Ep 198 Transcript

The following is a largely AI-generated transcript for Episode 198. Excuse any errors, we’re trying to catch up on these and need to sort out a workflow. Want to help make our transcripts better? Let us know if you can help our support us on Patreon.

Ian Bushfield: Well, joining us now over the internet is Kim Darwin who is running for leadership of the BC Green Party. Kim. Welcome to PolitiCoast.

[00:02:27] Kim Darwin: Thank you. Thanks for having me

[00:02:30] Ian Bushfield: to begin. Could you tell listeners a bit about who you are and what led you to get involved with the greens?

[00:02:36] Kim Darwin: Sure. Um, I just, before we start off, I did want to say that I’m speaking to you from the traditional territories of the Sechelt nation.

[00:02:44] And what got me involved with the BC green party might be a little bit of a different Avenue than most people travel. Um, I met Andrew Weaver at a BC chamber of commerce breakfast event. That was in 2014, and it was really his pragmatic evidence-based solutions to the issues that are facing British Columbia.

[00:03:08] That really attracted me to the BC green party. I had been able to hear a lot of politicians speak through, through my involvement with the BC chamber of commerce. And I stayed after that event and asked them, how can I get more involved in that? That was a period of time when they were. Opening up there, a provincial council elections.

[00:03:27] And he said, well, why don’t you run for a position on provincial council? I did. And, uh, the membership elected me about a month and a half later as the secretary. Uh, that is a rule that I continued until last year where I was elected as vice chair.

[00:03:43] Scott de Lange Boom: So why do you want to be Andrew Weaver, successors leader of the green party?

[00:03:49] Kim Darwin: Well, I really do want to build on the growth that our party saw in the last seven years and what Andrew Weaver was able to achieve in a fashion that I think, uh, contributed to the growth that we saw was that he was able to articulate our green message in a fashion that could be heard, you know, outside of our typical green silo.

[00:04:10] So, um, I’m not sure if, uh, well, your readers or your listeners winners don’t know that I am a business person. I have my own mortgage consulting business. So with my professional background in business and finance, I really think that I can provide credibility to the BC green party as we. We’re starting to talk about making really, we need to make the business case for a transition to adjust economic model.

[00:04:36] We’ve been making the environmental and social case very well for 37 years, but I don’t believe that anybody has really been a leader in the party. Who’s been able to make the business case. So I really want to link the fiscal responsible investment with climate action and socially responsible wraparound supports.

[00:04:58] And essentially set, set the yes to the no. When we’re talking about jobs and economy and really shift the narratives. When we’re talking about jobs and economy to green jobs.

[00:05:10] Ian Bushfield: So why make the jump straight to, uh, running for leader rather than trying to get a seat or, you know, running in the next election first?

[00:05:20] Kim Darwin: So I did run in the 2017 election in the power of her sunshine coast riding and my team. And I doubled the vote count from the 2013 election. And I do plan to run again, but what I can do being an unelected leader essentially is. Build capacity. So we have two MLS currently. Uh, they have, uh, you know, they have clubs, a folder that they are several folders and files that they work on.

[00:05:50] So I can add capacity and help build the team of MLA candidates that we bring in to the next election. What I’ve done is I’ve set my. Personal business aside so that I can spend the time, uh, growing and building the, the, the MLA candidates that we can take into the next election to add capacity as well.

[00:06:10] Scott de Lange Boom: What distinguishes you from the other candidates in the race?

[00:06:14] Kim Darwin: Well, so far, there’s only, only two of us, but there are rumors of a third coming on fairly soon. Um, so first of all, I’m not located in Southern Vancouver Island. I am a hop, skip, and a jump from Vancouver, um, which is one of the largest city in BC with Surrey on its heels.

[00:06:33] I have been actively involved as a leader in the BC, in the BC green party on provincial council since 2014. I think that was at right after Adam. And just before Sonia joined, I also bring that legal and business approach to the party. And we can talk about how important that is. Um, If we start talking about the four day work week platform blank.

[00:06:59] Um, I also, as I mentioned before, I set my business aside in order to spend the time attracting and supporting the MLA candidate candidates that we bring into the next election. I won’t have any legislative calendar restrictions to do that. I also have a bit of a different leadership style, you know, not a top down style.

[00:07:17] It’s more about empowering our members and volunteers to bring their expertise, to form the party’s policies and really to have well-rounded well-researched policies by experts in their field. We have so many thought leaders in our party that, um, utilizing their expertise to really frame our policies is really important to me.

[00:07:39] Ian Bushfield: Maybe build on that a little bit, because one of the things I saw on your website is that you’re not running on a platform. You’re basically running to give voice, I guess, to the policies that the members have already established. So how, how do you run a campaign without saying. What you stand for other than just, I stand for what you members have already decided?

[00:08:02] Kim Darwin: Well, essentially I bring my experience, uh, to, to promote the policies and platform that the BC green party members have already put forward. And that’s the difference between our party and probably some of the other parties is that grassroots support approach we have, uh, Policy committee, any member can put forward policy.

[00:08:26] Of course it has to be well researched and, and whatnot. And our that’s what our policy team ensures is happening. So again, we’re a people powered party, not a top down when we’re the leader dictates what we’re going to do. Naturally, though, as we saw with Andrew Weaver, he was a scientist. So that’s where, you know, we, we started on the, you heard the term probably after Andrew started with our party, the you didn’t space decision makings.

[00:08:54] I’m a business person. So I’m going to bring them more, the financial approach, the economic approach, the business case, but having platform planks is, is not something that I believe is in the interest of our members. So

[00:09:09] Scott de Lange Boom: politics is often something that can happen on quite a compressed timeframe. You know, responses have to be done quickly.

[00:09:17] There’s going to be media requests. If you’re successful in your leadership bid. How do you see the desire to get feedback from the members interact with the need to often react quickly as leader to evolve in political situations?

[00:09:35] Kim Darwin: So the, the membership, we have our party offices in Victoria, and that’s actually another thing that I’d actually like to move our party headquarters to the lower mainland.

[00:09:45] And the membership always has access to our party office. We have every year, we, we, um, have our AGM, although it’s been a bit delayed this year and that’s where we vote on policies that the members have put forward throughout the year. So we were not going to be changing policies on the fly. We also have core principles that are something that guide all green parties.

[00:10:13] So all of our policies are, are entrenched in those core. The six core principles. You

[00:10:19] Ian Bushfield: talked a little bit about prioritizing or emphasizing, I guess the business side of the green party. Whereas, um, Andrew Weaver emphasized maybe the science side on a. Day to day basis, I guess, like you’ll have this policy book from the members that already exists.

