Brandon Sun Bias Prolongs Brandon University Strike

Editor’s Note: For more information, please also see What You Need To Know About The Brandon University Strike

 

By Errol Black

 

The Brandon University strike of 240 faculty members is now into its 34th day.

The actions and role of the media in small-town labour disputes play an important role in shaping community perspectives on the nature, dynamics and implications of the conflict for both the direct participants and the community at large. The media’s role is, therefore, profoundly important in all labour disputes; it is especially important in situations where deliberate bias in the coverage provided by the media results in a serious misrepresentation of a dispute that potentially involves segments of the community. The Brandon University strike is one such dispute.

 

The Brandon Sun

Of all the media in Brandon, the Sun is the one media enterprise with the most capacity to provide the news and analytical coverage from the balanced perspective that people need to understand the Brandon University strike. Before the Sun was taken over by The Winnipeg Free Press in 2001 it was a fairly robust enterprise and newspaper that provided information and insight on world, national and local issues. Now, it simply characterizes itself as the voice of conservatism in the region – a paper, in other words, with a narrow right-wing slant. This perspective is evident in the Sun’s coverage of the Brandon University Strike.

Brandon Sun Bias

From the outset, the Sun has aligned itself with Brandon University President, Administration and hired guns, notably, employer lawyer Grant Mitchell, and against the members of the Brandon University Faculty Association (BUFA). This is reflected in all aspects of the paper’s analysis and coverage including: the stories that are emphasized and the ones that are ignored or downplayed, the letters that get printed as opposed to the ones that don’t; the editorial perspectives, to name a few.

This bias reached its peak this past week, culminating in back-to-back editorials published on November 9 and 10, 2011.

The first of the editorials, titled “BU students deserve more from Caldwell,” What do they deserve from Caldwell? According to the editors, “,,,it’s rather dispiriting to say the least, when the only elected NDP representative around these parts seems unwilling to step into the fray on behalf of increasingly frustrated university students.” And why exactly, do the editors think Caldwell should step in, and what exactly do they think he should do? The editors say he should intervene, because, while “it is one thing to believe that the provincial government should not interfere with the collective bargaining process [and Caldwell has the right to his opinion], when it become obvious that both sides are incapable of reaching a fair and equitable settlement on their own…a higher power needs to step in – the provincial government.. And you, Mr. Caldwell …need to take a stand that benefits this city, before affected constituents decide to give up the ghost.”

This attack on Caldwell clearly demonstrates the editor’s ignorance of both the broader role the labour movement plays in democratic society and the importance of the collective bargaining process in providing a voice for workers.

In the November 10 editorial (“BUFA, province share the blame”) the editors claim that as of November 9, “the executive of BUFA is now the only entity standing in the way of some 3,100 students being allowed to return to class.” The editors don’t explain how BUFA is responsible for this situation. Are we left to infer that it’s because BUFA rejects binding arbitration and insists that the two parties negotiate a collective agreement? If that’s what the editors believe, then isn’t more plausible to suggest that it is the University and their high-paid legal brains that are responsible for the continuation of the strike? Surely, we might expect that when people are being paid $400 to $600 an hour, they can think of something more creative to say than “we want it to go to binding arbitration.”

In the concluding sections of the editorial the editors state: “At the outset, of this strike, the Sun’s management and editorial board made a decision to stay neutral in the Our View [ by which they mean editorial] column..”

They then say, “. . . but we never expected the strike to extend for so long and for all the wrong reasons.” There is a simple explanation for their failure to get things right; namely, that they never tried to understand the causes of the strike and the reasons for the impasse in collective bargaining. Nor did they bother to try and figure out what the issues were and why Brandon University steadfastly refused to try and negotiate an agreement with BUFA.

The editors wind up their editorial asserting that “we now see clearly who the villains are in this performance – the faculty’s union and the provincial government [and] calling on the government to legislate the strikers back to work.”

