The following is a largely AI-generated transcript for Episode 208. Apologies for the lack of speaker labels on this one and please excuse any transcription errors.
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And we just actually finished recording an interview with the podcast Ontario loud, which is an Ontario politics podcast, but it. We were there to give a bit of a background in briefer on BC politics. That episode will be coming out on Tuesday. So subscribe to their feed wherever you found this podcast.
And listen to us there, plus all of their takes on Doug Ford and Ontario politics.
Let’s get into it and they’re off the election is now three days old. The. The leaders have all done their speeches at the union of BC municipalities, which gave us almost nothing other than [00:02:00] Wilkinson and first, and now do not want to be in an election. And Horgan does want to be an election. I actually feel sorry for all the, counselors at various municipal politicians who.
Are working hard for the UBCM stuff, but it’s just not completely overshadowed by everything else going on this week. Totally. UBCM is usually a big news story and BC politics. And this week it’s just their conference was online and they pass some resolutions. No, one’s really going to talk about them because election.
Wilkinson speech was up first and I should say all of these speeches were actually scheduled before the election. They were just scheduled as leaders. Coming and presenting. And now they just turned out to be campaign stops, which was pretty convenient, beyond calling the election an unethical power grab in his word.
He did promise that the liberals would be unrolling policies on crime homelessness [00:03:00] economy. And he promised some very provocative environmental policies. I think that raised some eyebrows, cause I don’t know what a provocative environmental policy is. I don’t know if he decides to ban oil or something in BC, that might raise a few eyebrows and be provocative.
But yeah, it’s not exactly clear what that pins. I think the other language that raised some eyebrows is when he was talking about crime and homelessness, he talked about this quote, suddenly this street phenomenon of people who are out of control, which drew the same kind of IRR as the renting as a wacky time of life.
Comment that he made a couple, was that a year ago now two years ago also have laundry than that.
Yeah, I think it was just like a 2018 thing. I think it’s fairly early on in his time as a leader of the opposition. I didn’t get a chance to watch any of the speeches. so having to go off secondhand reporting through the Vancouver, sun and others, and we’ll put links in the show notes. [00:04:00] First now, reiterated how much she had confidence in the government and how proud she was of the work they’d done together and how betrayed she feels having to go to an election.
Whereas Oregon, in the conversation he had. Tried to argue that the greens were getting in the way of $10 a day childcare, which I think was a bit of an issue during the 2017 election back to it. But the greens had signed off on to help roll out childcare. And there’s not any evidence prior to now that it was the Green’s lack of commitment to the government’s agenda that was holding up the rollout of further spaces, which is something we’ll consent.
Also criticize this week. I’m not sure the level of criticism coming from Wilkinson at you. Didn’t do the thing that was more ambitious than we promised to do last time is really going to be very effective as a line of attack, especially if his platform doesn’t one up [00:05:00] the NDP on that. So I’m not sure what he’s thinking on that.
It seems a little. Disjointed and opportunity well focused, which I suppose somewhat describes his general tenure as a leader. The other parts that you handed out on the platform? I think actually gonna have more resonance on a lot of those fronts, but we’ll have to wait and see on that because who knows if they’ll actually deliver a relevant platform, that’s really going to connect with people on the part about the election being a test of the Premier’s trustworthiness.
I don’t know. It’s I’m not sure you’re going to be able to win that fight. Yeah. It’s dumb that we’re going into an election. Most British Colombians don’t want one, but I’m not sure you’re going to necessarily be able to win a fight. If trustworthiness is the key [00:06:00] factor or the key ballot question.
Aye. It’s not something that I think Andrew Wilkinson will necessarily stack up favorably. If you try and run that they really need to frame it much more round something along the lines of, Oh, it’s going to be a question of, I don’t know, judgment may be or suitability to lead if you want to do for the general character of the government approach to it.
In theory. I saw one report saying that the liberals will be dropping their platform next week. So we’ll have a chance to dig into that unless they delay it. But hopefully we get to see that. right now, even with the dislike, the distaste of the snap election, the ball is still largely in the NDP court.
