Ex-CBC journalist warns: objective media and free speech are the last defence against government overreach

Former CBC science journalist discusses the erosion of free speech in Canada, citing her awakening during the pandemic in 2020 where she observed blatant censorship and bias from the media traditionally tasked with facilitating open discourse on critical issues.

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Seasoned investigative journalist Trish Wood addressed the crowd at the Revival Theatre in Toronto earlier this week at the event titled “Canada’s Free Speech Crisis.”

Rebel News was able to get an exclusive interview with the former CBC science journalist, who says that she first became aware that Canada’s free speech was in crisis at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 when “all the rules changed” about what could and could not be said when it came to discussing COVID-19.

“I was following some of the dissident scientists,” she says, "and they were saying things like 'there is no evidence lockdowns work,' 'there’s a huge risk stratification connected to this virus,' and questioning why aren’t we protecting those most vulnerable?"

The justification and/or the evidence to support the purported health protection measures has never been shared. “The people who were pushing edicts onto us were not doing basic science,” Wood continues.

“It’s a risk-benefit ratio. For every [measure] that you ask people to do in public health, you have to weigh the risk and they weren’t doing that. I thought, how are they getting away with this? And the bottom line was: we were not allowed to talk about it… I realized that there was no way out. If you do not have free speech and a neutral, objective media as a pillar of democracy then you do not have democracy.”

This ensued throughout 2020 and has arguably continued since, when anytime the public would demonstrate or protest against the dogmatic and authoritarian public health measures, the media was either silent or negatively labelled the attendees.

As someone with a robust career as an investigative journalist, Wood also points out that it is the role of journalists to cover pharmaceutical product liability.

“We never took a drug product and assumed that it was safe. If there were safety signals or [indications] that something was wrong, our job was to expose the problem because media and free speech are the bulwarks between people and the government and that was all lost during COVID-19.”

Wood shares that she is unsure how a once free and democratic country like Canada can survive the compromised media landscape and continued censorship.

When asked if a political leader or figure could re-glue Canada’s societal fabric together, Wood says that it would have to be someone “really grown-up, with a sophisticated worldview, who cared about all people, including the working class.”

But she doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.

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