The following is a largely AI-generated transcript for our Episode 204. 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: [00:01:58] let’s kick it off with a segment on the back to school. Latest news. The, big news of the week wasn’t Rob Fleming’s press conference, which ended up just really recounting what had already been decided. But the $2 billion that Justin Trudeau announced at the federal government was, literally just handing to provinces, no strings attached, almost
Scott: [00:01:58] good schools to use all the support they can get as they try and reopen.
a little more money. Good on that front, but certainly cutting it a bit close schools are basically in the process of spinning up for the school year, right about now. And why wait until the last minute?
Ian Bushfield: [00:02:17] Yeah, BC had already earmarked $45.6 million. As we talked about with Sonia a couple of weeks ago, for things like heightened cleaning physical barriers, technology changes buying one and a half million masks. So every student staff and teacher can have two. so this government, this federal government money, which works out to 242 million for BC, and that’s based on the number of students we have. So we work out to actually get less money than Alberta who has more students, because Alberta is a very young province.
It’s welcome, but what can BC do in it’s now like a week and a half, 10 days until teachers are back in [00:03:00] class in two weeks until students are back in class, like it’s not enough time to hire more teachers, which would help to do things like expand on that classes, reduce class sizes in person provided you could find classrooms to use.
Or even order PPE because a large scale, additional PPE expansion. Takes time, improving ventilation takes time.
Scott: [00:03:24] Yeah.
Ian Bushfield: [00:03:25] It’s late.
Scott: [00:03:26] Let’s think about how this, the federal government’s handled things is once they got over the initial flurry of immediate actions back in March, April, when the syrup got rolled out and a bunch of stuff just are rolled out in very quick succession and fairly reasonable job of that.
But since then, they’ve I don’t want to say slacking off, but the medium to medium longterm problems that were obviously going to arise, I needed action plans to [00:04:00] get prepared as quickly as possible and to start making preparations for how to deal with that, seem to have drop the ball a bit or being slow to react on all of those.
Ian Bushfield: [00:04:11] And even the things they have been rolling out are pretty slow. Like we’ve talked about sick leave promises a few times, and we talked about the changes from Serb to AI that were announced last week and the sickly promises within there. But as far as I can tell is still to be. Filled in a bit and it will be, COVID only dependent and it will come in via service Canada and the AI system after parliament resumed, which presumably means they need to pass legislation to make this happen.
So that delays a lot more things. people are getting sick now and having to miss work. Now, having that backstop. two months ago when we were talking about it back in June, when [00:05:00] John Horgan was talking about it would be much better.
Scott: [00:05:04] Yeah. And that’s a part of a broader issue. I think we have a lot of economic problems as well, but the government’s being hindered through actions they want to take, we’re more than six months into this and don’t have anything more than the Vegas outline of a plan to do with that.
And overall, it just seems like the government has more or less once the first wave of stuff got rolled out, just being stupid, switch, move back into, slow province policy making rather than more of a crisis emergency approach to things, which isn’t great because while we still have crisis and.
People are starting to get used to it, but that doesn’t actually change the reality.
Ian Bushfield: [00:05:50] Yeah. And longer term $240 million for the BC school system can make a significant difference. [00:06:00] Like it’s a one time cash injection. So it’s hard to hire people longer term on that, but at very least, yeah, it helps the provinces budget and can hopefully.
Make October classes a bit more comfortable, even as September is still quite up in the air, but let’s pivot and talk about. What has been announced from Rob Fleming in the ministry earlier this week, I sat through his press conference and the questions. And like I said, it was largely an update on the plans that have been put in place.
So yesterday was the deadline given by the ministry for every district in the province who have published their plan for back to school and school restart as laid out by the ministry. And. That’s basically what he was announcing is that yes, every public school district, all the independent schools have put these online.
So if you’re a parent, anywhere in BC, you can go to your school districts on line [00:07:00] website and see exactly what. They’re planning. it was something like 70% of high schools in the province are going to be switching to a quarterly system where there will be four semesters, where you take two courses at a time,
Scott: [00:07:14] like really semester for this four of them.
Ian Bushfield: [00:07:17] The Quartermaster’s a term what’s even better is there’s a handful where they’re going to eight term systems where you just take one course. Every day, all day for five weeks and you just burn through it. I
Scott: [00:07:33] feel like you’re probably going to hit a point of diminishing returns around hour seven of the class.
Ian Bushfield: [00:07:39] I think that’s about the length of a school day. Usually if you think about it with a couple breaks in there for lunch and snacks or whatever, the bigger issue is I think the pedagogy, the bigger issue is I think the pedagogy is pretty clear that we don’t learn well like that. Especially when it’s say, take math 10, [00:08:00] this September for five weeks, and then you don’t see math again until second semester next year, you could have over a year between the time you’ve seen these, this subject students barely remember things after summer.
So there’s going to be a lot of interesting results coming out of the experiments. We’re playing with education right now, and it’s not like we have better options, but this is a really tough situation.
so a lot of districts are doing more creative things like here in Burnaby, the high schools were. Like we talked about allowed to have cohorts of up to one 20, but they’re actually aiming to keep their cohorts to 30 or 60, depending on whether you’re in junior or senior high. And the way they’re doing that is through that quarterly term system.
And then also allowing some of the high school classes to be done hybrid remote online. So you students are only spending half a day, essentially [00:09:00] in school, the older students, younger students will be in full time where. They generally need a bit more supervision.
Scott: [00:09:06] So obviously you want to minimize the amount of like person to person contact over all, but I guess you’re spending four hours with the same hundred people, is that notice significantly safer than just spending eight hours with the same hundred people.
if it really feels like once you’re into the cup, Time units measured in hours. You’re not really let losing any safety. The more you stretch that out.
Ian Bushfield: [00:09:37] So I think the goal with moving to fewer taking fewer classes at once is that you’re not at the upper end of those cohorts, what you’re having instead.