We’ll get into the polls in a bit, but they’re still in a pretty strong position and it’s not like most people look back at the last three [00:07:00] and a half years. That was a very cool, bad government that we wouldn’t want to continue. Yeah, they’re playing principles. We went to law, but the current government, they haven’t really sparked the disliked that say that the previous government yet after they.
Stuck around for so long. It’s still first term from it. They haven’t really done a huge amount of the unpopular moves that governments tend to accumulate over their lifetime. It’s going to be tough to make that the key focus and I do worry the liberals are running the same mistake that the shear campaign did last time of.
Overestimating how much the general public shares their intense dislike of the other party. You mentioned this on our conversation on Ontario loud, that the liberals look like they’re playing to the base, hoping that by simply doing that, they can go out with, [00:08:00] secure the vote they got last time and pick up just enough to win two or three more seats.
Which would give them a majority. And I think we both agree. That’s a bad strategy because the fundamentals are different in 27, in 2020 than they were in 2017. I thought it was a good analysis. Yeah. It’s not as bad as it is for some parties, the liberals very high floor. And even now we’ll get the pull in a bit, but they’re still sitting at, depending on which poll you look at, somewhere in the 30 to 37% range, w as a base, isn’t all that bad.
The trick is it’s the net 10% they need. And it’s far from clear that. That 10% is going to look at the Tron situation and decide they need a change of [00:09:00] government and maybe the liberals could frame it, but it really needs to be a looking forward approach.
There’s something the NDP is accumulated enough mistakes to prove bad decisions in the last couple years to make the centerpiece of the campaign, you really got to.
Make it a boat they’re not well suited to the new challenge that has arisen
the liberals to do on that front. But I’m not sure that they’re really going to be able to pull it out.
I think one of the places we see. An opportunity for differentiation is in one of the places where the government is still struggling in part, because it’s an incredibly difficult file. But this week we saw the report from the coroner on the toxic. Drug or the illicit drug deaths for August. thankfully slightly fewer people died in August than in July, only one 47 [00:10:00] versus one 76.
But these are still very high numbers. Even in August, 2019, we’d gotten down to 86 deaths that month. still a lot of people dying from tainted drugs. I’m already over a thousand people have died in 2020 from toxic drug supply and. COVID is really just blown this up. As we’ve talked about before, we were starting to turn the corner on the overdose crisis.
It seemed like in late 2019, and now that people had to lock down, they were turning to substance use more and more. This prompted some reaction from the political parties this week. Horgan again, tried to blame the greens for blocking bill 22. That was the, Bill to allow for involuntary tension of miners.
Who’d been admitted with overdoses, but this is a bill that the coroner, the public health officers, the civil liberties association, most experts in the [00:11:00] field said would not help the situation and may even lead to additional deaths by people refusing to even seek that care. So it’s not a great week on the government side for.
Dealing with the overdose crisis. And I don’t think we saw strong arguments from the other parties about what they would do differently though. Yeah. The liberals have definitely hinted that’s going to feature fairly prominently. The campaigns thought that Wilkinson did out of maple Ridge today. It was today maybe yesterday to campaign stuff he did on make Ridge.
He apparently talked to a bit about that. I think we will see something in the platform. how that, what that shapes up to be. I think going to be an open question, but it’s going to be a spot, a weakness for the current government, just because it has proven to be a very difficult file and yeah, since the doctor is something he can, I think, fairly credibly speak [00:12:00] on and it’s probably one of those things where it doesn’t come off.
Or he has the option of coming off as like a caring doctor type rather than his somewhat detached view that he sometimes has. So there’s potential there potential. I think so far we’ve seen him take the other tact where he links it to crime and out of control street homelessness. And I think they were referring to how the BC NDP is just hoarding people up in the hotel rooms that they’re buying out. I feel like it needs, it’s an, it’s a, it’s an issue that needs a lot of compassion. And I know that there are voters out there who don’t feel that way and they would be more sympathetic to the BC liberals. I just struggle to empathize with those people who can come around to that.
