By JOHN DEVINE
News Analysis / Editorial
Many seem to believe that the “Court of Public Opinion” is the channel with which to hear “testimony” and ensure the survival and growth of democracy.
But the people are supposed to decide their political-economic destines VIA THE BALLOT BOX when they vote, NOT THRU THE IDIOT BOX when they watch TV news.
When it comes to deciding who should govern our municipalities, provinces and the nation, we’ve let things slide, have we not?
Before eligible voters mark their ballots in Canada’s June 7th elections, one would hope all pertinent information—even stuff we don’t normally learn about—is presented to the electorate.
And if the recent election which decided who will lead the Ontario Conservative Party is any indication, then things do look troubling indeed.
That election—besides MPP Patrick Brown having been convicted in the public-opinion court (and not in a court of law) on whether he was guilty of hanky-panky—occurred without all necessary information being presented to the party faithful.
Awakening News, while we’ve made some waves, so far has been unable to fully expose the little-known and rarely discussed issue of assaults in the gaming-entertainment industry (sexual, physical and verbal).
Meanwhile, our illustrious and highly selective court of public opinion—comprised of mainstream media, including the tax-funded CBC—would rather fixate on alleged and often vague sexual accusations and little else.
It’s as if the media is pre-selecting who’s fit to rise in the ranks of the political parties, and screening who gets on the ballot to get elected to public office to begin with.
Over the last few years, there have been threats and obstructions put upon Awakening News, along with the refusal of media companies such as TorStar, publisher of the Toronto Star, to even respond to our inquiries on deep-seated workplace-safety issues, harassment problems and corruption in the gaming-entertainment industry.
This is a critical time to make such inquiries on the gambling industry, which is growing so fast that the well-being and future of the entire commonwealth is being placed as a bet. What’s next? Using a roulette wheel to decide who are leaders are going to be?
As Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG) advertising dollars flow to mainstream media outlets across the country—and while even more elaborate gaming facilities are being planned for Woodbine on Toronto’s west side and at Pickering to the east—the media remains silent on the wide range of negative effects gambling can and does have on its employees and customers, as well as on the whole fabric of Ontario and the country.
BOILS DOWN TO A SIMPLE LETTER
A behind-the-scenes item that needs to be widely understood before the June election is related to MPP Jim Wilson.
While occupying the position of Interim Leader of the Ontario Conservatives, Wilson on Feb. 25, 2015 wrote a letter to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne regarding our whistle-blowing efforts.
Here’s a quote from the Wilson letter to Premier Wynne, in which the writer of this column played a role:
“As you will read in his letter (which accompanied Wilson’s letter to Wynne) Mr. (John) Devine explains that when politicians do not fulfill their duties, the rights to free speech and free press become threatened. Further he believes that there are politicians at the Ontario Legislature that have allowed corruption to fester.”
Well, it’s been over three years and still no reply from Premier Wynne, which, in this writer’s view, enables corruption and malpractices in the gambling industry to fester.
[The PDF for the Wilson letter is available through the blue link directly below, which is accompanied by an image of it].
Furthermore, one has to wonder why the conservatives—who had no problem demoting one of their own, MPP Brown—do not take full advantage of Wynne’s negligence to address the Wilson letter, in order to discredit her as premier.
Wynne, after all, is a Liberal Party member. Wouldn’t the conservatives want to find anything they can to erode Wynne’s stature and win the premiership—a goal they claim to be pursuing?
Unfortunately, the Conservative’s Leadership Election already has taken place, without the voters knowing each candidate`s position regarding what they intended to do about the unanswered Wilson letter.
And to think that the broader effects of gambling-industry problems, which hit the casino workplace but extend to all of society (economically, socially and morally) include lots of issues that normally concern social conservatives. Those issues include family breakups, rising crime, increased unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, failed child-support payments, alcoholism, drug abuse, local businesses hurt by increased consumer spending on gambling, you name it.
As of this writing April 18th, after over a month’s silence, it appears that Doug Ford, the newly elected Ontario Conservative Party leader, will not be pursuing the Wilson letter (at least not that we’re aware of). That suggests that Mr. Ford perhaps has chosen to become an enabler to Premier Wynne`s enabling and tolerance of corruption—which makes her politically vulnerable.
This of course begs the question: Would all who voted for Ford have done so had they known Ford would not address the Wilson letter? All Conservatives who supported MPP Brown surely would ask why some conservatives turned on their own (Mr. Brown) yet enabled Premier Wynne to continue unscathed.
By the way, to make sure the Conservatives know about the disturbing details that Awakening News has documented (which were initially provided to Wilson in a large packet of documents back in February 2015), this Awakening writer recently sent the Conservative Party a certified letter about the Wilson letter, with a request that the information be forwarded to Mr. Ford.
Regarding the entertainment-gaming industry, the mainstream private media, as well as Canada`s $1.1 billion-per-year CBC, dutifully exposed an incident involving a fan merely throwing a beer can near a Major League Baseball Player (considered an employee of that industry) at the Rogers Centre. But the media has long ignored abuses to casino employees, who are part of that very same entertainment-gaming industry.
Doing a little better, the CBC’s “Fifth Estate” in 2017 did one news documentary on gambling. But it was limited to problem gamblers who lost particularly large amounts of money and the addictive effects of slot machines. Broader issues involving casino employees, the greater public and gambling’s effects on the general business fabric were not covered and likely won’t be. Those OLG ad dollars are an opiate to the media, just as gambling is to the public.
Since sexual improprieties are such a big thing these days, you’d think that abuses of employees in the gaming-entertainment industry would make the grade, such as a woman casino worker having her face rubbed in a customer’s crotch—just one item on a long list of human rights abuses (and workplace safety violations) put upon casino employees, some of whom have spoken to Awakening News on condition of anonymity.
Further details of what we have been blowing the whistle about, and about reprisals put upon us, can be found on this website and in past and upcoming Awakening print products.
Editor in chief M. Samuel Anderson contributed to this article