The CBC’s Coverage of the Freedom Convoy (2023)

Letters to Government

Catherine Tait

CEO, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

P.O. Box 500, Station “A”

Toronto, ON M5W 1E6

Dear Ms. Tait,

I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Christopher Balkaran, creator and host of the Open Minds with Christopher Balkaran Podcast ( As a concerned Canadian citizen, I am writing to you to express my thoughts and observations regarding the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) coverage of the 2022 Freedom Convoy Protests. Before delving into my concerns, I want to acknowledge the challenging task that CBC faces daily in covering the diverse array of issues in our vast nation. From remote Indigenous communities’ drinking water quality to Cabinet Shuffles by the Prime Minister, CBC shoulders a significant responsibility in delivering unbiased and comprehensive news to Canadians.

I also commend the CBC’s foray into new forms of digital media, including the Podcasting space. Embracing modern platforms and technologies is essential to ensure the continued engagement of audiences and the adaptability of news organizations in today’s dynamic media landscape.

However, my concerns arise from the CBC’s recent coverage of the Freedom Convoy Protests, where I have noticed a troubling pattern of negative reporting. On’s website alone, there are approximately 1,740 news-related articles, all seemingly portraying the protests in a negative light. The main themes that emerge from these articles point to potential issues in the reporting process:

  • Selective Reporting: Many articles seem to focus predominantly on the negative aspects of the Freedom Convoy, such as arrests, breaches of bail conditions, or human rights abuses, while providing less coverage to the protesters’ viewpoints or motivations.
  • Framing: Some articles frame the protest as disruptive or harmful to the city, emphasizing its cost to taxpayers or the impact on residents, potentially influencing readers’ opinions on the movement.
  • Political Perspectives: Certain articles mention the political affiliations of individuals involved in the protest or interactions between political figures and the convoy, which could imply a bias towards or against certain political ideologies.
  • “Expert Opinions”: Numerous articles cite experts who criticize the Freedom Convoy or describe it negatively, possibly contributing to a biased narrative.
  • Timing: The timing of publishing certain articles appears to align with specific events or political developments, raising concerns about potential agenda-setting and bias.

Such biased reporting has the potential to cause great damage to our public discourse and hinder productive discussions about important issues in our country. As a public broadcaster with a significant reach and influence, CBC’s role in fostering an informed and objective national conversation cannot be overstated.

I must bring to your attention that the CBC’s coverage does not seem to align with the sentiment of a considerable portion of Canadians, as revealed by an Ipsos poll completed in 2022. The poll indicates that nearly 46% of Canadians sympathize with the trucker convoy protest movement that opposes COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. Even more noteworthy is that 61% of Canadians aged 18 to 34 expressed support for their cause. While 54% of respondents believe that the protesters’ actions and statements are wrong, the fact remains that a significant segment of the population finds their frustration legitimate and worthy of sympathy.

In light of these concerns, I would like to offer some recommendations that I believe can help enhance the integrity and objectivity of CBC’s news coverage:

  • Diverse Editorial Review Process: Establish a robust editorial review process that involves multiple editors and journalists with diverse perspectives. Encourage open discussions and debates about potential biases before publishing.
  • Fact-Checking and Verification: Emphasize the importance of fact-checking and verifying information from multiple sources before publishing any story. Avoid relying solely on single sources that may have inherent biases.
  • Diverse Newsroom: Aim for a diverse newsroom with journalists from various backgrounds, opinions, and experiences. A diverse team is more likely to bring different viewpoints and challenge potential biases in reporting.
  • Training and Education: Provide ongoing training for journalists and editors on recognizing and addressing bias in reporting. Offer workshops and seminars that focus on ethical journalism and impartiality.
  • Transparency: Be transparent with readers about the news organization’s policies and practices. Disclose potential conflicts of interest and be clear about the sources used in reporting.
  • Avoid Loaded Language: Use neutral language and avoid loaded terms that may sway readers’ opinions. Present the facts objectively and allow readers to form their own conclusions.
  • Inclusive Reporting: Ensure that stories represent a wide range of perspectives and voices. Seek out diverse sources and avoid over-reliance on a limited set of experts or commentators.
  • Encourage Feedback: Encourage readers to provide feedback on news coverage and actively listen to their concerns. Determine an appropriate method for thoughtful conversations to be left on articles (I noticed the comments section was turned off on many of these articles). Addressing reader feedback can help improve reporting standards.

I believe that the CBC has a unique and critical role in shaping Canada’s public discourse. As a trusted source of news for millions of Canadians, it is vital to provide unbiased and comprehensive coverage of significant issues such as the Freedom Convoy Protests. I am genuinely concerned that the current coverage falls short of this objective.

I would be grateful for an opportunity to discuss these matters further and understand the CBC’s perspective on the concerns raised in this letter. I am hopeful that by working together, we can improve the integrity of Canada’s news coverage and contribute to a more informed and inclusive national dialogue.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 



Christopher Balkaran