I would suggest that there are indeed villains in this situation but not the ones cited by the Sun. On the contrary, the villains are Brandon University and the Brandon Sun, which has failed through its own ineptitude and ideological blinders to provide citizens with the background they need to understand the causes and consequences of the strike.

Errol Black is a CCPA MB. board member and a retired member of the BUFA.


37 Comments

Filed under Brandon, collective bargaining, education, Labour, media

37 responses to “Brandon Sun Bias Prolongs Brandon University Strike

  1. The Brandon Sun was not "taken over" by the Winnipeg Free Press in 2001. In fact, the two newspapers have been aligned corporately for over 20 years, first through Thomson Corp. and then through their subsequent purchaser (FP Newspapers Income Trust). Mr. Black, as a lifelong Brandon resident, should know this salient fact.Also, how is Mr. Black aware of what letters to the editor do or do not get chosen for publication? Finally, it is a blanket statement, to say the least, to state firmly that "all aspects" of the paper's coverage confirm a bias. While a few select examples are provided to support this statement, what's left out are the many stories, opinion pieces, letters and online content that make up "all" aspects of any newspaper's coverage.Bias comes in many forms.

  2. This is a great article; it's getting positive feedback on facebook (BUSU page). A former graduate from BU shared this article with me. I am a 2nd year Psychiatric Nursing Student on the Winnipeg Campus (Rice Financial Building on Portage Ave) and it is nothing short of appalling that this strike is dragging on. I don't understand how professionals can have ongoing 'language issues', and allow for repeated negotiation breakdowns. Many of the Instructors/Professors want to get back to class but also do not to return under the dark cloud of arbitration because that seems to favour the employer (common Cdn trend recently).Another issue that may snowball in response to BU striking, is the future likelihood of the other big institutions following a similar trend, especially if the BU strike results in increased wages above what the Manitoba standard.Thanks

  3. This is a refreshing break from the garbage reports I have read in the Brandon Sun

  4. Oh, come on.You are printing a piece about bias who obviously has bias himself.I support a lot of what the faculty wants, but this is ridiculous.

  5. While as a BU Prof walking the picket lines I appreciate Errol Black's sentiments and intent, I think it is largely wasted in this forum. If the Brandon Sun won't print, or selectively prints views supportive of BUFA (and I have experienced this first hand), then this message and ones like it must be sent to media with a wider reach. How about the Globe & Mail? One of the investigative TV programs? The deafening silence on the BU strike from national media (quickly buried on the CBC Manitoba pages online; best (sic) TV coverage seems to be CTV Winnipeg) is perhaps not surprising, but not something we should assume as being right. If as BUFA claims and Errol Black has argued elsewhere this strike has national implications for all university faculty associations, then it is a story with national scope.

  6. I do not understand how the brandon sun is causing the strike to continue. The arrogance and short-sightedness of Joe Doelecki and the rest of the BUFA negotiating team is what is causing this strike to continue. I was told by a union member that the language issues have been resolved and it is just a matter of money. Judging by the math, BUFA is now fighting for a difference of 9 dollars a week ( money the university does not have for the first year) while students lose hundreds of dollars on rent and lost class time. Neither side can be viewed as perfect, but by the judgement of its own members, BUFA is seemingly the hold-out in these negotiations.

  7. People don't care anymore about who did what to whom. They want a resolution to this.Give the BUFA members a formal vote on accepting/rejecting binding arbitration now.If the vote is to accept it, the strike ends.If the vote is to reject it, then all questions about are gone and we know that a settlement is negotiated or this goes until December.And I'd also second everyone pointing out the bitter irony of Errol Black writing against other writers bias over the BUFA strike.

  8. There seems to be no boundary the old boys in BUFA won't cross to try and put responsibility for their actions on others. Now the Brandon Sun is responsible for prolonging the strike? Seriously? The people who refuse to allow members to take a vote and instead rely on bullying and intimidation to silence any opposition are prolonging the strike. It is only during a labour dispute that the old guard in BUFA has a soapbox; they are not to be found at teaching conferences or receiving research grants. They don't want to cut short their time in the sun, regardless of the harm to students, BU or the community.