Yeah. You only see one or two class you’re, you only have up to two classes or 60 people interacting as opposed to 120, or if you’re only seeing one class and half the time you’re at home, you may only see 30 people for a few hours or set a [00:10:00] time. And that does, I think, start to do. Some helping in terms of physical distancing.
Now this all still is based on the assumption that students won’t break the rules and inter or act outside their cohorts outside of schools,
Scott: [00:10:14] which, because teenagers are notorious for being sticklers for the
Ian Bushfield: [00:10:19] rules. and even with. younger kids who obviously have similar challenges with following rules for more than like a few seconds at a time, or a few minutes, you have daycares or family units where you might have kids in different classes who are then at home together, or daycares where they’re like, we can’t reasonably match the cohorts that are set up by the school districts.
And so there’s still going to be vectors through all of these different angles. And through all these different students and family units that haven’t quite been sorted out.
nevertheless, every district has been told by the ministry to contact every [00:11:00] family in that district to determine what their fall enrollments plans are. some districts like Vancouver have already completed this here in Burnaby. They’ll have until September 1st to do it. It’s dependent on when they got their plan on the website.
Reports out of Edmonton say that nearly 30% of families have said they are going to try and keep their kids home and do remote learning of some type. I don’t know if that will be as high in BC because we frankly just don’t necessarily have as many options. Most of the public distributed learning, the remote learning options are well over subscribed or very full.
And priority access is being given reasonably to those with the most complex learning needs. And there’s also, and there’s also an additional challenge where students who switched to this remote or online learning aren’t necessarily guaranteed your space back in a brick and mortar school. So the way it usually works is if you switch to distributed [00:12:00] learning from in class, lessons, You then have to basically reapply.
If you want to go back to school now, it makes sense that you won’t be able to go online for September and come back in October. Cause that just really messes with the district’s ability to plan class sizes and hiring. But the uncertainty here makes a lot of parents very nervous.
Scott: [00:12:22] Yeah. I can see how this is.
May help allay some fears and uncertainty, but yeah. Overall, it doesn’t seem to be a huge step towards that compared to what we were talking about two weeks ago,
Ian Bushfield: [00:12:38] it’s because not much has changed really. All we know now is that districts have actually done better than the ministry was recommending, which I think is a very positive step in terms of these smaller cohort plans that said.
It would still be nice to know we had a path towards smaller class sizes, more [00:13:00] online options, because those have not been guaranteed. like I’ve done a little bit of digging on this and if you want to keep your kid home and teach them from home, you have the option of trying to get into a public.
Distributed learning system. Now the advantage there is you don’t have to stick with your district. I live in Burnaby, but if I wanted to enroll a child in arrow lakes or whatever, Colona’s online school, public online school, we could do that provided they had space. But I think most of them are already fairly full and haven’t hired enough teachers to expand it.
Now there’s the independent online system and they’ve had some funding cuts recently, so they’ll likely be tuition on there. And then there’s the challenge where a lot of those are run by fundamentalist Christians because religious groups tend to keep their kids out of. Public or, the fundamentalist religious groups tend to keep their kids out of public school more often than anyone else.
And so they’ve published those [00:14:00] and that might not necessarily be the case, a right fit for many families, especially in, diverse secular Vancouver. Maybe it will work for some, and then there are some secular options, but I, in the independent system, But I suspect they’re also filling up pretty quickly too.
And then you have just the traditional homeschooling option where you just agree that you will teach your kids, but then you’re not guaranteed a diploma. As in you can’t earn a diploma that way. And the parent then also has to be able to teach their child, which takes a lot of time and expertise, which is why we usually pay people to teach.
Scott: [00:14:40] Yeah. So just seems like there’s, the managers obviously doing the best they can, but there’s still a lot of gaps here that don’t really seem to be fill. I’m not, I don’t really have any great ideas on how that can be patched, but. It does seem, we [00:15:00] just had this deadline that we set, that we were gonna come hell or high water going to have people back in school, come the start of the normal school year.
And even if everything wasn’t figured out, we would just go for it. I can get why people want to do that, but that has certainly come with some
Ian Bushfield: [00:15:20] problems. Yeah, the BCTF is unsurprisingly, reiterating it’s called for smaller class sizes, especially with the additional funds from the federal government and just overall slowing down the back to school plan.
On the other hand, you have parents who can’t just stay home and watch their kids for more weeks time. So they do need a back to school from start date so that they can make sure that they’re. Working and making money, to feed set kids. It’s not an easy situation, would have been nice to see that money for schools come out, even in [00:16:00] June, but it’s here now.
We’ll see where it goes. I don’t think any of the provinces have really announced where they’re gonna spend their money.
Scott: [00:16:09] Yeah, you don’t necessarily have a plan in place. If you were to suddenly get a tenant, boosting your, Budget, which is roughly what the cited, but nine or 10% of the current agitation budgets what’s coming in right now, which is fairly sizeable.
Yeah. Overall, it’s just really one of those cases where didn’t seem to do as much longterm planning as we should have back in kind of your may, June timeframe.
Ian Bushfield: [00:16:39] We were all getting excited for the summer vacations. We weren’t allowed to have
Scott: [00:16:44] you mean political risks so far the BC governments are unfairly high marks on how they’ve handled the situation, but the actual back to school time will be the real test of that and COVID cases or [00:17:00] hop, which adds another level of challenge around that.
And well, the federal government. Has not been having a script, a political summer, and now that they’ve jumped in on this, they might now start to wear a bit of it too, if it goes South.
Ian Bushfield: [00:17:16] Yeah. Some of the initial pushback on the federal government’s announcement was that it wasn’t a very strings attached, but it was earmarked slightly towards air ventilation, sanitation and PPE, rather than whatever provinces want to. Spend it on. So maybe there’ll have to be some further negotiations if provinces did want to spend it on salaries and shrinking class sizes.
But yeah, back to school in 10, two weeks,
teachers back in 10.
