The News Rundown
- Why did the Conservatives lose and why did the Liberals win?
- An important and big question.
- The talk in media circles has been that Andrew Scheer didn’t connect.
- Too much of a social conservative on LGBT issues and abortion.
- Not enough of a climate plan.
- Didn’t appeal to the centre and grow the base.
- There’s also been reported issues on the technological side for the conservatives in not being able to identify their voters properly and get them to the polls. Instead they may have brought out Liberal and NDP voters instead. Though we’ll need to wait to see if this was at all true once the party issues their report.
- What about the People’s Party? The PPC cost the Conservatives 7 seats. 6 went to the Liberals, 1 to the NDP.
- All fine assertions but are they right?
- Modern era requires control of media cycle from social media up to evening news. Conservatives didn’t do this.
- They were the subject of news rather than making news.
- Andrew Scheer’s communications director was the same man, Brock Harrison, who was communications director for Danielle Smith’s 2012 Alberta campaign where the lake of fire featured heavily.
- Both campaigns failed through communication.
- A campaign that fails through communication either doesn’t respond properly or lets someone else drive the media cycle.
- Data released by Angus Reid and Leger suggest that many waited until the last week to decide who to vote for.
- Leger was amongst the best in this election predicting the result accurately. Credit also goes to Abacus, Ipsos, Mainstreet, and Nanos.
- Angus Reid wasn’t in the field.
- Angus Reid and Leger ran post election polls where both found that about 45% of Liberal voters voted strategically.
- That means about 15% of the total electorate voted strategically.
- This is more than enough to sway the race, with the NDP surge not materializing in Ontario, it was enough for the Liberals to win crucial seats in and around Toronto.
- How did this happen?
- On the Sunday before the election Huffington Post writer Althia Raj asked Jagmeet Singh if he’d form a coalition to stop the Conservatives because at this point it was looking like the Conservatives had enough of a lead in the suburban Toronto area to pull of a minority government.
- His response: “Oh Absolutely”
- This then set the media cycle for the next two days and Andrew Scheer (probably in error) said he was aiming to win a Conservative majority.
- The media attention and cycle at this point should have been pushed back to Trudeau: SNC-Lavalin, the India trip, the Aga Khan, Blackface, anything. It wasn’t.
- This naturally drew more attention to Andrew Scheer and he seemed uncomfortable answering questions about LGBT rights or abortion.
- Also recall the top issue as polled for many voters: climate change.
- Scheer could’ve fixed this by pledging to implement an industrial carbon tax as Alberta is doing, allowing provinces to bring in their own carbon tax if they want, and doubling down on his technology pledges for the environment we laid out this past summer.
- He could’ve fixed the question on social issues by stating that he is pro life but will not let his government or any of his MPs re-open the abortion debate.
- He also could’ve pivoted on the issue of LGBT rights by putting it to bed by saying that, he would absolutely march in a pride parade and ultimately make it a question of if pride organizations would let him as they presently sometimes have issues with conservative politicians marching.
- This would’ve provided an entirely different narrative on the last week of the campaign driven by Andrew Scheer instead of Althia Raj at the Huffington post.
- In the last week Trudeau just sat silent and pledged to elect a progressive government and his work was done.
- Nigerian sex offender Adesanya Prince who crossed into Canada at Roxham Road is appealing his extradition to the U.S. on the grounds he should be considered a refugee, despite being wanted in Harris County, Texas, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of “promotion of child pornography” on Feb. 23, 2018, but fled to Canada before he was sentenced.
- Prince is currently in custody in Canada, 19 months after he arrived via Roxham Road, the controversial unofficial border crossing south of Montreal. Last March, Justice Minister David Lametti ordered that Prince be returned to the U.S.
- Yet in documents filed with Quebec’s Court of Appeal, Prince is fighting the extradition. In the appeal, Prince’s lawyer, Marie-Hélène Giroux, raises three arguments. She says the minister’s order should be quashed because it didn’t consider that if returned to the U.S., Prince might be deported to Nigeria. Giroux also argues the minister should have considered the conditions Prince would face in Texas prisons. And finally, she says the minister didn’t have the jurisdiction to determine Prince wasn’t a refugee under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.
- The federal government has yet to file a response to Prince’s request for the appeal. The Quebec Court of Appeals has not yet set a date, but may hear the case sometime this fall or winter.
- Prince, 51, originally consented to extradition on Nov. 1, 2018. However, according to his lawyer, he later changed his mind. He remains in detention at a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) facility north of Montreal.