  9. I agree with the person who commented before me. No one cares about this he said she said argument. End the strike and let us students get back to school. This strike is effecting not only our short term finances but our long term plans and neither side seems to care.End this school yard fight and let us get back to learning.

  10. For those commenting on Errol Black's bias, I would point out that Mr.Black has no obligation to be unbiased. He is presenting his personal views on this important issue. The media on the other hand does have a responsibility to present a variety of views to give readers/listeners/viewers the information they need to decide for themselves.

  11. yes, the strike is affecting students. But consider this, if this was 'just about the money' we in BUFA would have settled. We have already lost through lost pay more than we will gain. (we don't get paid during a strike) We're out there pounding the picket line with our sore feet … in the snow. Bullying? I haven't seen any. All opinions in BUFA are heard. And here's a news flash, BU Admin rejected TODAY BUFA's latest offer that was well below anything anyone would consider reasonable. But BUFA can't tell anyone (including its membership) what our proposal was or what their offer was because THEIR lawyer, whose fees are close to $200,000 already, said it must be kept secret. BUFA can't tell anyone either that they're still negotiating with BU Admin. Again, THEIR lawyer has demanded it be kept secret. Abritration? That will cost another $200-$400,000, money that will come from YOUR tuition and people's taxes. Now tell me who is wasting your money?

  12. re: the comment that Errol Black's posting is "wasted in this forum" Errol Black and others are increasingly using blogs and other social media forums because progressive ideas and views are not being published by the main stream media. In fact, the response we are seeing to Mr.Black's post suggests that his effort has not been a waste at all. It is providing an excellent opportunity for open dialogue and debate.

  13. Talk about bias! Why do most of the posters assume that BUFA is the side unwilling to end the strike. The Administation could end the strike tomorrow but refuses to do so. They've already spent more money on union-busting lawyers than the Faculty Association is asking. If you're really interested in what's going on, have a look at the BUFA website (http://www.bufa.org) to see the sequence of offers that have been presented by both sides. BUFA has consistently and progressively modified its position throughout the negotiations; the employer has refused to budge. It is the employer that wants this strike to continue, not BUFA. Set aside your anti-union biases for a moment and have a look at the facts!

  14. Re: Threats and intimidation of members by the BUFA executive.This poster obviously knows little of academics. For every BUFA member, there are two opinions (at least) on virtually every issue. To imply that faculty members are thoughtless automatons being lead around by their noses is insulting in the extreme. Academics are trained to be objective and question authority. The fact that more than 200 diverse, independent-minded individuals can come together to agree on the need for job action is a testament to the seriousness of the corporate threat faced by Brandon University and indeed by all universities in Canada. The collegial model of governance has served universities well for the past 900+ years. It is not something that faculty members are going to give up because some administrators find it inconvenient to take the time to present a convincing argument. As for threats, the only threats to BUFA members have been from the University Administration and their lackeys.

  15. Isn't anyone else enjoying this wonderful holiday??? Kick back, relax, go for a walk, watch some football, and feel free to enjoy the wonderful November weather!!! This is a win-win for everyone!If you disagree, you are probably racist, or old, or drunk.Long Live Poff, the magical queen of October/November holiday time!!!!

  16. 200,000 dollars and counting for the services of the negotiator hired by the 'university administration'?? Is this for real??And was there really a previous significant cost for services by 'consultants from BC', hired by the University president, to provide an article by article review and recommended changes of the current collective agreement??What are the 'University president' and 'vise-president of administration' being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for if their job is being contracted out??As a Brandon and Manitoba taxpayer, I believe that the University Board of Governors have much "splaining" to do in the near future.And even more pressing is their need to take significant action and soon, to save this once noble, if small, university!! Does this Board, as listed on the University web site, not understand their responsibilities??

