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1 Million March 4 Children announces second event Saturday, Oct 21 – How should we feel about this?


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Emboldened by their first Canada-wide protest, the people behind 1 Million March 4 Children are planning a second event on Saturday, October 21.  That means Canadians will have another opportunity to decide how they feel about this protest and these protestors.
This might be a good time to take a look back on the 1 Million March 4 Children event held September 20 in towns and cities from coast to coast. Here’s what it looked like in Red Deer.
Protests can be prickly and sometimes even violent. Surely that’s what a lot of Canadians were expecting from the 1 Million March 4 Children. In the days leading up to September 20, there were no shortage of ‘warnings’ about the protestors.  This was the warning put out by “”
  • These protests are supported by a big tent of far-right and conspiratorial groups, including Christian Nationalists, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, sovereign citizens, and anti-public education activists.

Sounds dangerous. Far-right and conspiratorial groups, Christian Nationalists, COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, sovereign citizens, all mixing it up with anti-public education activists.  No wonder I was afraid to go at first! Good thing I don’t depend on the website to plan my outings.

Come to think of it I’ve got a couple of questions for

1) Are Christian Nationalists ‘far-right’ or ‘conspiratorial’?  Can they be just Christians who like their country a lot? If not, what do we call Christians who like Canada?  Just wondering.

2) Are the COVID-19 ‘conspiracy theorists’ the ones who correctly (if annoyingly) warned the lock downs / masks / 1, 2, 3, 4 doses of vaccine would not stop the pandemic? or were they the ones who incorrectly believed all those things would bring that pandemic to an end?  Can you see how that could be confusing in 2o23?

3) I didn’t know I had to be afraid of sovereign citizens and anti-public education activists. Can I let my children out of the house while they still exist in Canada?

It’s important there are groups like It’s important Canadians always remember that no matter how much we disagree, almost every single person wants to live their lives in freedom and simply enjoy opportunities. When we descend into hatred, we take society down with us. So thank you for watching out for us.

Were there incidents at hate at the 1 Million March 4 Children? found some examples. I did not see or hear of any incidents at the Red Deer event.  Part of the credit goes to the police.  They did a wonderful job of patrolling between the opposing sides in a very relaxed and friendly manner that certainly calmed the tension people would otherwise have felt.

Standing on the sidewalk as protestors streamed past me, I was struck by how different the 1 Million March 4 Children felt compared to other protests I’ve attended.

This was a protest of families. There were pregnant women, new mothers and fathers with their young children, and lots of grandparents. It also featured an intriguing and beautiful mixture of cultures. As protestors strolled past I was reminded of that feeling you get from the multi-cultural festivals that mark so many Canada Day Celebrations.

Fact: On September 20, 2023 a vast array of Canadians representing many cultures and beliefs united at Red Deer’s City Hall Park for the 1 Million March 4 Children.

But: Unlike Canada Day, it felt a little bit like we were going to get in trouble just for being here. Maybe that’s why very few politicians dared to come out in support of this group. I did see Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan and Red Deer Catholic School Board Member Monique LaGrange. Jason has never been frightened of zagging where other politicians are zigging.  As for Monique, she’s been disciplined for expressing her opinion recently and probably felt she had nothing more to lose by being associated with the people is warning us about.

Canada’s Prime Minister is convinced the people streaming past me were “phobs”… Transphobs, homophobs, and biphobs (I think he may have invented the last one just as he was writing the post below).  According to our Prime Minister hundreds of Central Albertans and the tens or hundreds of thousands of Canadians who gathered on September 20 were there to ‘manifest their hatred’ of 2SLGBTQI+ people.  Here’s Trudeau’s post on X.

The Muslim Association of Canada strongly condemned Trudeau’s remarks and called for an apology that has yet to make it’s way into the line up of apologies PM Trudeau seems to make on a daily basis. Here’s part of their statement.

  • By characterizing the peaceful protests of thousands of concerned parents as hateful, Canadian leaders and school boards are setting a dangerous precedent of using their position of influence to unjustly demonize families, and alienate countless students.
  • On Wednesday September 20th, thousands of Muslims, joined by other faith-based groups, protested to raise their concerns, calling for their rights as parents in relation to their children’s education. Their intent was to be heard, not to sow division. Parents should have the absolute right to advocate for the wellbeing of their children.