We can move on.
Scott: [00:17:54] let’s move on to our second segment, the right tool for the job. So [00:18:00] depending on what part of Canada you are living in, the new conservative leader was announced either on Sunday or Monday of this past week due to a slight. On inability to open envelopes without shredding the ballots inside of them.
Problem on the part of the, elect due to a slight problem, opening envelopes without shredding, the contents of them problem, the conservative party had with their leadership vote. But after seven hours waiting so slightly after midnight in Ontario. Yeah, a little earlier out here on the West coast, they results for finally as expected Derek Sloan Gardner coffin round one and final round, it came down to Aaronow tools versus Peter McKay, where Aaronow tool won a [00:19:00] fairly decisive victory dead in boat.
57% of the points available.
Ian Bushfield: [00:19:07] Okay.
So it’s always a good sign when your machines are shredding the ballots before they’re counted. like I get that these aren’t systems that are run very frequently and COVID introduced another element of complexity to it. And. This is an intensely stressful situation. So all sympathy with the political staffers in the backrooms there who were probably crying and having to take ballots together so that they could make sure everyone was counted correctly, but really bad.
Look, they’re compounded by the continual, Oh, it’ll be done and we’ll have it in 15 minutes. We’ll have it in 20 minutes. And then, like you said, hours later, they announced the first round results. And then I think there was still another hour until they announced the second and third round, which had already been counted by then.
Scott: [00:19:58] Yeah, it was a bit of a mess [00:20:00] there’s basically no party that’s ever announced their winner of the leadership race exactly on time. But this one definitely stretched out a bit.
Ian Bushfield: [00:20:09] Delegate systems seem to actually work a bit more smoothly, mainly because everyone who’s voting has to be in the room, but that wasn’t going to happen this time. Anyway, delegate systems are problematic for other reasons. let’s dig in a little into these results because while the final round was.
Decide more, much more decisive than shares, like 50.01 to 49.99 type victory over Maxine Bernie. there were a lot of like little corks in the raw votes in here. So in the first, in the first round you had Mackay come out on top, but with a week 35%, I believe too. Oh, tools 30 ish. And then the other third split between social conservatives, less than Lewis and Derek Sloan [00:21:00] muslin Lewis though was at 43, 3000 votes to O’Tooles 51.
And McKay’s 53 Louis, actually one Saskatchewan in place. Second in five races across the country, which was quite strong. O’Toole actually only managed to win Alberta and Quebec on the first round. And really was the Quebec was the only province he won in every round. McKay actually won the most provinces in the first round, but he just did not have.
Those second choice ballots from anyone I think was what everyone expected
Scott: [00:21:33] going into this, everyone more or less figured that McCain needed 45%. Maybe things went really well. 40% on the first round. things went really well in subsequent rounds. he could skate by with 40% on the first round because the thing about being a front runner is.
But people, if they’re not, and for you, they’ve already considered you [00:22:00] and are very consciously not voting for you. If you’re the front runner and not get in their first round vote. So they rarely pick up much in subsequent rounds. And, you saw that last time where. Andrew sheriffs slowly crept up through the night as subsequent candidates were knocked off and he dropped more and more of their votes you saw in the BC leadership race, that elected Andrew Wilkinson, where he finished second last in the first round and climbed his way up as the night went.
I think it was second last. he finished fairly far down, in the first round anyway, and for all his way up.
Ian Bushfield: [00:22:36] I think the only person I’ve ever seen when each subsequent round till the end was Tom Mulcaire and the 2012 NDP leadership race. And I think he had just enough ahead of Brian Topp in the first round that he was, and he wasn’t so divisive that he was able to pick up steam to finally win it in the forced ballot.
But yeah, it is quite [00:23:00] often on these rank ballot systems that you’ll see the second or third choice. Leapfrog at some point. So second round gets quite interesting as lesbian Lewis wins the popular vote, which. Conservatives will remind you happened in the 2019 federal election, but they still didn’t win government.
So similarly, less than Louis Scott dropped off that ballot,
Scott: [00:23:24] it turns out running up the points in Alberta doesn’t necessarily help you in either the prime ministership or the company.
Ian Bushfield: [00:23:33] She actually won all four Western provinces, Alberta, BC, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In that second round, like I said, Erin, O’Toole only one Quebec in the second round.
So luckily for whatever, luckily for a tool at least, it’s not just how many provinces did you win? It’s how many points do you score? And Quebec had a lot of points.
Scott: [00:23:56] Yeah. Although in Oh, tools, Casey, I would [00:24:00] have still held on to the final round because McKay actually came in third on the second ballot.
Ian Bushfield: [00:24:06] Yeah, it was very close between them in terms of points. It was, 11,900 and some for tool two, I think McKay was just under 11,800. Leslie Lewis ended up with 10,000 in that round, so she didn’t have enough to advance past Mackay or O’Toole in some weird situation. I don’t know what would have happened if it was Lewis versus tool.
I have to assume a case second choice voters would have gone to O’Toole
Scott: [00:24:34] most likely, but
Ian Bushfield: [00:24:36] people can be very weird in the third round though. sure. Like you said, takes it strongly McKay only really holds on to the maritime provinces where his support was pretty deep. I should, I also meant to note in the first round, McKay’s only like moderately, okay.
Results were in Saskatchewan and Quebec where he didn’t [00:25:00] place last. And I think he beat Mackay in Saskatchewan and Lewis in Quebec by only a handful of points. So he basically tied someone for lost in those situations. Derek Sloan did not do well at the same time. He also did. Pretty well, cause he didn’t get below 10% of the vote or points in the end.
Scott: [00:25:21] Only, just barely cleared.
Ian Bushfield: [00:25:24] Yeah. So maybe let’s dig into that a little. What do these results actually mean for each of the contestants going from the first loser to the ultimate winner? Derek Sloan went into this, not as a joke, but people strongly dismissed them and.
