Peter Menzies

Peter Menzies writes on culture, media and communications. While he now works in the cultural industry and advises tech companies, he has in the past served as vice chairman of telecommunications for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). He was publisher and editor-in-chief of one of Canada's major daily newspapers, the Calgary Herald.

Bio last updated June 30th, 2021.

Peter Menzies

Articles by Peter Menzies

  • Failing to Speak for Free Speech

    Eerie silence has met Ottawa’s plan to regulate the Internet and outlaw hurtful – not just hateful – expression, Peter Menzies reports.

    When he unveils details, the Minister will have the strategically significant backing of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who is part of the oxymoronically-named Commission on Democratic Expression - a Public Policy Forum panel “We have seen too many examples of public official...

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  • Chaos ’Round The Corner for CRTC

    Peter Menzies looks into a planned major expansion of federal regulatory powers over the Internet. It’s enough to take your breath away, he reports.

    Members of Parliament on the Canadian Heritage Committee examining Bill C-10 - which expands the authority of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to a breathtaking extent - were finally able to see the draft Order in Council expected to spell out how the regulator ...

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  • COVID’s Media Monologue

    Bad news sells but Peter Menzies wonders why journalists eager to echo alarms about pandemic case numbers ignore the social devastation of lockdown policies.

    Deena Hinshaw (Alberta) roll out their morbid numbers and fears at daily news conferences, there has been much less frequent scrutiny regarding the consequences of their recommendations beyond the spread of the virus and its impact on health and the health care systems Much may have changed in how n...

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  • We Better Hear the Hoi Polloi

    Politicians and bureaucrats caught flouting COVID restrictions should get over their embarrassment and heed the pandemic suffering of working people, Peter Menzies writes.

    Phase Three began shortly after Christmas with a wave of sackings, demotions and shamings of political office holders, health care executives and assorted other public sector white collar types who took foreign vacations - mostly to sun destinations - over the holidays when the rest of us were forbi...

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  • Newspapers Must Face the Facebook Music

    Print journalists’ pleas for the government to keep social media from eating their lunch are as fact-free as claiming the Pyongyang Times is a bulwark of democracy, Peter Menzies argues.

    Jeff Elgie of Village Media, an online startup in Canada, calls the notion that Facebook or Google should pay for his content “laughable” because in reality they provide “massive free distribution And yet, writes Heather Bakken of Ipolitics, not only the craft of journalism for which we are all so g...

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  • Great Reset? Or Grand Unravelling?

    Prime Minister Trudeau has mused that COVID-19 will allow for Canadian society to “re-set” on a number of fronts. Peter Menzies says we’ll have to avoid coming apart at the seams first.

    The second group wants an end to the pandemic just as badly as the first and wants protection focused on those most at risk from infection – overwhelmingly the elderly and the ill (Alberta stats indicate 58 per cent of COVID fatalities involved people suffering from dementia; another 24 per cent fro...

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  • COVID's Contagion of Disbelief

    Drug companies touting new pandemic vaccines should be causing huzzahs. But Peter Menzies warns septic skepticism in the body politic must also be addressed.

    And 23 per cent – almost a quarter of our 37.5 million people – believe the threat of COVID-19 has been exaggerated, assumedly by distrusted media and public officials Tom Sampson, the head of Calgary’s Emergency Management Agency, compared the COVID-19 pandemic to a tsunami and described on Twitter...

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  • The Perils of Facing Down Facebook

    Canada’s federal Heritage Minister needs a better grip on who he’s dealing with before shaking his fist too often at Mark Zuckerberg’s social media colossus, Peter Menzies writes.

    Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is determined to pick a fight with Facebook in his bid to find a way to fund failing newspaper publishers - a battle that may end with news media being blocked from access to global social media audiences A preview of what awaits us is already playing out in Austr...

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  • When Mass Kneeling Replaces Faith

    A generation raised without religious faith is suddenly dropping to its knees to plead its causes. Peter Menzies asks whether it’s the spirit moving – or another triumph of marketing.

    As we all know, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defied every health care order in the country to not only take a knee but to do so within a mass gathering/protest The same scene takes place every Sunday in hundreds of churches across the country and - let’s face it - in a great many churches those...

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  • No Diving Allowed

    As yesterday’s heroes are toppled and today's rules are re-written tomorrow, Peter Menzies advises on how to leave logic behind and chill in the shallow end of history.

    Being in tune with the times, Vaughan saw no need to acknowledge either the disproportionately high number of black people dying from COVID-19 or that what he and the Prime Minister were doing was exactly – precisely – what they had been telling the public to not do under any circumstances for the p...

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  • Shadow and Light in the Post-COVID Church

    Two long-time journalistic and personal friends, former CRTC commissioner Peter Menzies and Convivium's Peter Stockland, weigh the future of faith life in a Canada where churches have been shuttered by government order.