I do think the crime issue is going to be something that we’ll have a fair bit of resonance. There are some times that are quite a bit property [00:13:00] crime in Vancouver’s up significantly. And, yeah, I actually heard from listener after our last episode that was concerned, we didn’t really give the issue enough of its due.
And I do think there’s something to it, but I, the challenge will also be to address it in a way that doesn’t come off as uncompassionate. So if they liberals construct the right balance there. Being compassionate, but also very clearly want to take this issue seriously and, reduce crime. I think there’s definitely a good opening for them there.
And it is something that will I play with a lot of the swing voters that will ultimately decide the election. let’s pivot from the issues of the election into more of the horse racy. Political machinations stuff. All of the parties are quickly nominating more and more candidates. The NDP are [00:14:00] announcing winners of nomination contest every day.
The, I believe first and I was asked how many candidates the greens have nominated and she didn’t know offhand. And it seems like they may be struggling to find candidates, but I am starting to find a few people who are putting their names forward. I do hope the greens can run a full slate. Just for the health of our democracy to give people choices, but I could see them struggling to hit the 87 candidate Mark.
The liberals though. I want to come in on them as they were in the hot water this week for nomination news. As the Surrey white rock nomination ended up being an appointment after the party says they were only had time to Greenlight a candidate, Trevor Helford who was named as the nominee. After they found some social media, red flags for the other two who are seeking the seat, the nomination.
Sorry, it’s always tough on the [00:15:00] green lighting committee. It is confident they don’t come out and say most of the time, what the issues were. So it’s hard to know if this is just something that is a postdoc justification, or if there really was something that was going to make it hard for them to get everything sorted out in time.
I. Not great in the sense that the liberals have been working on candidate recruitment for about, Oh, probably two years now. And ideally they should have started doing this vetting a lot earlier, so it wouldn’t be an issue. and this is the seat that Tracy readies vacated when she resigned at the start of September.
And so the liberals would have been actively already looking for candidates and this constituency. And so it’s. Quite weird, why they weren’t able to move a little bit faster with this? It, they didn’t say that they didn’t Greenlight. they didn’t reject the other two and I’ll give them names.
This is former white rock counselor, Meghan [00:16:00] Megan Knight, and Mike Pierce. Who’s been a politician for a while in various local government roles in the interior, but now lives in white rock. Both of them now are saying, quote, the fix was in. Because of the actions of the party here. I’m not a great look when the party can’t handle the Greenlight.
It was also weird that the party itself talked about flags and social media issues. Like you said, these Greenlight committees are often very, behind the scenes and don’t tend to talk publicly too much. this will be blown over by next week, but each party has their kind of moment of nomination drama, inevitably.
Yeah. That always happens. I, this is probably less damaging than what we talked about last week with Nathan Collin up in, the cane. So yeah. do these things tend not to be that impactful that [00:17:00] the column one might be because. Party fights with local EDA about nominations is a rather blahzay political story that everybody hears and forgets about.
Whereas the symbolism of the Nathan column, once I think a lot more, and I think McPhee has talked about, or at least hasn’t ruled out other options like running as an independent or challenging it in other ways. So she’s still an active player in the drama there, but we’ll have to see. Where that goes.
The next thing I want to touch on is something I want to do for each week. Going through the election. I’ve been playing around with the Facebook ad library recently, and it’s a ton of fun because of their new transparency requirements. Page that is running political ads has to report how much money is being spent on their advertising on Facebook.
So you can pull up like the BC NDP page or the liberal party and the green party. We’ve talked about this for some of the leadership candidates in the past for the [00:18:00] greens. And I’ve posted a couple times to our Twitter for the last seven days, the 16th to the 22nd, which includes some pre-read data in there.
