James Bezan Maverick Watch - Macleans.ca

James Bezan Maverick Watch


Within this tale of small town politics, is the news that James Bezan briefly objected CNOOC’s proposed acquisition of Nexen.

I would like to note that I am strongly opposed to this deal, and I have raised my concerns directly with Cabinet as well as with the Prime Minister. As I have stated to my colleagues in Cabinet, due to China’s dismal record on human rights and freedoms, I take particular exception to allowing a state-owned company from China to purchase a Canadian company…

As a Conservative, I am in favor of keeping markets open in Canada, however I do not support allowing state-owned and state-controlled enterprises to take over publicly traded Canadian companies, as these state-owned and controlled business [sic] are not on the same level playing field as other free enterprising corporate entities.


James Bezan Maverick Watch

  1. It’s absolutely disgusting that Conservative bullies got a reporter fired for doing her job. When zealots wage war against the Fourth Estate they wage war against democracy.

    It’s not surprising the email this trained seal wrote went down the memory hole. He must have momentarily forgot that even before using the washroom, Con MPs must get prior approval from Harper’s Ministry of Truth via “Message Event Proposal”…

    One can’t help but wonder if Harper is engaging in an incrementalist form of fascism. He doesn’t take control of the media; but he uses all sorts of schemes to manipulate and suppress it. He doesn’t steal ballot boxes or have thugs threatening voters; but he has used various forms of voter-suppression techniques and resorted to numerous violations of campaign finance laws.

    His fanatical “know nothing” strain of conservatism is definitely bad news for the country and something tells me he’s just getting started…

  2. Every single aspect of this story reminds me of the first thing my father taught me: “A bully is a coward.” I have never seen this truth refuted and there are at least four glaring examples here 1) the anonymous cowards in the PMO, 2) Mr. Bezan himself, 3) the management of the newspaper and 4) PM Stephen Harper who is easily the most cowardly leader Canada has ever seen. A man who will never take the high road if there is a low road available to him.

  3. This ought to elicit a thunderous response from Coyne – at least i hope it does.

  4. Right now Bezan is probably wondering if he hasn’t just blown himself up, and wondering why he has a cramp in his neck? Harper’s eye is still on him, but now it’s no longer fatherly, maybe measuring up for the rope instead?
    Or i could be wrong? Perhaps Mr Bezan is closeted with a shot of rye, feeling some shame and remorse for his actions and cowardice…hmmmm, m’be not!

    • This story is not being reported anywhere outside of blogs. Harper is probably enshrining Bezan as an example to the other fascists.

      • Not even on twitter. Has Wells gone AWOL? Has someone fired Kady too?

  5. I don`t know the inside details about the firing of Winzoski, though I see the naive Harper Haters here seem to think the order came directly from the PM. If that is the case and she was fired because of her left-leanings beliefs, then most of the Canadian media, including you know who, had better prepare for that long walk down to the parking lot.

    It does seem odd that the PMO had any interest in Wizonski`s employment. A more likely scenario would be that the management of the Paper had been receiving complaints for some time about her direct involvement with left leaning organizations opposed to everything from free trade, to abolishment of the wheat board or the gun registry. This would appear to not be representative of the people from that area. The direct organizing of petitions was probably the last straw. Obviously her bosses thought that an honourable journalist should display some semblance of impartiality.

    • Just so we’re clear, while it would appear that you think that journalists should not be allowed to exercise their rights as citizens to involve themselves in the political debates of the nation, is it OK to let them keep the vote?

      • As far as the employment of the journalist, it does not matter what you or I think. The newspaper was a private business meant for the people of Selkirk. If the people of Selkirk disapproved of a journalist becoming directly involved with the political process and voiced that disapproval to the owners of the Paper then the people who give her a pay cheque can choose to hire or fire her—unless, of course, you believe we live in a country where a private business does not have the freedom to expect certain behavior from their employees.

        • So Bezan, all by his lonesome, represents the voice of the people of the riding?

          Or are you saying Harris lied when he wrote: “Her readers, including card-carrying Conservatives, liked her spunk and enjoyed her writing”?

          • I’d say Harris doesn’t cite any source for that fact, and based on his widely known bias, it’s unlikely he’s going to tell the whole story. Nor is it likely the fired reporter was telling both sides of the story.

