Media should be questioning Canada’s WEF ties, not smearing those who do

Sep 25, 2023

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre is supposedly peddling conspiracy theories by saying the Canadian government shouldn’t be beholden to global elites.

So say the “experts” on whom the Canadian Press relies in an article that itself is far more conspiratorial than anything Poilievre has said.

Poilievre has been openly critical to the World Economic Forum, pledging to ban ministers in a Poilievre government from attending WEF events. The Conservatives also said “it’s far past time we rejected the globalist Davos elites and bring home the common sense of the common people.”

Putting your own country’s interests first? Perhaps it’s radical to many of today’s politicians and journalists, but this is what most Canadians presumably expect of their leaders.

As Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said today:

“Not a single Albertan comes up to me and asks me when I’m flying off to Davos to meet behind closed doors with a bunch of billionaires who brag about how much control they have over governments.”

To the Canadian Press, the sensible critiques of the WEF offered up by Smith and Poilievre are “another sign that some conspiracy theories are moving from the fringes of the internet to mainstream thinking.”

Political science professor Duane Bratt mused in the article that “Poilievre’s embrace of conspiracy theories could be because he’s attempting to steal back votes from the PPC.”

Also featured in the Canadian Press story was politics professor Kawser Ahmed.

“Populism has driven politicians to feed into conspiracy theories because they need votes, and fear is a great motivator, said Ahmed,” the article said.

Ahmed, who happens to be a Liberal donor, told the Canadian Press that this sort of “misinformation” harms national security. The story didn’t bother to explain how.Subscribe

Canadians are expected to accept at face value the media’s assertion that the ones who question the WEF are the real problem and not the billionaires and politicians hanging out in the Swiss mountains.

Nowhere in the story was there any mention of WEF chairman Klaus Schwab’s boast of penetrating cabinets around the world. He was particular chuffed with Trudeau’s cabinet, of which he claimed “more than half” were WEF alumni.

The Canadian Press also didn’t see fit to mention Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s role on the WEF’s board of trustees.

The WEF says its trustees are “guardians of its mission and values, and oversee the Forum’s work in promoting true global citizenship.”

The WEF espouses radical ideas about upending the free-market systemabandoning property ownership, and tracking what you buy. A serious media would challenge this rather than accusing those who do of embracing conspiracy theories.

Some folks have pushed the accusations even further. TikToker and former Global News journalist Rachel Gilmore said Poilievre’s criticism of the WEF is “insane behaviour for any political leader and more reporters need to be brave enough to cover it.”

She took issue in particular with the bit about “the globalist Davos elites.”

“Globalist is an antisemitic dogwhistle used in conspiracy circles,” she wrote.

There are certainly antisemites who associate globalism with their own hateful delusions about Jews, but they do not get to claim and redefine the word “globalist.”

Any journalist who insists “globalist” is an antisemitic term is being disingenuous. CBC itself wrote about “globalist Davos” when Trump spoke there in 2018.


Criticizing WEF used to be the left’s domain. Far less now that progressive activism and the corporate world have so much in common.

The remaining left-wing objections to the World Economic Forum seem limited to the few honest environmental activists miffed about the jet-setting, limo-riding elites lecturing everyone about climate change.

Freeland herself once had harsh words for the super-elites she now counts among her chums. Evidently, she just had her nose pressed against the glass waiting to be invited in – which she was.

But I reiterate my point about what a serious and honest media should be doing. Freeland has key roles in both the Canadian government and the World Economic Forum, an organization with its own policy agenda and one which gets funding from the Canadian government. How does this not create a conflict of interest?

This is a legitimate question. I tried to ask it myself in Davos a few months back, but Freeland quietly kept walking.

In its most charitable light, the WEF is a massive cash-for-access scheme in which corporate money buys CEOs face time with politicians away from the prying eyes of those they’re supposed to be serving.

If the WEF weren’t influential, it wouldn’t be worth the money to be there.

Schwab sees the organization as much more than this. He’s modelled the WEF as a shadow United Nations with the addition of corporate money and influence. The WEF sets up numerous “multilateral rooms” to preside over unannounced meetings between private and public sector leaders.

Whatever my issues with the UN, it’s at least a nominally democratic institution. The WEF isn’t. Neither it nor Schwab have any official status, yet world leaders continue to kiss the ring.

What’s in it for Canada to play this game? Poilievre and Smith have evidently decided there’s nothing in it for us. There’s no conspiracy theory there – just some honesty.Subscribe

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