The following is a largely AI-generated transcript for our Episode 205. 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: let’s kick it off with our interview with Cam Brewer for the BC Greens.
We’ll throw it over to that now.
Joining us now is Cam Brewer. One of the three leadership candidates for the Green Party of British Columbia. Cam. Welcome to the podcast.
Cam Brewers: [00:02:00] Welcome a yes. Happy to be here. Thank you.
Ian Bushfield: [00:02:03] So you just got off a debate. How did that go?
Cam Brewers: [00:02:07] Great. tonight was the final debate is with the Nelson Creston riding association.
And there’s been a long series of debates throughout the campaign with the different riding association. So members in those communities can ask about particular issues and. So on. And then we had one official debate earlier this week that available to everybody it’s been a, they’ve all been really good.
it’s been nice to talk about that big issues facing the province and the big policy differences between the greens and the other parties, the things that, that I’d be able to bring as leader of the party. But it’s also nice in each community to hear about the particular implications of those policy ideas.
In a specific location and hear about what the, where their concerns are and what’s facing them. So no tonight was no exception to that. It was a good conversation focused on the Kootenays a place where I actually used to live. So it felt tight. It felt a little bit like a [00:03:00] homecoming in a way.
Scott: [00:03:01] Let’s jump into this.
Why are you running for leader?
Cam Brewers: [00:03:05] for 30 years. So I’ve been bringing people together to create solutions at the intersection of the environment and the economy. So for example, as a entrepreneur, I founded something called the eco lumber co-op, which brought together lagers, environmentalist, indigenous people around the solution of.
Eco forestry. And now as a lawyer, I represent indigenous people and fought the trans mountain pipeline. I’ve clerked at the Supreme court of Canada. I clerked with the chief justice of British Columbia and as a lawyer acting internationally in New York for the top international arbitration firm in the world, I represented sovereign States and multibillion dollar.
International domestic international investment disputes. And here in BC, I’ve also run nonprofits. So I ran smart group. BC is executive director, a chair city’s community foundation. And with all these skills and experiences, I think I can really strengthen them party, [00:04:00] bring, the strongest candidate yeah.
For the next, next election. And. The reason I’m doing this is because the green party is in the best position to offer the solutions that British Columbia needs to move towards a zero carbon future. The whole planet is doing that and BC should be at the forefront of that. And with my skills and experience, I can help the party get there.
And it’s another way that I can offer the solution. But for 30 years I’ve been trying to advance.
Ian Bushfield: [00:04:29] So why take the leap from going from your. Careers your various careers and your life has, a civilian too going for leader. Why not try and seek the nomination in a constituency and run as MLA first.
Cam Brewers: [00:04:47] because I want to be as effective as I can be. And for 30 years I’ve been advancing the same issues that the green party stands for. And now’s a chance. This leadership opportunity is a chance to [00:05:00] contribute in a way that does a few things in particular as leader that I wouldn’t be able to do, as an MLA.
So one is to attract, and this is an important role for the leader to attract them the best candidates from across the province. I have me, it’s working with a whole range of people from, of course the legal community I have. I’m an accountant and that entrepreneur and have a background in finance. So I can talk to.
Did the business community in boardrooms, But the equal number co-op I learned a lot with tradespeople and with the building community and with developers, I’ve worked with indigenous people for decades in their various different settings. As a consultant, I worked with municipalities and I’m comfortable with talking with people and municipal leaders about the issues they face with environmental organizations for many years, and are comfortable talking with.
And inspiring people in the environmental community. So with all these experiences, I can attract these best candidates and be able to strengthen the party. And that’s a unique thing that the leader can [00:06:00] do. The other thing is on the platform side, in my experiences, all different sectors. is helpful to develop the kind of platforms that are actually going to translate into solutions.
as the green party, we can’t be just about bumper stickers or sounding the alarm or saying, I wish things were, we need to be able to understand how practically and quickly we can advance solution. So hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk a little bit about the platform ideas, but all of these focus on solutions and my background and experience will allow.
Me too, to lead the party in implementing them. So those are a couple of differences that as a leader, I would be able to bring. And again, I’m just trying to contribute in a way that’s most effective.
Scott: [00:06:42] let’s talk a bit about the platform I, your platform is titled restarting BC. How would a emperor led BC dream party differentiate its recovery plan from the one that is in the process of being rolled out by the current government.
Cam Brewers: [00:06:59] So the government in [00:07:00] British Columbia has failed to recognize a few fundamental truths. And one of them is that we are not separate from nature. We are part of nature and therefore, any solutions that we’re going to come out with has to recognize that now movement towards, as the NDP have done with things like built on the liberal plan or out LNG or the site C.
Plan or cutting the last old growth, these kinds of things ignore those truths. So instead what’s really different about the green plan and the things are in my restart plan has to do with recognizing, the world is moving towards a zero carbon future and BC either is in front of it. Or we’re trying to catch up with an economy that worked for a few people decades ago and works for nobody now.
The clean innovation parts of my economy and jobs, part of the restart plan has to do with doing that. So we need, for example, a clean innovation incubators. These are things that work with academic institutions across the province to ensure we have the best ideas. But work with entrepreneurs to ensure [00:08:00] they have all the tools.
They need to get those ideas into action and supporting this is a green bank. Now something that’s been proposed Betterly, it’s something that we don’t have in BC, but this is a financial institution, but. Ensures that the different forms of capital that are required, whether it’s patient capital or whether it’s equity investments, differently, vehicles in capital are available to entrepreneurs to put in place that clean innovation, because we can’t just trust that entrepreneurs are gonna be able to do it right on their own.
They need to be supported. They need that financing upfront. So these are a couple. Pieces in the economy that would differentiate me from a different to the green, sorry, from the NDP, because there’s that big focus on actually making, seeing it happen and moving away from fuel based economy.
The, there’s a couple other pieces that all mentioned upfront that are different. One is a focus on different types of ownership structures. Now. I mentioned earlier that I started a Nico lumber co-op that brought together loggers and environmental [00:09:00] and indigenous people around the solution of eco forestry.
The co-op structure is critical to that kind of an enterprise to ensure that what we do actually benefits as many people as possible. It’s not just resource extraction or use of the natural resources in the province for the profit of a few. Rather, we ensure that the benefits are available. To communities and to indigenous people and to everyone involved in those co-op structures can make that happen.
