Sierra Club Shines Light On CBC Conflict

Peter Mansbridge email Sierra Club Conflict of Interest(OTTAWA, ON) – Sierra Club Canada Foundation congratulates the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for putting an end to the practice of allowing its staff and freelance hosts to accept public speaking requests from companies, political parties or other lobbying groups “trying to influence public policy”.

“I’m pleased CBC accepted our request for changes to its policy and want to thank our members and supporters who contacted the CBC,” said Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s John Bennett. “Sunlight is always the best policy.”

Sierra Club Canada Foundation called on the CBC to reconsider its policy on public speaking this past February ‎when it was revealed that Rex Murphy, host of Cross Country Check-up and contributor to The National, routinely accepted speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches. The Sierra Club considered that was a clear conflict of interest that warranted full disclosure.

Yesterday a CBC spokesperson said beginning in May 2014 they will start posting the speaking gigs of Murphy and its other personalities online.

“Consumers of CBC programming have a right to know about, and commentators have a responsibility to declare, conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise,” said Bennett. “Rex Murphy needs to come clean and show Canadians the money. Perception is reality and right now the perception is very bad.”

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