Idle No More Racism Watch: Manitoba Newspaper’s Racist Editorial

Idle No More

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Jan 17, 2013

The CBC News is reporting that Gavin van der Linde, the mayor of Morris, a southern Manitoba town, is “furious over what he calls racist comments about aboriginal people in the latest edition of the community newspaper”. The editorial of the Morris Mirror’s current edition (PDF), penned by editor-in-chief Reed Turcotte, also labels Canada’s Aboriginals and Idle No More activists “terrorists”.


natives are acting like terrorists in their own country. Indians/Natives want it all but corruption and laziness prevent some of them from working for it.

Earlier, Toronto Star columnist Heather Mallick complained about growing “Canadian anti-Idle No More racism”. She said:

I had always thought that one of the joys of Canadian life was its abhorrence of racism. But judging by some of the email I received and the comments I read online elsewhere, it’s getting a bit Mississippian around here.

The racism unleashed after Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, the Federal Court Métis ruling and the effort to get Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the same room as chiefs and the governor-general? It was extraordinary.

The Morris Mirror says this about the intended consumers of this venom:

Our readers are a diverse cross-section of people who work in the agricultural, manufacturing and tourism industry. The average age of our readers is forty-three and the average family income is sixty eight thousand dollars.

Luckily, not all these folks agree with Turcotte. Some businesses are pulling their ads. Read full report: CBC News.

Turcotte and those of his ilk are precisely why hunger-striking  Chief Theresa Spence, First Nations and allies are Idle No More. Why they’re challenging the hypocrisy of the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper on  Aboriginal issues.

Still, Reed Turcotte, if you’ve a conscience and care about the profession of journalism, please do the right thing: withdraw the paper from circulation, and issue an unambiguous apology. See, you’ve a lot to prove now. Especially if you don’t want us to regard you as one of them – white supremacists.

In early June, Canada’s white supremacists saluted Harper after the Conservative majority in Parliament had just passed Bill C-304. The private members’ bill by Alberta Conservative backbencher, Brian Storseth, repealed Canada’s hate speech laws. Basically, this law and Harper’s divisive, colonist politics allow bigots to front the “freedom of expression” card whenever they utter something racist.


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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based independent journalist and progressive political blogger. He's the publisher and editor of The Canadian Progressive.