The Conservative party announced that they will demand that CBC News’ coverage of Hamas’ attack on Israel be reviewed at committee in the House of Commons. 

The request comes as an internal email from the broadcaster instructed employees not to use the word ‘terrorist’ when reporting on the Israel-Hamas war. 

Conservative MP for Lethbridge and Shadow Minister for Canadian Heritage Rachael Thomas posted on X that she plans to call for a review of the taxpayer funded broadcaster in response to their coverage of the Hamas attack on Israel which began on Oct. 7.

“CBC must answer for downplaying Hamas’ violence, including against Israeli babies, and spreading intentional disinformation. Canadians, especially the Jewish community, demand answers. On Tuesday, Conservatives will call for this matter to be studied at committee,” wrote Thomas.

An internal email from CBC’s director of journalistic standards and public trust, George Achi, instructed CBC journalists not to refer to anyone as “terrorists” when reporting on the conflict.

“The notion of terrorism remains heavily politicized and is part of the story,” said Achi. “Even when quoting/clipping a government or a source referring to fighters as ‘terrorists,’ we should add context to ensure the audience understands this is opinion, not fact. That includes statements from the Canadian government and Canadian politicians.”

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by the Canadian government since 2002.

True North reached out to CBC News for comment on Thomas’ post, calling for several members of the CBC to be brought forward for questioning from the committee. 

CBC spokesperson Leon Mar responded by saying that critics have “misrepresented” their journalistic standards and practices. 

“At this moment, a number of our journalists are on the ground in Israel and in Gaza. They are risking their safety in order to tell Canadians what is happening there. They are the very best at what they do, and the quality and accuracy of their journalism stands among the best in the world,” wrote Mar in an email. 

“We are aware of the recent calls to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage indicating that some Members of Parliament believe they have a role in determining how journalists do their work. It is worth remembering that the independence of CBC/Radio-Canada’s journalism from the government and Parliament is protected in law, in the Broadcasting Act.”

Thomas wants to summon Achi for two hours of questioning before the committee, along with CBC President Catherine Tait and CBC Ombudsman Jack Nagler. 

Last year, Nagler ruled that he was “disappointed that [CBC] programmers” made allegations that Russia was behind the Freedom Convoy without any substantive evidence, while it was ongoing in February 2022.

The ombudsman reviewed CBC coverage of the Freedom Convoy in October 2022, following a complaint filed by a viewer against the CBC for comments made by news anchor Nil Koksal about “Russian actors” possibly involved in organizing the protest.