The (Right) News Rundown
- Christy Clark, Premier of BC up until a few weeks ago, has made a surprising resignation as leader of the BC Liberals and as an MLA, which will give the one seat majority of the Green backed NDP government at least a year of breathing room. Without a permanent leader, the BC Liberals are unlikely to challenge the government on a motion of non-confidence.
- That Clark didn’t stick around for the mini-budget the NDP government will have to bring down in September, and full budget in February, “prime opportunities for the government to fall,” was also a surprise to political scientist Hamish Telford, of the University of the Fraser Valley.
- “Going from premier to leader of the opposition was surely a letdown for her, but the NDP have a very precarious grip on power and I thought that under the circumstances, she would stick around, the party would want her to stick around,” for those budgets, Telford said.
- However, Telford said the NDP’s grace period will be short, “because eventually a byelection will have to be called in West Kelowna, and the Liberals will almost certainly win the seat again.”
- Clark originally said that she would stay on as opposition leader. Before being defeated in a confidence motion June 29, Clark said she intended to stay on to take “whatever job voters give me and the House gives me.”
- It's not the only surprise reversal that Clark has done in recent months. Listeners will remember the story I did back on episode 22, where I detailed the "Frankenstein Throne Speech", where Clark's Liberals reversed policy decisions, and in some cases, adopted some directly from the NDP and Green platforms. It's something that Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail rightly states contributed to her downfall in the legislature.
- "In theory, this was supposed to make it more difficult for the opposition to team up to defeat the Liberals in a confidence vote. Unfortunately, all it did was make Ms. Clark and her government look ridiculous and desperate to cling to office."
- The Liberal caucus selected Rich Coleman, longtime MLA for Langley and key Clark deputy during her six-and-a-half years as premier, as its interim leader. Coleman says that there are no initial plans to run for leader.
- The byline for the story starts with the following, “MLAs for the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives are now members of the same party — but it’s not clear yet whether they are more like a Band of Brothers (with a couple of sisters) or a Team of Rivals.”
- From the beginning it’s clear that there’s going to be some question about what kind of unity was established last weekend. For those who may have missed last episode both the Wildrose and PCs voted in favour of unity with 95% of each membership base saying yes. There was upwards of 57% turnout for the Wildrose and 55% for the PCs.
- The article further contains sentences such as, “cue the infighting” and the article also says, “just 57 per cent of eligible Wildrosers, and 55 per cent of PCs, cast a ballot.” The article further belabours this point by talking down to the reader, “you can’t simply add those up and conclude a total of 52,000 took part. People were allowed to hold memberships in both parties and could cast a ballot in both.” Then this line of messaging is summed up with the line, “considering that there are more than 2.5 million eligible voters in Alberta, it’s amazing how few managed to dramatically reshape Alberta’s political landscape on Saturday… the same will probably hold true for the leadership vote.”
- In comparison, the federal Conservative leadership race had a turnout of about 54%. Should the validity of Andrew Scheer’s leadership be called into question as well? The 2015 Alberta election had a turnout of about 54%, is it also concerning to the author “how few managed to reshape Alberta’s political landscape” in 2015? I don’t think so. A 55%+ turnout with 95% voting yes in each camp is a clear mandate for unity and the presentation of a united front in 2019.
- The author also calls into question what exactly is going to happen during the leadership race, he writes, “it promises to be a nasty and brutish campaign and not particularly short.” Leadership campaigns can be nasty and harsh because it’s a display of ideas in its purest form. And the leadership race, is actually short, only about 3 months. The race for the federal Conservative leadership ran for almost 18 months. The race for the Alberta Progressive Conservatives ran for about 9 months. 3 months in comparison is actually really short.
- Just one more thing on this, on Monday the United Conservative Party met for the first time as a caucus. Absent was PC MLA Richard Starke who has decided to not join the new party. After Starke announced this the media pounced with much the same rhetoric we saw in the Edmonton Journal piece assuming that infighting had started and this party will not be able to continue going forward. As media we should let the new party conduct its official business and be mindful of the huge majority in the party that voted for unity. Unless major fissures appear after the leadership race this party is likely to be successful as a united group just as the federal Conservative Party of Canada was in 2003.
- Among all the circus tricks at the Legislature, the second major test (the first being the wildfires) for the Horgan NDP government will be dealing with the aftermath of Petronas, a major Malaysian natural gas company, has cancelled plans to build Pacific NorthWest LNG, an $11.4-billion project once slated for construction on Lelu Island south of Prince Rupert.
- Petronas said in a statement that the decision was made following a thorough review of the project as market conditions fluctuate.