- Prince walked across the border into Canada on March 9, 2018. He had pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge in Texas just days earlier and was out on a US$10,000 bond awaiting sentencing. Rather than show up for his sentencing hearing on May 10, 2018, Prince fled to Canada. He faces a minimum of two years in prison.
- Prince is originally from Nigeria but had been living in Houston, Texas. In January 2017, he was working as a security guard when he sent a co-worker three graphic videos on a cellphone app. The co-worker told police that Prince also made unsolicited sexual advances towards her.
- The court documents include a letter from Harris County assistant district attorney Thomas Waddle. In it, Waddle states that Prince presents a danger to Canada and may have been attempting to flee to Nigeria.
- Despite being a flight danger and a potential threat, at one point, Prince was released from custody and spent three days living on Montreal’s West Island.
- Quebec Superior Court Justice Daniel Royer ordered Prince released on Aug. 2, 2018. The U.S. had filed an extradition request for the imposition of a prosecution, but as Prince had already pleaded guilty, the extradition request should have been for the imposition of a sentence.
- Royer ruled that there was insufficient evidence presented at the hearing to hold Prince for prosecution and ordered him released. The U.S. filed a new provisional arrest request three days later, and Prince gave himself up to police.
- The failure of the Trudeau government to handle the Roxham Road illegal border crossings has been an issue since we started this podcast in January 2017, almost 3 years ago. We thought it would be a bigger election issue than it was, but it was swept under the rug by the media in favour of manufactured news.
- During the election, Trudeau said Quebec had the right to use a values test in its immigration system. The mainstream media was silent, there was hardly even notice of his comment.
- No scathing editorials, no Trump comparisons, no pearl clutching over how we could possibly ever define “Quebec values.”
- This silence stands in stark contrast to the hysterical criticism and indignation Kellie Leitch received when she proposed the same thing as a Conservative leadership candidate.
- While the federal government dithers on immigration reform, the Quebec provincial CAQ government under Francois Legault is moving forward. Beginning next year, the Quebec government will start requiring new immigrants hoping to live in the province to take a “democratic values and Quebec values” test.
- Premier François Legault highlighted the need for immigrants to be in-line with the province’s values and recently implemented secularism law, otherwise known as Bill 21, which bars public servants from wearing religious symbolism to work.
- “I think it’s important if somebody wants to come and live in Quebec to know that, for example, women are equal to men in Quebec,” said Legault.
- While the test doesn’t apply to refugees or asylum seekers, economic immigrants hoping to live in the province will have to get a grade of 75 per cent or higher. In its entirety, the test will be composed of 20 questions.
- Bill 21 and Legault’s values test took a front seat during the 2019 election and campaign. While several candidates spoke out and said they were personally opposed to the religious symbols law, including NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, they maintained that they would not intervene in the court challenge to the legislation if elected.
- During the French language leaders’ debate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stood by the province’s decision to impose a values test on new immigrants.
- “Quebec has a lot of power over immigration, more than any other province, and that’s a good thing because of the Quebec identity and because of the need to protect the French language,” said Trudeau during the debate calling the test “appropriate”.
- When a similar type of test was suggested by Conservative Leadership Candidate Kellie Leitch on a federal level, the mainstream media and fellow politicians expressed outrage over the plan.
- According to her such a system should screen new immigrants for “intolerance towards other religions, cultures and sexual orientations, violent and/or misogynist behaviour and/or a lack of acceptance of our Canadian tradition of personal and economic freedoms.”
- At the time, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s first Muslim immigration minister, dismissed the idea of a values test, saying the government did not believe there was need for newcomers to be questioned on Canadian values.
- “We have laws, we have the rule of law in Canada, we have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we have multiculturalism that respects differences and believes that those differences make us stronger, not weaker,” Hussen told Radio-Canada International in March 2017.
- “Our diversity is great source of strength and gives us a competitive advantage around the world because we are able to have individuals in Canada who immigrate to our country, who have different faiths, from different backgrounds, different languages, and yet we integrated them successfully,” he said.
- The remark “diversity is our strength” was widely used by the Liberals and Trudeau, and later used sarcastically by critics.
- Outlets like the CBC, Buzzfeed and the Toronto Star took Leitch to task when she first proposed the idea. In one Buzzfeed article titled “Here’s How 11 Muslims Feel About the “Canadian Values” Debate,” one respondent called an attempt to define Canadian identity and values “fruitless”.