[00:10:39] Maybe let’s get into some of the specifics in there that you think represent or reflect that business focus that pro-business focus. Um, before we ask the questions we were interested in, what are your top two or three kind of policies that you’re looking at? When you talk about a business focus being party.

[00:10:58] Kim Darwin: So actually I’m going to be putting out an article here next week on, um, some solutions as we come out of, uh, the COVID-19, um, as we rebuild back, um, one of the things that we’re already starting into a recession, but with precision. Previous recessions they’ve affected mostly male blue collar workers, but not this time.

[00:11:23] In fact, uh, with the job losses, 60% of the job losses have been women 29% to youth, and a lot of lower income earners, you know, the, the service industry and tourism reliant, uh, workers and businesses. So I believe that the recovery that we have should be. Um, helping the people that were disproportionately affected.

[00:11:47] So when, one of my top things that I think that we should be doing is investing into childcare and early childhood education. So for every dollar that is invested in childcare from the research that I’ve done and early childhood education, you get $6 of economic activity. Um, I was looking at the comeback model, um, and I’m not promoting that.

[00:12:09] We have that particular model. I’ll leave that up to the experts. But in 1996, Quebec is one of the only province that really has invested into childcare, which has allowed now about 70,000 women. To enter into the workforce and it has more than paid for the program. So one thing that I find quite interesting is when we talk about infrastructure projects, like building bridges and roads, they’re costed over a 50 year period.

[00:12:37] But when it comes to, you know, investing in social programs, we, we tend not to, to do that as much. The other things that I think I would love to focus on is investing in, in a circular, in the circular economy. Which, um, the BC emerging economy task force report came out last month and it even cited that that is one of the greatest economic opportunities for BC, and it will really help us meet our climate targets and a circular economy.

[00:13:06] Um, just to describe that to your listeners is essentially, I’ll give you an example. There’s a company called chop value in Vancouver that discovered that a hundred thousand. Chopsticks get thrown out in Vancouver every single day. So they’ve started collecting them and making them into household items and furniture.

[00:13:27] So, and there are like thousands and thousands of circular economy, uh, solutions. So, uh, and again, that they’re sort of a triple well bottom line approach. You can make money, you climate act, you take climate action and have jobs and housing affordability. So. I’ve been in the housing market in one way or they, yeah, their first as a legal assistant for 16 years and then as a mortgage broker.

[00:13:54] So, um, housing affordability is really near and dear to my heart. In fact, um, I co founded an organization called uh, the, the workforce affordable housing society really. Um, Based on the need that, um, I believe it, yes, about 50% of business owners in British Columbia site that attracting and maintaining staff half is one of the most difficult challenges that they face.

[00:14:22] So, um, and housing affordability, we know that there’s a myriad of, um, There’s a whole scale, whether we’re talking about emergency housing, uh, affordable rentals, right through to affordable home ownership. So it’s a, it’s a massive topic that needs to be parsed out. And one of the biggest challenges is that, um, the federal government has not invested in many, many years in the fashion that they should.

[00:14:47] And as a mortgage broker broker, I watched Canada mortgage and housing corporation increased their mortgage insurance fees three times in a three year period. And I would like to see those funds go directly into housing supports. So there’s the top three, I’ve got more food security, electrifying, British Columbia as well, investing in mental health and addictions.

[00:15:16] So lots there there’s so much to do, but there’s just a, just for you.

[00:15:21] Scott de Lange Boom: Okay. I want to pause for a moment on the, the green economy and how that interacts with the recovery or discussing because, uh, you, you made an important point that a lot of the job losses being outside of, uh, the industries that typically get hit or the sector such as construction, however, there’s going to be a need to do a lot of infrastructure work in order to.

[00:15:48] Green the economy. How do you see those interacting in the recovery?

[00:15:55] Kim Darwin: Oh, so that’s actually, I missed that. That is another one that is on my list is really training and releasing an army of renovators essentially. And. To start with housing for low income earners who are living in probably the most leaking homes that are leaking greenhouse gas emissions.

[00:16:12] They’re also paying, you know, higher hydro rates due to poor windows and, you know, insulation. I see that as a, one of the triple wins, it tackles income inequality and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and it provides clean jobs. So that is, and, and just, uh, uh, when, when, when that I. I very much support

[00:16:34] Ian Bushfield: you mentioned in that their housing.

[00:16:36] And one of the things I know a lot of our listeners and listeners of the sister podcast can be a reporter really interested in and is a density and urban ism and increasing density as an approach to fighting climate change. Um, is that a view you share? And if so, what will you, what would be your approach to dealing with cities that seem to want to avoid.

[00:17:01] Uh, promoting density and instead seem to, I mean, People have been squabbling over every minor development in Vancouver for decades. Know how do you approach it differently?

[00:17:12] Kim Darwin: You know what density is greener. It just is. Um, if we can get people out of their cars and closer to their workplaces, it just, it, it makes.

[00:17:23] Since from an environmental perspective and economic perspective, it is far cheaper to build density than it is to build, you know, massive of transit infrastructure. So how do we get people on board with that perhaps education? Um, I think the, the Vancouver city council, I believe they, they get it. So I, it would be a matter of education.

[00:17:49] Not only that I think as the younger demographic, um, starts to get into the housing market, they don’t appear to need the second family dwellings. They don’t have that same expectation. Now. That’s not probably a choice that they could even think of having. I think that’s the realities of it. I think that we’ll have a better opportunity.

[00:18:12] To promote density as opposed to the, the urban sprawl.

[00:18:17] Scott de Lange Boom: So I’m happy to hear that. I’m not sure I share you’re quite as optimistic the view of the, what the city council currently thinks on that. Um, but one thing that you’ll often see with cities is that there can be pretty resistant to changes within their cities.

[00:18:33] Um, North Vancouver is voted down some affordable housing projects. I know the province got into a scrap with, I think it was maple Ridge over temporary modular housing, and oftentimes the needs of the broader community beyond just what’s in with one municipality. Aren’t. Necessarily being reflected within what’s happening that local municipalities politics.

[00:18:59] Do you see a role for the government at the provincial level to get more involved in those sorts of decisions? Because ultimately the powers of the cities are delegated from the province.

[00:19:13] Kim Darwin: I do. I mean, we know that the cities don’t pay for, for these projects themselves, they do require provincial funds.

