Open Sources Guelph is back live and on air this week, and we’re back to deal with not just the news, but some of the biggest social shifts of our times. Here in Canada, First Nations and racism is back in the headlines as a court verdict shed a ghastly light on what the lives of our Indigenous youths may be worth. Meanwhile, talk of harassment in the political sphere put the ball back in Patrick Brown’s court, while south of the border Americans confront their president’s own apparent misogyny. As for Britain, they’ve got the evils of social media on the mind.
This Thursday, February 15, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Justice for Colten. Last Friday, the acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer that shot and killed Colten Bushie set off a firestorm among First Nations people, and their friends and supporters across the country. Rallies of support have been held all over Canada, while both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould may have overstepped in commenting on the outrage of the verdict. Meanwhile, Gerald Stanley launched a GoFundMe to recoup legal fees and supporters have been leaving donations in the name of famous First Nations heroes, a racist slight to the people upset about the murder of Bushie and Stanley’s acquittal. Are we looking at a watershed moment for the systemic violence against Canada’s Indigenous people?
2) Defending Wife Beaters? “We absolutely wish him well.” That’s what President Donald Trump had to say about his former staff secretary Rob Porter, who left the White House under a cloud last week when it was revealed that he had not just beaten one ex-wife, but that he had abused both his ex-wives. Almost a week later, Trump has said nothing about Porter’s victims, while his White House is seeming to do everything to deny that they had any knowledge at all about Porter’s personal life, even though he’s been working with a conditional security clearance for over a year. The light has fallen most harshly on Chief of Staff John Kelly, but will anyone pay the price, or will the Trump White House roll on?
3) Brown’s Back. After fading into the night at the end of January when he stepped down as PC leader, Patrick Brown is now on a career rehabilitation tour accusing his accusers of lying, accusing CTV of irresponsible reporting, and threatening possible legal repercussions. Although he was forced to give up his ambition to be Premier of Ontario, Brown seems hellbent on keep his job as MPP and remaining in the Conservative caucus. In the meantime, the PC leadership contest rolls on with Doug Ford banking on social conservatives by promising to repeal the new sex ed curriculum, while Caroline Mulroney tries to show why the daughter of a former prime minister is the anti-establishment choice to lead the party.
4) Social Responsibility. Members of Parliament from the United Kingdom travelled to the United State last week to hear testimony from executives in social media companies in order to get to the bottom of the Fake News phenomenon, and its effect on an electorate that’s supposed to be well-informed. Social media like Twitter, and Facebook have taken the brunt of the blame for the spread of Russian disinformation that may have interfered in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, but while the U.S. administration and the companies themselves seem hesitant to act, governments and citizens around the world are worried about what might be coming in the future. So is it time to make social media companies take hard action, and is it time to impose some regulation?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.