TURMEL: Complaint to Rogers-TV about exclusion, news
JCT: In the old days, free-time political broadcasts had to
be shared on an equitable basis, qualitatively and
quantitatively, for all rival candidates. Then, in the
Vezina decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that Big
Brother could exclude candidates from election debates.
The problem is that there are no election debates. They are
Question and Answer sessions with an opening and closing
statement and debate between candidates is actually
So the reason used to exclude me from the Q&A:
Feb. 4 at 9:03 a.m.
Good Morning John,
Thank-you for reaching out to us.
Unfortunately, given the short notice we are unable to
include you as part of the debate. As it is televised, the
script, questions and timing have already been planned for
six candidates. We will make sure your name is mentioned
during the event.
Thank-you and best of luck,
Georgina Chamber of Commerce http://georginachamber.com
So I didn't get my share of free time because
the script, questions and timing have already been
planned for six candidates.
So I wrote a letter to Rogers informing them I'd be
complaining to the CRTC about not getting an equitable share
of the time because of their incompetence.
John C. Turmel, B.Eng.,
50 Brant Ave.,
Brantford, N3T 3G7,
Feb 11 2019
Dear Mr. Anderson
After the close of nominations last Monday Feb 4 2019,
Rogers and the Georgina Chamber of Commerce hosted a live
televised Question and Answer session that did not include
all the candidates.
I was excluded and when I tried to participate, you had me
arrested and removed and the whole 2 hours was allocated to
only 6 candidates. The reason given for the undemocratic
"the script, questions and timing have already been planned
for six candidates."
Incompetence at handling a 7th candidate is not quite a
I want my equitable share of time and would request 20
minutes to Answer the Questions posed to the other
candidates and broadcast on your channel.
If I don't get my share of free-time political broadcast, I
will complain to the CRTC about your undemocratic broadcast.
I need your answer before Wednesday night's meeting in
Bradford with all the candidates so I can tell the voters
what you've done.
JCT: What's interesting is that not giving equitable time is
for debates. And I'm going to argue that a Q&A is not a
debate. So I want my share.
Case summaries are prepared by the Office of the
Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada (Law Branch).
Please note that summaries are not provided to the
Judges of the Court. They are placed on the Court file
and website for information purposes only.
Communications law - Broadcasting - Debate program -
Allocation of time - Programming of a partisan political
character - Whether the election candidate's removal
from the election debate amounted to denying him an
equitable share of free-time partisan political
broadcasting during an election period as required by s.
27(4) of the BroadcastingDistribution Regulations,
The Applicant, Mr. Turmel, was a candidate in a 2007
Ontario provincial election. He participated in an
elections debate program hosted by Rogers Cable
Communications Inc. At some point during or shortly
after he made his opening statement, he was removed from
the set and not allowed to participate further in the
debate. According to Rogers, Mr. Turmel was removed
because he used his opening statement to take issue with
the moderator and the debate format, he refused to
remove a badge despite the fact that debate rules
prohibited him from wearing promotional material, and he
interrupted the opening remarks of a fellow candidate.
Mr. Turmel filed a complaint with the Canadian Radio-
Television and Telecommunications Commission ("CRTC")
alleging his removal amounted to denying him an
equitable share of free-time partisan political
broadcast during an election period as required by s.
27(4) of the Broadcasting Distribution Regulations.
The CRTC dismissed the complaint. It noted that Mr.
Turmel's request to compel Rogers to provide him with an
equitable share of time in the debate was moot given
that the election had already taken place. In any event,
relying on the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in
Vezina v. Canada Broadcasting Corporation (1993), 51
C.P.R. (3d) 192 (Ont. C.A.), the CRTC found that Rogers
did not breach the broadcasting requirements set out in
s. 27(4) of the Regulations because the provision does
not apply to debate programs. Therefore, it was within
Rogers' discretion to exclude participants from the
debate who did not comply with the rules and format set
for the program.
