Sunday, December 19, 2010

Liberal Senator asks for revocation of $1.5 million in federal funding from Maclean's

Senator Poy
Oh, boy, this is simply going way too far. 
A Liberal senator from Toronto, Vivienne Poy, wants Canadian Heritage to yank $1.5 million in funding from Maclean's magazine for its recent article now indelibly labelled "Too Asian?", a headline which the magazine acknowledged was misunderstood. 
From a story in Georgia Straight, by Steven Hui:
Senator Vivienne Poy of Toronto has sent a letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore, calling the magazine's controversial “Too Asian?” article "offensive material" and a "legitimate reason" to revoke the publication's federal funding.
In her letter dated December 16, Poy notes that the city councils of Vancouver, Victoria, and Toronto have all passed motions condemning the piece.

The November 10 article, since retitled "The Enrollment Controversy", has been described as "offensive and full of stereotypes" by the Chinese Canadian National Council, which has demanded an "unqualified public apology" from Maclean's.
Poy, a former University of Toronto chancellor, points out that the magazine has also garnered complaints that it has exhibited an "anti-Islamic bias".

"It has offended large portions of the Canadian population through its divisive journalism, which is increasingly unprofessional," Poy wrote in her letter. "As such, given Maclean's propensity for speculation, editorializing, and courting controversy merely for the sake of publicity, it should no longer be deemed worthy of public funding by Canadian Heritage."
Maclean's is due to receive $1.5 million in funding from the Canada Periodical fund, the maximum available, and is one of only a handful of larger titles to do so.
From a report in Saturday's Globe and Mail:
A month after the article first appeared, critics continue to agitate against Maclean’s and its parent company, Rogers.

Organizers have begun distributing 12,500 buttons with the words “Too Asian for Maclean’s” and “Too Asian for Rogers.” Protests are being organized at the University of Toronto, the University of Victoria, McMaster University and Ryerson University, according to Brad Lee, who created a Facebook page as a venue for criticism. He said his page received more than 17,000 hits in the last 24 hours, and more than 100 groups have endorsed a letter opposing anti-Asian racism.

“As Canadians we strongly believe in freedom of the press,” he said. “As taxpayers we don’t want our money spent on a media outlet that misrepresents us.”
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