Scott: [00:25:43] Yeah. If you said the name Derek slung, people would have said who go in into this and outside of people who watch Paul’s hits very closely, they will probably still have the same result.
But yeah, he went from that and then tried to run the
Ian Bushfield: [00:25:57] people called it the four, 10 candidate, I think
[00:26:00] Scott: [00:26:02] for Chan. Type of fate, like Kmart store on dental masks and mandatory vaccines and all of that stuff. Plus pluses, social conservatives, and like overall, I think just made a lot of discerners, pretty embarrassed about the whole thing.
So I’m not sure he didn’t like, he definitely raised his profile, but I’m not sure that was a net positive for him versus. If he’d sat this race out and built up, more experience, more connections and everything as he stayed in the house, laundry and laundry.
Ian Bushfield: [00:26:42] So here’s the question. What do you do if your Aaronow tool with Derek Sloan?
Do you. Because I’ve seen calls for him to be ejected from caucus, for his anti-choice and very social conservative views. And I’ve also seen the argument that he has a little bit of cache because he [00:27:00] helped make sure O’Toole won in the end. if those votes didn’t go to Louis and ultimately to, Oh, tool, this might be Peter Mackay’s party today.
Does he stay or does he go.
Scott: [00:27:11] I think Louis definitely gets much more credit for being the one to push, our tool over the edge. the difference between tools total votes in the first and third round, it’s more or less just how many votes Lewis got, and you would have had drop-offs in both candidates and whatnot, but yeah. it’s hard to make the case that had Derek’s loans, voters just not even showed off that it would have cost Aaron O’Toole victory.
probably the thing to do is you give ’em,
it makes the party look weak to be spelling. People who’ve ran in the leadership race and didn’t do well. So I don’t think it made sense to check him out [00:28:00] or anything, but you just don’t promote them and keep him as a, backbencher
Ian Bushfield: [00:28:06] wait for him to dig his own grave in this situation and then show him the door if he becomes alive.
Scott: [00:28:12] Yeah, exactly. You
Ian Bushfield: [00:28:14] can give him in which case he can do as Carter DITs suggested, I think on the strategists and go lead the people’s party.
I think that’s enough time on Derek Sloan. Let’s talk about that is true. Let’s talk about lesbian. Louis is a, quite a shocker performance for many people. I think we had the signs, it was going in there and I tried to emphasize that last week. Pointing out how many, donors she was getting and how much money she was fundraising.
there was a momentum there and it carried through it didn’t carry her far enough, but, making it to a strong second round showing it’s probably the like best she was going to do. Given she had zero political profile eight months ago.
[00:29:00] Scott: [00:28:59] She did very well. And I.
There was some interest in kind of an outsider candidate who had a kind of very genuine persona about her. And I think, yeah, she ended up connecting with a lot of conservatives on that. So there’s definitely a strong future for in the conservative party going forward. Short of winning. She probably came out of there as.
Best that she could have possibly hope for good results overall.
Ian Bushfield: [00:29:32] Yeah. There’s an element of like conservativism in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where I think they’re conservative voters through and through their true blue to the core. But I think they actually just hate the conservative party. Like they hate anyone who represents the kind of core. Like established conservative party and they want maybe it to return to the reform roots or maybe they just want to like vote for whoever the outsider is.
I think it’s part of why [00:30:00] you saw Maxine. Bernay do so well across the Prairie’s. And why now? Lesbian Lewis, Was sweeping some of the Prairie votes in round two and doing pretty strongly in round one.
Scott: [00:30:11] Yeah. It’s worth noting that there was no candidate on the ballot from definitely West darker. Nora.
I actually don’t even know where Derek salons riding is. They were all from Ontario, further eastward. So there was no person wave in the. Banner for, the Western Canadians, everyone was buying for those votes, there wasn’t an obvious spot for them to rally around.
Ian Bushfield: [00:30:42] But the other challenge I see with Louis is if you buy the claims that Derek Sloan’s.
Deep social conservative views. At least his anti-choice views. His homophobia is transphobia views are a liability to the conservative party in the future [00:31:00] of the conservative party. I don’t see how you can’t apply that same lens to Leslie Lewis, who was very upfront about, she’s not going to have a hidden agenda because she’s not going to hide the fact she wants to roll back.
Reproductive freedoms. So like, how does the conservative party square that circle? Cause they’re clearly going to want to involve her more. Given the strength she showed here. But at the same time, she’s not,
Scott: [00:31:24] fundamentally the conservative party doesn’t have a litmus test for their candidates on abortion.
So that’s not going to be the thing that if it does end up driving Derek Sloan out of the party, it’s unlikely to be that unless he. Says something very offensive on top of just holding those, just holding views on abortion. That aren’t necessarily those of the NDP or the liberals.
Ian Bushfield: [00:31:54] but Lewis has called for specific bills to roll back reproductive freedoms in [00:32:00] Canada, including, trying to ban sex, selective abortions and, rolling back funding for maternal health programs around the world.
She has also called for rolling back and we went over this, Trans rights in the Canada human rights act. she is opposed to the conversion therapy ban. Like she’s not a candidate for the conservative party who would be marching in pride parades, or be allowed to March in pride parades, frankly, for the view she holds like this is a conservative party that just got out of a debate over whether they will still oppose same sex marriage or whether they will or sorry, whether they will stop having no position on it and actually be fine with same sex marriage.
I don’t think less than Lewis is fine with same sex marriage. Like she hasn’t necessarily said it explicitly, but drawing a pretty straight line from what’s on our platform.
She doesn’t really seem like she might talk a good game, but about grassroots, but like she’s a hard social conservative.
Scott: [00:32:58] but [00:33:00] so’s 20% of the country and a disproportionate amount of the conservative base and maybe 15% of the country, but the politics aren’t there to really just jettison everybody that the NDP would want to see Dawn. So it’s just not going to happen. I don’t think there’s really anything that’s going to change that
Ian Bushfield: [00:33:26] it’s not just NDP voters.
