On Thursday, CBC was forced to apologize for using a fake hospital setting and mannequins posing as patients for a broadcast on the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this week. 

In a tweet by CBC Edmonton, the outlet addressed what it called an “editorial error” in their programming. 

“Earlier in October, we aired two stories on what patients can expect in a hospital ICU during the COVID crisis and the strain on nursing staff. We shot footage for these stories at two Edmonton training facilities that showed mannequins in beds and a realistic-looking hospital setting due to restrictions,” wrote CBC. 

“Unfortunately, some of that same footage was then used in a different story about COVID projections and modelling last week. Using those images outside the context of the training facilities was inappropriate and we apologize for the error in judgement. The story has been corrected.” 

Soon after the correction was issued, hundreds of Canadians expressed outrage at the dishonest reporting by the state broadcaster. 

Among those who joined in to criticize the CBC was Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre who chastised the outlet for getting caught in “brazen dishonesty.” 

“The government wants to censor citizens supposedly to protect us from “misinformation” online. Yet the government’s own broadcaster gets caught in brazen dishonesty,” wrote Poilievre before including the #DefundCBC hashtag. 

Poilievre was alluding to a plan by the federal government to implement a proposal to address online harms which would include a regulatory framework that would tell internet content service providers like Twitter and Facebook to remove content the government deems inappropriate. 

Several critics have already come out against the proposal over what many are calling a legislative overreach and a violation of Canadians’ fundamental rights. 

Most recently, two university organizations dedicated to internet law called on the federal government to ditch its plans to censor the internet. 

They were also joined by other organizations including the Independent Press Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver-based non-profit Open Media

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