        • If the town were in an uproar, maybe that would be one thing, but my impression from the story is that it wasn’t the “people of Selkirk” who had a problem with her reporting, it was one single cabinet minister.

          • The fact is that Bezan`s vote percentage has gone from 49% to 60% to 65% in the past 3 Elections.
            I would not be surprised that many of those 65% were not happy with the actions of a local newspaper that had a journalist actively promoting politics contrary to their own.

          • “I would not be surprised that many of those 65% were not happy with the
            actions of a local newspaper that had a journalist actively promoting
            politics contrary to their own.”

            We live in the 21st century now you know, not the early 2oth or 19th where the owners of the press, prominent businessmen an politicians called all the shots, or else watch out!

            Business is free to pull its ads, locals write letter or boycott the paper, but what makes you think that majority tyranny = acceptable modern democratic practice?

            Besides which the story seems to indicate that so far we have only one objector..

    • Some pretty intense speculation based on… what, exactly? I see you’re earning your pay today, Andrew.

      • Why would the one poster that has a different view than all of the others today be the only one who is accused of receiving pay for contributions ?

        Maybe you could refer to another Orwell book in explaining why one contrarian viewpoint is so hated by the other animals.

        • Because it looks like you’re rationalizing on behalf of your party, and in such a way that ignore the currently available evidence ie., Bezan has a history with this reporter and then there’s the case of the mysterious first you see them and then you don’t emails.
          IOWs your being a Harper apologist – but what’s new!

          • So using your logic, then I can assume that you and all your fellow liberals are employees of the NDP and LPC.

          • No, actually i think that sounds like your logic. My logic may be shaky, but since you do little else but shill for the govt i’d say not.

          • No. His logic specifically included “ignore the currently available evidence”.. you’re the only one here doing that.

          • Considering the amount of time they spend here repeating leftist talking points, I’d say they really need to get a life if they’re not.

          • Hey Made-up Rick, as I write you have 1251 comments made, and that’s only under this one fake identity. I have 396 comments made in the same time frame. Who needs a life again? I’d say it’s the guy who took the time to give his fake identity a back story… man, how pathetic is that?

          • Yes, and compared to my 1251, our Thwim has 3142 comments and KCM2 has 2877. So, whatever… nice try deflecting though.

        • See my other post (to your reply to LKO, above) in which I pointed out the rather large hole in your speculative fiction.

        • When you call yourself a “contrarian” you are being far too kind to yourself. Contrarians look at the available facts and propose alternate explanations or interpretations that also fit with the facts. If you just make shit up and then use your made-up shit to deny the facts then you’re an idiot or a zealot, or more likely, both.

          • Just because you read something here or at the Star does not mean you are reading facts and I certainly would not allow you to judge my facts.

            When you become more mature I`m sure you will learn to draw your own conclusions.

            In the meantime you come off sounding like Emily—you call yourselves conservative but you are actually confusers.

        • It depresses me to think that you would prevaricate on behalf of every single conservative, regardless of their actions, for free. I do hope you are pulling in a decent salary, for your sake.

    • Repressing freedom of speech is great until it happens to you.

    • So your defense is, “This seems odd.. here’s a made-up scenario that contradicts some of the facts we already know and dictates that your employer can discriminate against you based on your political leanings which sounds much better to me.”

      Your calls for impartiality are both hypocritical and hilarious.

    • So as a reporter who didn’t cover sports, is she forbidden from expressing an opinion on the hockey strike?

      She’s not a tech reporter either – what if her opinion of RIM is at odds with the prevailing local opinion? Should she keep her mouth shut? Watch what she says, even on her own time?

      What this story says to me is that all journalists need to watch what they say, if their opinion might offend the Conservative Party of Canada. That’s a sickening, if not at all surprising, state of affairs.

  6. Jill Wiznoski, on the evidence here, is guilty of naiveté which is not a firing offense. The paper’s gutless managing partner should have first warned her to cease and desist in political advocacy of any persuasion before terminating her. If Wiznoski comes off looking like a left-leaning reporter, then the paper comes off looks equally biased as a right-wing rag in its decision to ruthlessly dismiss her without warning.

