It has come to the attention of Midnight Sun News that the Yukon division of Idle No More has issued boycott letters for advertisers in our publication, in response to an opinion column from one of our British Columbia affiliates, Dean Skoreyko.
This attempt to stifle free speech and freedom of the press is, quite simply, an intimidation and bullying tactic. Advertising and publication content are unrelated. Advertising does not dictate content, and content does not reflect the opinions of advertisers. This is a standard approach in the print media industry.
It is very unfortunate that Yukon’s Idle No More is attempting to make this link, particularly after they have been invited to submit a response to the column in question, which they obviously do not agree with.
Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are ingrained in Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Midnight Sun News continues to uphold these values, while ensuring that the content that we publish is not racist or degrading. Opinion columns are exactly that, opinions. Some will agree with those opinions and some will not, but we are a richer territory for being free to express and read a wide variety of divergent opinions on important issues.
Attacking a publication’s advertisers because of an opinion piece is uncalled for, and we find it concerning that Idle No More Yukon has refused to discuss their concerns with Midnight Sun News prior to taking this approach.
Midnight Sun News represents a broad cross-section of Yukoners. One of our core contributors is First Nation. Another works with numerous First Nations on environmental health projects. We have published a profile on an Independent Yukon First Nation MLA as well as an article on the Aboriginal People’s Television Network. First Nations are an important part of the Yukon’s society, and that has been recognized by us.
We find this situation very unfortunate, and we hope our advertisers and the general public do not suffer from the aggressive bully tactics of the Yukon Idle No More movement. Midnight Sun News will continue to bring the news of the Yukon to the people of the Yukon, unfiltered.
Krysta Meekins, publisher