So it’s people
Scott: [00:33:29] that the leader is the one that gets all the attention and backbench MPS, or even shadow cabinet people just. Generally don’t and it’s, I don’t think it’s going to be a huge political liability going forward.
Ian Bushfield: [00:33:43] it depends whether O’Toole is able to play a better game than shear, who obviously was not a very strong leader, but you can definitely have your leadership, subsumed or,
Scott: [00:33:54] definitely going to be able to
Ian Bushfield: [00:33:55] shout overshadow.
Scott: [00:33:56] I think he’s probably going to be able to pull that off his first [00:34:00] couple press conferences, speeches. I think has already showed that he’s well above Andrew sheer and capabilities on those fronts,
Ian Bushfield: [00:34:12] such a low bar
Scott: [00:34:13] that is moving,
Ian Bushfield: [00:34:14] moving from Leslie and Lewis. Who’s likely to have a bigger role in the conservative party to Peter McKay.
Where’s his future. What company do you think he’s going to announce that he’s joining the board of.
Because he’s obviously not involved in the conservative party anymore.
Scott: [00:34:29] Yeah. He made noises about running and the nets, the lechon. Cause I don’t think he could say you weren’t going to do that if you lost, but I think it’s fairly likely he doesn’t run. Just like you said, a couple of shots at this. It’s not going to happen now.
He’s just. Not going to happen going forward. And yeah, I think he just leaves politics goes back to the public sector.
That’s some yeah. [00:35:00] Comfortable partner job with some law, a law firm in Toronto.
Ian Bushfield: [00:35:04] he could always run for provincial politics. Maybe the. Nova Scotia PCs are looking for a new leader at some point. And he tries there.
Scott: [00:35:17] Perhaps
Ian Bushfield: [00:35:18] I haven’t actually fully kept up on Nova on Atlantic Canada politics for awhile. I just remember a lot were in minority situations. A premier resigned recently, right?
Pardon? I was going to say a premier resigned recently. I felt or new Brunswick’s going to an election,
Scott: [00:35:31] And election, you have, Hates first. I want to say Blaine hates, versus, Kevin Vickers. You made an interesting jump from a Sergeant at arms with the house of commons, to Basadur to Ireland, I think, and then came back to run provincially
Ian Bushfield: [00:35:50] of elections happening on September 14th. That’s coming up very fast,
Scott: [00:35:55] pretty quick.
Ian Bushfield: [00:35:56] you also have,
Scott: [00:35:58] it will be the first provincial [00:36:00] legend under drove it.
Ian Bushfield: [00:36:00] So it will be an interesting
Scott: [00:36:02] one to watch just technically on how they manage to pull that off.
Ian Bushfield: [00:36:06] and they have the people’s Alliance and green party both going into the election with three seats.
So either of those could also increase her
Scott: [00:36:17] power situation. Yeah. Yeah. anyway, circling back to Peter McKay.
What went wrong? Why didn’t you connect or why didn’t hear enough to put them over the line?
Ian Bushfield: [00:36:26] I don’t think he, I think he flubbed so much so early with those. It was unclear why he was running. It was unclear what he was running for. he tried to pivot, I think, halfway through the race to pick up social conservative votes, but no one bought it because.
It didn’t make any sense. And by that point, Aaronow tool had already said, no, I’m going to be the guy who represents you. And he’d already, essentially secured those second choice votes. It was just a matter of people figuring out who was there first. [00:37:00] I think Peter McKay just didn’t have a strategy for this entire race.
Scott: [00:37:03] Yeah. It was very unclear if he couldn’t finish on the first ballot, what his. Strategy was to win.
Ian Bushfield: [00:37:14] Maybe he was hoping for another mod or a more moderate to enter the race. So there would be a well to draw from, but
Scott: [00:37:23] like arrow tool is more or less that moderate. he is, we’ve said it several times now.
He’s positioned himself more towards the center of gravity of the party. Because that was the smart thing to do in this campaign with the dynamics there,
Ian Bushfield: [00:37:38] but
Scott: [00:37:38] what would a third person like if,
Ian Bushfield: [00:37:42] so if you hadn’t Michael Chong run.
Scott: [00:37:44] Yeah. If you had to like mitral Chandran or Lisa rate, all you would have done with us being divided, the votes that O’Toole and Macquarie got on the first round among three people. And that probably wouldn’t have given McKay any for decisive, the [00:38:00] going into round two, then he had on this one. So the only way it could have worked is.
If he’d been very strategic in where he put his resources in terms of trying to maximize that the points for the few as number of votes,
Ian Bushfield: [00:38:18] I think McCain needed to connect with Quebec conservatives, but I suspect there weren’t many, and those who were still in the party were tired.
Scott: [00:38:28] If there aren’t many, that’s actually a good thing to do.
Ian Bushfield: [00:38:31] No, but I think the ones who were in there were sheer. Supporters. They were ones who signed on for shear and just haven’t quite quit the party, or they are social conservatives because all the moderates in Quebec have moved over to the liberals or just the block again.
So Mackay needed to sell more memberships. He needed to convince far more Canadians that he could bring a new voice to the party and, or even renew the party too. [00:39:00] The sort of PC days. And I think that brand of conservativism is largely dead. And I think McKay’s, McKay got screwed because he couldn’t do in person events.
And I don’t know if he would have been that charismatic in person, but it doesn’t help anyone to not be able to do in person organizing when you’re trying to win a leadership and sell votes, or sell memberships. McKay was stuck not being able to really get himself out there other than through the media and the stuff he put out was bland and didn’t have a vision.
Scott: [00:39:36] Yeah.
Ian Bushfield: [00:39:37] if he could have tried to take a stronger, I’ll be the conservative who, will fight climate change from a conservative point of view. There might’ve been an angle there. He could have pitched, maybe he could have won some liberals or green supporters over. But he didn’t.
