Sierra Club Canada Foundation congratulates CBC for new conflict of interest rules

April 24, 2014

Sierra Club Canada Foundation congratulates the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) for putting an end to the practice of allowing its staff and freelance hosts to accept public speaking requests from companies, political parties or other lobbying groups “trying to influence public policy”.

"I'm pleased CBC accepted our request for changes to its policy and want to thank our members and supporters who contacted the CBC," said Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s John Bennett. “Sunlight is always the best policy.”

Sierra Club Canada Foundation called on the CBC to reconsider its policy on public speaking this past February ‎when it was revealed that Rex Murphy, host of Cross Country Checkup and contributor to The National, routinely accepted speaking fees for pro-Tar Sands speeches. We thought that was a clear conflict of interest that warranted full disclosure and so we acted.

Today CBC said beginning in May 2014 they will start posting the speaking gigs of Rex and its other personalities online.

“Consumers of CBC programming have a right to know about, and commentators have a responsibility to declare, conflicts of interest, perceived or otherwise,” said Mr. Bennett. “Rex Murphy needs to come clean and show Canadians the money. Perception is reality and right now the perception is very bad.”

John Bennett, National Program Director
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
412-1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-291-6888
John on Twitter / Bennett Blog

UPDATE: April 25, 2014 CBC Radio As it Happens