    • I’d be interested to hear some journalists weigh in, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this notion that if one wants to be a journalist one must set aside one’s right to participate openly in our democracy.

      • I share your concern about curtailment of journalists’ freedom to pursue civic engagement. However, I think in that profession, it’s reasonable for the employer to insist on the avoidance of activities that foster the perception of bias or influence. IMO, that condition comes with the territory and members of the fourth estate should know that when they sign on.

        Having said that, I think this particular employer was unfair and ham-fisted in summarily dismissing a reporter without warning.

  7. I see Vic Toews’ hand in all this. (And having said so, I guess I can expect a late-night visit from CSIS to “discover” the child porn they planted…)

    God, what a bunch! I’d swear Orwell had a vision of the CPC before he wrote 1984…

    • While it’s pretty obvious there are PMO fingerprints all over this file, I’d be willing to bet there’s also a hapless MP in the middle of the little fiasco who’s sincerely saying, “oh sh!t…I didn’t mean to get someone fired over this!”

  8. Remember, everyone, we have an extremely biased liberal media. A media who will pull reporters off the federal beat if they are the least bit critical of the Conservative Party. A media who will unjustly fire people because they question a response from a sitting Conservative MP, on a matter that the reporter isn’t even writing professionally about. Meanwhile, government-paid trolls from the PMO come on boards like this and stiffle conversations with their talking-point BS.

    Old-school fascists never dreamed of the control that Harper and his crew enjoy.

    • I’ll wager TonyAdams begs to differ.

      • NO! STOP! I don’t want to see yet another godforsaken PJ O’Rourke quote.

        • You’re right! What was I thinking?

  9. Free Speech Activists to Rally Around Reporter Fired After MP Bezan’s Complaints

    Immediate Release – Nov 19

    WINNIPEG – Community
    activists are holding a meeting to rally around a reporter, Jill Winzoski, who
    was fired after Conservative Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan complained to her
    bosses that coverage of the Harper Government was too critical. Organizers say
    they also want to raise awareness of the Harper government’s active suppression
    of individuals and organizations at odds with the Prime Minister’s agenda –
    journalists, charities, even it own MPs.

    The meeting, to be held Wednesday, November 21, from 7pm to 9pm at Red River
    Community Centre, 293 Murray Street, Winnipeg.

    Jill Winzoski, who was fired in October by the Selkirk Record after Bezan
    complained to her bosses. Her firing coincided with Revenue Canada
    delivering a warning letter to a Mennonite magazine, threatening its charitable
    status over the “political content” of an editorial during the 2011 election –
    even though the editorial did not endorse any political party.

    “This goes beyond just government censorship because there are threats involved,”
    said Victor Andres, who organized the meeting. “Whether it’s Revenue Canada, or
    James Bezan, or the Harper government threatening charities, the message is the
    same: if you are critical of the Conservative agenda, you will lose your charitable status, your revenue and your job. In a free and democratic society, that is simply unacceptable.”

    According to an article by Michael Harris at ipolitics.ca, Bezan had already pulled his advertising from any newspaper that printed articles or editorials critical of him or the Harper government, and had complained specifically about the articles written by reporter Jill Winzoski.

    Winzoski’s editor pulled her from covering any federal politics, so she was no longer
    covering Bezan or the Conservatives. As a constituent, she signed a petition
    expressing her concerns over the China Canada free trade pact that Prime
    Minister Stephen Harper has signed. Critics of the agreement say it doesn’t
    provide Canada with access to China’s market, and would allow Chinese companies to secretly sue Canadian governments – effectively stripping governments of their sovereignty until the deal expires in 31 years.

    Bezan sent back a response saying he, too, had serious concerns about the agreement,
    and that he had voiced his concerns to the Prime Minister and Cabinet – then reversed himself, said he supported the agreement and asked that the first e-mail be destroyed.

    He then approached Winzoski’s employer. She was fired, citing a complaint from Bezan.

    “What we are saying to Jill Winzoski is, “we support you,” and we’re asking other people to show the same courage she has,” said Andres. “We’re asking editors to stand up for their reporters, and we need MPs to stand up for their constituents, instead of just knuckling under.”



    Victor Andres

    Desk: 474-2228

    Cell: 471-5668

    Email: victor@indep.ca