Scott: [00:39:54] Yeah, I think it was like no real strategic idea on how to do this [00:40:00] no real way to sell himself beyond, Oh, I’m the best person to beat Justin Trudeau.
And that wasn’t very well done. And I think I said this last time, but it was very much like trying to fight the last war mentality with Peter McKay, where. You’re not going to win against Justin Trudeau by trying to out charisma him. So just pick in the land, but charismatic person to lead the party.
Just wasn’t the smart move anyway. And in that respect, they probably dodged a bullet.
Ian Bushfield: [00:40:31] then let’s talk about the ultimate Victor Aaronow tool. I think we covered. Him somewhat last week. where does he go from here? I think, we both might’ve put money on him last week. If we had to choose, I definitely was willing to give Lewis more credibility than many, but I didn’t ultimately think she’d win.
Scott: [00:40:53] Yeah. I believe on the last podcast, I said that I’m pretty sure what tool would win. And I was fairly bullish on him from the start [00:41:00] mostly because all the. People I know, active in the conservative party, volunteered on these campaigns, all went for a tool, which is definitely a sign that there was more enthusiasm there.
Then towards Peter McKay are the other two. But yeah, I think the conservatives probably made the best choice of the four here on this. And for the light, the five people who are still off of watching the speech that he gave after winning, I think you can see why, and he’s very much patron the party, not in kind of the Andrew sheer mode of.
We are just doing constant attack. The party has one mode, which is attack Justin Trudeau while playing to the base and in steady. Both his first speech and the press conference held on Tuesday, took much more of a, we want as many people in the big blue [00:42:00] tent as possible. We’re positioning ourselves as a place where a lot of people in their home who aren’t happy with the current government, we’re going to be the, responsible, serious headed people who want to run the government and get.
Get the country through the situ the torrent situation and it’s Turner troubles, which is probably the right position to take as the conservative party. I said, you’re not gonna Justin Trudeau, but his big weaknesses that he’s not necessarily seen as the most serious person and new.
Has a tendency to put style over substance and a lot of ways. And in that respect, I think Aaron O’Toole contrast fairly well against him and is going to be able to make the case to Canadians that, okay, sure. The, feel good about Canada sort of thing was fine for 2015, [00:43:00] this is serious times and.
Serious times call for serious leadership.
Ian Bushfield: [00:43:05] I think all that’s fairly accurate and I didn’t manage to catch the speech, but I caught some of the pull quotes from it. And that was the tone that I read from there. And I think, you’re right. That I couldn’t disagree that O’Toole out of these four is probably the one who’s I probably ultimately, I don’t know if I’d have picked him, but I think he’s probably the strongest leader.
For the party. And I think he’s the one most likely to do the most with the conservative party. There were a couple points in his, in the poll quotes that, I cringed at the language choices, the take back Canada framing, no matter who uses it, I don’t think it’s great. And it got called out a lot.
Referring to indigenous Canadians is just not, We won’t say politically, correct. It’s just not the most, sensitive or [00:44:00] accurate way, but those are nitpicks versus
Scott: [00:44:04] bend. A lot of time, really engaging with those sorts of issues is even going to notice that, so
Ian Bushfield: [00:44:11] I know selling
Scott: [00:44:12] yourself to Canada, that’s it’s hard to even call that a misstep in terms of the politics of it.
Ian Bushfield: [00:44:20] Although I do think. As a leader of one of the parties, likely to form government taking action towards reconciliation, whatever that format looks like. It doesn’t have to look at like the Justin Trudeau format because that’s all talk and no substance. You can be the prime minister of reconciliation without taking the Justin Trudeau approach.
those two things aside. Oh, tools, biggest challenge right now is name recognition. You joked about no one being able to name Sloan or Lewis before, but honestly, a lot of Canadians don’t even know who Aaron tool is. that will obviously change. I don’t think many people knew who Harper was when he was first, [00:45:00] named leader and Oh, tool.
I see us. Taking a very similar tact in terms of that, like you said, he’s the serious guy in the room kind of mentality or that approach. I think we still need to see a climate plan from Aaronow tool that isn’t just, we may as well stick with oil for a while because, and maybe natural gas, because we better get our money out of the ground.
Scott: [00:45:26] Yeah, a couple of things about nuclear in his platform. I think we’re pretty promising,
Ian Bushfield: [00:45:31] but that’s not a climate plan
Scott: [00:45:33] sounds period, with some fairly serious action on it. And not just as a thing to just be a shield against tats on the climate front.
Ian Bushfield: [00:45:43] Yeah. We need. A lot done on climate. And because every year that we have a government that doesn’t act or doesn’t act thoroughly enough or promises to undo the actions of the previous government is like clock is ticking people, [00:46:00] someone better do something.
Scott: [00:46:02] yeah. So that’s a challenge for him. And I think the other, you have the ever present challenged, every conservative leader has pulled in the coalition together. And that Friday is probably going to be better than McKay, but I can’t really say how well he’s going to do on that or whether or not that’s gonna be too much of a distraction and we can, there are take away their focus from what they should be doing.
And the other big challenge, I think, is finding a way to navigate the current situation that make that kind of both matters. the conservative principles in temperament. not. Seeming out of touch with the challenges everyone’s facing. And that’s definitely doable very much. I try to have more time for crisis sort of mentality to it.
And general disposition who had worked fairly well there, but there will definitely be factions of the party that’s trying to pull him, or that would definitely be trying [00:47:00] to pull him back from supporting. The larger programs that are going on in response to this or trying to, or would it be opposing a O’Toole pitched equivalent of those?
so I think that’s probably going to be a Swedish challenge. I think he’s probably smart enough to see those challenges and try and address them, but how successful that’s going to be as a. Good question.
Ian Bushfield: [00:47:29] Of course, if I’m the liberals I’m leaning into the, always attack conservatives with the scary, hidden agenda, the maybe O’Toole himself doesn’t have the hidden agenda, but you can point to social conservatives in his caucus who even did well in this leadership race and say, this is the party that’s running these people and whether or not Aaron tool can keep them in check is.