As I streamed through my social media feeds last week I could see some of my friends (who I did not see at the protest or counter protest) apparently agree with Trudeau.  The most common post was the “no space for hate” meme which is really a beautiful message even if it might be a bit too sarcastic when aimed at the vast majority of those who marched. (I’m OK with sarcasm. I think my family may have invented it.)

By using the word ‘hate’ they seem to be implying the protestors are hateful. Maybe they can come to the next march in October to see for themselves.  I did not see messages of hate from the protestors OR from the counter protestors in Red Deer. You can see excellent examples of the signage from both sides in the photos below which show the signs on opposite sides of the street (and the debate).

On top of the signs there were also competing slogans. Chants of “Leave our kids alone” from the protestors were so loud it was a bit difficult to hear the opposing chant. I thought I heard “I was born like this” from the counter protestors.

I heard another chant from the protest organizer on his megaphone. “Don’t interact with the counter protestors. They have a right to be here too.” All in all the Red Deer protest was a bit loud, but far more civilized than advertised. I guess it felt a little bit like democracy is supposed to feel like.

As the protest ended I even witnessed one protestor walk up to a group of 5 or 6 counter protestors. He said (I’m paraphrasing) “I may not agree with you about much, but I respect your right to be here and I just wanted to say thank you for expressing your opinions peacefully.” That was quite a moment for the counter protestors who all looked relieved as they were likely expecting a confrontation. I admit I was stunned. It caught me by surprise and I was unable to get a photo or video in time.

As I looked through the protest signs and briefly chatted with people streaming past me it was clear there was one overwhelming message. The protestors clearly want to be the ones to teach their children about gender ideology. Others are far more concerned about the idea that schools would be keeping secrets with students from their parents who pay the taxes that support the whole system.

I leave the final words to Tim Hoven. Tim is a politically active Central Albertan who tried to take on his local UCP MLA Jason Nixon in a nomination and then ran unsuccessfully as an Independent candidate against him when his nomination was disqualified. Hoven was the local organizer and the main speaker at the Red Deer version of 1 Million March 4 Children.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Taylor Made: Time ‘s 2023 Person With A Uterus Is A Cultural Swiftie

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It’s a sitcom worthy of Norman Lear. Young woman aspires to be a country singer. Winds up instead— oh, the laffs— becoming a cultural icon for other young women with her confessional songs (“Look What You Made Me Do“), sold-out concerts and distinctive fashion choices.

She has a lunkhead football boyfriend with heart of gold (he pushes Covid vaccines). She flies in to watch him play his games. She writes songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together“. And she’s a Victim! “(The fight with Kim Kardashian) took me down psychologically to a place I’ve never been before. I moved to a foreign country. I didn’t leave a rental house for a year. I was afraid to get on phone calls. I pushed away most people in my life, because I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went down really, really hard.”

Naturally, Time Magazine votes her 2023 Person The Year. Taylor Swift was (pun alert) tailor-made for the legendary TV producer of All In The Family, Maude and The Jeffersons. Just as Swift defined 2023, Lear defined white urban liberal sensitivities in the late 1960s and onward. His cutting portrait of redneck Archie Bunker was the template for today’s lecture-in-30-minutes TV culture.

The Jeffersons was the epitome of Great Society pandering for white 1960s progressives. Maude was Bea Arthur chewing on the scenery in aid of first-generation feminism, when burning a bra was the funniest thing anyone had ever heard of.

So it’s kismet that the news of Lear’s death and Swift being anointed as Time’s 2023 Person With A Uterus align on the same day. For the crumbling legacy media the empowerment of Swift encapsulates all that they stand for in their opposition to the boor Donald Trump. Waif-ish, cute, fashion-trendsetting— Swift rules the world of their favourite voting demos. “You go, girl!”

The death of Lear at 101, meanwhile, is a nostalgic reminder of the days when three major TV networks and a handful of NYC-based newspapers and magazines determined the culture. When Walter Cronkite declared Viet Nam over on CBS, Lyndon Johnson had no FOX News channel to defend his policies.

(Which inadvertently opened the door for Richard Nixon. Meanwhile, the heavy-handed Bunker parody politicized many rednecks, leading to Ronald Reagan’s accession to POTUS in 1980. But we digress.)

