About this site

The mainstream media has been reporting for weeks that a spontaneous, non-partisan movement spawned on Facebook in response to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s prorogation of Parliament.

If the media are to be believed, this is what has happened: in exercising the constitutionally-granted powers bestowed upon the PM, which have been used many many times in the past; Stephen Harper has committed a grievous breach of democracy and in doing so, heralded a new level of political activism among previously apathetic Canadians.

Christopher White, creator of the Anti-Prorogation Facebook group in question, has gone on record many times claiming that this entire movement is non-partisan. The NoProrogue.ca site makes sure to mention its non-partisanship at every opportunity.

The Ottawa Citizen, CTV, the Globe & Mail, and countless other media outlets across the country explicitly advertised the rallies as non-partisan in the days leading up to them. “Grassroots Fury Greets Shuttered Parliament” read the Toronto Star headline on January 5.

In promoting these rallies as non-partisan, the media completely forgot (or perhaps purposely decided not) to investigate who exactly was planning these rallies. While it is not implausible that a series of like-minded rallies could spontaneously sprout up in this age of social media, it was highly curious that a purely non-partisan “grassroots” movement was so well-coordinated and organized.

What really piqued our interest though, was the high-quality, mass-produced signs that magically appeared all across the country on January 23. In rallies from Victoria to Halifax, protesters held the exact same 8.5 x 11 glossies. How did a bunch of grassroots rallies, with no political affiliations, manage to orchestrate such an impressive feat? Even more peculiar, was that these signs had the NDP logo on them.

It was also a little odd that the leaders of the opposition parties were speaking at the Ottawa “non-partisan” rally.

As journalism students, we feel the media left some gaping holes in what is a landmark story, and possibly even a defining moment in Canadian democracy. So in between classes, we decided to do some quick investigating of our own.

What we found shocked us.

When checking out who was involved in organizing the rally here in Hamilton, it was clear a young activist named Shilo Davis had taken a leadership role. Indeed, she was the creator of many of the Anti-Prorogation sub-groups on facebook across the country. As a key organizer of these supposed non-partisan rallies, she must not have any political connections.

I mean, these events are nonpartisan right?

A two-second Google search revealed that Ms. Davis might have ulterior motives for organizing these many events.  She recently lost the NDP Nomination in the riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.   Indeed, we even found these nice pictures of her wearing an NDP pin and handing out literature for an NDP club. For us this was a RED FLAG. If such a key player from these non-partisan events was so clearly an NDP Partisan, then which other facts had the media omitted?

Using simply Google and Facebook, we were able to discover that over twenty of the rallies were organized by people who were equally (or even more) partisan.  Not only were these rallies not non-partisan, but organizers in most of the major cities had deep connections to and long histories with either the Liberals or the NDP!

We decided to put this information on the internet as a resource tool for journalists who may wish to investigate further into these rallies. With the limited time and resources that we have, we can only imagine what real investigative journalists might come up with!

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We also want to make it very clear that we are not for or against prorogation, we simply believe that the Canadian public deserves the truth. And the media clearly fumbled this one big time.

The Evidence.