The News Rundown
- Maxime Bernier quits Conservatives on Thursday, following a series of twitter threads variously disagreeing with the Trudeau government as well as the Conservative response.
- Bernier felt he was on his own in raising issues with supply management, NAFTA, free-market economics, and multiculturalism, probably relating to the illegal border crossers.
- Andrew Scheer's response
- Harper's response (Mulcair agreeing - "Stephen Harper said it best - these are the words of a sore loser")
- Conservative Convention in Halifax - response, and policy updates
- Media's response
- “I have maybe had a handful of emails from people saying, you know, ‘Stand up for the pipeline,’” Duncan said in an interview Monday. “That is not the priority issue that people raise with me.”
- Linda Duncan is Alberta’s only NDP MP holding the seat of Edmonton-Strathcona. She has been the area’s MP since 2008.
- She went on to say that Premier Rachel Notley is “obsessed” with the pipeline.
- “That’s her political battle… That is not mine and I’m not going to get in the middle of that.”
- Linda Duncan also said that she wouldn’t protest against the pipeline as she did in the past but wouldn’t stand up for it either.
- Linda Duncan is walking a very careful line being an MP from Alberta while being a part of the party lead by Jagmeet Singh that clearly does oppose the pipeline.
- In her view, if it’s not important to the constituents (as she infers), she doesn’t need to take a stand.
- Duncan and the federal NDP need to decide if walking this mid-road will be enough going into 2019.
- If the mid-road is decided and Duncan is not allowed to support the project, it will be a hard hard battle.
- While Edmonton Strathcona covers the University of Alberta, Whyte Ave, and is one of the more artsy areas of the city, a significant portion of the eastern tip of the riding is an industrial base.
- The riding had been solid conservative from 1972 to 2008. This included progressive conservative members, reform members, alliance members, and of course conservative party of canada members.
- Do you like this kind of riding coverage on Western Context?
- Premier Rachel Notley outright stood up to the federal NDP leader two weeks back saying, “I am a New Democrat that comes from the part of the party that understands that you don’t bring about equality and fairness without focusing on jobs for regular working people.”
- Linda Duncan calls this negative and asked the question, “Have you ever heard my leader ever say a negative thing about the premier? Never.”
- While it can be argued whether or not Jagmeet Singh is showing leadership, one thing is clear: who has our resource based economy’s interest in mind.
- While Rachel Notley certainly hasn’t been a friend to the oil industry, Jagmeet Singh and his colleagues in BC have been 100% obstructionist.
- If Jagmeet Singh fails to win his Burnaby by-election there will be more questions about his leadership.
- Rachel Notley is supposed to go to the polls next year, but would be forgiven if she were to resign in the spring and run for the federal NDP leadership if Jagmeet Singh is unsuccessful.
- As for Duncan, she has not yet announced if she will be running in 2019.
- This riding has the potential to be an NDP bell-weather, the media should be talking about it.
- Trudeau and his cabinet recently had a retreat in Nanaimo, BC this past week, and while he's ruled out having an early election, it's clear that he's begun strategizing and campaigning already. The official release from the government read that "During the retreat, the Prime Minister and ministers will discuss ways to deliver economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for Canadians. Discussions will focus on diversifying international trade, eliminating trade barriers between provinces and territories, and maintaining the integrity and security of Canada’s borders."
- Trudeau believed that Nanaimo was the perfect place to hold the retreat, saying "“I look forward to meeting with our new Cabinet in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia. Nanaimo is a gateway to Canada’s markets and a tourist destination known around the world. It is a perfect setting to discuss how we can promote Canadian exports, expand tourism, and diversify our trading partnerships, to continue making life better for people from Nanaimo to Corner Brook.”
- So while there was a stated focus of the retreat to be on trade and the economy, it's was easy to see how the talks were quickly and literally overshadowed by the smoke that drifted over Vancouver Island from wildfires that have been plaguing the Pacific Northwest from California to Alaska that have been causing air quality advisories all across North America.
- BC Premier John Horgan met with Trudeau and his cabinet, and even took a plane ride with Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan over Prince George in Central BC, one of the worst areas hit by wildfires not just this summer, but last summer as well. Trudeau and his team also took time away from the retreat to meet with first responders in Prince George.
- "I want to start by saying, obviously, our thoughts are with all the first responders, the firefighters and the residents who are struggling through the wildfires that are raging across the province," Trudeau said during a brief photo op at the start of his meeting with the premier.
- Horgan also praised the federal government's response to the wildfires. Seeing different levels of government working together on the crisis, "I think gives comfort to the public that federal, provincial, municipal, Indigenous leaders all coming together, speaking with one voice about the courage of our first responders and the tragedy that's hitting families and people throughout British Columbia." He noted that this is the second consecutive summer that B.C. has declared a state of emergency, an unprecedented situation that "speaks to the challenges of climate change, which again are values that we share" with the federal government.
- One of the biggest questions about the meeting was how Horgan was going to deal with the new owners of the Trans Mountain Pipeline that he's been so adamantly opposed to, but it appears that on the whole, Horgan and Trudeau have created a positive working relationship with each other, given that they do have many shared values, as Horgan said. Earlier in the morning, Horgan told reporters at the retreat that he had spoken with Prime Minister Trudeau about the federal decision to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline, but called the issue "one irritant within a relationship that I believe is relatively positive."
