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October 14, 2021 12:59 pm  #1

You May Not Believe What Ex-City TV Reporter Ben Chin Is Doing Now

This is fairly well known, but if you weren't aware of it, it's pretty amazing. The story goes that Ben Chin was a maitre d' in a local Toronto restaurant in the late 80s when he was discovered and hired by Moses Znaimer to become a reporter at City TV in Toronto. He had almost no television or news experience and was forced to learn on the job. 

He did well overall and eventually wound up working for both CTV and CBC. But broadcasting wasn't where he would find his ultimate niche. Using his TV visibility, he somehow wangled his way into Ontario politics before graduating to the federal government. 

He's now the senior advisor to Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, a role he's had since May 2019. How he ever got there is totally beyond me. I knew Ben. He was a smart guy and he's obviously made the most of his opportunities. But to become such an influential person wasn't something I ever expected of him. And I still find it almost impossible to believe that he's whispering in the ear of the most powerful politician in Canada. 

So the next time the feds do something you don't like, they may literally have to take it on the Chin. And you know who's at least partly to blame.

From 2019:

Finance minister's chief of staff Ben Chin moves to PMO


October 14, 2021 2:50 pm  #2

Re: You May Not Believe What Ex-City TV Reporter Ben Chin Is Doing Now

Maitre D'  you say...   Back in the day, Frank Magazine had him pegged as the water boy at Moses' favourite lunch spot...

City TV to CBC Midday to CTV something or other,  then Toronto 1...  

And Chin has had intimate associations with very large political plans which ended up becoming very large scandals...

The Ontario Liberal Gas Plant fiasco...  under McGuinty and later Wynne... When the proposed/contracted plant construction in Mississauga and Oakville was halted and then scrapped to the tune of $ 1 Billion.

The SNC Lavalin affair (as mentioned in the article)

The more recent Canada Student Service Grant program starring Craig and Marc Kielburger with the Trudeau family, and oopps, the Morneau family as well...  Mr. Chin was a very busy, behind the scenes operative for Mon. Trudeau... e-mails. phone calls....  a quick stepping stone to the PMO from the Minister of Finance's office...

Word on the hill, is that it was Ben Chin who taught Justin Trudeau how to read a teleprompter....



October 14, 2021 3:19 pm  #3

Re: You May Not Believe What Ex-City TV Reporter Ben Chin Is Doing Now

Yes, Mr. Chin has been around for a number of, shall we say, interesting moments in politics. None of it sounds like the Ben I knew a long time ago, but people and circumstances change. 

He was so green when he first started in TV, that I remember he did a story about a local murder. Cops had just arrested a suspect that day. Ben did a stand-up at the scene where he said something like, "John Doe was standing here when he murdered Dick Smith." 

Of course, he'd just convicted the guy on air, which was a huge no-no. A reporter's best friend, the word "allegedly," never got said. The accused had not even been tried yet. That's the kind of potentially serious error that can get a station in legal trouble. although fortunately nothing happened if I recall. 

To his credit, he learned his craft and those errors didn't happen very often after that. But it still blows my mind that he is where he is today. 

     Thread Starter

October 15, 2021 11:25 am  #4

Re: You May Not Believe What Ex-City TV Reporter Ben Chin Is Doing Now

Hi RA,
PFM    Personal Friend of Moses.   You had to treat all PFMs with white gloves, because it could come back to haunt you via management.