NordStar Capital; Torstar Corp; Metroland Media Group; More Subsidies & “Pandemic Bucks”

A recent tip: outlets like Niagara This Week are openly posting that some of their content is funded by the Government of Canada. While creepy, at least this bit of transparency is better than nothing. However, it turns out the rabbit hole goes much deeper.

1. Important Links

2. Nordstar Capital Bought Torstar

In May 2020, Nordstar Capital purchased Torstar, a media conglomerate. Torstar itself owned Metroland Media Group, which had some 80 publications primarily in Southern Ontario. When a company with so many titles to its name is sold, it makes for big news.

NordStar Capital, an entity created for the purchase and controlled by Bitove and Rivett, has entered into an agreement to acquire all of Torstar in a deal worth $60 million, after raising its original $52-million bid to counter a surprise offer from Canadian Modern Media Holdings, controlled by tech entrepreneur Matthew Proud and finance industry veteran Neil Selfe. The deal is expected to be finalized early this week.

A curious piece of information. Nordstar isn’t some established firm that wants to grow bigger. Instead, this corporation was created specifically for the purpose of buying Torstar. It explains why there is nothing of substance on Nordstar’s website.

Jordan Bitove helped launch the Toronto Raptors basketball team, and was part of the ownership consortium that built the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre). He also helped orchestrate Toronto’s 2008 Olympics bid, and currently sits on the Board of Trustees for SickKids Foundation. Previously, he was a Board Member of TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival,

Paul Rivett was President at Fairfax Financial, a global insurance holdings and value investing company, where he worked for nearly two decades. He now serves on the boards of GreenFirst Forest Products and Blue Ant Media. He used to on many boards, including as Vice-Chair of Fairfax Africa.

Now nothing about this is strange on its own. However, a number of connections arise that raise questions about what is really going on.

Bitove sits as a Director of the Sick Kids Foundation, as do many connected people. One is Walied Soliman, Chief of Staff for Conservative Party of Canada Leader, Erin O’Toole. Sick Kids gets significant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and O’Toole is a supporter of vaccines and lockdowns.

David Peterson, the former Premier of Ontario, helped found the Toronto Raptors with Bitove. Peterson was also part of Rogers Communications, which was once headed by now Toronto Mayor (and former Ontario Conservative Leader) John Tory. Both Bitove and Peterson helped push for a 2008 bid for the Olympics to be held in Toronto. He was nominated to head the 2015 Pan Am Games by then Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. He has also backed some interesting politicians such as: Michael Ignatieff, who now works for Open Society; and Brian Mulroney, now a Director for Blackstone.

Peterson’s family is still very connected to Liberal politics, both Federally, and in Ontario.

John Tory, the Toronto Mayor, is a strong proponent of reduced freedoms, and martial law in the City. Of course, it’s all done in the name of safety.

The Ontario Liberals seem quite content to allow “Conservative” Doug Ford to destroy Ontario with his martial law measures. In fact, they often whine that he isn’t strict enough.

There is more of course, but this should provide a good sample. It’s interesting, although not surprising, that none of these outlets owned here are too skeptical of these “pandemic measures”, and do little research on the topic.

3. Torstar/Metroland Media Group Empire

To get into specifics, just how large is this Metroland conglomerate? How many publications is it really responsible for? From their own website:

  • Ajax/Pickering News Advertiser
  • Alliston Herald
  • Almaguin News
  • Ancaster News
  • Arnprior Chronicle-Guide
  • Barrie Advance
  • Bracebridge Examiner
  • Bradford West Gwillimbury Topic
  • Brampton Guardian
  • Brighton Independent
  • Brock Citizen
  • Burlington Post
  • Caledon Enterprise
  • Cambridge Times
  • Carleton Place-Almonte Canadian Gazette
  • Clarington This Week
  • Collingwood Connection
  • Dundas Star News
  • East Gwillimbury Express
  • Erin Advocate
  • Etobicoke Guardian
  • Flamborough Review
  • Georgetown-Acton Independent & Free Press
  • Georgina Advocate
  • Glanbrook Gazette
  • Gravenhurst Banner
  • Grimsby Lincoln News
  • Guelph Mercury Tribune
  • Hamilton Mountain News
  • Huntsville Forester
  • Innisfil Journal
  • Kawartha Lakes This Week
  • Kemptville Advance
  • King Connection
  • Markham Economist & Sun
  • Midland Penetanguishene Mirror
  • Milton Canadian Champion
  • Mississauga News
  • The Muskokan
  • New Hamburg Independent
  • Newmarket/Aurora Era-Banner
  • Niagara This Week
  • Northumberland News
  • North York Mirror
  • Oakville Beaver
  • Orangeville Banner
  • Orillia Today
  • Oshawa/Whitby This Week
  • Parry Sound Beacon Star
  • Parry Sound North Star
  • Perth Courier
  • Peterborough This Week
  • Port Perry Star
  • Renfrew Mercury
  • Richmond Hill/Thornhill Liberal
  • The Sachem
  • Scarborough Mirror
  • Smiths Falls Record News
  • Stoney Creek News
  • Stouffville Sun-Tribune
  • Uxbridge Times-Journal
  • Vaughan Citizen
  • Wasaga/Stayner Sun
  • Waterloo Chronicle
  • Waterloo Region Record

Torstar owns all of this, plus the Toronto Star. So much for having variety in the media in Southern Ontario. Dozens of outlets, appearing to be independent, are all controlled by Metroland Media Group, which itself is owned by Torstar. And now, it’s all part of a corporation called Nordstar Capital, created just for this purchase.