Scott: [00:47:56] Yeah. The inevitable bozo eruption.
Ian Bushfield: [00:47:58] Yeah. that brings down [00:48:00] so many conservative parties.
Scott: [00:48:02] so yeah, overall I think this is probably a good development for Canadian politics in general, just because it’s, regardless of. What you think of the conservative party in general, it’s just good to have a part, a system where you have multiple parties that can realistically win elections and contest power, and you don’t get the complacency that comes from long governments that feel secure to run any election.
They want to don’t really concern themselves too much with the public sentiment. So in that respect, I think. Oh, tool brings the conservatives into a much more competitive position for the next election. And in general, that’s a good thing for the country that there’s will likely be a much more competitive election next time.
Ian Bushfield: [00:48:55] Honestly, anyone was likely to make the [00:49:00] conservatives more competitive than Andrew Scheer.
Scott: [00:49:04] no. Derek Sloan would have managed to make the conservative somehow less competitive than Andrew sheer, which hard to think possible, but nevertheless would have happened.
Ian Bushfield: [00:49:16] Fair enough.
let’s move on to quick takes first up. Let’s do a little bit of Roundup of COVID-19 news. We’ve. Talked a little bit about COVID off the top. case numbers have been worryingly high in BC for the last couple of weeks, we were passing a hundred cases a day for a while and we surpassed, the highest number of active cases we had even back in April or may.
But luckily in the last couple of days, it seems like we’ve hit a plateau. Nevertheless, the government has rolled out a couple new announcements. The most major, one of which was there are now $2,000 fines for anyone and who is caught organizing a party of, or [00:50:00] of that’s in contravention of the rules. So whether that’s over 50 people or more than five people in a vacation rental and already some guy in Victoria, has been fine, $2,300 under this unrelated fines.
and he acted very dumb about it, talking about how he made sure people were leaving. As soon as he heard the cops were coming.
I want to feel sorry for him in a way, but then he kept quoting himself about how he would effectively perjure himself. He’s yeah, I’ll just go before the court and say there were 15 people there. It’s dude, don’t say that in the media, like I get that the rules are sometimes hard to keep up with things change quickly.
And so there is like some willingness that I have to grant people ignorance about what’s happening, but yeah. sometimes you speak and you remove all doubt next up, but more and more places are starting to acquire masks this week, I think was the first week that TransLink can, BC transit were requiring [00:51:00] masks.
BC ferries has started requiring masks and all Loblaws. So all Superstore, and your independent grocer and those kinds of companies are going to be requiring masks as of Saturday. So make sure you stock up on your cloth masks.
Scott: [00:51:14] but like, why has it taken so long to do this? So after the initial back and forth on whether or not mass were helpful or harmful to elicit resolved by the end of April, actually earlier than that, I think I know times are weird thing this year. why wait months to bring this into effect and say some of the fines for large groups, Just it’s a crisis. Go hard, go fast. Like it’s going to be hard to over-correct too much in the opposite direction for simple things like not having large groups of people together or wearing a mask in public transportation systems.
Ian Bushfield: [00:51:55] I can see the fines not being necessary as early, because we were fairly [00:52:00] effective, especially in the first round.
At just obeying the rules because it was the right thing to do. But I think as there’s been more and more talk of reopening and restarting and all of this people are just getting softer. And so you’re not going to ramp up the rhetoric again and acknowledged that cases arising then I guess, yes, you have to bring in fines.
if you’re not doing the carrot again,
Scott: [00:52:25] Yeah, but like on the face mask thing, TransLink waited three weeks between when they announced it, when they brought it into place and like they could print up signs and blast out that stuff over a couple of days. And that may make it a lot quicker.
Ian Bushfield: [00:52:40] a lot of things I suspect part of it for TransLink was giving people time to get their off their exemption cards. If they had a, if they were one of the small number of people who had a valid reason. For not wearing a mask,
Scott: [00:52:54] perhaps like it’s still three weeks. It’s passive in a
Ian Bushfield: [00:52:58] crisis.
[00:53:00] Agreed. one of the things were,
Scott: [00:53:04] and yeah, three weeks seems excessive and, Four months to even start. That is very excessive.
Ian Bushfield: [00:53:10] one of the other things we’re not moving very fast on is the province is not moving very fast on collecting data on how COVID is affecting racialized people, ethnic groups, and people with disabilities and minority communities.
Shannon waters has a piece that’s publicly available in BC today that we’ll link to where she tracks the story of how the province has committed to collecting this data. But has. stalled as they wait for the feds to do something. So we don’t know, even though other jurisdictions who have this data have shown that there is a pretty strong correlation between your, sociological social status and your, identity and how COVID-19 is affecting you.
So would be nice to have this data. But we don’t
Scott: [00:53:58] and yeah, it [00:54:00] definitely would be good to have that and something also be good to have, and we try and minimize the delays on is, are vaccines, which it was reported today. And I think with the CBC and global that, parently, we had a partnership program to test a developing China, a vaccine candidate that.
Didn’t end up happening because I’m trying to back in June, had profuse to issue the export, permits for it out of China, which not great. And the suspicion by the people quoted in the article, although it hasn’t really been confirmed is that this is a nother. Outcome of the various tensions that have persisted between Canada and China for.
Several years now.
Ian Bushfield: [00:54:55] Yeah. Geopolitics of vaccine development are [00:55:00] getting increasingly worrying. You have Trump. I think he’s mused at some points about not sharing patents or making open source vaccines and just willing to literally profit here. If. America can off the suffering of people around the world.
Russia is like skipping steps to try to claim to be the first who develops a vaccine just for its own ego. And this element of the story, which is also frustrating. there’s a really good public interest argument in terms of taking the development of vaccines out of. Any private, like it needs to be a w the Gulf, the world needs to develop these, not any individual company or country or anyone who’s likely to put it in their own self interest.
