OPINION: Thunder Bay: the pain, the opportunity, and the newspaper – by Michael Atkins (Northern Ontario Business – October 1, 2019)


This is about people, about poverty, about sharing a land and its resources, about the clash or the fusion of cultures in the North and building sustainability for our children.

Eight months ago, the Globe and Mail newspaper opened a bureau in Thunder Bay. They did so because, in December, 2018, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), a civilian oversight agency, concluded that the Thunder Bay Police Service was tainted by racist attitudes towards Indigenous people. The report was called “Broken Trust.”

A few days later, Senator Murray Sinclair, the former head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, submitted a report that accused the Thunder Bay Police Services Board of willful blindness to racism.

There have been unsettling examples of racism beyond the occurrence of nine sudden-death investigations by Thunder Bay police, which have been described as problematic. One of the most graphic was the throwing of a trailer hitch from a passing pickup truck at two Indigenous women walking along a residential street. One died six weeks later.

The decision by the newspaper to focus on Thunder Bay was no doubt difficult. There are bloody few new subscriptions to be found for the Globe and Mail in Thunder Bay. No doubt they have lost more than they have gained in the last six months.

The print copy, for years, arrived in the city a day late, hardly worth bothering about in the digital age. The demand for Thunder Bay news from the newspaper’s national readership is non-existent and, like the Toronto Star and Postmedia, the Globe is losing money – lots of it. Just last spring they had to downsize their staff yet again.

For the rest of this article: https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/columns/opinion-thunder-bay-the-pain-the-opportunity-and-the-newspaper-1723056

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