[00:19:21] So that is definitely an area where the province can play a role. I know it is, it is sad that we do have an awful lot of nimbyism I’m here on the sunshine coast. And we finally, we have a few affordable housing, um, projects that are. Finally got the go ahead. But we’ve had the same thing. The neighbors not wanting it in their, in their back yard for, you know, the, the.

[00:19:50] More affordable housing projects. I don’t know how you shift everyone’s view. I just, it’s obviously not possible, but, um, I think that the housing first model, we, all the staff facts are in that housing is a key determinant of health. And when you can kind of make the business case that if people are well housed, then we’re not going to be having so, so many strains on our emergency responders, police, you know, domestic violence goes down, all of those things.

[00:20:24] So it’s, it’s not only making sure the, the social case for it, but the economic cases there, whether that’s going to help people understand how important it is. Um, I, I do not have a magic wand, but I will certainly be promoting, um, the, that type of housing.

[00:20:42] Ian Bushfield: I want to switch gears a little and talk a bit more about the future economy.

[00:20:47] Uh, one of the ideas that’s come up in the green party leadership race, and it caused a little bit of a dust-up between the other contenders on your first scenario. And Andrew Weaver was this idea of a four day work week, and it either being legislative or highly encouraged. Through a reduction in, uh, the, uh, standard workweek.

[00:21:07] Uh, you put out a little bit of a blog exploring it on your own terms. What, where did you come down on the idea of a four day workweek?

[00:21:16] Kim Darwin: Well, and mandated four day workweek across the board is neither practical nor possible is what I would have to say. I would more promote a flexible work schedule. Um, I, I am what I do, I guess I would consider a business expert.

[00:21:33] I, uh, you know, I’ve attended solder school of business, UBC Sauder school of business. I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a volunteer on for, uh, business support networks. And when you really look at the types of jobs in British Columbia, It’s just not possible to mandate a four day work week. Think about the 74,000 people that work in the gig economy.

[00:21:57] Um, universities, I mean, how long is it going to take your, take you to get your university education? And it’s not that I’m against a four day work week, but having it mandated is it’s. Just not possible, not only that. And there really wasn’t any context to which four day workweek model was, was being decided scribed.

[00:22:18] So if it’s four tens, you know, working longer hours, how’s that going to work with daycare? Um, or if it’s, uh, four days a week, uh, being paid the same amount as five days a week. Well, those costs get born by, um, business owners and not all business owners can do that. Um, you’ll probably get the gist from reading some of my stuff.

[00:22:40] I’m, I’m a real proponent have small businesses and I’m going to describe. But small businesses is just so you can get that context. Small businesses really are small business owners that have between zero and 10 employees. So those people could not in general, across the board, mandated could not afford to pay people for a four day workweek.

[00:23:06] Um, you know, based on paying for five days of working. I mean, I, it actually probably go on and on. You probably saw that my, my blog on my website was rather lengthy. I think I made a very strong business case and the timing I was really disturbed by the timing of this conversation. It was during the pause and the leadership.

[00:23:30] Contest, um, of which what I did well, well, we were paused. We were prohibited from campaigning during that pause. So I went back to working on my business support net network. I am a member of community futures. I sit on the board of community futures. We are re we were responsible for distribution of the rural relief funds for small business owners.

[00:23:56] So that was the interest free $40,000 loan. And we, we worked with, um, business owners that couldn’t qualify through the bank. And I also sat in on VC chamber of commerce events and a number of, um, zoom meetings, trying to support our struggling business owners. In fact, 74% of business owners in a survey didn’t feel like they could restart or even make ends meet and to compound something like this.

[00:24:27] During that period of time, it was just really poor timing. Alright.

[00:24:32] Scott de Lange Boom: So the four day work week has been painted just in a couple of different ways. One of it’s about quality of life, but another aspect of it is, uh, the argument goes that it increases productivity among the workforce. And I, I understand you have some reservations about that, but I think the bigger question of.

[00:24:52] Aggregate productivity in the economy is something worth thinking about Canada’s generally has not performed particularly well in productivity growth, the economic stats. Do you have thoughts on how that can be improved going forward?

[00:25:09] Kim Darwin: Yeah, like I said, I’m not actually against a four day work week it’s I just don’t believe it should be mandated across the board.

[00:25:18] So for an example, there was a period of time in one of when I was an employee that working five days a week from eight 30 to three to accommodate my young children’s school life. Um, And make sure that I didn’t have the, the additional, um, burden of childcare that, that gave me quality of life. Uh, there was a time when I work four days a week as well.

[00:25:43] Uh, reg regular hours, I got paid for four days a week. So there was also a financial burden to that now increasing productivity, um, where people can work four days a week where it’s practical for both the employer and the employee. All for it. Yeah.

[00:26:02] Ian Bushfield: Well, let’s pivot a little bit again, uh, other things that are coming up in the future economy, things that I hear BC greens talk about a lot are like responding to increasing automation, uh, the possibility of a basic income.

[00:26:16] I assume you have some thoughts about those kinds of topics as well.

[00:26:20] Kim Darwin: Yeah, for sure. And that, that will probably lead into something that we would eventually get to, which is universal basic income. Um, and that is something that the BC green party in 2017, we wanted to have two pilot projects, um, you know, in communities that had relatively the same number, the same population and.

[00:26:42] It specifically, I mean, artificial intelligence and automation is coming at at a faster pace than I think most people really know. And if we don’t prepare for how we’re going to replace the incomes that are going to be lost as a result of AI and automation, we’re going to be in a real pickle. Um, I think we’re, you know, w we’re going to, what we’re seeing with homelessness now will, will get far worse.

[00:27:09] And I think we need to flesh that out before we get to the point where it’s too late. And a lot of people say, well, uh, we don’t know where’s the money going to come from? And I know everybody hates you the T word, but we have to tax automation, um, in order to, uh, Get the funds in order to put them into universal, basic income.

[00:27:32] The other thing, um, actually I was just on a call this afternoon. The other thing is, is when the money gets dished out, it doesn’t go into this black void people spend, they spend it in our stores, they buy groceries, they feed their children, they pay for the roof over their head. So it still circulates within the economy.

[00:27:54] And strangely enough, with the, with the Serb, we, we kind of got a taste of, of what a guaranteed basic income could be. And even the big banks like Scotia bank and some of the economists are finally going. We get it. This is not a bad idea. So I think COVID-19 laid bare so many things. And in the, you know, there, there are some silver linings.

