Editorial: September 20

CBJ Sep 2020

Erin O’Toole will try and deliver what Andrew Scheer was unable to do – namely convince Canadians that it’s time for the Conservatives to form the federal government. Political pundits seem to be divided as to whether or not O’Toole is the right person to get into the trenches and battle as leader of the Conservative party. There did seem to be an odd question posed by a journalist from a national media outlet to outgoing leader Scheer regarding why there was no buzz surrounding Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis, a highly-educated black woman who seems to have all the credentials necessary to be an excellent leader. Scheer accurately responded that the media needs to lead the way in helping to create a buzz. He then noted that one major Canadian newspaper had published more than 30 articles on U.S. Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, but just four on Lewis. If the media itself won’t help create a buzz, it’s a bit hypocritical to ask why it’s not there.

Late September will be the start of a defining time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s reign coming out of the prorogation of Parliament. Just before the shutdown Finance Minister Bill Morneau resigned, with the WE scandal being the final straw. His replacement was Chrystia Freeland, a career journalist prior to entering politics. Hopefully she focused on finance stories. As for Trudeau, he’s faced with several potential confidence votes in Parliament, which will determine whether the Liberals remain in power or whether Canadians will go to the polls in the fall. As of now, Morneau is the only senior member of Trudeau’s Cabinet to fall on his sword to date. Will he soon have company?

Canadian telecom giant Cogeco Inc. is facing a hostile takeover bid from a New York firm called Altice USA that is offering in excess of $10.3 billion USD. However, the family that controls both Cogeco Inc. and Cogeco Communications doesn’t support the bid. If the bid is eventually accepted, Altice would immediately flip the Canadian assets to Rogers Communications for $4.9 billion. It would mean the company remaining in Canadian hands, but head office would relocate from Montreal to Toronto. That is not going over big with Quebec Premier François Legault who sternly said “It is out of the question to let this Quebec company move its head office to Ontario.” If Cogeco were to be sold it would leave Rogers and Shaw as the only two substantial cable operators in the country.

Angus Gillespie
angus@cbj.ca
@CanBizJournal

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