Co-ops of course are also applicable in housing and many other sectors. So these are some things that would certainly make a difference. I’ve got a last thing I think I’ll mention that’s important is around the idea of indigenous law. Now. this is moving to the place where we recognize that indigenous legal systems were here for, in a plurality among all the differently indigenous communities in BC for thousands of years.
And those Linda genus legal systems did not. Go away. They still exist. They need to be revitalized and articulated in their contemporary form. [00:10:00] And that will be the basis then for lasting justice, recognizing the plurality of legal systems and in British Columbia.
Scott: [00:10:07] so I want to follow up on the co-op thing.
so I see in your platform, you put quite a bit of emphasis on even going as far as to call for a new ministry based around it, but that. Co-ops are already a thing that exists out there. You yourself were instrumental in founding one. What is the thing that needs to happen to make co-ops go the next step?
Or I guess more of the question on what I’m trying to get at is why do total ops need support beyond the existing legal structures that already allow for them?
Cam Brewers: [00:10:44] Great question. So when I started the Columbia co-op, there were people, and then it was called the ministry of community development and cooperatives at the time.
I think it was called in that even that doesn’t even exist anymore. But even at that time, when it was. Part of a [00:11:00] ministry. There wasn’t really anybody that spent much time working on it because there aren’t that many co-ops and the BC cooperative associates, great work advancing them. There’s lots of understanding of them in certain sectors, but broadly they’re seen as not being.
It’s not being thought about as the primary business vehicle or enterprise vehicle. We have great success stories right in front of us, of course, from Vancity credit union to a mountain equipment co-op and so on. But they aren’t seen as, as the first choice it’s necessarily, and for enterprise or even for housing.
So it’s partly public education thing, but mostly it’s about ensuring the supports there so that when someone comes forward with an idea, as I did with econ, co-op. There’s the government gets behind it and ensures it happens and makes it happen. And then there’s different aspects to co-ops that can work.
So BC now there’s investment shares. So that helps with the capital side and tying in that cooperative structure with the green bank ensures that the vehicle through which enterprise continues is the right one that [00:12:00] provides benefits broadly. The capital is there. The financing is there and the outcomes are directed towards the clean innovation and the zero carbon future and recognizing where we’re not separate from nature.
So all those pieces together playing an important role. Tulips also have. Many different forms. So I’ve talked about some enterprise example. There’s also housing co-ops so that people who, in places in the province where real estate, so incredibly expensive, someone doesn’t have to try and save up two or $3 million for a home.
Instead there’s cooperative ownership. there’s cooperative rental with the cooperative ownership, they people would be able to get equity and build up equity without that huge price tag to begin with there’s worker co-ops. So that. everyone involved in the enterprise can benefit and we can apply.
Co-ops more broadly to things like even resource tenures so that, we have community for us, for example, in the promise there’s other ways that the government can encourage communities to take ownership over, over management of local resources, ensuring that’s done from a nature based planning perspective, but the [00:13:00] benefits are then.
provided to everyone in the community.
Ian Bushfield: [00:13:03] So one thing that I’ve seen, in other areas of the world, in other manifestos or platforms, when it comes to co-ops and these kinds of different models of ownerships is. There’s kind of two approaches. There’s encouraging new businesses to start in these formats and then there’s incentives or even requirements that existing businesses have to go that way.
So that could be either requiring a certain number of workers, sit on a board for example, or representation from, or that if a business goes under, then. the workers get the first opportunity to buy it out into a co op. are you imagining either of those models or are you more on the, let’s just encourage more to join the marketplace.
Cam Brewers: [00:13:45] so with existing businesses, I certainly wouldn’t put in place or proposed place, any requirements that they changed to co-ops now with things that are tied more directly to the province, such as resource tenures, then there’s more of an obvious [00:14:00] connection there and there. And a requirement would make sense to move towards that as opposed to private, completely innovation that doesn’t require public resources and 10 years resource 10 years.
And there’s no need to enforce that. They’d be changed. But I’d be on the side of more encouraging it and you encourage it by saying, look, the economy Jimmy is going towards is a, as we’ve been talking about this clean innovation and the idea of a zero carbon future. Those sorts of things. We can support people wanting to entrepreneurs and especially starting those businesses with incentives, with encouragement, with the support to start them as who operatives.
And that includes the tying those that cooperative structure in with the way the green bank would be. Design. So I’d be on the encouraging side, not the requirement side, but it’s with new enterprises. We really want to try and direct them to do this. Now that the greens in the past have under Andrew Weaver’s when he was leader at the greens, put forward the beat corporation.
Which is a step in the right direction. These are corporations that have a as well as the [00:15:00] duty of directors, the fiduciary duty to the best interest of the shareholders or that to the company. There’s also a broadened duty, which includes sustainability and includes a specific. Purpose of the company is social benefit purpose that could be artistic or educational or environmental and so on.
And that’s a step in the right direction. Co-ops just, I think should play an even bigger role. And to answer your question, it is about incentivizing them and encourage them and ensure that and that more of them get going. And then all the supports are there from the province, from the financial aid, particularly the green bank, but otherwise ensuring that people learn about them.
and are given the information and don’t have to hunt it down. when I started the Columbia co-op, it was a bit of a struggle to find lawyers that knew about it, to find people in the government that knew about it, to find investors that were comfortable with it. So it’s a cultural thing that has to change and there’s lots of the government can do lead the way
Scott: [00:15:52] in your platform. You talk a bit about, The choice between sprawl or tall when it comes to communities and [00:16:00] encouraging, patterns of development to move away from that. But this is something that’s been a very deliberate policy choice by municipalities across BC and right now, although land use powers in theory, a domain of the province and practice it’s being delegated out to the municipalities.
How would you see the provincial government getting involved in actually addressing those issues?
Cam Brewers: [00:16:27] so of course this land use planning in municipalities is entirely within the bailiwick of municipal government. So as you mentioned, of course, it flows from the constitutional power that’s been given to the province.
That’s then been delegated through various legal instruments to two minutes. Apologies. But. And, but the way that the province can help is a few things. So one has to do with funding. Municipalities are chronically underfunded and things that they need to do when sprawl happens. There’s municipalities have to be build the infrastructure to connect, to sprawl and.
