Edward Prutschi on Panel Roundtable

Edward Prutschi on Panel Roundtable

Edward Prutschi, the official NewsTalk 1010 legal analyst and partner at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman criminal law firm, was on a panel with Jerry Agar to discuss various topics affecting Toronto.

One of the topics that was discussed was, should Toronto extend bar hours? Will these extended bar hours have a negative effect on Toronto’s residents and residential areas? Toronto city council passed a motion to extend bar hours, which allows them to start serving alcoholic beverages at 7 a.m. for the final events of the Sochi Winter Olympic games. The City of Toronto gives the city council the power to extend alcohol service hours during municipal, provincial, national or international significance. The city council has decided that these games, especially the games being played by the Canadian men’s and women’s national hockey teams, are nationally important and do qualify and warrant the extended bar hours.

With the exception of Toronto, the Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission turned down individual applications to allow liquor service before the normal 11 a.m. time in the rest of the province. The issue of extending alcohol hours, after the Olympic Games in Sochi is finished, and whether it will benefit Toronto and is prudent from a variety of standpoints is discussed by the panel.

Another topic that was discussed by the panel was Peter Mansbridge, the popular and long-standing CBC News anchor, who made a paid speech to petroleum producers in regards to oil-sands development. This subject came to the limelight after media watchers have suggested that it is morally wrong for journalists to accept money from groups or industries that are the subject of their reports. Doing so, they argue, affects their ability to be impartial and unbiased in their reporting.

Mansbridge defended himself and said that in his paid speech, he never promoted oil-sands development or opposed it. The anchor also said that he gives over a dozen speeches a year on various topics, and about half of them are unpaid. Mansbridge also said that CBC management is always aware of and approve his speaking engagements and they knew beforehand how much he receives.  The panel discusses whether Mr. Mansbridge speaking engagement conflicted with his role as a reporter.

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