The BC NDP outspent, the BC liberals two to one. Sorry, the BC NDP outspent the BC liberals three to one. This was $29,000 spent by the BC NDP. I think a big chunk of that was pre-read when they were just dumping money on the. On Facebook ads, which was a big sign for me, that they were going to call an election.
The liberal spent just under 10,000 and the BC green party has spent $300 in the last week. I’ll add that the liberals have also spent two point or the liberals have also spent $2,700 on ads for Andrew Wilkinson’s page. There was only a couple of hundred dollars spent on Horrigan and I think non for first now’s pages.
Now there’s probably a bunch of local candidates who are also spending ads and in the next week, we’ll start to really see all of that ramp up, but just in the first week, definitely a big advantage for the [00:19:00] BC NDP on Facebook ads, which may or may not turn into anything, but with an election that’s going to be largely fought online on TV by phones rather than in person events.
I think following social media is going to be. Very key to seeing how these parties are positioning each other. Yeah, I think ads tend to be a little overrated, relative to their actual effect. And I it’s one thing, if it’s a case of one party does a lot of advertising and the other does no advertising, but.
When your two parties, both getting your ads out there, the relative frequency probably actually doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, that the very small spend by the BC green party is the sort of thing that they might want to be concerned about. But, the liberal NDP split on that.
The [00:20:00] liberals may be keeping their powder dry for a little later. It’s not something that I’d be too worried about them now, but if it continues, maybe it might be an issue. Yeah. I look at it partly as a proxy for how much money are they taking in? the liberals will undyed, the liberals and possibly the other parties will undoubtedly get loans to help cover them in the short term for the campaign.
And then they’ll fundraise after the election to pay that off. But it’s at least a hint that the NDP has a war chest and is happy to spend it, which we already knew. But it’s nice to confirm those things. The other big number out this week was that elections BC has said that 160,000 people have already asked for Malin ballots, which I think includes both of us now.
yeah, I put them on a quest for mail and valid on day one. I’m guessing you did fairly recently. Yeah. A day or two ago. the one thing for everyone listening, who’s requested a mail invalid, as we figured out this after noon or [00:21:00] elections, BC was tweeting it out that if you request a mail in ballot and it’s sent to you before candidates nominations are confirmed on, I believe it’s October 2nd.
You’re going to get a write in ballot. So it’ll be a blank. Not blank piece of paper, but it will be a blank line for you to write either the party or specific candidate in your constituency to clearly express your preference. So do your best to make sure, who’s running in your writing.
I expect this is going to lead to a lot more, challenges in judicial recounts if we end up with some close writings. So the candidate cutoff is two weeks prior to election day. but yeah, that does give a, not a huge amount of time. And it’s going to be curious out where it’s, when I was in the military, I.
Vote. And the Friday night came from, sandwich called violence, for federal elections and yeah. Yeah, those ones were interesting because they literally have a giant book with every candidate [00:22:00] Countrywide, all the list. And it was a write in ballot in those cases. But without the actual list distributed.
Going to be interesting to see how that works out. And it’s probably going to be a lot of scrutinizing on exactly who these mail in ballots are for and whether or not they, and there’s maybe some contentions. If we get a couple of those writings of which ones should be disqualified or not elections, BC has said that they do try to.
Not liberally, but reasonably interpret what a person’s intentions were. So if you misspell your candidates name, that won’t be disqualifying. And I don’t, I don’t know yet, but hopefully we won’t have too many races with multiple. when it’s ample for a Vancouver Fairview, here we go. Hopefully we don’t have many repeat names on the ballot as people sometimes do to mess with these things.
let’s get into the polls to close off the segment. Two polls were [00:23:00] dropped today, one from insights West and one from research co, which was Mario can say it goes from that he started off after leaving insights West. I just find that. Funny, both show a sizable lead for the BC NDP. The insights West pole sees the lead at 42 to 29 for the liberals 16 for the greens and 12 for the conservatives research co sees it at 44% for the NDP 37% for the liberals, 13% for the greens and 4% for the conservatives, Eileen a little more towards believing the research co numbers since the conservatives.