[00:28:20] If we, if we act appropriately, if we come out of this appropriately, um, and that’s one of them that now people are actually talking about it and having a better understanding of the benefits. I mean, it is. One of the, one of the best opportunities to reduce poverty.

[00:28:41] Scott de Lange Boom: So in the past, when there’s been waves of mechanization automation, generally hasn’t resulted in a huge amount of joblessness.

[00:28:52] People find other work, changed sectors. I mean, one of the reasons we are in fact, as wealthy and prosperous as we are today, is that. We’re no longer having 85% of the population do farm work. It’s closer to 2%. So do you see that this current wave of technology and change is going to be significantly different from past waves?

[00:29:19] Kim Darwin: I think so. I mean, you even see it. I mean, just for an example, in the logging industry, if you think about how many jobs there used to be in the logging industry and how many have been lost due to automation now. And I think that the jobs seem to be, I mean, aside from the knowledge economy, the jobs where people are actually physical laboring seem to be lower paying.

[00:29:46] Nowadays,

[00:29:47] Ian Bushfield: you mentioned automation pricing in there as a possible. And you’ve spoken about that in the past as a way to fund basic income. One of the big criticisms of the, this kind of approach or a robot tactic, this type thing is that it might serve as a disincentive to innovation. Um, we want companies to become innovative, to become more efficient, and sometimes that does mean replacing.

[00:30:14] People with robots and frankly, even from the people’s side, why would I want to do the job that a robot can do just as well or better? Um, how do you, how do you reconcile that issue with supporting an automation price?

[00:30:29] Kim Darwin: Well, there, there has to be a fine, a fine balance of obviously we have to encourage innovation and otherwise if it’s priced too high, then only the larger wealthier companies are going to be able to do it.

[00:30:43] So there does have to be a real fulsome discussion about what that looks like. Um, I am not attached experts, so, uh, but I do believe that we need to have that fulsome discussion with experts, economists, accountants, business owners, and really what that, what that looks like. But I need in the absence of that, where else is the money going to come from?

[00:31:12] We know that money doesn’t grow on trees. Um, although it kind of appears as though money is, uh, is kind of growing on trees at this moment,

[00:31:23] Ian Bushfield: but why not just tax the profits of the corporations at a higher rate or put a wealth tax and tax the successful corporations rather than the ones that are trying to innovate.

[00:31:33] Kim Darwin: Certainly that that is all part of having fair taxation practices is, is definitely a key to ensuring that we have the tax space to, to put into that.

[00:31:45] Scott de Lange Boom: So I want to shift to a slightly different topic of technology and that is. Uh, energy technologies, uh, in the past, uh, the green parties had some opposition to some low carbon technologies, such as, uh, hydro power and nuclear.

[00:32:03] Uh, what do you see the role of. The host of possible a technology such as wind geothermal nuclear, hydro, uh, in energy future.

[00:32:14] Kim Darwin: I’m a, I am a member of the BC sustainable energy association, and I’m a huge proponent of clean technology and renewable energy. In fact, in 2016, I think it was maybe 15. I actually wrote the policy for both the BC chamber of commerce and the Canadian chamber of commerce calling on the governments.

[00:32:35] To invest in clean technology and renewable energy, um, with the price of solar and wind and geothermal all going down significantly. It just makes sense. Um, and I think we. I can’t remember if it’s 12 or 14 dams that we have already existing in British Columbia. So, uh, some of the opponents say, Oh, well though, you know, when the wind doesn’t blow and when the sun doesn’t shine, what do we do?

[00:33:06] Well, we use our, our dams essentially as batteries. And one of the things that just, it, it just blows my mind for anybody that’s done any traveling throughout the world. You see offshore, wind everywhere. But not in British Columbia and you offshore wind is one of the cheapest forms of energy to, to build the infrastructure is cheap.

[00:33:29] Plus it can be built closer to, you know, the, the transmission lines can be, can be shorter to where you need the energy. So I, I’m an incredibly big proponent of that. The other thing, what we’re seeing right now, um, And I have mixed feelings about this, but in the North with the abandoned Wells that are now being, uh, taken care of by the taxpayer’s dollar, um, the, when it comes to geothermal where appropriate, and I know geothermal, we can’t do it everywhere, but where appropriate to convert those Wells into geothermal centers, especially in some of the indigenous.

[00:34:10] Communities up North where they’re still relying on, you know, diesel powered generators for their electricity. So I see that again as a, as a real win win.

[00:34:21] Ian Bushfield: Before we switch and close on some real politic type questions. Uh, I’m curious on one more policy question, Scott can jump in after if he has others.

[00:34:32] Um, what is your view around how BC needs to more move forward with reconciliation with indigenous peoples?

[00:34:40] Kim Darwin: That’s actually something that, uh, on the call that I was having this afternoon is. Um, we, we know that we have adopted, um, UNDRIP here in British Columbia, but it very first opportunity for us to show that we are going to do things differently, have a different relationship, have more respect, respectful dialogue with the, with the wet sweat and issue.

[00:35:06] That was a, that was an adjunct for earlier. I think the only, um, MLA that went up and had that respectful dialogue was, was that a Molson from the BC green party. So I see that that is something that we fundamentally have to do in British Columbia. And one of the, one of the, well it’s terribly unfortunate that we were not taught the true history of.

[00:35:33] The indigenous people and what happened when settlers arrived in Canada and because we weren’t taught, there is just so much misinformation. And I know we’re, I know that children are being taught in school now, but we can’t wait until the children get old enough to take authentic, um, action. Um, it’s it’s.

[00:35:59] I don’t know how we get that education piece to the adults that, that need it in order to have that fulsome discussion and respectful dialogue and to move forward, but it has to happen. And the BC green party is, is willing to make that happen.

[00:36:18] Scott de Lange Boom: Let’s move into the, uh, political questions that, uh, in just hinted at.

[00:36:23] So right now, the. BC dream party is very focused around Southern Vancouver Island. The three seats that at one last election were all in a pretty, a small radius around the Capitol there. How do you see. Uh, the BC dream party, drone beyond that narrow, uh, geographic area and diversifying, uh, to win seats across the province.

[00:36:50] Kim Darwin: Let me be cheeky, elect a leader. That’s not from Southern Vancouver Island. Like me. What I, what I will be doing, because I’ve set my business aside, I will be able to travel the province to grow that MLA candidate slate in a broader fashion. In fact, in 2017, I believe we ran and candidates in most of the writings.

