The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Life

The Night of the Dancing Penis

Seemed like a good idea at the time. Latest in Tyee's political scandal a day series.

By Tom Hawthorn 19 Apr 2013 | TheTyee.ca

Veteran political reporter Tom Hawthorn is writing about B.C. political history for The Tyee. Find his previous stories here.

image atom
Illustration by Jessie Donaldson.

[This is the fourth in our "Some Honourable -- ahem -- Members" series, depicting the more dubious moments in B.C.'s political history, brought to you by Tom Barrett and Tom Hawthorn, one a day until election day.]

An evening sitting of the B.C. Legislature. Liberal forestry critic Ted Nebbeling grills the minister about his budget. Yawn.

Nebbeling is the middle of a statement when interrupted.

"I don't know what's going on around me," he tells the House, as a live television camera captures a commotion around his desk, "but I have been surrounded by women who want to do something."

The something turns out to be a small plastic novelty toy, which has been wound up and is soon bouncing along the MLA's desk. The hopping tchotchke is a small plastic penis with feet.

It is 8:15 p.m. on July 9, 1997, later to be known as the Night of the Dancing Penis.

The toy was delivered by fellow Liberal Bonnie McKinnon, accompanied by Liberal Linda Reid.

Turns out the two MLAs had been celebrating at a women-only event in the Legislature. Among those in attendance were NDP cabinet ministers Penny Priddy and Joy MacPhail. Afterwards the MLAs returned to the floor of the House to pull a gag on their popular and, it should be noted, gay colleague.

The tittering of partying MLAs was soon replaced by the harrumphing of the press corps.

"Innocent sexual jokes have a place in private," wrote The Province's Michael Smyth, "but are not acceptable in the Legislature or on live television that costs taxpayers $1,000 an hour to produce."

The Globe and Mail asked, "harmless prank, or evidence of a dangerous double standard in the field of sexual harassment?"

Outrage was expressed, the word "toy" appeared in quotations in headlines, and it was dutifully explained to readers and viewers that the fake phallus was presented to Nebbeling as "Dick of the Year." Earlier in the session Nebbeling had heckled a female NDP MLA for speaking in Cantonese.

Apologies were (grudgingly) issued and the incident faded away.

It was also revealed the women had placed the fake phallus on the desk of Dave Zirnhelt the previous year -- only no one in the media had noticed.  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Do You Think the Injunction at Fairy Creek Will Be Reinstated?

Take this week's poll