- However, while inside the retreat Horgan and the feds were all smiles, outside there were several hundred protesters, which mostly seemed to protest Trudeau's decision to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline, calling Trudeau a hypocrite on the environment file, especially while BC is burning. The protestors held signs condemning Trudeau, banged pots and blew whistles. For all the noise outside the cabinet retreat, Liberal insiders say their party's internal polling suggests British Columbians are divided over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. They also say their polling suggests that all seven ridings on Vancouver Island — six currently held by the NDP, one by Green party Leader Elizabeth May — could be up for grabs in next year's federal election. However, it's pretty clear that the Liberals won't find much love on Vancouver Island.
- As for the wildfires, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna claims that climate change is the cause of wildfires happening around the province, and that's why the federal government's carbon tax is so important. She said "I've seen the wildfires around BC and it just shows that climate change has a real impact on Canadians. So that's why we know we need to take serious action on climate change, and that's what we're doing." We'll see if the government action will actually help reduce wildfire damage, or if it will just be another tax to line the government coffers.
The Firing Line
- Trudeau and hecklers seem to go hand in hand, or at least they seem to get the most media coverage.
- On Thursday August 16, Trudeau was in Quebec speaking at a Liberal party rally where hecklers once again greeted him.
- The outburst was captured on camera and posted to Facebook where it has gained upwards of 300,000 views.
- The heckler in question that caused the display was a woman named Diane Blain associated with a group called Front Patriotique du Québec. Front Patriotique du Québec is a small nationalist group that has held anti-immigration rallies in montreal before.
- But as we’ll see, it’s actually the Prime Minister who escalates the situation.
- The video was in French, so CBC translated to English.
- The pertinent parts:
- Blain: When will you give back the $146m to Quebec? I’d like your response. I’m a senior, and I’d like a response.
- Trudeau deflected: Madam, thank you for being here this evening, thank you very much for your support. I’m very happy to have you here. You ask what we can deliver for seniors. Madam, we delivered an increase in the guaranteed income supplement of $1,000 per month, by $1,000 per year, for seniors on their own, the most vulnerable.
- Blain: That’s not what I asked you. We need the $146 million for Quebecers.
- Trudeau: We invested billions of dollars for the Canada Child Benefit, which makes an enormous difference in the lives of families around the province and the country.
- Blain: We’re asking you for the $146 million for Quebecers that you gave to illegal immigrants.
- Trudeau: Madam, one of the things that is important, madam, in politics is to listen. My friends, it is listening that counts. We are in dialogue.
- And a while later, again, Blain: Answer me, I want to know when you will give us back the $146 million that we paid for your illegal immigrants… It’s us who paid for that.
- Trudeau: This intolerance regarding immigrants does not have a place in Canada. This intolerance of diversity, you do not have a place here…
- Trudeau then continues: Madam, Canada was built by waves of immigration that were welcomed by the First Nations, who showed us how to build a strong society, and the people who come here, generation after generation to build stronger communities, this is what makes us stronger as a country and, madam, your intolerance does not have a place here. We are Liberals here, we know that diversity is a source of strength, never a source of weakness and madam, your fear, your fear of others, your intolerance does not have a place among us tonight. Thank you very much, my friends. Thank you for being here, thanks for working hard and uniting people because we see that there will be intolerance in the coming months. There will be attacks in the coming months.
- Blain: Mr. Trudeau are you tolerant of Québécois de souche?
- Québécois de souche are the descendants of the original French colonists who settled New France in the 17th and 18th century. It excludes Quebecers of non-French heritage such as British colonists, recent immigrants, and Indigenous peoples.
- Trudeau then repeated 3 times: Madam, your racism has no place here.
- Blain: Answer me. You have no place in Quebec. Do you understand? You have no place in Quebec.
- Trudeau: Excuse me, madam. I’m a proud Quebecer, madam, I’m a proud Quebecer.
- Blain was then escorted out of the area by a RCMP officer even though the camera person in question said she was just trying to speak and wasn’t threatening anyone.
- The only reason she was confronted by the police is that someone else said, “Yes, she’s making threats. Get her out of here.”
- Later talking about the incident, Trudeau said, “I will not flinch from highlighting when the politics of division, of fear, of spreading misinformation is actually harming the fabric of this country. The fact is, we have a situation where there are irregular arrivals coming across our border into Canada. Each person is being processed in a way that is 100% consistent with our existing immigration system. People who are trying to make this sound like a crisis are playing exactly the politics of fear and intolerance.”
- Andrew Scheer addressed the issue by saying, “By sweeping away legitimate questions on his failed border policy with vile personal insults, it is Trudeau himself who is guilty of polarizing the debate. No one has done more to divide Canadians than he has.”
- On Sunday when Trudeau formally announced he will run for re-election in Montreal, he said, “The 2019 Canadian election will be a contrast between his Liberal Party’s push for a cleaner environment and fighting inequality, and Conservatives who’ll attempt to exploit divisions created by a global wave of populism… Despite the polarization we see going on in the world around us – the populism, the politics of fear and division – staying positive, pulling people together, looking for ways to emphasize our common ground, our shared values among our differences, is the only way to build a stronger country, a stronger world.”
- Macleans is onboard with a headline, “The 2019 election will be about who’s the right kind of Canadian”
- The 2019 race is going in that direction without a doubt.
- We mentioned that last week and previously on the podcast. It’s just a question of if those with legitimate concerns will get a platform to air their views without being called racist.
Word of the Week
Secession - the action of withdrawing formally from membership of a federation or body, especially a political state.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The Burning of Bernier
Teaser: Maxime Bernier quits the Conservative Party before its convention, Alberta’s sole NDP MP doesn’t consider Trans Mountain to be an issue, Trudeau’s cabinet retreats to wildfire threatened Nanaimo, and Trudeau gets heckled and responds by crying racism.
Recorded Date: August 25, 2018
Release Date: August 26, 2018
Edit Notes: None
Podcast Summary Notes