I think are unlikely to hit 12% in the province. Yeah, I agree. Levels at 29 seems low to me too. And I think in 2017, the conservators ran candidates in, I want to say 12 writings. It was not very much. They. [00:24:00] Overall just for not a major. I looked it up. They ran candidates in 10 writings last time and got a solid half, a percent of vote for province-wide should actually down.
4% from the previous time. Yeah. Overall there were a non entity. they actually have a lever this I think, but they do. I forget his name. Yeah. How much that’s actually going to make a difference. I would more or less discount them unless it’s, I don’t know, weird fringe case writing or that they could be the margin of victory and for one seat.
But yeah, overall they’re basically a non on entity as far as elections go. And who knows maybe as far as us and nominate 60 candidates and actually make a bit of a show. But by all indications, they’ll. They’re just [00:25:00] not going to get 12% of the vote. Aye. They get 12% of the province wide vote. It only ran on full of cat candidates.
That would be weird and absurd. So few takeaways from these polls. The first I think is that whether the NDP is at 42 or 44, that’s down. a few points from the hi 50 40 from the high forties to even just slightly over 50% that we saw in some polls in the summer. And the liberals are definitely up from or stable on some of those numbers.
I think that is reflected by what insights West also asked about, which is, how much do you support or oppose a snap election? They found that 57% of people are opposed to the snap election. 30% of those are strongly opposed and only 10% of British Columbia, strongly support a snap election, which is not too surprising.
Some encouragement for the NDP and the fact that among their supporters, [00:26:00] 62% are supportive of calling a snap election and only 9% are strongly opposed, which you would expect, but at least their base isn’t. And that base is the 42% willing to vote for them. They’re not the mad ones. So a lot more. A lot less room for the NDP to grow their vote, unless people get over the snap election call, but at least they didn’t piss off too many of their own supporters.
Yeah, it is interesting looking at this compared to where the vote ended up last time. So if you take the research call, they’ve basically gained four points from their 2017. Showing the liberals are down three, that’s still a decent spread. The sort of thing that pollster definitely shift by that much over the course of an election.
It wouldn’t take that much for a reversal of fortunes to end up back in like a 40, 40 split on the vote. [00:27:00] Another interesting thing from research co is they asked, who would be the best premier, which is a fairly common question that I don’t tend to pay too much attention to, but I think this will be a very leader driven election.
obviously. Each party, the NDP and liberals think their guy will be the best leader, but among the greens, 35% said John Horgan would be the best premier, but only 30% of green voters. Thoughts on your first Anat would be the best premier that might just reflect her lack of name recognition, but you would hope that she would have strong name recognition among her own party.
And among BC liberals, 20% of them, 21% said Horgan would be the best premier. So Oregon’s actually ingratiated himself fairly well to BC liberals, because I don’t think many BC liberals would support many NDP premiers in years gone by. No, probably not, but does, I think some are flat, the weakness [00:28:00] Wilkinson has with his own party, but it’s one of those weird things I could see reversing over the course of an election, especially as partisanship sets in a bit more.
So we’ll keep our eye out for more polls. If you want to throw us a couple hundred bucks, we might run our own to see how that goes, but we’ll make those decisions as we go. Let us know if you want us to run our own poll. Of course. And. Anything else you want to hear in our coverage?
moving onto our second segment, much true drove about nothing. So Ian, does the country feel radically different than it did a week ago? My God, I have a vision of a stronger and more resilient Canada to quote the title of the throne speech that I sat through on Wednesday. Noon. It was a 50 minutes, the speech, and it took forever to get to it because prior to the throne speech, if you’ve never watched it federally, the [00:29:00] usher for the back black rod has to leave the Senate where the Thrones speeches read, take it to the house, take it to the house of commons, bang on the door, drag MLA, or drag MPP back to the Senate.
And then they can begin, in this case, the Senate. Is under renovation. So the actual chamber is in a different building. So he had to get out of the building, get in a car drive across Ottawa, get out, go into the house of commons. Get the half a dozen or whatever dozen MPS who are going to come because they had to reduce their numbers for COVID get into vans, drive back to the Senate and get in.