That’s something they can’t really [00:17:00] afford to do. So the province can instead pay for things like transit pay for things like we’re going to provide it centers for people to buy electric bicycles. We’re going to provide incentives for we’re going to put in an infrastructure of charging stations so that people can use electric cars locally.
We’re going to, for example, we could have road pricing, which could happen. in certain jurisdictions be administered by the province. And so that people living in certain places have to pay when they’re driving on the roads and that can be adjusted. So it’s fair. So that work, businesses don’t have to pay as much low income people going to have to pay it all rural areas aren’t charged, but these are things that the province can do to help encourage dense compact communities.
And working with municipalities to do it. Now, I spent as part of my work as a consultant, I worked with municipalities to develop sustainability plans and to work with them around. Sustainability goals. So I would work closely with municipalities to ensure that this, these are the right things that they need, but the starting place I think, is to recognize [00:18:00] that municipalities in making these decisions really want to be able to provide the best services for the people that live there and the province can help them get to that place.
the other thing about municipalities and the density piece that you’re talking about tall, Not the tall versus sprawl thing, but instead of having multi-use unit housing, having distributed that distributed throughout the communities, ensuring that, everybody has things around them that they need the idea of a 15 minute neighborhood.
And so on all that stuff can be supported by having. more nature in cities and the problem is can help by encouraging and providing the resources so that this happens. One of the, one of the key things in the municipal budget is often the replacement of infrastructure. So the hard infrastructure, for example, around pipes that take rainwater away that was built in municipalities in the fifties and sixties.
It’s crumbling. Now it needs to be repaired. Municipalities can’t afford it across Canada. Billions and billions of dollars worth of infrastructure that needs to be repaired. Municipalities can’t afford to [00:19:00] do that. So instead, what can happen is green infrastructure. So the province can help, help miss capacities ensure that green infrastructure is put in place.
So what that means is trees and multi-layer vegetation and permeable surfaces. So that water, when it lands, doesn’t have to go into these pipes that we can’t afford to fix and replace instead. Goes into the soil and nature takes care of the rainwater as it wise wood. And that means the municipality doesn’t have to pay for the, for fixing the gray infrastructure.
It also allows for streets to be repurposed from automobiles to. Green infrastructure amenities that allows businesses to expand into those areas. Now we’re seeing with Cobra, three people, more businesses are taking place outside, and it would be nice if those areas were also green and vegetative, that would encourage more people to cycle and to walk and so on.
And yeah, Providence can help doing that by giving minister power to make these environmental decisions under the community charter. For example, there was the ability of municipalities to. [00:20:00] To advance environmental legislation, bylaws for environmental purposes have to be agreed with the province.
So I miss Valley trying to ban plastic bags, for example, that we can change that. So if municipalities want to make a want to advance. bylaws that will allow for environmental purposes. We can just let them go ahead and do that. So they’re supportive. The province can do. And, and the economic a mix of it has to be right.
So the province can help pay for things like transit. And so on that road pricing that will allow municipalities to, they make the decisions that they can afford to do while advancing, seeing these goals of density and livability.
Scott: [00:20:35] so I like a lot of what was said there. but being a fairly close observer of local politics and watching something, even as minor as the decision to allow duplexes across the city of Vancouver being highly contentious.
And the fact that local governments are often very change resistant. It seems to me [00:21:00] that just in case merging or doing more tools might not necessarily actually lead to those outcomes. And, several jurisdictions in the U S are looking at more kind of higher level, state level in our case, provincial level, legislation that.
More constraints. What in valleys can do and pushes them towards adopting more environmentally sustainable zoning practices. For example, can you see a role for similar legislation in BC?
Cam Brewers: [00:21:26] there might be. it’s a good point because Oregon, for example, has been single family, the zoning of single family, residential areas, single family, home, residential areas.
And. in Metro Vancouver, the city, Vancouver in particular, you look at there’s denser areas. of course we know where those are in the West end and along falls Creek and so on. And then there’s areas where there’s just a sea of single family homes. And when laneway homes were introduced, initially, this was something that.
People in particular neighborhoods in Vancouver, a single family, home, larger, lots, more expensive [00:22:00] homes. Initially there was a lot of resistance to laneway homes, but then one goes in and another goes in and after a while, people start to think, you know what? It’s not so bad. It allows my family members to be there, especially.
families with older children who are now living on their own. Maybe that’s a great place for them to be, or vice versa families with older relatives who want to live there. and it’s, and if people know they’re done well, laneway housing can be beautiful and there’s great architects and design and construction firms that are building that kind of housing.
And then it’s accepted so slowly, it’s starting to change the province. Whether we get to the point where we’re going to ban certain types of zoning, I actually would think it would be a good idea, but I would have to discuss it with municipality because we, from a climate change point of view, the most effective thing that a municipality can do is improve density.
It’s not at the site scale. It’s not at the retrofits, not at the individual building scale though, that all helps, but the most effective thing is density for all the reasons that we know about reducing the [00:23:00] needs for transportation, about buildings that are connected to each other and therefore save energy and heating and cooling that the types of communities that come up are healthier and so on.
I would be interested in looking at sweeping legislation that would ensure that we end up with a position that density is encouraged in municipalities, but I would want to do it in conjunction with the BC is I’d want to consult to discuss that idea further because if incentives can happen, then there’s the, what the can do to help municipalities get there in their own way.
I do believe that, and these kinds of decisions are best made. By us by the government, that’s closest to the community itself and fully believe in the importance of those decisions being made by local governments.
Ian Bushfield: [00:23:43] Oh man. We could probably talk about cities and the interaction with. Provincial policy all day, but there’s a lot of other elements to it platform that I want to get into.
And then I even want to make sure we ask you a few more questions about just like the positioning of the race and what how [00:24:00] you would win the election. But I want to. Pivot and talk a bit about the health section of your platform. And there’s a lot I like in there around, improving access to universal dentistry, optometry, all these things that I think are slowly becoming consensus.
Although the question is, how do we afford it? But what stuck out a bit to me was the line about speedy recovery with universal access to massage therapists, chiropractors, physiotherapists, and acupuncturists. And I. I can see where that would get a little bit controversial as this sort of fits in with the green brand as being a little, connected with alternative medicine, sometimes bordering on pseudo-scientific practices, especially in some of the more fringier elements of some of those claims.
