Rebel News LIVE! is the best place to meet freedom-oriented newsmakers — and just as important, to spend the day with like-minded Rebel News fans from coast to coast.
In 2022, we brought Rebel News Live! to Toronto and Calgary.
The events started in the morning with a light breakfast, then we heard a bunch of speeches. Next, we had lunch, and then we got back to the speeches. And, for Premium ticketholders, there was a VIP dinner afterward with the Rebel News cast and our speakers!
Ezra's full speech is above. Non-subscribers can watch a teaser of Ezra's speech below:
On Nov. 19, 2022, Rebel News founder and CEO Ezra Levant was one of the featured speakers at Rebel News LIVE! just outside of Toronto.
At the start of his speech, the Rebel News Commander first offered his gratitude to Rev. Charles McVety, the president of Canada Christian College in Whitby, for allowing his venue to serve as a sort of “free speech zone”.
Levant described how before the pandemic, he could just look at a map of Canada to see a free speech zone. Unfortunately, as the Rebel News boss said, these days debate isn't allowed — cancel culture dominates.
Dissenters not welcome in 2022
Everything is filtered through one lens; one official narrative and second opinions are not allowed. This even extends to doctors, Levant said, as any dissenters in the medical community are promptly investigated by their profession's governing body.
Since the pandemic, Levant said, every institution designed to keep us safe has failed. Official opposition parties in federal and provincial governments supported overreach; the mainstream media became propagandist cheerleaders for the official narrative.
The Rebel News boss explained how when he was in law school, he was taught that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was second only to the Bible in Canada. But now, the Supreme Court hasn't even weighed in on pandemic restrictions other than the chief justice announcing he'd enforce a vaccine mandate for staffers.
Those tasked with safeguarding freedom failed
According to Levant, the country's justice system failed, civil liberties groups — The Democracy Fund and Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms notwithstanding — failed to protect cherished freedoms.
Before the pandemic lockdowns prevented people from getting together, Rebel News would regularly host these in-person events. But, in Levant's eyes, a key part of the lockdownists' strategy was to keep people apart — not necessarily to protect them from coronavirus, but to prevent us from speaking together in a personal and unfiltered manner.
During the various stages of lockdown, people were encouraged to take more of their life online. But once engaged in social media, if you said anything contrary to the approved narrative, you'll be silenced, told you're pushing misinformation, disinformation or Russian propaganda.
How the pandemic changed Rebel News
The pandemic even changed the way Rebel News operates, said Levant. The company was chugging along prior to COVID-19, but this brought us a new focus. Citizen journalists have never been more important than during the pandemic, because unlike the mainstream media, citizen journalists don't just regurgitate government talking points from an office far removed from where events are happening.
These citizen journalists have credibility the mainstream media is losing, because viewers can see they are credible and not compromised by government handouts or corporate backers. They just show up and point the camera at the news.
It was because of work like this that Levant thinks YouTube demonetized Rebel News. At one point, Rebel News was on track to make $1 million in advertising from YouTube, he said. No violence, no obscenity and without even a specific instance of violating rules, the establishment pulled the plug on this source of income.
Demonetization removed any reliance, obedience to Big Tech
Between the revenue generated by ads and access to the platforms “Super Chat” feature, which allows viewers to send their favourite channels paid comments, Levant explained that Rebel News' staff payroll could have been covered.
But there's an upside to this, Levant said. By demonetizing Rebel News, the establishment took away that money — but they also removed any potential reliance and obedience to them. Nowadays, Levant told the audience, about one-third of all money to the media comes from the government.
It's a good system for the government, Levant said, because it's better to “rent” the media rather than “own” the media, since it creates a false pretense that these are “private” companies. It's not just Big Government financing the media either, as Levant detailed the plans Google and Facebook have to finance another bailout through legislation from the Trudeau government.
Soon, Levant explained, the majority of the media's income will be from Big Government or Big Tech — and so we can expect minimal credible journalism on these crucial subjects.
Mainstream media companies serving as propaganda outlets for oligarchs
In Canada for example, the Globe and Mail, the country's largest newspaper, is owned by the country's richest man, David Thomson. Despite the outlet still covering the Chinese Communist Party well, Levant said the paper acts as Thomson's plaything and receives enormous grants from the government. Levant described this as Thomson needing tax dollars to keep his blog going.
Some billionaires, Levant said, buy yachts or private jets. Others, like Thomson, buy media companies.
There's nothing wrong with working for an oligarch, according to Levant. Just make sure you know what you're not allowed to talk about, or else you'll be fired.
Citing another example of how billionaires use the media, Levant commented on Jeff Bezos owning the Washington Post, the most read newspaper among U.S. legislators. Because of this, you're unlikely to read any criticism of Amazon, Big Tech, spyware or any other issues Bezos doesn't want to circulate among congressmen and senators.
Similarly, the New York Times, perhaps the most trusted paper in the U.S., is owned by a Mexican billionaire for the same sorts of reasons as Bezos and the Post or Thomson and the Globe.
How Rebel News survives with no corporate backing
Rebel News could maybe find a billionaire backer, Levant told the crowd. But then Rebel News would be required to do this person's bidding — the company would have to change its name from Rebel News to Obedient News.
With no corporate consortium or billionaire investor, how does Rebel News make payroll, Levant rhetorically asked the audience. After all, for each person a viewer sees on screen, there are two people working behind the scenes to help publish that content. If the company can't take ads, government handouts or billionaire bucks, how can we succeed?
Well, you tell the other side of the story and give people what they can't get elsewhere, Levant said. This makes Rebel News one of the only sources that can speak truth to power because we are not part of the club.
All of this happened before the pandemic madness really kicked into full swing, but Rebel survives because of the collective donations of thousands of viewers chipping in an average of $58.
Levant adds that with respect to other outlets like True North, Epoch Times, Western Standard, the company's focus on video journalism is incredibly important, something that was demonstrated during the Freedom Convoy.
The power of citizen journalism
Rebel News is unique, Levant said, because most journalism is done by seeing what happens, documenting it and reporting on it. Rebel News does some of this, but also tries to fix the world a little bit, Levant explained.
During the pandemic, all of these factors came together, and out of this grew The Democracy Fund, a registered charity defending the civil liberties of Canadians charged during the lockdowns, most notably in the case of Pastor Artur Pawlowski.
Behind the scenes at Rebel News are more than 50 people who aren't just journalists. They're people on a mission, they're believers and most important, they care, Levant said. Our motivations may be different, but the company employs Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and non-believers alike, all of whom are united by a common cause: the belief in freedom, the dignity of the individual, privacy, autonomy, national sovereignty.
Most importantly, Levant said what makes Rebel News so special is that we don't think it's enough to just watch and report, we occasionally get involved to fight for freedom.
In conclusion, Levant told the audience that Rebel News was proof people weren't alone in their dissent during the pandemic, that he feels incredibly proud because he feels the company served our viewers and served our country.