greens will support your efforts. Prepare a banner that can be placed on blogs so that Chris and others can support your efforts.

    Yes, this is a brilliant political strategy that every “Green strategist” should wholehaeartedly endorse.


  3. Dot, that’s rather unkind of you. This is about fairness and accountability from the CBC, not about political strategy.

  4. Camille, it appears that this is simply someone overstepping their bounds at CBC, and when the mistake had become apparent to more senior people, they were corrected. If you were mislead, you are entitled to an apology, and perhaps the individual who made the offer in error should be reprimanded. That’s all.

    Your cause has not been enhanced by your campaigning, and, what appears to me to be ballot stuffing – in fact probably at the root cause of their reconsideration if they felt the same. If you understood the genesis of this contest, you would know that it was originally formulated to get youth involved in politics, not for a well connected politico to muscle onto their stage, if in fact that had happened.

    I’d say the same if you were an actor and prepared for a role in a made-for-tv movie only to be replaced at the last moment by the director’s niece. That’s life – move on.

  5. Btw Camille, in case you aren’t familiar with the term “ballot stuffing” and “a well connected politico to muscle onto their stage”, this example might help.

    Go to this blogsite:
    No longer a Green, No longer in Alberta

    and read the quoted entry I just got mugged by Elizabeth May

    The nomination meeting was finally held last night. I knew I was screwed when Elizabeth arrived in person No-one in the room – including the EDA execs – knew she was coming. When I asked my opponent if she knew EM was coming, she nodded and smiled…

    It was tense, since I had to respond to a number of obviously pre-scripted and rather hostile questions from Elizabeth and the supporters and staff she had brought

    Then her paid assistant took a turn asking a scripted question, then some of the other people in her group.

    You might know the individual(s) mentioned. Again, that’s life.

  6. Ah, Dot! It is nice to see Chris blogging again as I know you are not far behind and I can always count on you for a good laugh.

    Camille, I hope you haven’t taken Dot personally. Or, you know, seriously.

    Don’t go away for so long next time!

  7. Steve,

    Is this blogging? I thought it was just typical GPC gaming the system, then whining when someone calls you on it.

  8. Interesting, this issue appeared on the front page of the G&M today. Some participants who support Camille’s position appreciated the coverage.

    For good or bad, I wonder how it got there. :) Might I suggest Chris planted the seed that ultimately lead to the critical mass?

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