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Ezra Levant (March 25, 2020):
Last week a staggering 929,000 Canadians lost their jobs. Entire industries are teetering on bankruptcy. Most Canadian school children are at home and families are quarantined.
Saltwire, the company that owns most newspapers in Atlantic Canada simply shut 20 of them down, laying off 250 staff. Saltwire took millions of dollars from Justin Trudeau in bail-outs, but they still couldn’t make it.
So what’s going to happen to us at Rebel News — one of the few media companies in Canada that is actually independent, and takes no government money?
Here’s my plan to stay alive and keep doing important journalism. If you agree with it, and if you can, please help me.
- Obviously, my first thought is the safety of our staff. More than half of our team has chosen to work from home — which is easy enough to do since we work from laptops. The rest of the staff can “social distance” here at the office.
- We’re no longer sending our reporters to exotic locations — we’ve put our trips to the U.S. and the UK on hold, and we’ve cut back on travel within Canada.
- To keep working as a team, and to cheer each other up, we now have two daily video calls on Skype with our whole staff. One at 10 a.m. and one at 5 p.m.
So I think we’re OK health-wise.
But how are we going to do financially? Almost a million Canadians lost their jobs last week. Maybe you’re one of them. I think we’re going to have a recession and I think unemployment is going to hit 20% or worse.
That doesn’t matter to the CBC state broadcaster — they’ll still get their $1.5 billion/year from Justin Trudeau, no matter what. There will be no recession at the CBC. But we depend on our viewers to keep us strong. So if our viewers are hurting, that affects us directly.
Supporting Rebel News, although I think it’s important to the country, it’s obviously not as important to families as paying rent and groceries and gas money. So I’m afraid there will be many families who make the choice to cut discretionary spending — like us. Makes sense, family first.
But I also know that what we’re doing — providing independent journalism, “telling the other side of the story” as our motto says — is more important now than ever. And that’s what we do.
Even in the past week, groundbreaking stuff. We’ve gone to the airports, and asked people flying in from China and other countries what sort of screening they had — and we reported the truth: that they were not screened at all, and in fact, many people from other countries were shocked at how little was being done.
Trudeau was lying when he said there was “enhanced screening”. There still isn’t.
And we went back to Roxham Road, again and again, to prove the same thing — that illegal migrants were allowed to walk right in, with no health screening. In fact, it was only after Keean Bexte recorded this exclusive footage that the RCMP finally closed the border.
But what about now? I think Rebel News reporting is more important than ever.
What civil liberties will Trudeau crush in the months ahead? He’s hinting at it. And just yesterday he tried to ram through a law to give him the power to govern without Parliament for two full years.
If we’re not reporting the other side of the story, who will?
Trudeau has banned us from sending journalists to cover his daily briefings on the virus. That’s outrageous — a Federal Court has already told him that’s illegal. But he’s obviously irritated that he can’t control us. Unlike the CBC, we won’t ask softball questions.
But we don’t need to attend government press conferences to cover the news. We go to where it is — and we’re often the only ones doing so. David Menzies told me there wasn’t a single other reporter at Roxham road when he was there.
So my point is: I want to keep Rebel News strong. I don’t want to have to lay off any staff. I want our whole team in the battlefield — covering stories, doing reports on the scene, and from our studios. I want to do what the rest of the media won’t.
We’ve started to cut costs. We were going to hire a U.S. correspondent to help cover the election there — we’ve put that on hold. And we have managed to reduce some of our existing monthly costs by about $7,000/month. But there really wasn’t a lot of fat to cut in the first place.
Trouble is, we’ve also lost important revenue streams — for example, our fundraising cruise, scheduled for this summer, was cancelled, obviously. We used to have events across the country that helped make money for us — last year we had 14. Those are all on hold.
So as a boss, I need to raise about $70,000 to make sure we can keep our staff going full tilt — that’s how much I think we’re going to lose in terms of revenues from viewers in the next 90 days.
If your family is in trouble, obviously take care of them first. If you have someone you need to support — support them. But if you’re lucky enough to be in good shape, please consider helping us.
Please help me keep our little army of 16 people together, most of whom do important behind-the-scenes work like research and access to information requests, and editing videos and publishing the website.
The CBC doesn’t have to ask for help — they just take your money. Trudeau gives it to them. All the newspapers are on Trudeau’s bail-out plan, too. That’s why they are so submissive to him. We don’t need submissive journalists now — we need fighting journalists who care about freedom.
So please help me out, if you can. I promise I’ll use the money to keep David and Keean and Sheila and our whole team going full-tilt. If you give us the tools, we’ll finish the job.
Thanks my friends — and stay safe.
Canadians can donate through e-transfer by emailing [email protected]. Please use the password RebelNews if necessary.
And you can donate by cheque by making it out to Rebel News and mailing the cheque to:
Rebel News Network Ltd.
PO Box 61056 Eglinton/Dufferin RO
Toronto, ON M6E 5B2