Canadian Media Bias
An elitist, nationalist, bias dominates all areas of Canada’s paper of record.
On the front of last weekend’s Style section the Globe and Mail profiled Sonja Bata on turning 90. Business partner and wife of the deceased Thomas Bata, the Globe lauded Sonja for the “many contributions she has made to Canada”, including the Bata Shoe Museum and various other establishment “cultural, environmental and social causes.” The article touched on the shoemaker’s early history and described how she “traveled the world building a shoe empire – between 1946 and 1960, 25 new factories were built and 1700 Bata stores opened.”
While the three-page spread included an undated photo of Sonja and her husband on the “African continent”, it ignored how the Toronto-based shoe company took advantage of European rule to set up across the continent. By the end of the colonial era Bata had production or retail facilities in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Senegal, Congo, Tanzania, Rhodesia and elsewhere. In the 1940s and 50s, notes Shoemaker with a Mission, “the organization’s expansion was especially great in francophone Africa. As Mr. Bata himself noted, there was no country in that part of the world where his company was not established as the number-one supplier of footwear.” While “Mr. Bata” may not be the most objective source on the shoemaker, a government study just after independence found the company controlled 70% of the footwear market in British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania).
In a 1974 Saturday Night article titled “Canadians Too, Can Act like Economic Imperialists”, Steve Langdon describes the company’s operations in Kenya: “Bata seems to be undercutting decentralized rural development in Kenya, to be blocking African advance in other areas, and to be throwing its weight around politically — all at a handsome profit.” In a bid to subvert the establishment of a domestic competitor, the Toronto-based multinational wrote its overseas suppliers to discourage sales to its challenger and asked Kenyan government officials to intervene on its behalf.
Bata’s mechanized production methods squeezed out indigenous footwear producers all the while increasing imports of plastics and machinery, which came at the expense of local materials (leather) and employment. In the 1975 article Canada’s Relations with Africa Robert Matthews notes that Bata drained “money and opportunity from poor rural areas” to the benefit of a small group of locals and the Toronto head office.
When the post-independence Tanzanian government announced that it would acquire a 60 percent share of a multitude of major foreign firms Bata was the only hold out. The Toronto firm attempted to sabotage Tanzania’s push to acquire a controlling interest in the local company’s operations. In Underdevelopment and Nationalization: Banking in Tanzania James H. Mittelman explains: “Bata Shoes (a Canadian-based concern), for example, ran down stocks, removed machinery, supplied imperfect items, and later withdrew all staff, supposedly closing down for annual repairs! The Company refused to relinquish more than 49 per cent of its controlling interests, tried to set up a new wholesaling operation dependent on its firm in Kenya, and urged other foreign investors to fight.”
Bata’s aggressive reaction to Tanzania’s efforts aimed to dissuade other newly independent African countries from following a similar path. The shoemaker no doubt feared for its significant operations across the continent.
Bata received Canadian government support as well. In mid-1973 the Canadian High Commissioner in Nairobi visited Uganda to ask Idi Amin if he would attend the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting taking place in Ottawa. But, the primary objective of the high commissioner’s meeting was to convince Amin to reverse his nationalization of Bata. A cable published by WikiLeaks read: “CANADIAN HIGH COMMISSIONER OLIVIER MET WITH PRESIDENT AMIN JUNE 29 TO DISCUSS GOU TAKE-OVER OF BATA SHOE FIRM. AMIN REVERSED EARLIER DECISION AND ORDERED THAT A NEW PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT (51 PERCENT BATA, 49 PERCENT GOU) BE WORKED OUT.”
Through the 1970s Bata worked under the white regime in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). It broke sanctions against Rhodesia by exporting goods manufactured there to South Africa. Even more controversial, it operated in apartheid South Africa until the late 1980s. The company broke unions and blocked black workers from semiskilled, skilled and executive positions. Listed among the “hardline defenders of investment in South Africa” in Ambiguous Champion: Canada and South Africa in the Trudeau and Mulroney years, Bata faced an international boycott campaign. During this period Sonja Bata was quoted in the Canadian media justifying the company’s South African policy and Thomas Bata proclaimed “we expanded into Africa in order to sell shoes, not to spread sweetness and light.”
The Globe and Mail is exposing its elitist, nationalist, bias in ignoring Bata’s unsavory history.
Yves Engler’s latest book is Canada in Africa: 300 years of Aid and Exploitation.
No comments yet.
or go to
From the Archives
RT | April 17, 2013
American hospitals are financially discouraged from properly caring for their patients because, as a new study reveals, surgical complications and extra medical care result in higher profits generated from insurance companies.
The study’s results were published Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In an editorial accompanying the findings, the authors recommended changing the American payment structure to put an end to a system that rewards hospitals that provide poor care.
Without such reforms, hospitals need to look no further than their bottom line to see that there’s no incentive to improve.
“It’s been known that hospitals are not rewarded for quality,” said study author and Harvard School of Public Health director Atul Gawande. “But it hadn’t been recognized exactly how much more money they make when harm is done.
“We found clear evidence that reducing harm and improving quality is perversely penalized in our current health care system,” said study author Sunil Eappen, who serves as the chief medical officer of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. … continue
Aletho News Original Content
By Aletho News | January 9, 2012
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,811,005 hits
Follow Aletho News on TwitterMy Tweets
- CIA Tries to ‘Edit the Past’ With Release of Declassified Documents on Internet January 21, 2017
- Economist can’t handle the facts (about RT) January 21, 2017
- Ukraine May Have a New President in Waiting, But He’s Another Oligarch January 21, 2017
- CIA Documents Confirm Yom Kippur War Was An Act of Agression By Israel January 21, 2017
- British Fingerprints in Dirty Tricks Against Trump January 21, 2017
- Palestine: the International Community Screws Up Again January 21, 2017
- Why are US tech firms suddenly trying to restrict RT’s access to social media? January 20, 2017
- Israeli Border Police Executed Bedouin at Um al Hiran, Doctored Video Footage January 20, 2017
- Israeli Soldiers Open Fire On Homes In Southern Gaza, Strike Six-Year-Old Girl January 20, 2017
- What’s going on in Gambia? January 20, 2017
- About 7,500 Foreign Soldiers to Take Part in 2017 Drills in Ukraine January 20, 2017
- Too Many People in the World: Names Named January 20, 2017
- Western Media Whitewashes Rebel Destruction of Damascus Water Supply January 20, 2017
- Talks in Astana will give green light to the peace process in Syria January 20, 2017
- Trump brings optimism to Syrian peace talks January 20, 2017
- NGO: Israeli shooting of Palestinian teen in Tuqu ‘extrajudicial killing’ January 19, 2017
- Israeli police accused of cover-up over killing during Negev demolition raid January 19, 2017
- Leonard Peltier denied clemency or commutation by Obama January 19, 2017
- Pannell Beaters… January 20, 2017
- This week the issue is not Trump. It is ourselves. January 19, 2017
- United States: Regime change comes home January 18, 2017
- Negotiations in Astana are a timid ray of hope to stop the Syrian conflict January 17, 2017
- Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA’s Overt Threats against Trump January 17, 2017
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Book Review Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting email@example.com.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.