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January 28, 2018 | Guys

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

It was a routine. Read some headlines mid-day in the studio. Pop down to Bay Street with a crew to catch the day’s news. Write and edit a package or two in the afternoon. Go into makeup and head back to the studio for the big supperhour newscast.

For a few years, in another life, I was the on-air, talking head business guy at CTV. As gigs go, it was okay. But it was a routine. And I suck at routine.

During this time I wrote a book or two on money, finance and real estate. Sold a lot of them. Speaking requests started to materialize and financial companies called to hire me. Sweet. Before long I understood there was ten times the income to made hitting the road than sitting in front of the TV lights.

So I hired a well-known business journalist to sub for me when I was traveling (my employer was shocked, but eventually agreed) and went off to give talks in exotic places like Kelowna, Halifax, Van, Calgary, London, Victoria and Etobicoke. Soon it was 200 days a year on the road. No time for routine. So I quit CTV, started a television production company of my own, bought equipment, created a weekly business show and purchased network airtime. The whole thing, including a studio on Bay Street, was financed by the sale of commercial time within the show – which eventually became seven productions (including a dog show, of course).

So I dragged along a few CTV people who wanted adventure and weirdly believed in my vision. One of them was Paul Bliss, an ambitious and talented reporter that I eventually promoted to VP in charge of production. We worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the studio and on-air. Paul came to manage a lot of people and a lot of money. Big trust. Eventually I lost my mind again, got re-elected to Parliament, and sold the enterprise. Bliss drifted back to CTV.

The above is background for last week’s news that he had become one of the latest casualties of the #metoo movement. Bliss was accused by a former CTV staffer of an unwanted sexual advance after he stopped working with me. She wrote a blog 12 years following the event and, within hours, Bliss was suspended as a big shot reporter/bureau chief at the network, which is now owned by Bell Media.

This happened a day after Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown was accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour a decade earlier. Ironically, it was CTV that was about to break the story when he started to fight back. But hours later he relented and quit. I know Patrick Brown, too. Worked with him in Ottawa when we were both MPs. He was certainly a quiet guy in those days.

Without a doubt a lot of the manshaming currently going on is justified. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, even in lust and love. However the haste with which organizations are dumping people accused, but not proven, of wrongful behaviour is breathtaking. Allegations can come in a Tweet, a blog or a media tip and the consequences are immediate. The accused are sometimes left fighting shadows. A legal defence essentially impossible. Meanwhile, no job, no income, no career.

This is no defence of Bliss or Brown. They may deserve none. Just that I know both these guys, so their stories were of interest when they broke nationally. It makes every man reflect back on the past decades, scouring for memories of being a masher. And I guess that’s the point – to change basic behaviours now that a devastating form of economic punishment has been found outside of the justice system.

Let’s hope it is wielded with common sense. Men are still useful.

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Speaking of respect, on Friday the comment section quickly turned into a referendum on a person who had been banned twice, most recently for trying to post a profane picture. The debate pivoted on the issues of free speech vs censorship plus whether one individual seeking attention should be allowed to dominate discussion. Related was whether we should tolerate ageism (a constant theme of this poster’s words) when we weed out racism and other ugly isms.

This blog is tough to moderate. Anyone can come here, have a dump in the comment section, and meanwhile my name’s on the top. Keeping the nutbars at bay is a daily concern. Many are deleted. A handful of repeat offenders are banned. But everyone deserves common sense. This site should never turn into an echo chamber of conformity.

Short leash. Two comments per day for SCM. Or purgatory.

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January 28th, 2018

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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