- In another article, Toronto Star columnist called the idea of a values test “anti-Muslim” and Macleans called it “full of baloney”.
- But now when Trudeau endorses Quebec's values test, there's silence from the media. It's pure hypocrisy from the media to call a Conservative plan racist, and yet a Liberal plan is alright. We've seen during the election and post-election period that the media does its hardest to cover up news it doesn't want Canadians to hear.
- This past Wednesday many would be surprised to see a headline saying that Alberta brought in a carbon tax!
- On Wednesday environment minister Jason Nixon introduced the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction program, otherwise known as the TIER Program.
- The hope is that the program will bring greenhouse gas emissions down by 32 megatons to 57 megatons by 2030.
- The government is also investing in emission reducing technology to prevent another 25 megatons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere by 2030.
- The previous NDP government brought in a 100 megaton emission cap on the oil sands and it was thought this would be reached by 2030.
- With the new TIER program alone this gives a considerable amount of room for industry to still grow.
- 127 of Alberta’s largest emitters would fall under the TIER program. 34,000 smaller emitters would be able to opt in to avoid federal regulations.
- The hope is that the federal government will exempt the population from Alberta in its carbon tax on January 1, 2020 since TIER is slated to capture about 55% of the provinces emissions.
- Electricity generators are not included in this program in order to ensure costs aren’t passed on to consumers.
- The first $100 million in revenues and 50% of remaining revenues paid into the TIER Fund will be used for new and cleaner Alberta-based technologies that reduce carbon emissions even further, including new and improved oil sands extraction technology and supporting research and investment in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).
- The remaining will go to reducing Alberta’s deficit and support the energy war room.
- The oil sands (some, even former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, call them the tar sands) extract a product that is heavy and sticky and must be diluted before it can be sent through a pipeline.
- Various pipeline companies are working on technology that allows the more viscous product to be sent at higher pressures.
- But: There have been a series of advancements.
- Earlier this year CN Rail and the Heart Lake First Nation developed a technology to move bitumen in 3x3 inch blocks in shipping containers or rail cars.
- The product termed “CanaPux” floats in water and won’t pose an ecological mess if there’s a spill.
- It’s also thought that the tech could increase profits by $15/barrel.
- They hope to start shipping by the end of 2020.
- Similarly Melius Energy has tested a new technology that can ship a solid product that is non-flammable, floats, and can be shipped easily in rail cars.
- Both of these new technology would be exempt from the Trudeau government's tanker ban.
- This comes amid a week where the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association says that Trans Mountain and Keystone XL will not be enough to ship the oil produced.
- The UCP government has also lifted some oil curtailment limits if the surplus produced is shipped by rail.
- The government is also working on moving the former Alberta owned oil by rail contracts to the private sector to allow oil companies to decide where and how much should be shipped within the limits.
- Finally in slightly more worrying energy news, Encana is moving its corporate head office to the US and drop the link to Canada.
- As the name Canada is indicative of a “broader decline” in the Canadian energy sector.
- CEO Doug Suttles said the move is to help the company access deeper and growing pools of capital in the US. He re-assured media that nothing will change about the business, where staff is located, and that no employees will be laid off. Encana employs 1,052 people in Alberta.
- In the last week and a half since the election, the media narrative has taken on a strange turn. Rather than put pressure on Trudeau and his odd decision to not reconvene Parliament for almost a month, or the fact he lost 6.4% of votes and 27 seats in the election, or the growing discontent in the West since he took power, the media has instead been focusing on Andrew Scheer, the leader of the Conservatives, which after the election became a strengthened official opposition of 121 seats.
- The news media seems to be going to almost everyone to get their opinion on Scheer's performance in the election, with a biased and pointed narrative of "what went wrong?" Doing so disregards the fact that the Conservatives increased their vote share and seat totals in almost every province, and that there were a lot of positives for the campaign.
- Now, Peter MacKay, despite not running for the Conservatives in the last 2 elections, has come out of the woodwork to comment on Scheer's performance.
- MacKay, known for being the last leader of the Progressive Conservatives before merging with the Canadian Alliance to create the modern Conservative Party of Canada, hasn't had a history of winning. The Nova Scotian has seen a tumultuous career as an MP. In 2005 he was romantically linked to fellow Conservative MP Belinda Stronach. In an interview in the Toronto Star on January 8, 2005, Stronach confirmed that she and MacKay were dating. Stronach, elected as a Conservative in the 2004 election, surprised everyone including MacKay, when she crossed the floor to the Liberal Party on May 17, 2005. On May 18, 2005, MacKay told the CBC that his relationship with Stronach was indeed over, and that it had come as a surprise to him that she had crossed the floor.