[00:37:16] So building on that. And I think if you remember 2017, um, we were cited as having some really high caliber candidates from a broad range of, uh, backgrounds and professions. So building on that, I, I think we will be able to have a much greater impact going into the 20, 21 election.

[00:37:39] Ian Bushfield: Are there things in terms of the messaging that the BC greens did in 2017, that would need to change, to speak to people in Metro van and interior and the North more to, to speak to them better.

[00:37:54] Uh, to build to grow, or do you think it’s mostly just a matter of building on the success? Keep attracting good candidates and kind of hope it comes?

[00:38:05] Kim Darwin: Well, I think our, our, our platform was BC. Uh, it was, it was. Really BC centric. It wasn’t necessarily a Southern Vancouver Island centric, but being able to broadcast it more fully, I think it would be nice if we got a little bit more of the perhaps media attention in the lower mainland re region that’s that will definitely help broadcast our policies and our platform.

[00:38:39] Although. Um, I think most people don’t actually end up reading policies and platforms, unfortunately, for us policy wanks we like to do that, but I think if we can have the similar MLA candidates who ran in the last election, continue their election campaigning for this selection, I think we’ll just be able to build on that.

[00:39:03] Scott de Lange Boom: Alright. So you mentioned a couple times, so at this interview that yeah. You’ve set aside your business and you’re going to be working hard on recruiting candidates in the lead up to the next election. If there was a byelection that opened up between now and then, uh, would you be seeking a seat?

[00:39:21] Kim Darwin: If, if I win the leadership and a bio election does come up or even if I didn’t win the leadership in a bio election came up, um, Because the election is so close around the corner, I’ve built my whole relationship with my community.

[00:39:40] So I wouldn’t seek a byelection seat in an, in another jurisdiction outside of my own.

[00:39:48] Ian Bushfield: One of your biggest challenges in seeking the leadership is probably name recognition. Uh, how do you overcome that hurdle? I mean, Sonja first and now is in the legislature. She might not have the recognition that Adam or that Andrew Weaver has, but.

[00:40:07] Being an MLA. Does arguably put her at a fairly clear advantage. How do you get your name out there? How do you get, how do you beat the juggernaut?

[00:40:15] Kim Darwin: Yeah. Good. Very good question. She definitely has, uh, a much larger stage than, than what I have and that, especially with, with COVID-19 here, it has made that even more of an uphill battle without being able to have in person events and whatnot.

[00:40:32] We are essentially running a digital campaign. You know, um, we are running zoom, uh, community forums every Thursday at five. Um, we’ll be having ex expert panelists on those as well. So it is, it is definitely, um, It’s not an easy challenge, but it is one that, that we’re, we’re working on for sure.

[00:40:58] Scott de Lange Boom: So if you’re successful and you become leader and you’re in the net selection, how do you, uh, see your ability to differentiate the green party under your leadership from the other two major parties, you’ll be competing against the liberals and the NDP.

[00:41:12] Kim Darwin: Well, I, I, I really think that the see greens can do that through a few different issues that have come up since the 2017 election. Um, uh, the investment into the fracking industry is one huge one that I think is, is going to fracture the NDP support from their environmental faction. So that is a really big one as well as we can.

[00:41:40] We now have a track record to show how, how much difference we have made in the BC legislature. Andrew Weaver has had the largest number of opposition party bills passed in the history of the BC legislature. His fingerprints have been all over for the clean VC. Um, Paper as well as the climate action accountability act that gives teeth to clean BC.

[00:42:09] So we now have a track record. Oh. And I can’t forget, um, that we, uh, we were responsible for banning and union donations. So we now have a track record that we can say, you know, look. What has occurred as the result of just three green MLS? I mean, even the dialogue in the BC legislature, the it is, I still got a ways to go, but the respectful diet dialogue, they, the, you know, uh, cooperating across party lines.

[00:42:41] We, we never would have thought that that would have happened pre 2017,

[00:42:45] Ian Bushfield: if you were in Andrew Weaver’s position after the 2017 election, and you had the choice between working with John Horgan or Christy Clark, whose government would you have propped up?

[00:42:59] Kim Darwin: Well, I wasn’t involved in any of those conversations and I’m not privy to what those conversations were, but if I had to, uh, based on what I know.

[00:43:11] I would have to say I would not, I would have made the same choice,

[00:43:15] Ian Bushfield: easy in hindsight, I guess, or easier in hindsight,

[00:43:18] Kim Darwin: you know, what thank you for saying that. Um, I’ve been asked a few questions about what I would have done about a few different issues, and I think it is, it’s pretty arrogant having hindsight to, to then say, Oh, you should have done this, or you should have done that.

[00:43:34] Um, it’s, it’s really not fair. So I appreciate you bringing that up.

[00:43:38] Scott de Lange Boom: So before we wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to add to the conversation

[00:43:44] Kim Darwin: for sure? Um, well, first of all, thank you very much for having me. And, um, again, what I really want to do for the BC green party is to help them make the business case for the transition to a just economy.

[00:43:58] And, um, if anybody wants to find out more about me, they can find out more at my website, which is Kim darwin.ca. Um, or on Facebook, just look up Kim Darwin leader for the BC green.

[00:44:12] Ian Bushfield: And how long do people have still to sign up and get involved in the race if they want to?

[00:44:17] Kim Darwin: They have until September 1st,

[00:44:19] Ian Bushfield: Kim Darwin.

[00:44:20] Thank you so much for taking the time this evening.

[00:44:22] Kim Darwin: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

[00:44:29] Scott de Lange Boom: moving a couple of quick tips to round off this episode. Uh, so first up the federal government has a announced a new set of spending four provinces and territories to support them for a safe restart of the economy as they’re branding it. So this is a $19 billion package, uh, directed to provinces, uh, with a little bit in there for cities as well.

[00:44:54] 4.2 billion for testing and tracing four and a half billion for PPE 625 million for childcare spaces. A $2 billion fund for municipal operating costs, but this has to be matched by the provinces as does the $1.8 billion in transit funding.

[00:45:16] Ian Bushfield: So lots of. Different bits of pools of money in there.

[00:45:20] Scott de Lange Boom: Yes. The other thing is there’s a national SA, a temporary national sit day program for 10 days of sick leave.

[00:45:28] Uh, estimated at 1.1 billion, it wouldn’t surprise me if this ends up being temporary, the way the income tax was temporary and sits around a lot launder.

[00:45:39] Ian Bushfield: So getting to this point required a lot of negotiating between. Christina Freeland and the Premier’s the premier said, or the, the federal government had originally offered $14 billion.

