The Liberal government of Newfoundland has hired a fleet of CBC staffers to run the premier’s communications department, and Melissa Critch, the wife of CBC comedian Mark Critch, grabbed the role of deputy chief of staff, despite having no apparent ties to the Liberal Party at all.
Rebel News reached out to Mark and Melissa Critch for comment, and although Melissa quickly disconnected the phone call, Mark Critch responded to my questions about why his wife accompanied him to special meetings with heads of government like Justin Trudeau and Dwight Ball, then premier of Newfoundland.
Critch replied saying, “Melissa attended events with me because, as you know, we are married.”
I also asked why she was in those meetings, and if those meetings helped her secure the job in the premier’s office that she now holds. “Absolutely not,” he replied, while listing off her LinkedIn achievements.
He added, “She’s also funnier than I am. But we both know that isn’t hard to be.”
When we asked how Canadians can be sure that Critch and the CBC are acting impartially when half of his household income relies on the political success of the Liberal Party, Critch replied, “Melissa has her own career and I have mine. I’m not partisan.”
Hiring CBC and CBC adjacent people as partisan staffers is a hallmark of Liberal parties across Canada. Justin Trudeau for example, made the ostentatious move of scooping up the head of the “non-partisan” parliamentary press gallery, Terry Guillon, and making him his chief media enforcer.
The same appears to be happening in Newfoundland, after Meghan McCabe and Fred Hutton were named directors of communication for the new Liberal Premier Andrew Furey.
Both are former “politically neutral” state journalists with the CBC. Weird, huh?
Similar conflicts were made illegal by Stephen Harper. See, a member of cabinet or their staff couldn’t resign and immediately begin working as a lobbyist — it would be unfair. In fact, even the husband of the Trudeau’s chief of staff has been reprimanded for improperly lobbying ex-minister Bill Morneau.
Even spouses are subject to certain rules. It raises the question as to why similar lateral career moves (say, from the state broadcaster to the highest office of the state) are not an equivalent conflict.
In fact, the CBC seems absolutely fine with this blow to their alleged reputation of impartiality. If Ontario Premier Doug Ford lined his political office with former Rebel News journalists, the mainstream media would undoubtedly cry foul, saying that it was evidence that Rebel News was always working for the Conservatives.
Why is the opposite not true?