The complacency of the Clever Culture— in the person of Lear protegé Rob Reiner—has been stultifying and self-reinforcing. Eventually most of those captured by it fell wordlessly into the coma of non-binary, cisgendered, trans-accepting, Hamas-has-a-point acceptance that Trump threatens.

It was the same in Canada where for decades CBC dictated the progressive sensibilities to a nation that not only accepted the dogma but paid for it. The appearance this week of their magenta-haired, Brooklyn-based president and CEO perfectly captured that bubble in the 2020s.

Even as Catherine Tait announced that the failing broadcaster was punting ten percent of its workforce, she sniffed when asked by her own National anchor Adrienne Arsenault if Tait and her fellow executives would forgo bonuses as others hit the sidewalk. No comment, replied Tait.

Back in the day when Don Cherry was a thing at @CBC a haughty snob like Tait could brag about the CBC’s inclusivity to justify the Corporation’s billion-dollar grants. “See! We have redneck losers on our channel! We’re diversified.” We wrote about this loss-leader funding strategy in our 2000 book The Meaning Of Puck.

But CBC lost the blue-collar demo when they canned Cherry in 2019 for comments about “you people”. The triumphalism of Cherry’s firing was like the Munchkins in Wizard of Oz celebrating the nasty death of The Wicked Witch. Freed from the bombastic Cherry the Corp was now free to lecture its viewers without interruption.

But that’s not quite how it worked out. Now when Tait and her Woke sensibilities show up it’s just a Brooklyn toff with a $5.4 million home pretending to understand Canada with her hand out. There’s no ornery guy left espousing Remembrance Day poppies and fighting in hockey to prove her Canadian bonafides.

It shows in the TV ratings for The National where audiences of two million are now in the low hundred-thousands (on a good night). Abandoned by traditional viewers uncomfortable with the NDP sensibilities of the news and current affairs departments, CBC has furiously sought to ensnare the younger demographics in its social media operation, (funded by starving its traditional services).

“@jkay Even in my left wing neighborhood, it’s hard to find anybody who watches the CBC. To the extent they still defend it, it’s the CBC they remember from 25 yrs ago, when Peter Gzowski was still around, instead of Carol Off hectoring us about how we’re all racists & garbage feminists.”

Good luck with that, especially if Pierre Poilievre wins a predicted crushing majority and acts on his stated goal of defenestrating the home of announcers who think the Truckers Convoy was a Putin plot. Again, Tait was at her most tone-deaf, calling Poilievre out publicly for his plans for the Corp.

She then doubled down on her gaffe, telling journalist Paul Wells— who’d been hand-selected for a media exclusive—“I understand that my remarks may have caused trouble for some of the journalists who have struggled to get access to this leader and others in the party, and I regret that, of course… Do I regret calling out the wrong of defunding the public broadcaster campaign? Absolutely not.”

She then reinforced her commitment  to producing more of the hectoring, ESG/ Woke crap that no one wants already. While Tait seems oblivious to losing her sinecure as the commuter CEO, most of the employees remaining after this latest cut will be updating their resumés and escape tapes.

No one expects that Poilievre will completely gut the Corp. There’s talk of a buffet of current services— local radio, weather, children’s programming and especially social media— surviving.

But the days when the Corp— like Norman Lear— could force its politics on an inert population are done. Maybe Taylor Swift can write a sing about the CBC’s plight. Wait, she already did: “Is It Over Now?“.

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Rahm Gone: We Should LIV So Long

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Rahm, Rahm, Rahm, you’ve been gone so long, you’ve been gone, gone, gone so long. — Chilliwack (sorta’)

Anyone who says they understand what’s happening in golf world doesn’t understand the golf world. To understate the case, these are not the best of times for the Tiger Woods-dominated PGA Tour. First, Tiger is hardly playing, and he’s still the biggest asset they’ve got. Second, Greg Norman’s LIV Tour is hemorrhaging money but still has a fortune to lure Jon Rahm. Third, NBC punted announcer Paul Azinger for not putting talcum on the backsides of players before he criticized them.

Fourth? Well, consider the past nine months:

After swearing a blood oath to players that he would never make any deals with the renegade LIV golf operation, commissioner Jay Monahan then cut his biggest loyalist, Rory McIlroy, off at the knees in June by announcing he’d secretly concluded a merger deal with the Saudi Arabian Investment Fund that underwrites LIV. (A deal that’s yet to be finally consummated.)