[00:45:50] And I guess the federal government dug up another 5 billion. There are a number of strings tied to this, for example, the matched funding for cities and transit that you mentioned the city. Leave policy will require provinces. John Horgan was saying his press availability today to amend their labor code.

[00:46:08] Slightly BC, he seemed to apply has done some of the work, but it’s still unclear exactly what the sick leave policy will look like. It’s largely for those employers, like you said, who don’t already provide it. It’s a needed thing. It’s a good thing. Why it’s just temporary, I guess, is just a cap, the price tag, but.

[00:46:29] No sick leave is something that’s, I didn’t kind of necessary all of the time. Like COVID is the acute bad scenario where not having sick leave can leave lead to outbreaks, but in a normal scenario, we don’t need people coming to work contagious. It just harms other people. Don’t do it

[00:46:50] Scott de Lange Boom: are there’s a flu season and it’s not good if people are spreading that around work.

[00:46:54] I did. Part of the reason it’s temporary is because it would be a. Big full program that in theory would be stepping on the provinces toes, that labor regulations being a area of provincial jurisdiction. So this was probably something to that could just get put in place quickly. And what had have the fights around it?

[00:47:16] The way a permanent program?

[00:47:18] Ian Bushfield: I mean, they got the provinces on board for. This may be some didn’t want to stick on permanent, but they could just have a, well, any province can opt out and those voters can decide whether they want a government that will work with Ottawa on a sick leave program, or like in Quebec, get the exact same thing with all the money, but none of the strings.

[00:47:39] It’s not exactly how it works, but it’s how, how the Western provinces sometimes feel. Yeah. Overall, this is a pretty good step forward. I think this package transit and cities have been looking for a lot of money. This is a start.

[00:47:52] Scott de Lange Boom: Yeah. The, the, so the Federation of Canadian municipalities, I think it is, they estimate there’s about a 14 to $15 billion shortfall.

[00:48:01] So when you add in the match and funds, this is still shy of 6 billion. So. Not nearly enough to cover it off, but it does start 10, at least STEM the tide a bit.

[00:48:16] Ian Bushfield: The other news out of Ottawa this week has been just more and more and more about we charity. There’s a. Bevy of news stories from Canada land from mainstream media, from even Brian Lilly at the Toronto sun, who I’d almost never linked to got a scoop on the amount of real estate holdings that this charity has.

[00:48:37] And it’s over, it’s almost $44 million in 2018, which is sizable for a charity that predominantly does international.

[00:48:46] Scott de Lange Boom: Let’s jump into that one first because there’s some weird stuff in there. So. This is for their office in downtown Toronto, downtown. I don’t know much about geography well, enough to place in exactly, but yeah, it’s a sizable holding of Toronto real estate, but what’s most interesting about it is the loose collection of we related organizations from the charity to the, was it me too?

[00:49:17] We, uh, For profit enterprise, that’s associated with this. Each of those hold, a different holding that are nearby each other in the same area. So they’ve kind of assembled this real estate. Portfolio through a bunch of different organizations, including one that was purchased from the numbered company held by the keel burgers parents, which seems a little sketchy.

[00:49:49] Ian Bushfield: I’m not going to pretend to understand the intricacies of corporate governance structures at that scale or how you entangle real estate with it. But

[00:49:59] Scott de Lange Boom: you worked for a nonprofit,

[00:50:01] Ian Bushfield: right? Like that owns zero property.

[00:50:04] Scott de Lange Boom: I know. Presumably some eyebrows would be raised if that nonprofit had purchased something from your parents.

[00:50:12] Right. So it’s, it’s weird.

[00:50:16] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. Well, in response to this and the ongoing controversies we organization has announced that they are canceling all planned we day events and they’re doing a large restructuring. To review, they get some of these governance structures and, uh, aim to be more transparent. So.

[00:50:36] We’ll see, in the mid to longer term, how we comes out of this, I think this intense level of scrutiny that they’re being put under, it has been merited. In some ways I particularly have appreciated. The analysis is looking at we from a, you know, is this action is their ultimate aim, the feed, the children type.

[00:50:56] Amen. Go save the African children. Is that even a good. You know, charitable nutty it’s charitable, but is it something positive for the world? You know, is this just a white savior type, complex situation that makes Canadian children feel good, but how, you know, how good is the impact? So charities definitely deserve scrutiny as well, especially as they get to the size where they can.

[00:51:24] Get billion dollar government contracts, but I guess the other big half of the story is on the government side. Where in parliament, there have been around of hearings, starting to look into this. And Barnish tiger has been before was before them today. Uh, starting to talk about. Uh, some or answer some questions around this whole controversy.

[00:51:44] One of the headlines noted that she admitted that the contract with we that was initially 19 and a half million dollars for administering this student grant program could have escalated to over $43 million once various top-ups and funds that would have been funnelled to other organizations was accounted for.

[00:52:06] Scott de Lange Boom: That seems like a sizable difference.

[00:52:08] Ian Bushfield: That’s more than double. Lots of little nuggets in there. Uh, Christina Freeland was also trotted out and she kind of tried to spread the blame around saying everyone in cabinet was responsible for this controversy, but she maintains that she still has the, her complete confidence in the prime minister, which is reassuring that the deputy prime minister is not in open revolt.

[00:52:33] No, this isn’t the Martin crutch in eras, at least publicly.

[00:52:37] Scott de Lange Boom: Yeah, it was one of those things. If you have to say it, it’s not a good sign and yeah, she’s right. That everyone at the cabinet table does deserve some of the plane because someone should have said this was a terrible idea that will only hurt the government and either no one did, or they were Nord.

[00:52:56] And either way, that’s not a good sign, but still there’s Trudeau and more, no, not recusing themselves from this. That’s that’s on that. That’s not on cabinet as a whole.

[00:53:09] Ian Bushfield: So does this whole controversy on the government side, does it hang more on Trudeau as an individual leader or on the liberal party of Canada?

[00:53:19] Like, as it boils on, would a change in leadership? Like if freelance stepped in, because so far she hasn’t really been implicated other than in her statement today where she said, well, everyone who was there is responsible. Could she write this ship? Or. Does this smell of everyone or enough people in the liberal party are rotten.

[00:53:38] That the whole thing is in danger.

[00:53:41] Scott de Lange Boom: So I don’t think the ship is sinking so much, but it’s definitely taken on some water. And if they were to replace the prime minister, it might just end up hurting them more because it would signal what a big deal. This is like it’s bad, but I’m not sure it really raises to the.