  17. Thank you for providing this site where information can be provided, questions posed, and the opinions of interested citizens of Brandon and Manitoba aired.The Brandon Sun has been clearly remiss, and simply may not have reporters with the knowledge and background to move beyond simple opinion, to provide true investigative reporting on this serious situation.The reporting by the CBC is like much other reporting by that network … after the initial shock value is gone they are on to other drama with little followup provided…. especially if the story is outside of Winnipeg.So I look forward to continue following this outlet for information that is obviously not available elsewhere.

  18. I notice one of BUFA's executive seems to have posted this on here anonymously:"BU Admin rejected TODAY BUFA's latest offer that was well below anything anyone would consider reasonable. But BUFA can't tell anyone (including its membership) what our proposal was or what their offer was because THEIR lawyer, whose fees are close to $200,000 already, said it must be kept secret."I have a comment and a question.I get that in negotiations both sides play games with the numbers, but you are pushing too far and in my opinion it's making BUFA look bad. BUFA's site claims their last offer was within 0.2% on salary, but now you claim that today an offer was made that was much lower still. Plainly those facts don't play nice and it annoys people when you stretch the numbers games this far.Finally, I want to very pointedly I ask that there be allowed a general vote on binding arbitration offered to BUFA members. If the BUFA members support the executive's position, then a vote rejecting it should be a show of strength, right? And if not….

  19. BUFA is being held silent on the latest offer by the employer. The employer's requirement to not reveal their latest offer is perhaps tied to the employer hoping to avoid revealing their real last position to an arbitrator, should the dispute go to arbitration. Can they then claim their "last offer" was not really their last offer, but the last publicly reported "last offer"? No one can dispute their claim, as far as I can tell.The $200K estimate for lawyer fees was from October. It will be MUCH higher now. A 1% raise in yearly salary of all BUFA members is under $240k.

  20. Just wanted to say I attended Brandon University in the 80's and always have encouraged students to consider attending BU. With the smaller class sizes and smaller university as a whole, I was definitely able to get more individual assistance etc. than University of Manitoba, which was where I had to transfer to complete my Bachelor of Commerce Degree. We now live in southeastern Manitoba, where the majority of kids choose to go to Winnipeg as it is only an hour away…that has been changing in recent years as more are seeing the value to getting an education in a smaller school. That will now change again with this strike going on and on; irregardless of whose fault it is, do you not realize how much the reputation of the University is being damaged? Any graduating kids that were considering BU as an option seem to have now changed their minds; I know I will not be allowing my kids to attend university there.

  21. At first I was just going to slough off this article as just another example of Errol-Black-propaganda, but after reading some of these comments I feel compelled to add my say. As a recent BU grad and someone who was put through the hell of the 2008 strike, I am more than familiar with the actors at the table in this new hell, and am personally saddened to see some of the professors who I had a grown to respect acting in such a way. These are the people who are supposed to be teaching students about the value of critical thinking, yet so many of these normally reasonable people seem to have drunk the kool-aid that the BUFA executive has been spewing. Personally I don't see how anyone who has ever met AverageJoe could believe one word that comes out of his mouth, let alone take his word against that of respected senior faculty members (and it would be beneficial to all who are trying to demonize Poff and her "Administration" that almost all of these people are in fact faculty members themselves) and even more shockingly, important and impartial members of the community who sit on the Board of Governors. When those otherwise unconnected to the day-to-day running of the university can take one look at what BUFA has been demanding and say it would bankrupt the institution, then it seems like a no-brainer that agreeing to such demands would be both illogical and immoral, not to mention illegal (as university's are not allowed to run a deficit). Many of the previous poster's have also called out the Brandon Sun for being especially biased in its recent editorials, a fact which I would readily agree with. However, I don't remember anyone seeming to care when the same newspaper was incredibly biased in favour of the faculty in the middle of the 2008 strike, and published both editorials and letters to the editor which were full of personal attacks and outright falsities. As a left-winger myself I have never exactly been a fan of this paper, but it seems to have finally seen through the smoke-screen that is the BUFA executive's lies and called a spade a spade. When conciliation has failed, mediation has failed, the mediator has called for arbitration, the BoG has called for arbitration, the administration has called for arbitration, and even the NDP Minister of Labour has called for arbitration, it is obvious that this is the only way to go. If BUFA was really so confident in their stance they would have nothing to fear by consenting to this completely impartial mode of settling even such deeply divided issues as this strike. While neither side will get entirely what they want, this strike will be over, the university will not go bankrupt, and most importantly, the students will be able to get the education that they paid for. BUFA is the only thing standing in the way of the students getting back to class, and indeed an increasing number of faculty members are opening up themselves to persecution and intimidation from their colleagues by publicly acknowledging that this strike has no merit and returning to class to prioritize the needs of their students. On a related note, I would like to briefly address the person earlier who so falsely claimed that there is no such intimidation going on within the faculty association. To tell just one example, I know several professors who have received hate mail from their "colleagues" and one professor was actually threatened that their car would be keyed if they dared to cross the picket line. This strike has completely eroded the patch-up job on inter-university relations that existed after the last strike. As an aluma of BU, I will always hold a special place in my heart for some of the people there, but after this strike even I do not want my younger siblings to go to BU – at least not until the only common denominator behind all of this contention over the years has finally left.