So how do you, Defend or so how do you position the necessity of that? When, healthcare dollars will always be finite and we should probably try to ensure they are on the treatments with the. Best evidence for [00:25:00] them.
Cam Brewers: [00:25:00] I’m not sure that I’d agree that chiropractors or physical therapists or a fringe health care.
I think that they’re essential. It means someone who is totally anecdotal, but I have a. A strong belief that these range of healthcare options help because they avoid people just going to a family doctor or to emergency, which is more expensive.
Ian Bushfield: [00:25:24] Sorry, I shouldn’t, I don’t want to. Malign the massage therapist and physiotherapist.
I do see a lot of value there, and I think there is a little bit of value for some evidence on chiropractic and backs back pain. Although the evidence for acupuncture is pretty limited. The last I’ve checked for it. But I’ll let you go on.
Cam Brewers: [00:25:43] sure. so with that debating about the efficacy of all these things, I do believe that people should have a choice that these healthcare practitioners offer people an alternative to the more expensive going to emergency or a family doctor and so on.
And the other thing that’s [00:26:00] really important now in the times of Cobra, and this is in the platform too, of course, it’s, there is ensuring there’s access to. Therapists and, therapists, counselors, so that people’s mental health is maintained during stressful times because that also saves money. In the longer term.
It allows people to not get into a situation where they’re self-medicating and those dangers of addiction. We also ensure that people are more productive and happy and. The best that they can be as human beings. And I see that as an investment, the other side of healthcare that’s in the platform that I think we, I really need to remember is the preventative side.
And that’s why, there’s a couple of things in there that are about that. One is about access to nature and the other is the right to a healthy environment. So I’ve proposed an environmental charter. There’s are. There are 156 countries in the world that have the right to clean air, clean water, healthy ecosystems.
Canada is not among those countries. VC can, although we can’t change the, on our own, the constitution of Canada to an act two, to [00:27:00] have a constitutional right to that, but we can, and BC is passed. Legislation to put an environmental charter in place that gives British Colombians those rights. And that means that we’ll benefit from having healthier environment.
And the nature part really is fascinating. And there’s a subject of a, the book I’m working on with her Pam and Sean Markey about. Ensuring people have access to nature and restoring ecosystems in urban areas. And when people spend time in nature, they have fewer incidences of health problems, fewer diseases.
They get sick less often when they do get sick, however faster they’re more productive at work. They’re happy, happier that more creative and children when children play in. a built environment. So you can imagine kid, you’ve got a one year old, so wait a little bit longer. But when kids let’s go to the, the playground and then Scott equipment to climb on ladders and Teeter totters and climbing equipment.
So on what emerges is a type of play, that’s very competitive and very much focused on [00:28:00] dominance and aggression. When children play in nature, what emerges is a pattern of play that’s. About cooperation. It’s about creativity. So different values come out and children benefit from being in nature too, with fewer.
they’re better able to concentrate. They’re happier, they’re all these things. So it’s a very beneficial on the preventative health side to have access to nature. And that’s what also with the environmental charters,
Ian Bushfield: [00:28:24] I think that covers the first three planks, pivoting to the last plank of your platform, their equity. the one thing I want to ask about, there’s lots we could talk about. but you mentioned guaranteed income or universal basic income in there. I’m curious to hear. A bit more in detail because those terms get thrown around a lot.
And BC is in the midst of having a study on the basic income. And I think the authors released a paper that we had Lindsey TEDS talk about on the show a couple of months ago, about how. Before we need to start [00:29:00] moving to wards a specificity because these questions raise a lot of questions or these ideas raised a lot of questions and it’s all about trade offs, do you make it universal?
Will then it costs a lot more. Or do you have some kind of income cutoff? So what is your guaranteed income where what’s, what’s the starting point when you talk about guaranteed income?
Cam Brewers: [00:29:22] admittingly, this is at a generality level in the platform, and it’s an important conversation that people who already are fine and don’t need a, an additional income, but we can remedy that with tax measures.
So it comes in. One side and another, but the thing, what really, what this is supposed to be doing, what’s important about it is that it ensures people who, between jobs and things like COVID come along and unexpected. Totally. The employment situation is very different people. Think of people working in small businesses that, suddenly can’t operate because of social distance.
And seeing [00:30:00] requirement. And we see those closing all the time. This ensures that the people who work there don’t have to worry about the basics of life or their kids are also at home because school with COVID and so on, they can get on with trying to figure out what’s next. And that if that’s an investment, that’s an investment to ensure that people are able to.
Contribute to the best of their ability very soon now, related to this, the guaranteed income piece happens. It has benefits all across the board. And so we think about it in the context you think about the small businesses. I just mentioned, for example, and I propose also a small business round table because talking to all the businesses across the province that are suffering.
Nope, different implications because of COVID and they need different responses. So having a round table figures out, what’s going to work for different sectors. We don’t want to just say, talk down. This is what the best answer is that what works for a restaurant might not be the same for a taproom with a microbrewery might not be the same for retail might not be same for a small family owned manufacturing business.
That’s what the round tables for and by supporting small [00:31:00] businesses, then people will be able to make that transition and less likely falling through the cracks. But the universal basic income helps the employees get to that new stage, the new normal as it were, or, and the owners as well. So it is at a generality here and I would want to be able to talk with experts who have looked into this and.
ensure that we implement it in the right way, but those objectives of what it does as an investment in society is the purpose for him.
Scott: [00:31:28] Some of related to that, either idea of a four day workweek has been floated, in this leadership race. You have thoughts on that.
Cam Brewers: [00:31:35] we already have a four day work week or a three day work week or whatever employers and employees or their representatives want to be able to negotiate. And that’s fine.
The incident, some sectors that works well and others, it doesn’t, but the government needs to be focusing on now is the fact that we’ve got. At least 11% unemployment in July, we have 29% among young people. The small businesses I just mentioned are struggling. People [00:32:00] are uncertain about the economic future.
So we don’t need to be interfering and providing people with forced time off or something. What we need to do is provide people with jobs. That’s what people want now to get the economy working. So people are stable. so that’s where I would put the focus. It’s already there for people. who want to be able to have that happen.
And we’ve seen with COVID lots of flexibility and working. working situations. It’ll be interesting to see as how many people go back to it classic office environment. And that’s where a four day work week might work and employers, employees figure it out. In other settings, it doesn’t work at all.