[00:54:02] You fire the first minister level of bad.

[00:54:05] Ian Bushfield: And I guess there’s not really a strong opposition in place. The conservatives are still trying to decide who will be their next leader. The NDP has at least some credibility on this file, or at least not the dirt that the liberals are sitting with. But aside from.

[00:54:26] Kind of just saying the same things as the conservatives, either slightly before, slightly after in terms of what investigation should happen. Although I don’t think the NDP called for the cops to investigate this. And that was a weird one. I don’t actually know what crime has been committed.

[00:54:41] Scott de Lange Boom: Oh, it was probably something around corrupt dealings of government officials, somewhere in the criminal code.

[00:54:48] I don’t know, we’re not lawyers and I haven’t reviewed in detail, but that there’s, if there was something improper, Bartlett is not out of the room, possibility that there may have been something for a middle about it. But regardless, I think it’s Mo the most appropriate place right now for this to be investigators, the parliamentary committees and the ethics commissioner, and depending on what they come back with, that’s.

[00:55:14] We’ll either be survivable for two drill and

[00:55:16] Ian Bushfield: not yeah.

[00:55:18] Scott de Lange Boom: If it’s just, the, everything looks really bad, which is what we seem to know now that’s probably survivable. If it’s something where there was more of a quid pro quo that gets uncovered then yeah. Maybe the answer is Trudeau’s premier ship, but still, I think that’s the little less likely yeah.

[00:55:40] Come with the two.

[00:55:41] Ian Bushfield: In any case, we’re talking about. The scandal far longer than I expected to, but I guess that happened with SNC as well.

[00:55:50] Scott de Lange Boom: Yeah. Is this going to be a multimodal thing or just a short

[00:55:53] Ian Bushfield: time? Summers are quiet. We might be talking about this until September, unless COVID explodes again in Canada.

[00:56:00] But I’d rather talk about charity corruption, scandals, then pandemics.

[00:56:06] Scott de Lange Boom: Yeah. And even if covert explodes again, I’m not sure you’re going to get the same crisis rally around the flag. Politics is suspended as much as it can be situation that happened when it first hit. You may move back into that stage a bit, but I, it’s not going to be the way it was in late March.

[00:56:25] But speaking of things where you’ve been talking about for a while now, uh, Walway’s back in the news, uh, this time. One of our five eyes partners. The UK has reversed course and decided to ban Walway from his five G network starting at the end of the year and requires all the equipment to be stripped out of the system by 2027.

[00:56:52] And this is a reversal, of course, from the decision they made. Early in the year. I think it was late last year. Were they decided they were going to allow it in some parts, but not others.

[00:57:05] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. A previous report had estimated that a full ban on Walway would cost an additional 2 billion pounds to a wireless providers there and delay the rollout of.

[00:57:16] Five G by two to three years now, the conservative ministers announcing this, uh, this week said while it will still delay it, it only delay it by a year. They’re also not pulling Walway tech out of two, three or four G networks. So it’s just the five G going forward, which does raise the question of if your problem is with the company and the country behind the company.

[00:57:42] Then wouldn’t you care about all of it or is this political posturing based on the USS pressure around, uh, how Trump does, I don’t want any country really using Walway at this point.

[00:57:55] Scott de Lange Boom: I think it’s going to depend a bit on how integrated it is in the other levels of the network. Uh, but the main reason I want to talk about this is that, uh, after this decision by Britain, that basically leaves Canada is the only country that not.

[00:58:10] Made a decision while. So the, uh, within the five eyes, New Zealand hasn’t officially banded, but all their providers have gone with alternate suppliers. Yeah.

[00:58:20] Ian Bushfield: And that’s pretty much what we’ve resulted in at this point. Now, as far as I know, or are we still waiting on one or two,

[00:58:27] Scott de Lange Boom: most of the major ones have gone that way, but there’s still no real government decision on that, which there probably will be at some point.

[00:58:37] But yeah, I think this is just going to port further pressure on the Trudeau government to make a decision on that, which they’ve been delaying for months. Also the other somewhat related news story that was a uncovered and posted today by a, by John Iverson. The national post was that our embassy security systems have a contract awarded.

[00:59:05] To a Chinese state owned firm, uh, for security equipment at the various embassies

[00:59:13] Ian Bushfield: specifically, this is to buy conveyor style x-ray machines from company called Knuck tech.

[00:59:19] Scott de Lange Boom: They’re apparently a major supplier in the field.

[00:59:21] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, they do a lot of airport security, I guess, from the reporting. It says these machines won’t be connected into the broader it infrastructure of embassies.

[00:59:33] And so. It was largely just a matter of, you know, who can present the lowest bid on a machine that can do what needs to be done.

[00:59:43] Scott de Lange Boom: Why? I don’t think it was actually because

[00:59:44] Ian Bushfield: it wasn’t confirmed by the government, but that’s sort of, what’s alleged by the info on the government procurement website.

[00:59:53] Scott de Lange Boom: Yeah. So government contracts can be evaluated on bunch of different metrics, sometimes slows prices at sometimes there’s other factors.

[01:00:01] So. At the time the story came out, the government hadn’t responded and clarify what the criteria were regardless. It’s probably even if it isn’t hardwired into the it networks, it’s probably good if we don’t source critical security infrastructure from countries that are at the very least antagonistic towards Canada,

[01:00:29] Ian Bushfield: but an X Ray machine isn’t critical.

[01:00:32] Like it’s necessary, but what are they going to do? Like, like, what is the actual risk here that China disables, the X Ray machines and then invades our embassies. Like, I feel like this is a paranoid story. Like this is, I get some of the other thing I get Walway and the 5g question, because everyone uses a cell phone, including government ministers, but who cares is why is this a story?

[01:00:59] Like their x-ray machines? They just sit there in early.

[01:01:02] Scott de Lange Boom: Uh, well, it is also for a contract for, um, installation, a bunch of other related stuff. So it would be given access to the embassies.

[01:01:11] Ian Bushfield: It’s a stretch. This is like Soviet era red scare stuff. It’s like I’m, you know, I don’t buy that. This is a story other than for the conservative base, that’s really eager to whip up anti-China rhetoric.

[01:01:26] And I think there are much better. I think there are much better ways to criticize China than to worry about x-ray machines. And like contract that saved us money.

[01:01:35] Scott de Lange Boom: I think it does relate to the kind of a larger conversation that’s been happening over the past year around, um, supply chain dependencies.

