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National Post, Toronto Star: "Assailing a tycoon"

posted by dawn Geography: Canada Toronto Topics: barrick gold

June 27, 2008

National Post, Toronto Star: "Assailing a tycoon"


Corporate executives in Canada are not used to being called out in public for their actions, or the actions of their companies.

But that's what happened a couple nights ago in Toronto, when Barrick boss Peter Munk and his daughter Nina appeared at an event at Indigo bookstore.

According to the Toronto Spectator blog, "a nondescript gent stood up and, in a wan tone, began to ask a question that seemed to turn on what he claimed was Barrick’s spotty environmental record... The fellow simply carried on like a low-key high school English teacher addressing morning assembly. As he gathered pace, the tenor of his accusations grew more and more inflammatory: 'Murder…slaughter…rape…Peter Munk has blood on his hands.'"

The story in the Spectator was later picked up by the National Post and the Toronto Star.

The National Post's self professed "B-list" pundit Jonathan Kay could do no better than speculatively slander the rebel interlocuter based on his tennis shoes:

"Anyone who makes a regular appearance at such bookish soirées will know this breed well. I wasn't there when the Munks got ambushed. But here's what I'm guessing the verbal assailant looked like: ill-fitting jacket, t-shirt advertizing a political party that no longer exists, focused stare, tote bag full of leaflets and odd homemade food items, and, of course, the shoes."

A reaction that reflects the journalistic standards at the National Post. I won't lower myself to a retort about what Peter and Nina Munk were probably wearing that evening, cause you know what? It's irrelevant!

David Olive, writing in the Toronto Star states, among other things, that "They [activists] have chosen not to avail themselves of the admittedly burdensome task of taking up their cause in the abundance of domestic and international courts expressly designed to separate truth from innuendo."

Oliver's statement is misleading on two counts.

First, there are reams of cases against Canadian mining companies in national and international courts around the world.

Second, there is NO domestic court in Canada where people looking to separate truth from innuendo about Canadian transnationals operating abroad can have their cases heard. For that reason, Canada is a 'Judicial Paradise' for transnational corporations, and for that very same reason, direct action is employed as tactic to bring attention to these issues.

I won't comment on the rest of Oliver's conclusions (though they certainly merit debunking), but I do want to extend a keyboard salute to the man who stood up and turned a corporate/social space "haywire" by "assailing a tycoon."

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National post

This is the article about National post and anyone who makes a regular appearance at such article will know this breed well. Later the story in the spectator was picked up by the National Post and the Toronto Star.
Accounting Firm Toronto

One for the little guy! Time

One for the little guy! Time to stand up, and good post.