Rafe Mair says CBC Radio fired him as a commentator

For many years, I worked on the CBC Early Edition show, and I have fond memories of my colleagues there.

But it's been a very long time since I've been employed at the Mother Corp., which leaves me free to comment on the newest controversy.

I just read on Rafe Mair's Facebook page that he has been fired as a Monday morning political commentator.

He's claiming that his dismissal was "a result of political pressure from the Clark government".

Mair, a fiery former Social Credit cabinet minister and ardent environmentalist, was in many respects an ideal analyst.

He had worked inside government, so he was in a position to know how politicians and bureaucrats try to snow the public.

He's also somewhat unpredictable, often criticizing the B.C. Liberals but sometimes calling out the NDP.

If I were to put Mair on an ideological spectrum, I would describe him as one of those middle-of-the-road Greens, albeit with a strong dislike of anything that he thinks jeopardizes the natural environment. That includes fish farms and run-of-river power projects.

These days with the exception of David Suzuki's The Nature of Things and the Quirks and Quarks radio show, the green movement doesn't get a ton of airtime on CBC.

Meanwhile, viewers of the National are sometimes subjected to the climate-science denying rubbish of Rex Murphy and the tar-sands-defending Bruce Anderson on the At Issue panel.

And that's what made Mair such an asset to the CBC. I heard things from him that none of the others would say on the airwaves. And Mair's definitely not a political lackey.

Unfortunately, that's what some of the political analysis on radio shows has devolved into. Complete partisans—such as NDP president Moe Sihota and B.C. Liberal propagandist Suzanne Anton—never criticize their own side, but are quick to slam the others.

This stands in sharp contrast to how Mair approached the job of being on the radio.

I'll miss his presence on Monday mornings. And because he won't be there, I'm going to be a little more likely to flip the dial to CKNW, News 1130, or Co-op Radio because without his outbursts, there will be far fewer surprises for the listeners.




Aug 23, 2012 at 9:41pm

Wow - that is really disappointing news. I really loved hearing the political panel on CBC and was always interested in Rafe's take on things. I've just lost interest now. Ever since they got Anton on there it's been hard - she's like fingernails on a blackboard.

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Aug 23, 2012 at 10:10pm

We owe a debt of gratitude to Rafe Mair and Gordon Wilson, for spear-heading the opposition to the Charlottetown Accord during the run-up to the Canadian referendum of 1992. I was a regular listener and caller to Rafe's show on CKNW, back then. I didn't know that he had a radio show on CBC. I never listen to CBC radio, if I can help it. Smug sanctimony is annoying.

"Meanwhile, viewers of the National are sometimes subjected to the climate-denying rubbish of Rex Murphy and the tar-sands-defending Bruce Anderson on the At Issue panel."

When did Rex Murphy (one of my favorite columnists) deny we're affected by the climate? (Those who vilify people who question are the close-minded ones.)The "tar-sands" is correctly called the OIL sands. Any rational person would defend the oil sands as a generator of employment and a source of tax revenue for the country. The Alberta (and Saskatchewan) oil fields employ Canadians from every province.

Rex Murphy is one of my favourite columnists.

I'm sure there are other radio stations that would jump at the chance to have Rafe Mair as a program host. His tell-it-like-it-is approach is refreshing. I hope he keeps writing, too. There aren't many like him.

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Mark Fornataro

Aug 23, 2012 at 10:24pm

What a shame. Rafe was really worth listening to and a major reason I tuned in to the Monday panel; he helped keep things honest and seemed to have an attitude of let the chips fall where they may- which is a courageous quality more commentators should have. Who will they replace him with; Stephen Smart? CBC just keeps on dumbing down the content. You can hear it on Radio 2 and now on the watered down political panel.Years ago journalist Ben Metcalf was a strong,outspoken environmentalist the CBC dumped. I guess the tradition continues.

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ex-Haney guy

Aug 23, 2012 at 10:26pm

It's really over now as Stacy says
"Wow - that is really disappointing news. I really loved hearing the political panel on CBC and was always interested in Rafe's take on things. I've just lost interest now. Ever since they got Anton on there it's been hard - she's like fingernails on a blackboard"
Not even the CBC is "left" anymore. Fuck!

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Aug 23, 2012 at 10:52pm

What! Rafe is fired by the CBC? For siding with Christie Clark! Something doesn't smell right. Rafe Mair, Christie Clark, the P.G.E. and CBC don't even belong in the same sentence. This takes a bit of thinking over.

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Aug 23, 2012 at 10:55pm

What a shame. Rafe was not afraid to speak his mind and that was refreshing, and disarmingly honest. I didn't know that Anton had joined the panel and that alone has rendered that panel so much more clinical. We need more truth and not more prescriptive BS.

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out at night

Aug 23, 2012 at 10:58pm

The CBC can go to hell. They really have gone to the right and it's evident in many different ways (some outlined in this article). Oh sure they'll always wear the cloak of liberal fuzzy-wuzziness, but I'm noticing more and more instances of soft-balling the federal conservatives and avoiding the many disgraces of our own BC government. I'm disgusted by this latrest outrage. Shame on CBC.

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Eric Hartmann

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:08pm

No Rafe Mair on CBC? Their listenership is about to take a dive. Rafe was the only one who told it like it is. Whose gonna keep the panel honest now? Moe S. ? Yeah right. He's got a great track record. Not! CBC is supposed to try to keep things objective, especially when it comes to politics. Oh well, guess thats lost. Pressure from the Clark government? Really. Will Christy eventually migrate back to radio after she's kicked out in May of 2013, or sooner if the Libs are smart? If so, then I can make sure not to listen to her. What a joke.

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David Hauka

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:43pm

I was wondering where Rafe was - this is very sad news indeed. "The Early Edition's" political panel is pretty pointless without him for all the reasons you mention, plus one more: his kindness. I seldom heard Rafe be anything other than kind in his deportment when delivering often strong statements and replies to the other panelists. As for Moe and Suzanne, I seldom listen to them anymore - they are always predictable and, for all their knowledge, unsophisticated.

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Aug 24, 2012 at 5:37am

The point to years worth of nickel and dime budget cuts, is that quality people look elsewhere, and yes men stay put.

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