From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Applying the Whitewash

I see Bell Canada has a new campaign to bring awareness to  the issue of mental health promising to donate five cents for every tweet using their #BellLetsTalk hashtag. While this is a vital conversation and I suppose Bell could be commended for this initiative I cannot go there.

You see as one of Canada's largest corporations and one that benefited mightily from years of state sanctioned monopoly, Bell is one of the largest recipients of public largesse in the form of corporate tax cuts. Tax cuts that have destroyed our capacity to address the issue of mental health and many other important issues facing Canadians.

Tax cuts that have lead to large deficits at every level of government serving as the pretext for cuts to the very services so vital to those suffering from mental health issues. Tax cuts that are part of a neoliberal agenda that has seen many lose their jobs and many many more fall deeply into debt, situations that in fact lead to mental health issues.

So excuse me if I find myself unimpressed and not taking part in this corporate whitewashing exercise even though I care deeply about this issue having lived with a father who suffered from mental illness.


  1. Thanks, Kev. I didn't know how to respond to a friends' enthusiasm about this campaign. Now I've got a link to post.

    Bell wants us to associate Bell products and services with "doing good", so we will buy more Bell products, so Bell shareholders will reap more profits.

    If I want to contribute to mental health services, I can do so without a corporate intermediary. And if Bell wants to contribute to mental health services, they can donate as much money as they like, without spending millions promoting how "good" they are.

    1. Hi Laura we are not alone, there were several posts on this campaign yesterday Here is a good one

      Why today is about Bell Canada, and not mental health

  2. I share your thoughts on this issue. Not only did Bell get a ton of free advertising for this gimmick, they also get the tax break resulting from the "donation' they eventually make. Also, and money that actually leaves their hands is money that their customers gave them in the first place. Talk about a scam.