The Westmount Independent newspaper managed to stir up some controversy (and let people know of its existence) by picking a fight with a local SAQ outlet that it said refused to distribute its paper.
It started with a Page 1 piece on March 16 (PDF) that said “Anglo papers banned from local SAQ”. Of course, the headline was wrong, as the story explained. The Westmount Examiner, the Transcontinental-owned community weekly, was available there, and is what really seemed to piss off the Independent folk. Still, they managed to find someone who worked there who said she wasn’t interested in giving space for the Independent if it was an anglo paper.
This apparent conflict has led to stories at CJAD, The Gazette and even La Presse. There was also a follow-up piece in the Independent, also on Page 1.
Even now, it seems the Independent isn’t sure if this is an anglo-oppression issue or an underdog-vs-corporate-media issue. It seems to be arguing that it’s both.
It looks like this issue will probably end peacefully, with the SAQ at Sherbrooke and Victoria allowing both anglo papers to distribute there.
Still, I wonder about all the ink being spilled because some store wouldn’t let some guy drop his freebie newspaper there.
Incidentally, I happened to chat with the Examiner’s Wayne Larsen on an unrelated issue the day the Gazette piece came out. He said he hadn’t read it and was barely aware of the issue, primarily because he’s the newspaper’s editor and distribution isn’t something he concerns himself with.