- While participating in a Wilson Centre panel in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, MacKay was asked what he thought about the election outcome that saw the Liberals hold on to power despite an arguably rocky four years for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government.
- “To use a good Canadian analogy it was like having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net,” he said.
- He then went on to detail what he thought went wrong for the Conservatives in the campaign: “What went wrong? Well I’m going to be very honest with you: I think there were a number of issues that became very prevalent in this election that nobody other than the politicos wanted to talk about,” MacKay said.
- He cited the conversations around abortion and same sex marriage as examples, saying those issues “hung around Andrew Scheer’s neck like stinking albatross quite frankly.”
- “He wasn’t able to deftly deal with those issues when the opportunities arose and I think among female voters in particular, and those who would have been impacted by any re-visitation it created a nervousness or took them out of their comfort zone, if they voted Conservative,” MacKay said. He also said that the Conservatives may have missed the opportunity to seize the agenda in an election where Canadians didn’t seem enthusiastic about either Scheer or Trudeau.
- In that, he is partially correct. The Conservatives allowed the Liberals and the media to smear Scheer, and they did not correct the narrative, or set the record straight. Non-answers and non-plans on issues that the media created sadly sunk the Conservative momentum in the last few days of the campaign.
- In keeping with the hockey analogy, Alberta Conservative MP Chris Warkentin said Mackay's comments were "Big words for someone who didn't even suit up and get on the ice."
- Reacting to the clip on CTV’s Power Play, former Conservative insider Garry Keller said that “everybody needs to take a deep breath, Peter MacKay included, and let the leader focus on what he needs to do in the short-term and with caucus.”
- Keller said that MacKay’s commentary was “extremely unhelpful” to Scheer but potentially also his own aspirations, should they exist, saying that “If it was such an easy breakaway, why didn’t he run for leader in the first place?”
- On Thursday MacKay partially clarified his comments on Twitter, saying that he supports Scheer and that he worked very hard to help him in the campaign: "Reports of me organizing r false. Recent comments r about our Party's shortcomings & making the necessary improvements w modern policies + better coms so we can win the next election".
- It hasn't stopped the speculation that he'll put his name forward in the next Conservative convention in April when Scheer faces a mandatory leadership review after 'losing' the election, a part of the Conservatives' charter.
- Scheer has been meeting with senior members of his caucus to discuss the path forward heading into Parliament. Next Wednesday, he will meet with the full group of newly elected and re-elected MPs. Most MPs are taking a united front publicly.
- Re-elected Alberta MP John Barlow said he doesn't agree with MacKay's remarks and believes the Conservatives made great strides in the election
- "Peter MacKay is able to have his own opinion, but he wasn't a candidate. He wasn't campaigning. I think we did everything we possibly could," he said.
- "Absolutely, we have to learn from the results from this election, we have to own the results and there will be a strong post-mortem over what occurred, but let's not lose focus on the results. We have a million more votes than we had before. We won the popular vote. We reduced a very strong majority to a minority government."
- It's clear that the media is pushing the narrative that Scheer should resign, right after an election in which the party made great gains, despite higher ups in the party just a few years ago writing off 2019 as a lost election for the Conservatives in declining to run for leader. Instead, Scheer won and made huge gains, despite the media smearing him and distracting the electorate with non-issues of abortion and gay marriage.
- A survey conducted by Main Street Research for iPolitics finds 50 per cent of all voters believe Scheer should resign as Conservative leader after losing last week’s election to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
- The poll found party members aren’t as gung ho about giving him the boot, as only a third of those who identified as Conservative say they want him gone, despite recent headlines of senior Tories venting their frustrations.
- The media will keep trying to tar and feather Scheer. It's clear more than ever that we have a biased media that sensationalizes everything. Meanwhile, Trudeau, one of the most scandal ridden first term prime ministers Canada has ever seen, seems to be getting a free pass on everything. It's despicable.
Word of the Week
Values - a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: What Went Wrong
Teaser: We have a look at post-election polls to explain why voters chose what they did, Trudeau endorses the Quebec immigrant values test, and Alberta reduces pollution through a new UCP program. Also, Peter MacKay leads the media astray with hockey analogies.
Recorded Date: November 1, 2019
Release Date: November 3, 2019
Edit Notes: None
Podcast Summary Notes