"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, December 09, 2003


Q: What the hell?
A: Apparently, the Alberta Labour Department has frozen the bank account of the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, and will dispense the money to former employees who've filed claims against the former publisher of The Report.

Q: Why?
A: The Report left a lot of debts outstanding and the employees didn't have an abundance of money to hire lawyers, so a few of them filed claims with Alberta Labour Standards, which has extraordinary powers to seize assets and such to compensate employees that it considers to have gotten screwed.

Q: Why now?
A: One answer would be that a large GST refund came in to the CCFD coffers, and the government wanted to make sure it went to former employees rather than the Byfields' latest pet project.

Q: And another?
A: I speculate, but they -- the Labour officials -- could be pulling the knot tighter. One of the most interesting facts to come out was that the fund that raised all that money from supporters, The Report Foundation, didn't become the CCFD. It still exists, or did as of not too long ago at any rate, as a seperate entity.

Q: Come again?
A: Sigh. OK, let's try to explain this. Ever played a shell game, where one guy puts a ball under a shell and tries to make you lose track of it through speed and misdirection?

Q: Yeah, so?
A: Well you need three shells, and that may be what you have here. First, there was United Western Communications, which, through piss poor management, was going broke. Then Link and co. asked readers for money. They put that money in a foundation named the Report foundation, and then created the Citizens Centre for Freedom and Democracy, which ran the mag right into the ground.

Q: Again, yeah, so? What's the point?
A: Ah, see, it worked on you too.

Q: What did?
A: You assumed, like everyone else that the massive ammount of cash was transferred from the Report Foundation coffers to the CCFD. Like everyone else, you went for shell number three?

Q: Did the over $500,000 (CA, but still) that was raised from readers to keep the magazine afloat ever make it it the organization that oversaw the magazine?
A: Well, we're about to find out.

Q: So what's this business about the CCFD not owing former Report employees beyond the GST refund?
A: Oh, they were just being silly. I would be very surprised if the CCFD isn't ruled to have major fiscal obligations both to former Report employees and creditors.

Q: So has anything good come from this?
A: It's nice to see KMG finally finding some comfort in his religion.

posted by Jeremy at 10:43 PM