First. Ideally, I’m just being an idealistic
Scott: [00:55:56] there’s some that would be said for basically anyone [00:56:00] with vaccine expertise, throwing themselves at the problem and that the costs of. Not having a vaccine every day are huge billions of dollars globally. Huge for just delay in getting the vaccine by a couple of days.
And yeah, in theory, it would be great if you know the who or some international body just whipped one off real quick, but. Absent that, and as many people on board with it as possible. And if you, if some company manages to be the first one there, and because of that, Globally. We don’t lose hundreds of billions of dollars to trillions of dollars.
Then making a little money and compensation isn’t necessarily the worst thing either.
Ian Bushfield: [00:56:58] I’m fine. Like [00:57:00] we can pay out these companies, but it’s also like a race to a lottery winner. let’s pay all companies that are working diligently and reasonably well at this equitably. But the reality is like most vaccines won’t work.
And so let’s, at least it’s winning the lottery. It’s not actually that one company is better at developing a vaccine. They are just ultimately going to get lucky. So it’s not a great capital just argument in my mind, but, I agree. Let’s get as many people working on this. I just, we need. Systems and check around the world to prevent profiteering, whether that’s economic by a private company or by a nation or geopolitical profiteering.
That seems to be the case here. I don’t know how we get there, but that’s the utopia I want to live in.
Moving into the other utopia I want to live in. it would be great if people weren’t dying from overdoses [00:58:00] at record rates in British Columbia, but sadly we have the numbers for July and another 175 people have died bringing us to 909 for 2020, which isn’t great. And it’s gotten to the point where for a drug user advocates.
Who were part of a overdose crisis response committee for the province have quit. This includes Garth Mullins, Dean Wilson, Leslie McBain, who co-founded moms stop the harm and BC Yukon association of drug war survivors, president Hawk, feather Peterson. they’ve all just been frustrated with the provinces lack of action in their view.
On this and inability to really tackle this effectively, which is not a great look for the province to lose people who are on the front lines of many of these fights. In the provinces defense, there have been some efforts at opening up safe supply [00:59:00] in BC, especially during the crisis. It’s been pretty clear that those have been insufficient.
Chief coroner and public health officer have been quoted multiple times in repeated press releases each month saying more needs to be done. And it’s just not clear how much is being done or how quickly. So hopefully we see some changes start to happen soon, like big changes, because there has been like little bits of money rollout, but not enough.
Scott: [00:59:32] some something that is a bit of a change is when former leaders of provincial parties decide to insert themselves into the leadership race to replace them. in this case, Andrew Weaver, the outgoing now technically an independent, but very much the former permanent leader of the green party that is.
Now on the advisory council [01:00:00] of leadership candidate, cam brewer, which is weird because generally former leaders don’t involve themselves with these sorts of things. So as not to seem to be biasing the direction of the party that pates after them.
Ian Bushfield: [01:00:17] Yeah. This isn’t unofficial endorsement as far as I can tell.
Scott: [01:00:22] still weird. if Steven Harper had joined the, the lesbian Lewis, team as an advisor like that, would’ve phrased people’s eyebrows as this kind of does.
Ian Bushfield: [01:00:34] I’m just scrolling through Weaver’s Twitter, trying to see if there’s any, sign on this. he has his tweets from early August where he’s attacking the greens for taking out ads, for whatever reason, trying to get star candidates.
But then on the 17th, he says, wow, just saw this, that cam brewer, picked up in his words, the single most experienced screen [01:01:00] campaigner in Canada to lead his leadership quest. and that’s when. Jonathan Dickey from the green party of Canada’s former national campaign manager joined it. So there’s some at least sympathy and willingness to bump up Ken Brewer’s campaign.
And, Weaver has been quite critical of Sonia first now, and her particularly her position on four day work weeks.
Scott: [01:01:29] Yeah. Yeah, definitely doesn’t seem to view the norm of the whole of it. That’s party leader as something to, take particularly seriously. Now I wouldn’t surprise me. We see more of this norm breaking as the folded voting years.
Ian Bushfield: [01:01:48] In the meantime, Ken brewer. We’ll be emailing you soon to ask you to come on the podcast and talk not much about Andrew Weaver, but more about what you want to do as leader, because [01:02:00] we’ve already talked to Sonja first now, and Kim Darwin, and I encourage everyone to go back and listen to those episodes, but to close off today, let’s turn our attention back to federal politics, where the we charity scandal continues to be in the news.
The government released a. Traunch of documents recently with many reductions. and it turns out those reductions didn’t follow the normal procedures.
Scott: [01:02:25] Yeah. So the house or commons parliament, they’re more or less Supreme have a huge amount of privilege and what they can and can’t see, and they basically get to see almost everything.
There’s a couple exceptions, national security and cabinet confidence. But those decisions don’t get to be made by the government necessarily. Everything’s supposed to go to the house of commons law clerk and the law clerk does the redactions before given the documents to the [01:03:00] parliamentarians, which didn’t actually happen here, that the government departments took it upon themselves to decide where parliament gets to see and what it doesn’t, which is a very big, no.
Ian Bushfield: [01:03:14] I remember seeing the pictures of Peter poly of a flashing around the heavily redacted documents, doing his typical, flare for the dramatic. sometimes he has a point and like he’s been accurate on this, that the government is going too far. Hopefully we get to hear more. I think we’ve learned some interesting things out of those documents, but unfortunately committees are not meeting anyway.
Scott: [01:03:38] Yeah. So Peter Julian at the NDP, once he found out about this at the law clerks to demand that the documents that parliament is entitled to actually get produced, but the response to that was well, they can’t actually do anything till. The committees are back in session and [01:04:00] prorogation ends.
Ian Bushfield: [01:04:01] I guess we’ll do a followup on we after September 23rd, then
Scott: [01:04:07] from an hour do parliament.
And I can’t imagine the committees are, let this one go.