And we certainly can’t expect that with the economic uncertainty happening that people take a pay cut. Now from an environmental point of view. The research is clear that where if people work fewer days a week, there there, their carbon footprint drops, but only if their income drops, because if people have lower income, they’re going to buy less stuff.
They’re going to be traveling less. Their carbon footprint goes down, but I’m certainly not behind a plan. That’s going to tell [00:33:00] people to make 20% less income.
Ian Bushfield: [00:33:02] That answer reminds me a bit of what Andrew Weaver said in a SIM on albeit I think. More eloquently. And I, maybe it was just Weaver’s tendency on Twitter to be a bit brash and abrasive.
And, that’s what Twitter does to us all, but I don’t want to like debate the four day workweek anymore. I want her to pivot because Andrew Weaver was in the news for coming onto your advisory council. was that an endorsement?
Cam Brewers: [00:33:31] he, I intentionally this week we brought out some endorsements, but originally during this campaign, decided not to go with endorsements because endorsements are a snapshot at one point in time, a flash in the pan, a statement.
Yeah. I support this person. Then we move on, but the advisory council does it. These are people who are willing to roll up their sleeves. And actually as I become leader, help the party figure out the best way forward. And this is the start of the advisory council in [00:34:00] a short campaign, you can get some people on it, some really fantastic people.
And I’m honored that everyone on that council has stepped forward, including Andrew. These are people that will help make things happen. Now, Andrew is on that council to talk about. Climate scientists. He is. A world leading expert. He’s a lead author in the second, third, fourth, fifth report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change.
He’s authored a coauthored more than 200 papers on climate and related science. He’s written two books about the climate emergency. Of course, I want someone like that on my council to advise about climate science. whether you call that an endorsement or not, I don’t know, but he’s on the advisory council to help figure out climate science, which to me is way more benefit than a onetime statement about, I think this is a good person or.
Scott: [00:34:45] a couple more questions about the Paul more Pollock it’s aspect of this book. There’s one last thing I wanted to ask about the platform before we move on to that just peaked my curiosity very briefly. And that’s a mention about creating an electric car [00:35:00] industry here in BC and building electric cars here in BC and BC.
Typically hasn’t had a vehicle manufacturing industry. There’s a lot of, Parts related to that sub supplier, it’s quite an evolved industry. Why pick that one as the industry to invest or trade in BC going forward compared to something else in the clean energy space.
Cam Brewers: [00:35:23] because Jerry curl already picked it.
Jerry curls on my advisory committee as well. He runs a company that builds small one person, electric vehicles, and wanted to develop a plant here in BC, building them and employ indigenous people as well. He got in touch with the innovation commissioner and said, I want to do this. And then never heard back the province ignored him.
And now he’s thinking, maybe I’ll have to build this plant outside of BC. So it’s one example of exactly what shouldn’t be happening. We can’t be focusing on these. there’s resource space, fossil fuel based economies from decades. We need to [00:36:00] focus on what the world is going to now. So there’s one example, but there’s lots of other clean yeah.
Innovation things we should building in BC. Maybe it’s not for the next entrepreneur. Maybe it’s not the electric car. Maybe it’s the charging station. Maybe it’s a different type of solar panel. Maybe it’s a different way to. Hold clean energy. Maybe it’s a other pieces of the puzzle apps that are used to ensure that people can find shared electric vehicles.
there’s lots of components to it and the platform certainly isn’t supposed to be exhaustive, but it’s an example of why can’t we do this? there’s a company in Quebec that is now making electric snowmobiles. why isn’t that company in BC? that there’s. And so with all different areas of transportation, just as an example, there’s, this province is filled with brilliant, energetic, innovative entrepreneurs that care about the planet and want to do something.
And the prominence just has to get behind them. So that’s what this is. This is
Ian Bushfield: [00:36:50] about, I think we’ll wrap up in a couple of questions, but I did want to ask a question about diversity. We have. Three [00:37:00] party leaders or in the last election, we had three major party leaders who are all white men and two of well, and then we had two party leaders named Andrew for a while.
I think many greens saw this as a chance to, put a woman in charge and have a prominent woman on the BC poly stage. Obviously, you stand. For your own and you can’t be someone you’re not, but how do you respond to those suggestions and the arguments that we need more diversity in BC politics,
Cam Brewers: [00:37:28] we do need more diversity.
And the role of a leader is to make space for voices that otherwise aren’t heard. The role of a leader is to be a leader of leaders to have. Other people shine to be their best. It’s a facilitator. And that’s what I would do as leader. That’s what I’ve done to the 30 years of. Working on advancing issues related to the green party.
My advisory council, the certainly the, the youth and the endorsements, are an attempt to begin that process that [00:38:00] I would continue. I have a long history of working with indigenous people in the province and collaborating and. Continue to do that as a lawyer, I act for indigenous people, and when we move forward into attracting candidates, it’s incredibly important for the leader to attract the full range of people across the province.
So I would do that. Yeah. including young people who have, I haven’t really had a role in a, as much as they should. I’m a professor and teach environmental law at SFU. My students always inspire me and motivate me about what can be done with. And the future and young people offer that and have been involved heavily in my campaign doing probably the majority of work in the campaign and leading all aspects of it.
my role as leader is to make that space for other people. And part of the diversity though, the green party has to do with the. The segments of British Columbia that believe and get behind what the parties do. Yeah. So I’ve made a very strong effort during this campaign to reach out to communities that [00:39:00] historically wouldn’t really be.
Involved in the green party, we’ve reached out to the Latin American community, for example, a Japanese Canadian community that so the Asian community, in fact, I’ve appeared on two different South Asian radio stations doing interviews. And there’s people on my team from the South Asian community and we’ve been reaching out intentionally so that Asian community, the indigenous community, as I mentioned for decades, I’ve been working with indigenous people and continue to see indigenous people at the forefront of the recovery and breezy and the future of entrepreneurs.
And I’ve spoken about indigenous reconciliation and indigenous the revitalization of indigenous law of Alma point. And I had a great conversation at zoom conversation. That’s on the website camp river.ca under events. So I’m committed to that. And the role of the leader is to make it happen. It’s not just about me.
It’s about the entire party and all the riding association, everyone that’s involved.