    In the column above, my long-time friend and journalism colleague Peter Menzies lays out a necessary, if disturbing, vision for the future of public faith in Canada as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis The Church now has a powerful opening to remind the recovering world of the truth that because ou...

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  • Counting Out Majorities

    Peter Menzies wonders whether anyone else has noticed recent signs of an end to the Canada where majority democratic interest had to be considered at least.

    This, due to a single solidarity protest by a couple of dozen people on a rail line 5,000 km away from British Columbia’s Bulkley Valley, where five people held a dissenting view regarding process, land title, law and economic development within their peer group of 13 hereditary leaders among a popu...

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  • What About Western Canadians?

    The federal election debate demonstrated a deficient representation of 31 per cent of Canadians, writes Peter Menzies – almost as if their issues do not merit discussion.

    So the first messages received way out here in Rupert’s Land were that the debates commission did not care about whether we could watch that debate or the French language one that follows, and nor did the government that created the commission care to have Western or other “regions” (as they like to...

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  • #SOMUCHMUD

    The federal election has begun with more mud than Saturday bath night at a pig farm. Alas, Convivium contributor Peter Menzies says, too many reporters are jumping in and further sinking journalism’s #credibility.

    There have been other very odd moments such as when the CBC’s fact check revealed that Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s promise of a universal tax cut was questionable because many Canadians don’t pay taxes, and when Katie Simpson, also of the CBC, took time to draw attention to herself and the d...

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  • No Competition, Please. We’re Canadian.

    Whether it’s air travel or Internet, the time-honoured Canuck reflex is to boldly pacify the masses with the security blanket of quasi-monopolies, contends Convivium contributor Peter Menzies.  

    Never mind the truth that the real story behind the Competition Bureau’s Eureka moment here is that the Internet, its availability, service levels and price in Canada evolved without the sort of regulation that kept a firm hand on telecom for 100 years Those of us once housed snugly within Gatineau’...

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  • Losing Our Way on the Internet

    Convivium contributor Peter Menzies argues new federal legislation to control political advertising on the Internet is a classic example of good intentions gone horribly wrong.

    The Internet was fun when Barack Obama was wowing the world with his social media finesse, Hillary Clinton was launching her campaign online instead of through a traditional news conference and the world was ooh-ing and aah-ing at the telegenetic #SunnyWays of Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trud...

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  • Where Weather Waters Faith

    When late spring rain fell on parched southern Saskatchewan this week, Peter Menzies writes, those who work the land smiled skyward knowing the downpour wasn’t mere water: it was a baptism for summer’s bounty.

    To farm means you have to trust that the weather will be right while knowing that it isn’t always Never mind insurance and other modern safety nets: since the first plows broke the sod 150 years ago, the fear of crop failure has been to Saskatchewan what a Stephen King clown is to a child’s closet ...

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  • Charter Freedoms and Digital Hate

    Canada has a proud legal history of combating hate, Convivium contributor Peter Menzies notes, but he warns this week’s Digital Charter walks a precarious line between vigilance and suppression.

    It is in this light that Canada, which has spoken firmly in defence of net neutrality, this week launched its Digital Charter outlining what social media should be and threatening financial consequences if the companies operating those platforms fail to live up to the government’s moral standards Fi...

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  • Alberta Comes Home

    With its recent election results, writes veteran journalist Peter Menzies, Alberta has ended its four-year hard-left flirtation and returned to being a place of community without collectivism, where all are welcome, and no one asks “Who’s your daddy?”

    Another question to be answered was whether the Alberta Party would find favour with former PCs uncomfortable in the company of Kenney Conservatives, and with Liberals too sensible to join the majority of their colleagues in supporting the NDP and Premier Rachel Notley’s socialism And Notley’s elect...

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  • The Land of Living Skies

    My mother grew up not far from where this photo was taken in The Land of Living Skies - Saskatchewan. Mum was raised mostly in Rouleau, about a 40 minute drive southwest of Regina on the flattest piece of land imaginable; a place where in the winter the wind, as Colter Wall sings, will cut you half in two.

    At night, Mum told me more than once, she would lay in bed, listen to the trains rumbling through and dream "of faraway places with strange sounding names ...

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  • Journalists Hurting Journalism

    Those who moil in the media have always been privately infatuated with their own opinions, but the current cohort seems obsessed with telling the public what to think, admonishes former Calgary Herald Publisher Peter Menzies.

    In response, many reporters have heightened their professional conduct online - posting their work on social media and letting it speak for itself Just this past week, David Akin, Chief Political Correspondent for Global News, commented on a tweet from Ontario Premier Doug Ford regarding his governm...

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