  22. A number of years ago the university employed a president from outside of Manitoba who decided that there was no place at the university for a hockey program ….. a long standing and successful program that provided an opportunity for many local youth to attend university.The same president then subsequently decided that the long standing basketball coach, with the record for the most wins in Canada at the university level, should be dismissed….. leaving the basketball program in disarray.Then that administrator left Brandon and Manitoba and went home. And the residents of the area with the power to have influenced decisions at the university did …… well the sports programs are gone or in trouble!Now a new president from outside Manitoba is again at the helm making decisions that have long term consequences for the health of the university. However, unlike the sports program, the stakes for the university are now much, much greater!I do not know all the details of the faculty contract wishes …. nor the university's position. I do believe that a president and vice presidents, being paid a reported 1/2 to 3/4 million dollars a year, should be expected to have set a plan in place well in advance of contract termination, to ensure that this would not happen.And it seems to me that this should have been possible without the expenditure of the reported $200,000 (to date) for an outside negotiator.When this dispute is finally settled, it seems to me that the Brandon University Board members (as listed on the University web) must provide an accounting to the taxpayers of this publily funded school as to OUR total cost of the negotiations and how & why the issues were worth that cost! Will the people of influence in the community be prepared to intervene in a fair and reasonable manner to gain all the facts and save this great, small school with such an historical connection to Brandon and area?? Or like the sports programs will inaction be the order of the day.

  23. A poster above stated "To tell just one example, I know several professors who have received hate mail from their "colleagues" and one professor was actually threatened that their car would be keyed if they dared to cross the picket line."If true, this is terrible and the persons involved should report these acts to both the BUFA executive and to the police.As a BUFA member, and the poster above who says there is no intimidation, I can also state that I have voiced opinions in open forum on tactics, and our proposals. My comments have been received openly and respectfully, and in some cases, adopted. If intimidation has occurred, this is likely by a small minority of professors, and not reflecting the attitude of the BUFA Executive or the bargaining committee. I am not a member of either group. I can report though, that some professors who have crossed the picket were engaged in a campaign of emails aimed at undermining BUFA's position, and in some cases repeating some of the falsehoods released by BU's very expensive lawyer. These were challenged in a collegial way and were withdrawn. So who's initimdating whom?