Scott: [00:39:55] You’re quite a challenge ahead of you. you’re thrown up against a. [00:40:00] Fairly well known MLA for the leadership race. And if you are successful, there’s likely to be a general election within the next year or so. How do you see yourself being able to, deal with those challenges and lead not only your own leadership campaign, but the green party in general to victory.
Cam Brewers: [00:40:22] so a couple parts question first about the race itself. there’s three candidates in this race. I’ve been very happy with how they campaign has rolled out. We’ve been getting great responses from people all across the province. I’m honored with the advisory council that we pulled together.
And, I’m feeling very good about the campaign as far as what happens. When I become leader, then yes, there’ll be a like with any party at time to prepare for the next election to reach out to the writing associations, to work with them, to ensure we have the best candidates. The party I know internally has already been doing a lot of work.
I would look forward to working with Kim and Sonia on [00:41:00] making that happen with Adam, with everybody else in the party. Nina Campbell as the new executive director brings incredible skills and insights to the party. So we’ve got a strong team. One part of that. And I would, as leader. Ensure that our goal is to attract the best candidates to build on our experience success in Southern Vancouver Island and move into the lower mainland.
We need as a party to be able to have a presence in the lower mainland and to show people that we have the ability to manage all portfolios, not just the environment, including the economy, my background as an accountant and a business person, I can speak to that and then expand all across the province.
So people. Every corner of the province and all different backgrounds and experiences. See the green party as a home. And that’s the role of the leader to inspire that in people that are watching to inspire that in the writing associations and the candidates and all the other people that have already contributed a great amount to the party.
Ian Bushfield: [00:41:59] you’ve been more than [00:42:00] generous with your time. I think we went a little over what we promised you. maybe you can just close off by telling the people, Most the registrations already closed for the green party. So for those, green members who are listening, maybe tell them where to find out more about you and how to vote.
Cam Brewers: [00:42:18] Great. Any closing
Ian Bushfield: [00:42:20] words you have,
Cam Brewers: [00:42:21] Sure. So to get more information about me and my campaign, the website is camp or.ca. Voting starts on September 5th on Saturday, September 5th, and goes until the 13th. You’ll. If you’ve registered, you’ll receive a, as I understand an email from the party with instructions on how to vote, please do that.
Please tell everyone that to vote if they’ve registered also, it’s an important election and important. Exercise of our democratic responsibility. I hope that by doing that we can really ensure the greens are in a position to lead the world in this transformation that with clean innovation, we’ve got to [00:43:00] get in front of moving to a zero carbon future.
We’ve got to put in clays in place, the ownership structures that will allow every British Columbia. To benefit from that includes the cooperative. We’ve got to advance indigenous reconciliation in a meaningful way. We’ve got to recognize that we are not separate from nature. We are part of nature.
And then by doing that’s where the solutions come. So I think everybody who has registered to vote, please do that, starting the 5th of September. And, I thank everyone for listening tonight. And Scott, it’s been a real pleasure.
Scott: [00:43:32] Thank you very much. Thank you.
it’s a jump into our next segment. Let the horse race begin. So there has been a lot of speculation about a fall election and seeing as it’s the last kind of week of summer here, and nothing else is really going on, let’s join into that speculation a bit.
Ian Bushfield: [00:43:58] So the first [00:44:00] big thing that came out is there were a couple of new polls here in BC.
One of them put the NDP at 51% and the liberals under 30%, I think they were sitting at three point 35. I think they were sitting at 25% even. so three 38 canada.com. One of the elect. Shin Paul aggregators, this one by PJ fornia from Maclean’s, his launch. He just announced yesterday his latest projection, which is that the BC NDP would get.
About 47% based on the polls to the liberals, 32% and the greens 15% and maybe 6% for the conservatives. But it’s always hard to tell with the BC conservatives. they’re in the polls sometimes, so you have to model them or else your poll model gets really broken, like modeling BC is really tough.
So take these with a deep grain of salt, but all of the polls have been pretty consistent that the NDP is doing significantly better than the liberals. And if you take this projection, [00:45:00] the NDP have a 99.9% chance of winning a majority. And that would be a 60 to 25 seat majority with the greens holding onto to
Scott: [00:45:10] so they could kick a poppy and still win the election is what you’re saying
Ian Bushfield: [00:45:15] almost. Almost getting there. I don’t think they could shoot. I don’t think Horgan could shoot someone on front street or what’s the main street in Victoria. Douglas. Yeah, our government, those are the ones I don’t think Horgan could shoot someone on Douglas street and really keep his popularity.
But with the projection, the way it is, the liberals only have two safe seats officially versus a lot of ones that are leaning their way. And those are the peace river North and South, which are probably always going to be liberal. But the liberals are in a really bad trajectory.
Scott: [00:45:54] It’s definitely not great for them.
On the other hand, that’s somewhat what you’d expect from a [00:46:00] crisis polling sort of situation and the PC NGP. I haven’t really done anything yet to Disrupt the crisis status quo, so to speak and really inject politics back into things. Now, if the school opening goes badly, that would change pretty quick, but it really does seem to be a bit of a rally around the play didn’t leader or fat.
That’s been more persistent in BC than elsewhere.
Ian Bushfield: [00:46:30] Yeah. there’s a lot of controversy in Alberta these days, and people are getting really, I think, at antsy and frustrated with the approach Jason Kenney’s taken now, whether they are willing to park their vote back with Rachel Notley is to be determined. the Ontario liberals have been stronger since they lost, Kathleen Wynne.
But Ford is also sitting high on a little bit of a bump, he inevitably I think we’ll go back to his way. and federally we’ve seen things, [00:47:00] not go well for Trudeau, largely of his own making. Being leader during a crisis, isn’t a guaranteed bump. You can always still be your own worst enemy.
Scott: [00:47:09] Yeah. And Horton’s done. And the BC NDP have done a good job of, I guess not stirring things up and more or less taking the directions of the, public health officer, into account. So yeah, they haven’t done anything that would Dislodge the perception that they’re more or less handling things well with maybe one very minor exception of a bit of a kerfuffle this past week over a, not entirely accurate back to school ad, but other than that, it’s been pretty consistent.
I don’t think these polls really capture that if even if there is.
Ian Bushfield: [00:47:49] Yeah. And on the other side of the aisle, you have the liberals who can’t seem to find their ground on where to criticize the government. there are areas, the overdose crisis is a clear [00:48:00] one, but the liberals haven’t presented a clear here’s how we would attack this situation differently. Or even on the schools, they haven’t really presented an alternative.
