Canada Corner


Point 1: If Ghomeshi ever engaged in any non-consensual acts, he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I’ll withhold judgment if Canadian laws allow folks to be convicted of a violent crime even if the recipient of the violence was cool with it (e.g., boxing/martial arts, consensual BDSM).

Point 2: Even here in SE Michigan, Ghomeshi’s interview with Billy Bob Thornton was pretty well known. Most folks I know thought Ghomeshi came across as reasonable, & Thornton was a total diva. Jian is considered quite a good interviewer by a lot of folks I know, so this is sad news to me.

Point 3: Speaking as someone who saw Moxy Fruvous in concert multiple times, this makes me very very sad. Great band. Sadly, maybe the people in it are/were pretty flawed.


The story gets more and more grotesque. Echoes of Jimmy Savile.


Yeah, any time “non-consensual” enters the picture, I’m happy to see the person get the book thrown at them. Of course, none of us can be certain of what the truth is … but so far it doesn’t look good. As for firing someone for “bad optics,” I can understand why that would occur when a large part of the reason why a person has the job of television reporter is precisely for the optics it provides. It completely sucks when the person could be entirely innocent, and in this case I believe that suspension with pay would have been the better way to go.


The posts date from April.


It looks to me like CBC woke up and smelled the coffee. I think they realized with the Star report and their own record of complaints that keeping Jian on would be bad news. As it is there are going to questions why previous complaints against him by CBC staffers were effectively ignored for so long.


It’s pretty clear, notwithstanding his protests and allegations, that the reason the CBC fired him has nothing to do with him being into BDSM.


This guy is such an idiot. He could have just made some statement after his termination about how “due to a disagreement with the CBC, we have decided to no longer work together” and he might have been back in business in 6 months somewhere else.

Instead he was delusional enough to think he was a victim, used the excuse of kinky sex to mask his history of abuse, and brought an absurd lawsuit that is unlikely to even be legally permitted, let alone successful – and just ensures that the spotlight is brightly focused on his misconduct, giving his victims the incentive, comfort, and possibly sense of obligation to reveal themselves or at least their stories – and as a result he now stands a good chance of being criminally charged:

Unlikely to go to jail, unless there’s even worse history out there, but he’s completely destroyed his own life.


He certainly lacks the self awareness to realize he has done something wrong… well at this point he deserves what he gets I think.


His publisher has dropped him. His booking agency has dropped him. Speakers bureaus have dropped him from their roster. His old bandamates have distanced themselves from him. Even Navigator, the crisis management PR firm he hired has dropped him as a client. Meanwhile, more and more women are coming forward with stories about him.


I thought this was an interesting look at some of the legal issues engaged by this case:


From Wikipedia:

Justice Gonthier, writing for the majority, argued that the criminal law has a “paternalistic” dimension which attempts to ensure that all “citizens treat each other humanely and with respect”. Nevertheless, consent would be a valid defence where the harm was trivial or where it is part of a socially valuable activity such as sports.


In non-Jian news:

‘I was sexually assaulted when I was an MPP, and I’ve been raped’: Copps

I was sexually assaulted by another Member of the Provincial Parliament within a year of my arrival at Queen’s Park at the age of 28.

We were both on a Parliamentary tour studying violence against women. The incident occurred when we exited a hotel elevator after enjoying a group dinner following a day-long session in northern Ontario.

I pushed back on my assailant, kicking him where it hurts, when he tried to force me up against a wall and kiss me.


Back to Jian:

  • as discussed above, this fool’s misguided lawsuit had no chance of winning and he’s been forced to withdraw it and to pay CBC $18,000 in costs to cover a portion of their legal fees. Now all he has to look forward to is possible criminal indictment. No indication whether he’s still proceeding with a collective bargaining grievance.


The fact that the CBC is able to talk about the settlement terms is telling. Usually in a settlement the parties agree to keep the terms confidential. The fact that they did not in this case suggests something like an unconditional surrender on Ghomeshi’s part.


Agree, it’s hugely telling. It really doesn’t seem to be a settlement – more like “if you withdraw the lawsuit, we will only charge you $18k for our legal fees, unless you keep acting stupid”


As predicted…arrested and charged:


Pretty major event tonight – in the Province of Alberta, which is the closest thing to Canada’s Texas – oil rich, largely conservative (including a fair number of social conservatives, a rarity in Canada). The conservative government has governed since the early 1970s, and always had a majority government in that time (which gives them absolute power under our system, with no real legislative checks and balances). In fact, they’re sufficiently right wing that they created an even more right-wing party because a significant portion of the population thought the conservatives weren’t sufficiently right-wing.

Well, the province has been battered by the drop in oil prices in recent month, and the government decided to call an election (in Canada there aren’t fixed election dates - the government can call an election at any time, with very little notice, as long as they call an election within a maximum 5 year term). Accumulated scandals from being so unaccountable for so long has resulted in an amazing result – the far-left wing NDP party (not even the more center-left liberals) has managed to win a majority government, leaving the governing power in 3rd place.

Should have a significant impact on the province and canada as a whole, as much of Canada depends upon Alberta’s historical economic success to fund national social programs. Alberta doesn’t even currently have a sales tax, and is naturally very oil business friendly historically – all that could change now. Pretty wild.


Wow. That’s impressive. Was this a protest vote or have the populations of Edmonton and Calgary reached critical mass to change the demographics in Alberta?


The Alberta PC’s went from 70 of 80 seats to 10 (though thanks to First Past The Post, the difference in vote share is much less). It reminds me of the drubbing the federal PC’s took at the end of the Mulrooney era. I don’t think it is a basic demographic change. Probably people are shocked about the drop in oil revenue and blame the government for not better preparing. Also reminds me of the NDP wave that swept Quebec in the last federal election. Maybe once people see rising poll numbers for the opposition, they start to think an alternative isn’t a ‘wasted vote’.

As I understand it, Alberta has been using massive oil royalties to keep taxes very low while at the same time having fairly generous funding for social services. A far-sighted place like Norway takes the oil revenue and invests it in a long-term capital fund, so they aren’t devastated when the oil runs out. Alberta has basically spent the money as it came in, and that’s the way the voter’s liked it.


So what do we think about Omar Khadr? He could be out on bail soon but not if our government has anything to do with it. Fuck our government, I say. Stephen Harper makes me glad I’ve been out of the country for the past 10 years. This 15 year old (at the time) was essentially kidnapped by his Al Qaeda father to the anus of the world and he ends up being the only AL Qaeda member convicted of killing an American. Even the US doesn’t give a shit what happens to him anymore and yet for some reason our government is kicking and screaming to keep him in jail despite the fact that he’s already served 13 years in his 29 year old life.