Baffin business group: CBC food mail piece off the mark?

The Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce — or some of its members — got pretty nervous after hearing the May 17 CBC National story on Ottawa’s proposed revamp of the food mail program.

The essence of the story was that Ottawa will take the food mail program away from Canada Post and redirect a nutritious food subsidy to the big three northern retail chains.

CBC did not provide an attribution for this assertion of fact. (That’s the part of the story where you tell your reader or listener about where you got your information.)

The BRCC says they “made some enquiries as to the accuracy of the report.” Presumably, they directed those enquiries to the federal government.

I can understand the nervousness. A policy aimed only at the big three retailers does not appear to acknowledge small but important independent retailers like Newviq’vi, Arctic Ventures and Baffin Canners. And it’s understandable that a business group might worry such a policy might bar any new entrants to the market.

In their press release (see below,) the BRCC doesn’t say who they talked to, but they do say they have “been assured that the proposed changes to the program are not as portrayed in that report.”

The apparent lesson? When you come across an unattributed story, beware.

In any event, this will all be cleared up May 21 — tomorrow — at a press conference in Iqaluit with Chuck Strahl and Leona Aglukkaq.

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