[01:01:44] And if Canada’s just too small, a country to source everything domestically, but it’s probably a good idea of, uh, strategically to be looking at, at least when it comes to stuff such as security, uh, defense related equipment. And what a critical infrastructure to be sourcing those from at least within our network of allies, I mainly wanted to fight it.

[01:02:11] Cause I think it’s gonna probably be the sort of thing that’s going to be discussed over the next week and relates to the larger conversation that has been happening in Canada. And it’s going to continue around our relationship with China.

[01:02:26] Ian Bushfield: My favorite bit in this story is the quote from geese st. Of.

[01:02:31] Former Canadian ambassador to Beijing who was talking about the difficulties of American or Canadian companies competing with Chinese ones because there’s allegations that the Chinese government essentially subsidizes its companies to compete on the global stage and let some undercut anyone else.

[01:02:48] And he quotes says the problem of competing with state owned companies is very difficult, which. Kind of just makes me say, well then why don’t we have our own state owned companies? Like if the market can’t work, then let’s just not use it. But you know, different challenges, you know, a couple of years ago when we started this podcast, I don’t think you were predicting, you would have predicted that you’d be defending the need for domestic supply chains in 2020,

[01:03:18] Scott de Lange Boom: well, allied supply chains.

[01:03:21] I think. Yeah. Um, yeah, I think if we were to go back and listen to those, there’s a few where I think I was pointed out that maybe we shouldn’t do as much military procurement, but within our allies, but definitely I think critical infrastructure and securities is one of those items that is a clear exception to the more.

[01:03:44] Globalize free trade is always better. Well,

[01:03:47] Ian Bushfield: let’s pivot from domestic versus international supply chains too. The provincial and domestic, uh, budget numbers and how much money we have. And don’t have Carol James announced a, uh, fiscal update this weekend, bit of a snapshot of the picture of where the province is at, which follows the formal federal fiscal snapshot, uh, BC this year is now looking at a 12 and a half billion dollar deficit as a reversal from the $227 million surplus.

[01:04:17] They were looking at. This is split roughly evenly between a $6.3 billion hit to revenues and a similar amount of increased spending for additional health care and the various support and aid packages that have been rolled out. So

[01:04:32] Scott de Lange Boom: I was just a little surprised. That it wasn’t higher. I know some people have had sticker shock at this, but like $12.5 billion concern, just how badly the economy is being hammered and how much additional spending got out the door.

[01:04:48] It actually seems maybe a little low, low, lower than I would have guessed. If you just asked me. Uh, before these numbers came out.

[01:04:56] Ian Bushfield: Yeah, I thought the same, uh, they also predict that the GDP is going to drop 6.8% this year. Uh, overall provincial unemployment is at 13% and it’s up to 29% for youth, which goes back to what Kim Darwin was talking about in her interview.

[01:05:12] Scott de Lange Boom: So yeah, I’m sure the levels will make a little bit of hay out of this, but nobody’s really questioned the need for any of the spending or any of the. Or a question why the revenues have fallen. So politically it’s not going to, I think, happy, huge impact.

[01:05:29] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. Even the president vice president of the BC business council was out there pretty much defending that, you know, this is entirely due to COVID-19.

[01:05:38] Uh, economists were also agreeing there’s no one who’s really got a credible leg to stand on to criticize these numbers. I mean, the BC liberals, like you say, We’ll call them out, but you know, what could they have done differently? Like if you would be in a worse position, if we hadn’t done what we had, and I think there’s still a lot more to do, and I’ll be looking forward to the decisions by the province about what they’re going to do with that.

[01:06:05] W what is it? One and a half billion dollars that was to start a. Restart plan that they had announced quite a while back.

[01:06:12] Scott de Lange Boom: Hey. Yeah. For the last week or two, that the main liberal tagline’s been the province hasn’t provided a Cleaver plan for small businesses, a few other things for the recovery. So. It would be quite a pivot.

[01:06:27] That’s hard to do to go into a full on attack on the deficit when I don’t. They just put you in a lowly sailing tissue for a lot of first Colombian. So yeah. Yeah. I’m sure there will be a fundraising email that goes out about it, but that’s probably going to be an out as much as they push beyond maybe couple questions here in question period.

[01:06:49] Ian Bushfield: And also remember that money is free right now, interest rates are so absurdly low. And I think the bank of Canada’s governor announced or had hinted that they’re going to stay low for quite a while. So

[01:07:01] Scott de Lange Boom: yeah, it’s pretty close to the money printed  territory.

[01:07:04] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. Who cares? No. Who does not matter? Spend baby spend.

[01:07:09] Scott de Lange Boom: And finally, I don’t know. Bit of a side note for the last story, uh, PC has recorded a record high. A monthly total of deaths from Melissa drugs during June. Just break the previously set pressured, I think in may of this year. Yeah. It’s just one of those tragedies that have been unfolded parallel to the COVID-19 situation.

[01:07:35] And some of the responses to that have had spillover effects.

[01:07:41] Ian Bushfield: Yeah. Part of what the chief coroner and others are saying in the government announcement is just that. The, you know, the pandemic really compounded the preexisting overdose crisis. You have people, it was even starting to turn around, arguably by many of the metrics that the interventions and the harm reduction efforts have been working.

[01:08:03] But as soon as you have to start making. People. So physically distance stay home more. They use in more dangerous situations. They don’t get the help they need. And then you also close the border. So the drug supply shrinks and it gets more unmanageable. Even everything just got worse. Uh, there have been some steps by the, that possibly abetted this from being even worse in terms of almost piloting safe supply, but.

[01:08:36] Lisa will appoint the chief coroner, dr. Perry, Kendall from the BC center for substance use and, uh, others across the province are quoted in this of really highlighting the importance of making sure, uh, access to safe supply is out there. Uh, dr. Kendall’s talking about decriminalizing personal possession so that there’s no, um, threat on the people who are using drugs and even.

[01:09:00] John Horgan recently has started echoing support for decriminalization emphasizing from his point of view that it’s on the federal government’s agenda to take on while still not quite. Uptaking the recommendations from several years ago of dr. Bonnie Henry on what the province can do to those steps, lot more needs to be done.

[01:09:20] And, you know, we’re getting daily updates still on COVID with one or two or zero deaths, but 175 deaths is. No four or five a day or more doing math quickly in my head. Maybe we need to be just having that press conference as well. I know that’s almost cliche to say, but you know, this is the ongoing crisis that we can’t forget about.

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