And it was just like sometimes ceremony doesn’t feel as necessary when it becomes this. difficult. And usually the entire Supreme court justices are sitting right in front of the governor general to read it. But this time poor Richard Vagner had to sit there by himself in his Santa costume. The whole thing was surreal.
[00:30:00] Everyone was wearing masks, but that only, that was like the least weird thing. Yeah, visually, there’s quite a bit different than previous years. So that’s quite all the way at Rosado. Is it? The villains are like two blocks apart, but still, it definitely drained things out a bit. but yeah, the reason I asked that question off the top was because this was supposed to be the big event, the big speech that the liberals were during a completely brief focus, their entire policy agenda.
Put in like transformational program to really completely redo Canada, and transform the country to a waitress or more resilient, whatever. And it was so important that they needed to parole parliament for weeks because they could not bear angels distractions while they were working on their national project.
That transformation. The actual result ended up being, significantly underwhelming. [00:31:00] Yeah. Even in the days leading up to the throne speech through government had started, the liberal government had started walking back some of the language, like there are all these trial balloons about, maybe this will be a basic income, Canada will look different.
And then in the week before it was. Oh, there’s a lot of concerns about out of control spending or they started really changing the language from that, green economy is going to happen too well. Liberal insiders are worried that they don’t want to be seen taking advantage of a crisis to push a green agenda at this point.
And it’s we’re still in a climate crisis. You can do both. You can walk and chew gum. Nevertheless, they. Did bring forward quite a lot of ideas in the speech. It was a long speech, 50 plus minutes, almost an hour, whereas they’re often 30 to 40 minutes, I would say. And it was full of a lot of tinkering.
I would say [00:32:00] some of it bigger. Some of it’s smaller, lots of spending will definitely be coming. But there was no like unifying, this is what the agenda is. They kept talking about it in terms of four foundations, which I think Nora Loretto pointed out on Twitter that you generally only build a structure with a foundation, like a single one.
You only need one foundation. You might use four pillars, but that was just, it really depends on the structure. Yeah, that was a little bit petty language semantics. But let’s I’ll preach has multiple foundations, at least one on each. There you go. It’s the bridge to a new Canada. So the four foundations that they named were fighting the pandemic health care, stuff like that.
The second is supporting people in businesses. The third is building back better and the final one is standing up for who we are as Canadians. there wasn’t a ton in the first one other than. [00:33:00] continuing to roll out the Panda response and fight COVID they did promise to approve tests as fast as they could enroll them out as fast as they could.
So we can respond to. Covert as it grows. I know there’s a huge issue in Ontario right now with testing backlogs, which I think is a combination of provincial health care and competence with, along with the federal government’s refusal to certify any faster testing boys and short pants covered this recently.
Yeah. I was actually just to give them a shout out for that thing, but yeah, I was actually a little surprised to see that in there because. so right now there’s basically two types of tests out there. There’s the sticks, something off your nose and whittle it around to catch a bunch of virus particles.
And then yeah, send it off to this big fancy lab and get like it’s a highly accurate test, but it’s both unpleasant to take and has a tool 24 to 48 [00:34:00] hours. If there’s a real bath lot, sometimes laundry turn around and there’s these other tasks that are not quite as accurate, but can be done quickly.
They are less invasive and most peer countries have approved one version of the test and. Like the theory here that, which I think is quite compelling is that you don’t need the same level of accuracy. If you can adjust for involves going from like 99% to 95%, accuracy is fine. If you’re testing everyone at three times the rate and you get a false positive on one of those that the person just stays home for a couple of days.
There’s I think a fairly compelling case for those sorts of rapid tests. And yet it’s weird that Canada’s insisting on going through a long and lengthy review process and pull that in theater. Roommate’s a lot of sense for [00:35:00] normal medical devices. When there isn’t a giant health emergency with the pandemic, it really is a case where there needs to be.