  24. I can't add much to what has already been said in my original posting and in the comments from individuals suggesting that people blaming the union should suppress their anti-union bias and check out the facts. On the matter of wages:The University has insisted from the outset of collective bargaining that it is subject to a government imposed limit on wage increases. According to the University these numbers are 0, 0 and 2% over a three-year agreement. The University can produce no documentation to show that the government has established such a mandate. In fact, the leader of the NDP and Manitoba premier, Greg Selinger, stated unequivocally at a meeting on November 5th that no such mandate exists.Now, the University claims that the mandate they have been talking about all this time is a voluntary mandate, i.e., the university volunteered to restrain faculty increases to 0, 0 and 2% over a three-year agreement. This idea is consistent with recent statements from the university lawyer (who was apparently hired to get the same wage settlement at all three universities) who stated that the U of M and the U of W faculty unions agreed to these limits without even "a strike vote, let alone having a strike or arbitration."On the matter of getting a negotiated collective agreement.Throughout this dispute, the faculty union has consistently made adjustments to its proposals with the expectation that this would result in a series of adjustments culminating in an agreement that both sides could live with.However, it seems evident that the University was never much interested in negotiating a collective agreement. On the contrary, what the University wanted was for BUFA to simply accept the university position. If BUFA could not agree to this, the University has consistently insisted that the outstanding issues be submitted to binding arbitration. BUFA has never been comfortable with the idea of submitting the issues to binding arbitration. After the recent mediation experience, which culminated in the provincially-appointed mediator accepting the University's argument that there was a provincial wage mandate (without any evidence confirming its existence) and then recommending that the matter go to arbitration, BUFA was obligated to reject this option and insist that the two parties negotiate a collective agreement that would end the strike and sustain the relationship for three years. It seems that this was not an option of interest to the University.In my short piece, the role of the Brandon Sun in this dispute should have been to explain and clarify the issues involved and seek out and verify the claims being made by the two parties. Unfortunately, this didn't happen.Errol Black

  25. Why has there not been a vote given to BUFA's membership on accept/rejecting binding arbitration?If the majority of faculty support the executive's position against arbitration, then a vote on it would surely be a sign of strength. If the faculty oppose binding arbitration then allow a general vote.The only reason I can think of for not allowing a general members vote on binding arbitration is that the executive is afraid the result would not support their position.Can the executive please correct me on this and provide another reason that I perhaps just can't seem to come up with?

  26. It has been stated somewhere in all of the releases and or comments related to these negotiations, that the total Faculty salary costs for a year, are currently about $18,000,000.00 – or approximately $75,000.00 per day.The faculty have been on strike for 36 days.Unless my grade school arithmetic is totally in error, this means that to this point in time, the university has "saved" about $2,700,000.00 in salaries … that is money that will not be paid to the faculty even after the strike is settled(hopefully).It has also been stated somewhere(?) that an increase of 1% in salary would amount to less than $240,000.00 per year.At that rate, the "salary savings alone" to this point in time could provide a total 'salary increase' of over 10% (less than BUFA has requested)over the next 3 years without touching any of the university operating budget during that time period for the increases.I am not very familiar with the ways of current negotiations nor am I a financial expert and so would be most pleased if someone could show me where I have erred in my thinking re this salary issue.Otherwise it seems to me that salary is not the issue after all, in these very expensive negotiations(both money and emotions) and I would welcome clarification 'in specific terms' and not the generalities that have been provided to this time,focusing on a single issue(e.g the university cannot afford it?).

  27. It would seem to me that students are being held hostage by both sides in this strike and I find it deplorable that it has been allowed to continue for this long duration of time. I believe that the needs of the students are not being taken into consideration in this dispute by either side. As a parent of one student at the BU and two at the UofM I am outraged that one of them is not receiving the education that has been paid for and most certainly could not support the University in any way in the future! I find it despicable that either side would allow the strike to have continued this long, both have made their point now lets get on with what is inevitable, arbitration, and let the students get back to what they came for.

  28. I wonder how many of those who confidently comment on the role and process of the university Board of Governors in the governance of the university, have ever attended a BoG meeting?

  29. If they ever meet … which is part of the problem. Since the strike began the BOG has not met, and in fact the student and faculty reprs on the BOG have been shut out from all communications on negotiations in a secret deal.

  30. It costs our family approximately 20,000.00 per year to send our daughter to BU. Tuition, housing, etc add up quicky. Where is the justice for the student? What sctions can they take to get a "fair deal" in all of this. In the end, nothing will be gained by Bufa or The University Administration. The University will have lost all respect from both students and parents. Who will pay you (faculty and Admin.) when the students refuse to return to the hallways of an institution that continues to prey on those who have no defence!

