Gas Busters Part #17: Globe and Mail Refuses to Acknowledge Plagiarism

What follows is an email exchange with the Globe and Mail wherein I offer to resolve my complaint about their plagiarism. The response from the Globe and Mail focuses on facts irrelevant to their plagiarism, fails to acknowledge that I alerted both Howlett and Waldie to the issue of ratepayers being on the hook for amounts calculated using interest rates in excess of the criminal rate of interest, fails to acknowledge the previously admitted use by the Globe and Mail of the unique documents I made available to them and the general public in searchable form, falsely states that they did not use my research, and fails to acknowledge the harm caused by the Globe and Mail’s plagiarism of my research and publications.

The emails reproduced below are faithful to the original formatting and content.

Earlier today, I wrote to the Globe and Mail as follows:

1:27 PM

to Karen, Paul
I have indicated to you by phone a few minutes ago in response to your call that I will not be communicating with the Globe and Mail on this matter except by way of written correspondence.

We don’t have to fight about this.

You should acknowledge my research, which you have acknowledged in private communication that you used. In private communication on the 25th, you indicated as follows:
Howlett, Karen
Oct 25

to me
You have done a great service, by the way, in posting these docs.
In response, I provided by email on the 25th some background on how I have been collecting donations to make the information available.
Your article today has harmed me financially.
I also indicated to Karen during phone conversations that I object to the repeated practice of the Toronto Star — specifically John Spears — in stealing my research by using it without acknowledgement.
I’d be happy to provide you with data from Google Analytics and Piwik showing that your claim is wrong when you say “attracting dozens of visitors to his website”.
I recognize that you worked very hard on this story. You should recognize that I have too.
If you move promptly and fairly to correct your errors, I will move promptly to clarify the record.


In response, I received this reply:

Howlett, Karen
3:23 PM

to me, Paul

Your blog post is inaccurate and we take issue with any suggestion that we improperly used your work. The fact is, we did not use your research for the stories in question.

First of all, we all have the same documents, and we have spent weeks meticulously poring through them. The fact that you found some of the same emails we found, is hardly surprising.

Furthermore, you have nothing on your website about EIG, who they are, how many hedge funds are involved and how they managed to get most of the $190-million the government spent cancelling the Mississauga project. This is the main point of our story published today.

You also don’t have anything on your website about the court documents filed in New York Supreme Court and New York federal court, detailing the onerous terms of EIG’s loan to Eastern Power Ltd., the written declaration filed by Eastern’s president Greg Vogt, the transcripts of an injunction hearing in the New York Supreme Court, the transcripts of a hearing in the New York federal court, or letters from lawyers representing EIG and Eastern Power in both cases.

Nor is there any mention on your website about the filings from lawyers on both sides, which contain details about the collateral Eastern provided for the loan, and details about a planned auction to sell off Eastern and its assets.

And finally, there is also no mention on your website of reports from rating agencies, outlining Eastern Power’s financial state.

We found, read and used all of that material for our story. We also had numerous e-mails and phone calls with the spokeswoman for the Ontario Power Authority, to confirm that our interpretation of the information about the “yield management amount” was accurate.

I have quoted you on many occasions during my years in The Globe’s Queen’s Park Bureau, and cited your work on the province’s electricity system, so it should be clear to you that I do give credit where credit is due. Most recently, I cited you in my story on the secret revenue deals the province has awarded to TransCanada and other energy companies.

Karen Howlett and Paul Waldie



One Comment

  1. I think the Globe has basically shot itself in the foot by asking people to pay $$$$ to see their stories (reproductions of other people’s stories?) on line any more! It’s a case where the G&M think they are “so necessary” in the media world that nobody will ever be able to follow news any more without them!

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