More emphasis on speed relative to making sure every possible I is dotted and T is crossed because the costs of not having this are just so big. And you gotta wonder, does the government of Canada think Germany can’t properly evaluate a task? It re really seems to be the sort of situation where the political people should staff in and.
Make it clear that no, if pure countries approve this, we should get it in to Canada as well. So it was weird that they brought it in here. Cause I don’t know if I was them. I would not definitely highlight the fact that we don’t have rapid testing approved. We’ll have to see where they go from here. it’s a complicated issue and one that I [00:36:00] sometimes am willing to grant a lot more.
Leeway because I’m not an epidemiologist or an expert in this at all, and the questions are complex, but like you say, other countries have been moving forward on this or something weird here, but bringing it back to the throne speech, let’s get into the big spending announcements that make up the bulk of those second and third sections.
One of the things people were looking to see in here and was in here was a promise to move forward on childcare. it was really vague. Like throwing speeches are usually pretty vague, but this was just that the government is going to make an effort towards bringing a national childcare approach on, making sure that there is accessible, affordable, inclusive, and high quality childcare.
They didn’t promise a universal, but just that we’d take some lessons from Quebec’s approach. So we’ll still have to see how that works [00:37:00] immediately. The provinces were upset because they felt like this was treading on their territory. And they just want transfers as always the same thing came up with PharmaCare where the government promised to move forward with the work that they’ve been doing on the various studies.
But it wasn’t clear on what timelines. So both of those are like renewed pledges. Yeah. In fact, that’s something that was a theme throughout. This is that the plus stuff that had already been announced. if he cut out everything that how a previous government announcement associated with it, it would have been a five minute speech.
did. They were really treading back over what they’d already covered, but there’s still a few things in here. There’s some more stuff on the jobs portion of it, such as a pledge to create 1 million jobs, which was an interesting choice. I’m not sure pulling a [00:38:00] Tim Hudack and taking his Brandon’s really the.
The best thing to do, or, the thing that we’re really land, but, they decided to go with it this time. The idea there is they’ve calculated that’s what it would take to restore employment to previous levels. So it might just be coincidental and to be fair, they say over 1 million jobs. So it’s not exactly 1 million, by Tim, I, for people who aren’t a Watchers of Ontario politics, he was the PC leader in the 2014 campaign had got absolutely destroyed.
But unlike what he did there, he, they didn’t start their billion jobs plan with a promise to cut a hundred thousand jobs. at least their math is going all in the right direction. Yeah. There was a commitment off the top of this speech that quote now is not the time for austerity, which I think a lot of Progressive’s who are very happy to see and.
Even just people across the political aisle until [00:39:00] you get to the right wing. Because I think most people recognize that if you’re going to spend in the middle of a pandemic is as good a time to spend when you also have almost zero interest rates. those jobs will be created by a range of tools, including direct investment in the social sector and infrastructure, training up skilled workers, incentives for employers to retain and hire workers.
So among those numbers will include every job I imagine that is created or extended by extending the emergency wage subsidy rate through to next summer, which was something a lot of employers were looking forward to, as that was set to expire in a couple of weeks. So not every job will necessarily be a new job, but, or necessarily a government job.
And I think every childcare space that’s created, they will count as a job. So there’ll be some interesting accounting if anyone ever does try to hold them to that million job promise.
But speaking of extending benefits, the government committed in [00:40:00] the throne speech. And we’ll get to it in a minute. When we talk about bill C two, that was rolled out today to extend Serb or not directly extensor, but to roll it into AI and make sure that people who are currently on the emergency response benefit have some kind of coverage going forward.
And we saw the details of that today could also be counted in the things they’d already announced because shortly before probation, they said they were going to be CSUN. Serbin rolling everything into AI and that they were going to be putting in some additional benefits. Not a huge, not a surprise there.
