Rogers apologizes for Maclean’s “Corrupt Quebec” issue
Joining a drama in progress, it looks like yet another Canadian publication is getting burned—or at least mildly singed—from leaning a bit hard on the rhetoric. This time, it’s Maclean’s and its parent company, Rogers Publishing. Last week, Maclean’s put out an issue with the not at all attention-seeking headline “The Most Corrupt Province in Canada,” clearly talking about Quebec (see Bonhomme, left). By yesterday evening, the pot had been sufficiently stirred for the House of Commons to pass a unanimous resolution censuring the magazine. This afternoon, Rogers Publishing put out a press release apologizing for its choice of words:
As a company we own a broad range of media properties across the country and editorial independence is an important cornerstone of our management philosophy. While challenging at times, this means we do not interfere with the editorial direction or content of our media properties in any way.
On behalf of the company, we sincerely regret any offence that the cover may have caused. We value all of our customers and their perspective. Quebec is an important market for the company and we look forward to participating in the dynamic growth of the province and its citizens.
While we’re not wild about Parliament officially censuring any publication over what amounts to being called nasty names—and there’s more than enough reason to be cynical about this—it isn’t all bad. For one, it’s nice to see a good, old-fashioned media controversy that doesn’t involve Ezra Levant, billionaires or accusations of Nazi collaboration.
More amazingly, Quebec has managed to get something out of this whole mess that we despair of Toronto ever seeing: an apology for a broad-brush crack at our expense. Hell, it’s impossible to travel outside this city without hearing jokes about the army plowing our streets, and that was more than 10 years ago.