Leave to appeal the decision to the Federal Court of
Appeal pursuant to s. 31(2) of the Broadcasting Act,
R.S.C. 1985, c. B-9, was refused. No reasons were given.
JCT: Get that?
the CRTC found that Rogers did not breach the
broadcasting requirements set out in s. 27(4) of the
Regulations because the provision does not apply to
debate programs. Therefore, it was within Rogers'
discretion to exclude participants from the debate who
did not comply with the rules and format set for the
JCT: So because they call their Q&A a "debate," they don't
have to share out the free time equitably. But this time,
I'm going to challenge that their Q&A was not a debate.
Bradford Today did a story on me though they didn't mention
my being arrested earlier in the week. Maybe they didn't
attend the "all candidates" meeting:
John Turmel, who is running in the Feb. 25 byelection in
York-Simcoe, describes himself as 'bank-fighter
extraordinaire,' has tried starting his own political party
three times, and faced gambling charges a day ago
by: Miriam King
Candidate John Turmel during a byelection debate in Sault
Ste. Marie in 2017. File photo
JCT: Had to use a picture from another election because I
was excluded from theirs in York-Simcoe.
Ask John Turmel, who resides in Brantford, why he is running
in the York-Simcoe byelection as an Independent, and he has
a simple answer: "I run in every byelection."
It's true. In the past 40 years, Turmel has entered the
political fray on the municipal, provincial and federal
levels 97 times - earning him Guinness World Records for
Most Elections Contested, and Most Elections Lost.
The York-Simcoe byelection will make number 98.
He doesn't do it to set records - although he did say if he
could enter two more byelections within the next two months,
that would make it an even 100 in 40 years - but as a way of
getting his ideas out to a wider audience.
"I have some great ideas," said Turmel. "Like paying kids
with bus tickets to shovel our snow."
Or the LETS (Local Employment Trading System) Time Bank,
which would let participants use their time and labour as
equity, to trade for what they need through a system of
barter, and abolish interest rates.
"I got invited to the United Nations Assembly in 2000, to
present my proposal for a time-based currency," Turmel said,
adding that he received support, through a U.N. resolution,
for his proposed interest-free, time-based currency.
He has described himself as a "bank-fighter extraordinaire"
on his website.
"I found a way to run a better banking system," said Turmel,
who said he has a degree in systems engineering from
Carleton University. "Call me the debt-fighting engineer."
As for the LETS Time Bank, he said, "it's actually the same
bank as Jesus' debt-fighting commune."
Turmel, now 68, ran his first election in 1979, as an
Independent. He has been a "Libertarian Socred," made a run
for the leadership of the fledgling Green Party of Ontario,
and started his own political party not once, but three
times - the Christian Credit Party in the 1980s, The
Abolitionist Party of Canada in the 1990s, and the Pauper
Party in 2011.
Over his career, he has launched protests, been arrested,
fought against banks and interest, and fought for the
legalization of marijuana and gambling - not surprising,
since he described himself as a professional gambler.
"I was a TA (teaching assistant) at Canada's only
Mathematics of Gambling course," Turmel said. "I was 'The
Professor,' at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City."
JCT: Google for Great Canadian Gambler and I come up.
He has made no secret of his past efforts, promoting
blackjack or running a casino in the Ottawa area - or of
police charges, for keeping a common gaming house, keeping a
common betting house, and unlawfully controlling monies for
Turmel has called himself the "King of the Paupers" and the
"Poverty-fighting Super Engineer." He usually wears a white
hard hat labelled "The Engineer" at public protests and
events. He has also registered the web domain, http://SmartestManOnEarth.ca
Turmel was interviewed by this reporter on Feb. 4, the date
of the York-Simcoe all-candidates' meeting in Sutton.
"I've been excluded from tonight's debate, but I'll be there
- handing out pamphlets," he promised.
He doesn't expect to win the byelection. The only time
Turmel didn't lose was in 2008, when an election was called
before a byelection could be held.