They don’t have access to as much information, but they could at least say, why are we delaying things or why? they could start to try some he’s right
Scott: [00:48:21] there to oppose and point out all the flaws. And you don’t necessarily, if you’re not running an election and a half to have a, this is how we do things in the government’s position, full, detailed plan.
You can roll up, but you at least have to have. A general criticism and critique of them that is coherent and actually points to real issues or real perceived challenges. They haven’t really found something that lands in that respect. To be honest, they haven’t since 2017, but in [00:49:00] the inability to find. Eh, direction of criticism that really resonates with British Colombians is particularly pronounced now.
Ian Bushfield: [00:49:10] And then you have the BC greens who are just wrapping up their leadership race. And as we discussed, we’ll know, by the middle of the month who the leader will be there. And then the question will be will that person, whether it’s first and out, Darwin or brewer, be able to. Gain the traction and keep up the momentum that Weaver has built for the party.
Even though I think they struggled a bit more recently to get more prominence, even where the greens have done some effective things on the legislative scene in terms of holding up key bills.
But for most British Colombians, the question of why would I vote green right now? When, unless. I guess you’re smiting about sightsee and thinking we need to go even harder on [00:50:00] clean bees. It’s
Scott: [00:50:00] only gotta be like a half dozen people in the province for whom sightsee is really their top. Number one, ballot box question.
It’s not going to be enough to propel the greens in the, the next couple of writings they have to win or even really. I think we particularly resident on the cell phone, we particularly resonant on the South Island where their base is and where they have the most likely chance to add to their seat holdings.
Ian Bushfield: [00:50:28] and the other element of election speculation, particularly in the last couple days has been a couple of big name announcements in the nomination news front. And we haven’t really. Caught up, kept up with all the nominees news. So I thought I’d do a little bit of a breakdown, but first kind of an announcement, as something to do for the next while or something to help everyone.
Who’s a BC poly follower. We put together a little spreadsheet and we’ll shut throw a link [00:51:00] on social media and in the show notes of all the constituencies out there and who the current. Candidates are for nomination and who’s been nominated so we can keep track of all of this as best as we can. I don’t think anyone’s done it, so we’ve done it and you can now use it.
And if you have tips for that, send them to us either by DM or political stop CA but the big news today was MP. fin Donnelley from the federal NDP wants to jump in, to run in Coquitlam, Berg out in against
Scott: [00:51:41] John Isaacs. Pick a seat that you try and want to pick off from the liberals. Let’s go to one has any, there was an 87 vote difference last time.
So I it’s like clearly the easiest pickup anywhere. So I. Pose. Why not try and get that one? [00:52:00]
Ian Bushfield: [00:52:00] Yeah. And Fen Donnelley represents port moody Coquitlam. Right now. He’s pretty widely respected as far as I can tell in the federal caucus, a little bit focused on salmon, but it is an important issue. and he could do a lot on the fishing front at the provincial level, at least for salmon.
Scott: [00:52:20] Does not actually represent the riding a federally because he did not run in the twenties.
Ian Bushfield: [00:52:27] All right. He was one of the ones to take a bit of a break from caucus to
Scott: [00:52:33] decided not to try and, hold on to the a N D piece. Not particularly a great. Yeah, I guess he just decided to jump ship when the NDP looked like they were in not great position. That’s probably, wasn’t a
Ian Bushfield: [00:52:51] terrible similarly as Nathan Cullen is being talked about for the Northern rioting of Skeena currently held by liberal [00:53:00] Ellis Ross.
Scott: [00:53:00] Okay. But at the same time, isn’t Nathan Colon always talked about any time. There’s an election about him making the jump to provincial politics he’s named
Ian Bushfield: [00:53:11] for a federal leader. It comes up for lots of different things. I think he’s just someone, people like columnists, And probably because he’s a pretty friendly guy.
He’s easy to get along with if you’ve ever met him in person or seen him talk in person. So maybe that’s why people want to see more of him, but maybe it will be true.
Scott: [00:53:30] One of these times that eventually asked to be,
Ian Bushfield: [00:53:32] but I think what the narrative of at least fin Donnelley, if not also Colin, whether that pans out or not, is that in terms of being active in the NDP right now at any level, there’s probably more excitement at the VC provincial level than definitely at the federal level or most other provinces, Here we have government and like [00:54:00] the majority.
Scott: [00:54:01] yeah, if you’re. Yeah, sure. A federal NDP, M P R U. It’s going to be a case of being the perpetual, opposition, if best case scenario, if you managed to. Get a hail Mary and repeat the 2011 showing maybe even official opposition, but the NDP is just not forming government federally so I can see why.
Politicians who want to actually do things.
Ian Bushfield: [00:54:34] there’s a very slim chance that the federal government goes to an election. It comes out in a very similar situation and the NDP and gets a formal coalition with the liberals. And there a few new Democrats decide to take cabinet seats, which would be somewhat unprecedented, federally.
More likely we’d see more confidence in supply agreement type things, but, that’s probably the highest they [00:55:00] could hope for federally. Realistically, you have a pretty straightforward path to cabinet. If you take a seat from Ellis Ross or, other high profile BC liberal, but there are some people hoping to be high profile.
BC liberals, the liberals have been. Slowly running, they’re ready to run campaign and have been nominating candidates in their kind of key target writings. I jotted the names in the show notes. Any of these jump out at you as particularly interesting.
Scott: [00:55:29] I think James Robertson in port moody Coquitlam presents it quite an interesting, candidate there. so he’s a leadership coach and salt and a veteran and, someone I follow on Twitter quite a bit, and I think has more to say than just the typical. BC liberal, somewhat warmed over talking points.
So he’s definitely one I’d be watching. And I think that’s the hustle they’re really, get out there and actually
Ian Bushfield: [00:55:57] drown current MLA [00:56:00] brick Glumac. David Gruell whose name was familiar? When I saw that he’s the nominee and Vancouver Frazier view. Now trying to take George Heyman out will be a long shot for the BC liberals.