4. Subsidies For Metroland Media Group

Almaguin News Sep. 4, 2015 $38,664
Almaguin News Jun. 1, 2016 $40,209
Almaguin News Jul. 4, 2017 $44,123
Almaguin News Apr. 1, 2018 $44,728
Arthur Enterprise News Sep. 4, 2015 $7,287
Arthur Enterprise News Jun. 1, 2016 $6,218
Arthur Enterprise News Jul. 4, 2017 $6,412
The Confederate (Mount Forest) Sep. 4, 2015 $30,932
The Confederate (Mount Forest) Jun. 1, 2016 $31,285
The Confederate (Mount Forest) Jul. 4, 2017 $30,157
The Erin Advocate Sep. 4, 2015 $24,837
The Erin Advocate Jun. 1, 2016 $23,578
The Erin Advocate Jul. 4, 2017 $22,045
Exeter Times Sep. 4, 2015 $40,275
Exeter Times Jun. 1, 2016 $43,428
Exeter Times Jul. 4, 2017 $42,593
Listowel Banner Jun. 1, 2016 $39,562
Listowel Banner Jul. 4, 2017 $41,847
Listowel Banner Apr. 1, 2018 $39,300
Meaford Express Jun. 1, 2016 $19,468
Meaford Express Jul. 4, 2017 $17,520
The Minto Express Jun. 1, 2016 $12,288
The Minto Express Jul. 4, 2017 $12,409
New Hamburg Independent Sep. 4, 2015 $35,937
New Hamburg Independent Jun. 1, 2016 $36,894
New Hamburg Independent Jul. 4, 2017 $38,313
New Hamburg Independent Apr. 1, 2018 $35,263
Parry Sound North Star Sep. 4, 2015 $38,082
Parry Sound North Star Jun. 1, 2016 $38,108
Parry Sound North Star Jul. 4, 2017 $41,409
Parry Sound North Star Apr. 1, 2018 $39,686
St. Mary’s Journal Argus Sep. 4, 2015 $28,932
St. Mary’s Journal Argus Jun. 1, 2016 $29,879
St. Mary’s Journal Argus Jul. 4, 2017 $29,948
Walkerton-Herald Times Jun. 1, 2016 $26,762
Walkerton-Herald Times Jul. 4, 2017 $27,105
Walkerton-Herald Times Apr. 1, 2018 $26,657
Wingham Advance Times Jun. 1, 2016 $21,574.
Wingham Advance Times Jul. 4, 2017 $21,562
Wingham Advance Times Apr. 1, 2018 $19,125

This is not exhaustive, but should be a good representation of the kinds of grants received. Overall, they date back to 2010.

Interestingly, Niagara This Week doesn’t appear anywhere when searching for the Government subsidies. However, since there is that disclaimer in the newspaper, it’s logical to assume that they are getting money from some other channel. Given the new subsidies that are currently available, the sources simply shifted.

Since Torstar can apply for new subsidies effective 2019, there is no need for its numerous publications to apply in a piecemeal fashion.

5. The Media Is Not Loyal To The Public

Truth is essential in society, but the situation in Canada is worse than people imagine. In Canada (and elsewhere), the mainstream media, periodicals, and fact-checkers are subsidized, though they deny it. Post Media controls most outlets in Canada, and many “independents” have ties to Koch/Atlas. Real investigative journalism is needed, and some pointers are provided.

(1) Unifor, Media, In Bed With Gov’t, $595M Subsidies
(2) True North Canada A Fake Charity, Subsidized By Public
(3) Government Subsidizes Postmedia To Ensure Positive Coverage
(4) Postmedia Subsidies/Connections, Lack Of Real Journalism
(5) Aberdeen Publishing Takes Handouts, Ignores Real Issues
(6) More Periodicals Taking Grants, Parroting Gov’t Narrative
(7) Subsidized Fact-Check Outlets Run By Political Operatives
(8) Groups Funded By Tax Dollars To Combat “Misinformation”
(9) Even More Subsidies Canadian Outlets Are Dependent On
(10) Media, Banks, CU, CDA Emergency Wage Subsidies (CEWS)
(11) Advertising And Marketing In Promoting “Pandemic” Narrative
(12) NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR Grants In “Confidence”; Mandatory Vaxx

(1) Conservative Inc. Media Avoids Hard Questions On “Pandemic”
(2) Global Canada Wants Lockdowns, Lilley Omit Gates Funding
(3) The “Debate” With Brian Lilley, Anthony Furey
(4) DisinfoWatch Has Ties To Atlas Network/Koch, Liberal Party
(5) Media, Facebook, Google, Tech Collusion To Create “Trust” Networks

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