Red River College Vice-President Cathy Rushton invented complaint from Vic Toews to kaibosh TGCTS appeal to return to KICK-FM
Last year, Red River College vice-president Cathy Rushton spread false allegations that Mayor Sam Katz had complained to former president Jeff Zabudsky about Marty Gold.
"I know Sam Katz called Jeff a couple of years ago about attacks" on The Great Canadian Talk Show, she wrote on August 12th to two officials who served with her on the Board of Kick-FM.
On September 30th, two fellow vice-presidents of RRC also read how the College had "received complaints from Sam about him in the past" in an email sent by Rushton.
The only problem was, it was not true.
But a negative attitude of RRC officials towards The Great Canadian Talk Show was what resulted.
Weeks later another "complaint" to the College, this time from Free Press editor Margo Goodhand, was never forwarded to station manager Rick Baverstock for verification and investigation. Instead, with the "suggestion" of her new boss Stefanie Forsyth backing her, listeners of campus radio found out how big Cathy Rushton really was on censorship. After the show was canceled, she intended to keep it that way.
As it turns out, Sam Katz was not the only high-profile politician Cathy Rushton talked about about in relation to TGCTS.
And this time, it was to more than just 2 fellow Kick-FM Board members and 2 fellow Red River College administrators.
At the Annual General Meeting on December 9th, Marty Gold and his producer appealed the action of the "Executive Committee" in canceling the show to the full Board and stated their case. Afterwards, the Kick-FM Board, with 3 new members able to vote for the first time, held their regular Board meeting over lunch.
Rushton, legally prohibited from continuing on the Board after that day, was faced with the possibility that the student reps and other board members might actually consider
- the pleas of community members who had taken time to appear on 3 days notice and voice their support for re-instatement;
- the possibility the show's growing ad base could continue to help cut the station's $140,000 debt to RRC; and
- the evidence of a valid contract contained in emails from Rick Baverstock to Marty Gold in 2006.
With only 3 members of the Executive Committee present, the rest of the Directors of Cre Comm Inc. could have reversed their undocumented decision to cancel TGCTS, and by a majority vote put The Great Canadian Talk Show back on the 92.9Kick-FM airwaves.
Midway in the discussion about the presentations and the appeal for re-instatement, Rushton once again pulled the politician card out to to play against Marty Gold.
According to the minutes of the meeting:
Cathy Rushton had a complaint registered in the summer about Marty from Vic Toews’ office, and she would like to have a discussion with the Board about it.
But now, for the second time in a week, Cathy Rushton is faced with an embarassing problem.
There are no records in the files of the College secretary, of President Forsyth, or or of vice-president Rushton containing this alleged complaint, and according to the federal Treasury Board president himself, there was never any complaint made whatsoever.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:11 AM
(Senior official) has advised me that he is unaware of any complaint coming from any of my offices regarding your conduct.
I certainly made no complaint personally.
I appreciate your efforts to get to the bottom of this issue.
When challenged last week, Rushton certainly scrambled to explain away the false claims she made about Sam Katz.
On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 2:47 PM, Cathy Rushton
Thank you for your email of January 31, 2011. I appreciate this opportunity to set the record straight about the matter of the alleged complaints from Mayor Katz.
In mid-January, when I returned from vacation, I became aware that I might have been confused about the alleged complaints from the Mayor. I contacted Jeff Zabudsky who reminded me that I was likely thinking about a phone call from the Mayor about a different (but somewhat similar) matter. When I realized my error, I wrote the chair of the KICK-FM board David Wiebe to correct my mistake and asked him to set the record straight at their next meeting. I have also spoken to my internal colleagues who received the original emails to correct my error. Other than the KICK-FM Board members, no one else external was party to my incorrect assertion.
This was an honest mistake and was not intended to harm you or anyone else in any way. I apologize for my error.
I would appreciate it if you could include this email in a future TGCTS blog so I can set the record straight publicly.
Catherine Rushton MBA FCA
VP Finance & Administration
Red River College
Before any email from Cathy Rushton was going to be published, there was the formality of reminding her to set the record straight the proper way.
Your excuse is not believable and your attempt at mitigation is grossly insufficient.
The toxic, prejudicial and defamatory statements you made did not come from a silly freshman. You were the acting president and CEO of Red River College when you made them, and thereby in a position of influence and authority, which you used to damage my reputation and to poison the College against me in your effort to get me fired.
That is the context of your false claim that the Mayor himself complained about me.
The process to correct the erroneous record you created is clearly laid out.
I expect you to track down every copy, electronic and otherwise, of the email you sent and to attach to each and every one 1) this email, 2) the mayor's letter and 3) your apology. You will notify me when this is done and I will have the Ombudsman verify the proper attachments have been made.
I also want a list with the names of everyone you ever repeated this false claim to, verbally or otherwise, internal to Red River College or external.
Did you think I would be satisfied with your word that you phoned the people on your email list and told them " Remember what I said about the Mayor and Marty Gold, well, forget it "? I've learned not to trust a syllable from anyone connected with Red River College regarding The Great Canadian Talk Show.
With that in mind I would like to see what your wrote to David Wiebe regarding this matter so please forward it to me.
Yet Rushton continued to refuse to correct the record; a strange response indeed considering she is the Chief Privacy Officer for Red River College, and it is her duty to enforce the Act which requires her to correct a false record so when asked...
I am sorry that you don't believe me but I assure you that I am telling the truth. I made a mistake in two internal emails and I regret that. Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. The incorrect information was not widely circulated until you published it on your blog yesterday.
Publishing my email from yesterday on your blog would publicly disclose my error and apology and set the record straight.
I will forward my email to David Wiebe to you under separate cover.
It took two weeks after discovering this "mistake" for Rushton to contact Marty Gold, and only after the false allegation of complaints from the highest level at City Hall was exposed on the TGCTS blog.
According to Mayor Sam Katz on Friday Feb. 4th, Rushton had not yet contacted him to apologize.
Vic Toews better get in line.
Still to come, as promised last week: Cathy Rushton was a lot bigger on censorship than she first let on.
RELATED post from Graham Hnatiuk, and a reader response to him:
" Last week following my blog post, Cathy Rushton had emailed me about this "mistake" and begged me, a blogger, to "correct the record." Since obviously the blogosphere is an official place to make such corrections.
Rushton won't actually correct the record with the College. No no, she's more concerned about what I, Progressive Winnipeg, write about her instead. And for a moment I was willing to at least consider her "mistake" as true, but TWO different politicians? This, a mistake is not."
"at Red River College, it is not about contributing to society by holding government to account in the interest of fair government, it is about what you can get out of them to pay your mortgage in River Heights."