The News Rundown
- We’ve been talking A LOT about Bill C–48.
- Bill C–48 is…
- We’ve given our reasoning on oil prices, good for all Canadians.
- We’ve talked about the inaction of governments and the hypocrisy of governments such of Quebec.
- Christmas cheer, spreading the good of the season.
- While it may seem as though most everything is against the western Canadian resource based economy, there are groups fighting for the industry and not ones that the media would have you think.
- The National Chiefs Coalition met with Senators this week to lobby Ottawa to stop the tanker ban.
- The group represents First Nation groups in BC.
- Calvin Helin, CEO of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding leads the group.
- Why Helin? His group plans to build a pipeline worth $18b from Northern Alberta to Prince Rupert, BC.
- He’s blazed the trail before as a Lax Kw’alaams Band member proposing the idea of a sole First Nations led oil pipeline.
- His coalition represents about 200 First Nations communities.
- He says that the tanker ban (Bill C–48) strips Indigenous people of their economic self-determination.
- “Is this what reconciliation is supposed to represent in Canada?”
- Recall that this government in its campaign for #RealChange supported the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, otherwise known as UNDRIP, the UN declaration that brought about the reconciliation movement.
- Another Chief, Wallace Fox, chairman of the Indian Resource Council (which is apart of the coalition) said, “All we’re trying to do is take advantage of the resources available to us.”
- Helin feels he’s close to a consensus amongst First Nations on the Eagle Spirit pipeline.
- He also feels that most of the First Nations opposition to pipelines comes from Indigenous people backed by activists who claim to speak for the communities.
- It is worth noting that the Eagle Spirit pipeline has not yet secured private sector investment.
- Is this a way forward for future natural resource expansions?
- The war on Christmas continues in Victoria BC, where banning plastic bags and statues of John A MacDonald isn't enough. Now Victoria councillors, who were just elected a few months ago, want to reduce Christmas decorations and "broaden diversity".
- Ben Isitt, the Victoria councillor elected with the highest vote total in the October election at 14,205 votes, has won council support for a review of the city’s seasonal decorations. He says Victoria shouldn’t be decking public property with boughs of holly, lighting up Christmas trees or handing out poinsettias.
- Isitt, for some reason, has a particular disdain for poinsettias, the green and red plants normally displayed in December. In suggesting the review, Isitt said that a poinsettia recently appeared on his desk at Victoria City Hall. “I don’t want a poinsettia. It is a symbol of the Christian faith,” said Isitt, who also questioned the lighting of the giant sequoia in Centennial Square outside City Hall.
- The city’s $64,000 Seasonal Animation Program includes installation of banners throughout the city. It also, in partnership with Downtown Victoria Business Association coordinates a seasonal decorations program which includes Christmas and Chinese New Year. Councillors agreed to have staff to report back on options for further secularizing or increasing the diversity of cultural elements in seasonal decorations.
- While the city pays for seasonal lighting decorations such as the stars or snowflake lights on light standards, and the lighting of trees on Government Street, the lighting of Centennial Square is done by the DVBA.
- Even though the DVBA bears the cost of lighting up Centennial Square, it is a public space and the city should make sure it is inclusive and the city should not be turning the sequoia into a Christmas tree, Isitt said.
- “Muslims, unless they are mixed families, they don’t have Christmas trees in their homes. Jewish people, like me, don’t have Christmas trees in their homes,” Isitt said while acknowledging that overtly religious symbolism has been “dialled back” over the years.
- “I think there are still many elements of Christian symbolism that are paid for with taxpayer dollars and, for me, that doesn’t reflect a clear division between church and state.”
- Isitt said having lights downtown “is great” and snowflakes “probably strike the right balance” but the city should ensure it is being inclusive.
- Even Victoria's first Muslim councillor, Sharmarke Dubow, doesn't agree with Isitt's views. He says that said rather than offending immigrants, Christmas lights can be an interesting aspect of a new culture. “I was born on Christmas Day. This is symbolic and I like [the lights], on a personal note.”
- Isitt's declarations have been met with major scorn among the populace, and are being seen as ""divisive"", ironic for someone that's championing diversity.
- By noon Monday, the Times Colonist had received 80 letters to the editor, none in favour of the review of Christmas decorations. CFAX radio’s noon talk-show lines lit up as well. And Twitter blew up with feeds depicting Isitt as the Grinch and Scrooge.
- If there’s a backlash, it’s positive, said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “Diversity means tolerance and means we welcome everyone. It’s a positive reminder of what Victoria values,” she said.
- “It’s unfortunate this motion came forward in the way that it did and was interpreted in the way it was interpreted. I think our seasonal decorations are fantastic and light downtown in the dark of winter. … We have way more important things to worry about at the table than what our lights look like downtown. I’m happy there are lights.”
- Numbers on their own are innocuous and have little meaning outside of mathematics.
- Numbers need context and numbers without context can provide shock and awe to readers and watchers
- Statistics Canada claims Alberta gained 23,700 new jobs in November.
- The agency reports this as, “Employment grew by 24,000 in Alberta in November, boosted by gains in full-time work. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell 1.0 percentage point to 6.3%.”
- You have to delve deeper into the actual tabular data to find the error rates for the survey.
- As reported by Don Braid in the Edmonton Journal the error rates on this report are +/- 20,000 jobs!
- Upon seeing the column in the journal with its claims we verified and it’s true.
- University of Calgary Professor Trevor Tombe verified these numbers based on the tabular data StatsCan provided.