The pampered U.S. darlings of Tiger’s Tour were then eviscerated in September’s Ryder Cup in Italy, an event defined by Patrick Cantlay refusing to wear a team hat. Depending on whom you consult it either tore apart the U.S. dressing room or was no big whoop. (Cantlay lost his Goldman Sachs sponsorship soon after)

McIlroy— who almost came to blows with caddie Joe LaCava during the Ryder Cup— later announced that he was removing himself from his role as a dominant voice on the Tour Players Council. He claimed fatigue and frustration over dividing his concentration from golf itself. Jordan Spieth was announced as a short-term, very reluctant replacement.

That was followed by news that Monahan was out as commissioner just as soon as he completes the negotiations with LIV for the anticipated merger. A likely replacement will need the approval of the oft-injured Woods whose TV star power still dominates the Tour’s television ratings.

However Tiger’s game-but-lame performance last week on one good leg at his own event The Hero Challenge meant that his long domination of the Tour is probably dead and buried. As much as GolfChannel tries to put a smiley face on Woods playing once a month, there is no one to fill the celebrity gap that he leaves.

Which brings us to the worst news for the Tiger Tour: Spaniard Jon Rahm, arguably the No.1 player of the Tour, is taking his act to the dreaded LIV Tour— perhaps as soon as this week. After fervently committing to the Tour earlier this year, Rahm has apparently tired of the Woods/ McIroy cabal that dominates the Tour. Stories have circulated how he’s been frozen out of the south Florida cliques that dominate the Tour.

If he can get some adjustments made to LIV’s format he’ll be paid a reported a staggering $600 M to join his countryman Sergio Garcia’s team at LIV. Remember that Rahm doesn’t need money. He’s got tons. So this move would solely be about pride and reputation.

Perennial grouchy Golfchannel analyst Brandel Chamblee finds it distasteful to do business with the sheiks. “If it were offered to me by the mafia, or in this case at the behest of MBS/Saudis, knowing the money was derived from corruption and used for the benefit of some very bad people, the decision would be very simple. There is a difference between value and values.”

Not that he will disappear into the discotheque world of Phil Mickelson and Greg Norman. Rahm could still qualify for all the Tour majors next year while wearing short pants the rest of the time. The absence of the mercurial Spaniard at the rest of the Tour’s top-level events will leave a huge gap on a charisma-challenged tour. Current No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is about as exciting as The Weather Channel.

While LIV is still an unwatched work in progress, powered by the vast wealth of SA, a Rahm signing shows that the sheiks have no signs of  backing off their challenge to the comfy traditionalists of the Tour. As we see in Gaza, memories go back a long way in the Middle East, and slights aren’t forgotten easily.

Then came the news that the PGA and the R&A in Britain have finally announced that the juicing of golf balls will be stopped. Going forward balls used in competition will have five percent less distance, reducing the threat the supersonic balls pose to the traditional golf courses on Tour, which bombers have brought to their knees with driver/ wedge strategies.

This satisfies Woods, the Tour’s upper echelon and some golf-course architects. For the rest of humanity the decision to remove the most visceral thrill in the sport— knocking the daylights out of your driver—is less positive. Once again, Chamblee is leading the snark (although we agree with him this time). “I appreciate the governing bodies and what they mean to the game, but on the roll back issue they are not only out of touch with the game they govern, but the people that play it. It is a very small number of people that are in favour of a roll back…

“But take the fun out of the game ( FYI, long drives are fun), and demand falls. And, there is absolutely no reason to lengthen golf courses to challenge the best players. Lengthening golf courses is a knee jerk reaction that only makes the “problem” of distance gains worse.”

One small ray of sunshine for Canadians. The Tour has finally gotten the Canadian Open away from its slot the week before the U.S. Open. This year’s week-long celebration ion Nick Taylor’s 72-foot putt will go in the last week of May. Hopefully this will bring a better field. So we got that going for us.

Sign up today for Not The Public Broadcaster newsletters. Hot takes/ cool slants on sports and current affairs. Have the latest columns delivered to your mail box. Tell your friends to join, too. Always provocative, always independent.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via

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