- “Today is a very difficult day for Pacific NorthWest LNG and Petronas,” said Pacific NorthWest LNG chairman Anuar Taib. “We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry have led us to this decision.”
- Taib said the formation of a new B.C. NDP government — which previously opposed putting the plant on Lelu Island, located near important juvenile salmon-rearing habitat of significance to First Nations — wasn’t a factor in the decision. He said Petronas looked forward to working with Premier John Horgan and would continue to look at other options to develop natural gas assets in Canada. “We continue to believe that LNG can thrive in British Columbia with the right project at the right time,” Taib said.
- James Tansey, associate professor with the Sauder School of Business at the University of B.C., said he’d seen indications lately that Petronas was on the fence regarding the investment. “That’s a function, partly, of maybe underestimating the complexities of getting deals done in B.C., but also of longer-term low oil prices in Asia (where) the oil prices are tied to the gas prices,” he said. Tansey said even for a big player like Petronas, current oil prices — consistently below US$50 per barrel — make such investments unattractive.
- While the decision by Petronas was made at a curious time in BC politics, what with the new NDP government and Christy Clark's resignation, it's noted by the media that the political climate didn't have a factor on the ultimate cancellation. However, what isn't talked about in the media absolvement of the NDP is that it's the government's job to bring business and investment to BC to create jobs. What will be telling is how the new NDP government responds, and how they intend to attract resource development and big business to the province.
The Firing Line
- In the most recent issue of the American “Rolling Stone” magazine our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made an appearance. The headline on this cover was “Why Can’t He Be Our President?”
- The article itself weighed in at 6,500 words and the author faced heavy criticism for what he wrote. The article had many factual errors in it, which were edited out of the online piece but of course remain in print.
- “Trudeau won in an upset in 2008, made all the more significant because his Liberty Party took another national thrashing.” We know it’s the Liberal party.
- “‘You have to wait for them to open it,’ says Trudeau, pointing to his Royal Canadian Mountain Police detail. He grins a bit. ‘It took me six months to figure that out.’” And this one, is of course the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police”
- The article even suggests that Trudeau has gone out of his way to ignore Trump! The Liberal government has been concerned about upcoming NAFTA negotiations and has been working with the relevant US departments. It should also be noted that Trudeau and Trump have already had a number of positive interactions.
- The Toronto Star points out Donald Trump as a “demonic clown” but still takes major issue with the Stone piece. They point out the same issues as the Province did but call for more honesty in reporting on Trudeau and make the analogy that, “In Canada, day after day, the media hold a flame-thrower to Trump’s toes. But as we can see from this Rolling Stone profile, America only has a concert lighter it holds up in the darkness while cheering on Trudeau.”
- A piece also appeared in the Globe and Mail covering the Conservatives as saying Trudeau appearing on the cover of rolling stone could jeopardize NAFTA talks. The argument is that the Trudeau government probably knew how Trudeau would be portrayed which would ultimately draw comparisons between Trudeau and Trump. We know President Trump pays attention to the media and the feeling of the Conservatives is that this exclusive interview could cause perception problems. Could it? Only time will tell.
- Finally Huffington Post Canada offers their opinion on the story, their coverage on it focuses on how this coverage makes Fox News “mad”. The Huffington Post article features clips from Fox News and tweets responding to Fox News, those who watch this may see that Fox News is actually right in their reporting. If Rolling Stone is going to report on Trudeau’s positives as they see them, Fox News is within their right to report on what was missed in the story and the Omar Khadr payout that happened weeks ago. The Huffington Post article aims to also increase contrast between Trudeau and President Trump by highlighting Trump’s ban on transgendered individuals in the military and the Canadian government’s virtue signalling response.
- This is why we exist at The Right Side. To highlight the blatant bias in the media.
Word of the Week
1 the process of developing or being developed: she traces the development of the novel | the development of less invasive treatment.
• a specified state of growth or advancement: the wings attain their full development several hours after birth.
• a new and refined product or idea: the latest developments in information technology.
• an event constituting a new stage in a changing situation: I don't think there have been any new developments since yesterday.
• the process of converting land to a new purpose by constructing buildings or making use of its resources: land suitable for development.
• an area of land with new buildings on it: a major housing development in Chicago.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The Angel from Above
Teaser: Christy Clark surprisingly resigns in BC, poor journalism on the Unity agreement in Alberta, Petronas cancels a $11.4B investment in Prince Rupert, and Rolling Stone’s glowing piece on Trudeau actually has a lot of errors. What else are they wrong about?
Recorded Date: July 29, 2017
Release Date: July 30, 2017
Edit Notes: None