Nevertheless, a girl was familiar as he ran for the NPA in the 2018, municipal election in Vancouver. He founded the absolute energy natural gas company, which they do, I guess The market or not the marketing, but the like market selling, buying and selling make money that way. I can’t remember much other than seeing David signs, but there were so many council candidates that it was really hard to keep track of them all
Scott: [00:56:41] he’s running in Vancouver, Fraser, which. If there is a liberal pickup in Vancouver, that’s probably a hit, but as we were talking at the start of the segment, they’re going to have a tough time just holding on to all their vein of receipts. [00:57:00] I think it’s pretty unlikely. They actually pick up something in the city of Vancouver itself.
More likely than not, these are not gonna be successful there. I suppose the other person really, look at on this list would be the candidate in Courtney Komatsu. now that was the other very noteworthy writing for how close it was in 2017. Slightly less close than the one fin Donnelly’s running right in Burke mountain.
But that was also a nail biter. And that went into recounts to figure that one out.
Plus he also has an engineering background with a precast contract company. So yeah, like I’m on that front because that’s just a simple fire to me, but, yeah, so that, those, I think he’d be the other person I’d be. Watching in this, race, just as where things are.
Ian Bushfield: [00:57:51] Yeah. There’s a few other candidates have been nominated that we can just run through Bruce Bandman in Abbotsford health, South, assuming plexus doesn’t [00:58:00] run, which seems to be the safe money right now.
Although he’s mused, both ways, Schrodinger’s candidacy. Bannerman’s a current city counselor. A former mayor of Abbotsford. He beat out two rivals for that nomination. Oak Bay Gordon head is also going to be a really interesting seat cause that did used to be a BC liberal one. but the NDP has also been somewhat growing there, but that was held most or is held right now by Andrew Weaver and was the Green’s first pickup.
Roxanne hell is going to be the candidate there.
Scott: [00:58:32] Yeah. And Andrew Weaver is like the liberalist green out there. w was not a huge stretch in terms of the general orientation of the candidate beyond.
Ian Bushfield: [00:58:44] I can’t remember if we talked about. Cheryl Ashley, when she won the nomination and maple Ridge Pitt Meadows, a former school trustee and counselor out there who seems pretty prominent in the community.
And then there’s Karen Kirkpatrick in West Vancouver Capilano. [00:59:00] Who’ll try to win Ralph Selten’s seat. she’s been CEO of a lot of things. Most recently, family services of greater Vancouver and has been on the board of many other things. quite a. accomplished CV for her. And that seems like a pretty safe BC liberal seat,
but lots more nominations to come. We haven’t seen any from the BC greens yet to my knowledge, because they’re in the midst of a leadership race. And I imagine there’s going to be some desire to see who wins before they commit to running for the party.
Scott: [00:59:32] Yeah. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if. The leadership candidates who aren’t current MLS, the two of them, they each come from different spots on, yeah. These Trump from different writings within PC. So more likely than not, they’ll probably be the candidates in those writings, but that’s still does leave another 80.
Plus Phil. And [01:00:00] yeah, so far nothing there. And I’d spent, like you said, it’s gonna be after
Ian Bushfield: [01:00:04] the internship. And I know the BC liberals and BC greens both have a forms out looking for talented, smart, enthusiastic people who want to carry those flags in the next election. So visit those websites. If you want to get engaged or the NDP will start to be looking as well.
Scott: [01:00:23] The liberals have been. The liberals will be honored recruiting drive for at least a year now for their candidates, so that they’re looking for pretty aggressively out there. So I spent there’s a bunch more, we’ll be hearing from shortly as they nominate the next batch. Yeah, it wasn’t somewhere. So funny, Henry it’s put out about Baptist school featuring, Bonnie Henry and drew a fair bit of criticism because I, it chose her in a classroom talking to, I believe it was six students, which, I do, [01:01:00] listeners will note is. Significantly smaller than the number of people expected to be in classrooms once school reopens.
And that drew a fair bit of ire from both the teachers, the unions and parents who are concerned about the safety of having a bunch of kids crowded in class classrooms when school reopens. Which wasn’t great. And then it also came out that part of the reason they had such a small group was because it wasn’t, they didn’t necessarily consider it safe to have a large group in there for filming, which does not speak well to
Ian Bushfield: [01:01:44] Yeah public health columns have been really good. Like this is the first big miss for their communications department. And it was somewhat predictable. I think if you just came at it from an outside lens and went, [01:02:00] but that’s not what it’s going to look like.
Scott: [01:02:02] Yeah, and it does, I think undermine both the government in general and unfortunately as well, dr. Henry who had garnered quite a bit of a, respect and adoration for how she’s handled things to date, but. It on the public health comms aspect, that this was a pretty big misstep that does undermine trust in a fairly big way.
I think it definitely can be seen as a, the government and the public health officer. Not. Presenting accurate information, which in a crisis as are really unfortunate and damaging
Ian Bushfield: [01:02:42] well on the other, the update for schools and reopening is a minister Rob plumbing. This afternoon announced what’s going to be done with the money coming from the federal government.
The first update is that it comes in, it’s going to come in two checks, one to cover the fall and one for the spring. And. [01:03:00] What they’ve decided to do is to just pass that money on to the school districts and let them, apportionate how they need to. So they don’t actually have to make it any decisions they can let all of the districts do.
So district will get the amount of money proportional to how many students they have. There’ll be some for independent schools and a few for a bit of money for. Other forms of education as well, but most of it will be going to the public school districts. they can use it to hire more teachers for online learning, although hiring teachers to start.
In five days is going to be, not possible. but hopefully they can get more, as it becomes clear how many parents and families want to go in each route. they could also hire more cleaning staff, buy more hand sanitizer or whatever they decide in that district. They need to do. I think there was also talk of like setting up wifi hotspots in remote and rural communities so that people up in those areas are able to still access online learning [01:04:00] if they need to do that.
buying laptops and things like that for students who can’t otherwise afford it. So all the options are there, but now it requires another level of government to make decisions, which. No, it probably had to go this way. Just the way our education system is structured, but this would have been good to have decisions made about three months ago and not, like I said, less than a week before school schools are open officially.
Scott: [01:04:29] Yeah. In terms of figuring out what to spend money on quickly. Yeah. Put it to the local school boards as a definitely item through right way to go on that. But like I said, last week, it’s just such a case of. Why the hell did it take this long? Everyone knew what was going to happen at the start as a temper. This should not be being figured out in the final days of August and the first days of September. Toward the money’s coming, but it was a failure and how it actually got rolled out.