- Alberta Treasury Board and Ministry of Finance treat these numbers as gospel without mentioning error
- The service sector is said to have gained 13,200 jobs. That wouldn’t be unexpected — except that 8,200 of those reported service jobs are supposed to be in health care. What province adds that many jobs in healthcare in a month?
- The margin of error here? +/- 7,600
- The NDP repeats these numbers too, even the Premier herself, saying: “All in, we have 80,000 more full-time jobs & fewer people relying on part-time work = 59,000 more jobs than Nov ’17.”
- "It seems we've had no limit on the reasons to ban or change certain historical artifacts due to being viewed in a different era in which they are created. Whether statues, currency, school names, nothing has been hidden from the gaze of 2018 sensibilities. And now, people that love to get offended at things that don't actually affect them have a new victim: the 1944 Christmas classic song ""Baby It's Cold Outside"".
- Baby, It's Cold Outside has been considered a holiday classic ever since it won the Academy Award for best original song in the film Neptune's Daughter. CBC removed the song from its playlists earlier in the month, following a decision by Bell and Rogers to stop playing the song on its radio stations across Canada.
- CBC public affairs head Chuck Thompson had this to say when the publicly funded broadcaster made their decision: ""Song lyrics are always open to interpretation, and we fully acknowledge there are two camps regarding this issue. While we consider both points of view, and in light of the times we are living in, we have chosen to remove the song, for the time being, from two of our holiday music streams.""
- Last month, Cleveland radio station WDOK Christmas 102.1 yanked Baby It’s Cold Outside, citing concerns over the MeToo movement. San Francisco’s KOIT and Denver’s KOSI also hit the pause button on the song earlier this month but have since reinstated the tune, citing listener feedback from online polling.
- KOSI program director Jim Lawson said in a statement: “Respondents voted 95 per cent in favour of us keeping the song. While we are sensitive to those who may be upset by some of the lyrics, the majority of our listeners have expressed their interpretation of the song to be non-offensive.”
- Station KOIT echoed the statement saying the station’s “listeners have spoken.” Program director Brian Figula said: ""More than seven out of every 10 listeners who responded said although some lyrics of the song may reflect a different era and a different sensibility than today, still they love the tradition and history of the song, and want to hear it as part of their holiday season.""
- Detractors of the song took issue with lyrics where one singer is trying to persuade the other to stay inside, with exchanges that include, ""What's in this drink?"" and ""Baby, don't hold out.""
- However, what's missing in these protests is that the song itself is a lighthearted take on two people that actually do both want to stay the night together. It was a very progressive notion for the 1940's at the time that was written, and considered very empowering for a woman to be able to choose where they would stay at night. People concerned about consent aren't looking at the greater context of the song itself, where the woman in the song clearly does want to stay, but is putting up token resistance to the idea due to fears of societal unacceptability, such as in the lyrics: ""I ought to say, no, no, no sir/At least I'm gonna say that I tried"" and ""My maiden aunt's mind is vicious"" and ""There's bound to be talk tomorrow/At least there will be plenty implied"".
- But it's clear that in the end, she decides to buck societal norms and views of acceptance to make her own choice to stay with her sweetheart for the night, willingly, such as in the lyrics ""So really I'd better scurry/But maybe just a half a drink more"" ""This evening has been/So very nice"" and ""Your welcome has been/So nice and warm"" before both singers decide that it is indeed, too cold outside.
- Those who still find a problem with the song, should listen to the rendition of the classic by Lady Gaga and Joseph-Gordon Levitt, who reverse the roles, and expose the lightheartedness of the song.
- Last week CBC decided to return Baby It's Cold Outside to its playlists, after "overwhelming audience input." Chuck Thompson, said of the reversal: "Last week, we decided to press pause to consider the different points of view on playing Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Because we value our audience input, which was overwhelmingly to include the song, we have put it back on the two playlists where it had been removed."
- Corus Radio, which temporarily suspended the song’s airplay as a result of the controversy, resumed playing it after determining it had received no public complaints.
- The public seems to be overwhelmingly on the side of the song: A national poll by Campaign Research found 72% of respondents disagreed with radio stations that pulled the song from airwaves because some listeners found the lyrics upsetting. Canadians older than 45 were most likely to disagree, with 75% opposed to a ban, while those aged 18 to 24 were most likely to agree, with 26 per cent supporting a ban.
- Celebrities also advocated for the song. Star Trek actor and sometimes singer William Shatner was vocal of his approval of the song on Twitter, advocating for people to call in to CBC about the song. Dee Snider, frontman for glam metal band Twisted Sister, who is music's champion against censorship had this to say about the whole controversy: “RIDICULOUS! I’ve literally lived that scenario…and I didn’t get nothin’! Sure there’s plenty of “sexual innuendo” in the lyrics, but if that’s the criteria for banning songs we are going to lose a LOT of 80’s music!”
- This whole issue underscores the true nature of the Canadian media, of kowtowing to vocal minorities, as well as having a concentrated ownership able to make decisions for a majority of radio and tv stations."
Word of the Week
Progressive - many ways to define, but for our context:
- happening or developing gradually or in stages; proceeding step by step.
- favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The War on Christmas
Teaser: A First Nations group rejects Trudeau’s tanker ban, Victoria councillors want to curtail Christmas decorations for diversity, and Alberta jobs get hit by a wild StatsCan margin of error. Also, we detail the censorship scandal of Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Recorded Date: December 15, 2018
Release Date: December 16, 2018
Edit Notes: None
Podcast Summary Notes