  31. I agree that the students (and their parents) are in an extremely defenseless and frustrating circumstance.What immediate action can students or their parents undertake to achieve an immediate resolution for the students? ….. little it seems!And 'the Board' who do have the 'rightful power' to act, apparently are not interested, or maybe not capable, in attempting to respond to the parents and students concerns in bringing an end to this fiasco – they seem to have gone into hiding, hoping it will just all go away!A terrible mess has been created, leaving not only immediate academic problems for the students, but also lingering problems in the atmosphere of the university, that will continue for long after the strike has passed.But the Negotiator from Winnipeg will simply stay in Winnipeg satisfied, one assumes, that he did what he was employed to do, and the 'president' who must, by virtue of the position, carry the responsibility for what has happened, will eventually, in all probability, go back home …. both leaving the mess behind.And those who believe that there should be no University outside of Winnipeg will smugly smile……..!It is difficult to believe that there are not people in Brandon who did not have the influence to get this resolved much earlier!

  32. In the first response by Anonymous (maybe written on a processor with font similar to the BSs), to the article by Errol Black, the poster asked how Errol Black knew which letters were not published by the Brandon Sun.Well I guess that writer will now be relieved to have had that question answered (in part at least) with the posting on November 24, on this site, of some of those letters. I assume that there could be more that have not been submitted to this site, but regardless of that, I guess Black's point has now been made!!

  33. The BUFA home page carries the best and only piece of true investigative reporting (with the article by Deveryn Ross) that I have seen in any news media to date. Few put forth that amount of effort and objectivity!I do not subscribe to the Brandon Sun and so they may already have acted, but I guess the test of their neutrality on this issue, will be whether they have or do reprint his article in this local paper!Given that Ross wrote a column for some time for the Sun, it would seem reasonable that to demonstrate their professed neutrality, his investigation would be printed there.

  34. To those who have read the November 24 investigative report by Deveryn Ross and, 1)feel that it focuses too much on the side of BUFA and, 2)wish to hear the side on the university administration; let me refer you to:a)the October 13 article by Ross, and b)most of the commentary in the 'editorial' and 'local view' pages of the Brandon Sun and c) most of the comments in the 'sound off' pages of the Brandon Sun!

  35. I totally agree with the previous post. The 'editorial', 'local view' and 'sound off' pages of the Brandon Sun throughout the strike did in fact reflect the side of university administration. Ross's report is based on fact – the chronology of the negotiations and what was actually discussed at those negotiations. He is the only journalist who took the time to find the truth. If you have other 'facts' (i.e. as if 'sound offs' in the Brandon Sun ar facts – not), then feel free to present them. Otherwise, cage your bitterness and stop the personal attacks. Ross's column may have been the catalyst for this strike to finally reach a negotiated settlement. If you want to blame him for something, blame him for that.

  36. For those who do not live in Brandon and have not seen the dead-tree version of Saturday's Brandon Sun, the paper did not republish Mr. Ross's Free Press column (even though the Sun is the FP's sister paper and regularly re-publishes FP content). Even more interesting was the note on the editorial page, indicating that Poff's column would return (including a headshot of the BU president). Some things speak for themselves.

  37. About two weeks ago I had a call from a marketing firm attempting to sell me a subscription to the Brandon Sun. (By the caller's own admission the marketing firm was located in the USA – so much for the Sun supporting local employment if caller's statement was true!)I declined the offer but may have acted too quickly!!On Saturday I noted in the Brandon Sun that the Brandon University president would once again continue to be writing a regular column on "ethics" for the Brandon Sun.Given the president's actions during the recent BUFA strike I am now at a total loss as to how she can believe that she has the credibility to contribute on this topic. But then I guess I should never cease to be amazed at the opinion some people have of self! That the Brandon Sun re-employes is no surprise! But had I not acted so impulsively a couple of weeks ago, I could now at least have cancelled my subscription ….. live and learn!!

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