Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It would be too easy for those of us with 12 cents in our pockets to gloat at the demise of the Asper empire known as Canwest Global.

In truth, the whole affair is sad.

Watching the sons destroy the good and clever work of the father is hardly a new story, even here in Canada, where Eatons, Woodwards and Seagrams, among others, leap quickly to mind.

Arrogance and vanity are often at the core of these tales, and I think it is fair to say that these qualities have been noticeable here.

But in the end, it is sad to witness the death of a kind of family - the family enterprise. It is a type of living organism that, when it fails, is like a family brought to its premature end by divorce.

It is also sad to see the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of employees who have suffered and will suffer with loss of jobs and incomes.

I was one of 550 people "terminated" in late October 2008 because of the Asper financial woes. At the time I was being paid $200 to write a Province newspaper column every few weeks. Boo hoo.

Sadder still is what impact all of this may have on the city of Winnipeg.

The Aspers are at the corner of almost every activity in civic life. Their flagship building anchors the redevelopment of Portage and Main. They own sports teams, ball parks and community centres and they have been the lead backers of the rich cultural life that still thrives in a city with major social and economic problems.

May the bleeding not continue too long into the night and may the people involved not suffer wounds too deep.


Jeff Taylor said...

Hi David, I really enjoyed your blog about CanWest. You showed great maturity, restraint, and compassion for all involved. Having never worked for them, my only real connection over the years has been watching and or reading their product. I'm always saddened when anything "Canadian" goes away, even if I never had much to do with them. They say change is good. Probably is in the long run. I just hope that the various "faces" of Canada (and I don't mean people, but traditions, companies, architecture, etc.) don't become too "faceless" with changes that continue to come our way.

Leah said...

Had CanWest printed the Truth about this government from the very beginning, rather than enabling their corruption and bad behavior...had they actually served the PEOPLE instead of their corporate/government friends, I doubt they'd be remotely close to the situation they're in. I stopped buying/watching their products long ago for that reason.

If they can find it within themselves to change their ways, I'd happily subscribe to them again as would many others I'm sure. Sadly, they forgot who kept them afloat, and their reason for calling themselves journalists. I won't miss them.