They needed to reiterate the point. And also from the sounds of it, there’s probably during the day, the broader AI in the long run too, beyond what? Just bill C, two introduces. Which is definitely necessary. one of the things that was new as far as I could [00:41:00] tell was a new Canadian disability benefit, which they say they want to model off after the seniors guaranteed income supplement.
And I don’t think this is something we’ve talked about much, but it’s come up in discussions around a guaranteed annual income because it is. The GIS is basically a basic income for seniors. So if you are under a certain amount of financial income, you get a top up from the government and. This benefit has been credited with lifting a lot of seniors out of poverty.
right now there’s a patchwork of provincial benefit programs for people with disabilities. And there’s not a lot coming from the federal government, and this is a place where the feds can really move in and make a big difference in people’s lives. I know there’s a big debate in Alberta right now around H which is the Alberta income for the severely handicapped.
A lot of people get. That funding and [00:42:00] the Kenney government had talked about cutting it, but now is just looking at changing the criteria to cut the number of people on it, because it’s a very expensive program. That’s controversial there because you look a lot of people know someone who is receiving that funding and it’s, if you have a severe disability, work is not possible, and this is a way to take care of those people.
And so I’m excited to see what. Comes of this at very least
a Tucker aim at big tech companies, both in terms of introducing Katz’s as well as sounds like some sort of CanCan requirements going to be coming down the pipe on that one. It’s probably going to be awful. Yeah. I’m. Not if I don’t find the canine stuff particularly compelling and.
Just CBC. Pardon? Just invest in CVC and let them do what they want. The CVC stuff. [00:43:00] Isn’t great. I don’t know, 22 minutes, hasn’t been funny for decades and.
There’s some really good Canadian programming out there. Letterkenny is great. and there’s some good stuff there, but. The way it’s been talked about in the past, and we’ll have to wait to see the final details. It’s very much trying to apply like a percentage of content requirements, thing that made sense back when, broadcast television was a thing that doesn’t necessarily make sense in this century with modern streaming services.
So like the models have to be rethought and countless, what’s not really big enough where it can really exert his own economic clout when it comes to this sort of thing. It’s going to be tough. honestly, probably the best way to really. Get a lot of Canadian culture and have it hold its own against the American influences.
You really just need to [00:44:00] close the population gap, but that’s the sort of thing that’s probably a bit outside the scope of the throne speech. On the income side. As we talked about the tax on digital giants, they also talk about taxing quote, extreme wealth inequality, including closing the stock option deduction for wealthy individuals at large established corporations.
taxing wealth inequality is weird. I think you would usually just tax wealth.
but yeah, there’s not a lot mentioned in here about how to, pay for this plan. And that’s one of the conservatives key critiques. The only other time taxes come up, is a plan to cut the corporate tax rate in half for companies making zero mission products as a way to incentivize additional green growth in the country.
And then there’s also the mention of introducing free automatic tax filing for simple returns, which is something, [00:45:00] a friend of the podcast, dr. Lindsey TEDS has mentioned many times and something, I think we’re both hugely supportive of not having to do taxes and to help get more people on benefits they might be missing out on.
Yeah, this is one of those small little things that actually can make a fairly big difference. And it’s this. Just because it relieves like a lot of stress. And also when you’re really thinking about it, it doesn’t make sense that, if you have an employer, they send all your information to the CRA.
They are like the people you have your RSP with, I believe have the same reporting requirement, but the CRA is collecting all of this stuff. Anyway. There’s no reason they can’t do the initial work themselves, a filing, filling out a tax return automatically a bunch of countries in Europe to it. And it’s also just a weird division of labor.
When you think about it, that. Yeah, we have this huge [00:46:00] department in Ottawa, full of experts and taxes. And yet we farm out most of the work of actually filling out the tax documentation to, 27 million amateurs, more or less. I trust the country. It makes sense that as long as you don’t have some highly complicated.
Yeah. A structure with like business income and everything else, which most Canadians don’t, you can just make it simple and had the government fill it out, send your card that says, yeah, this is what we think your taxes are. If you want to amend it. Here’s how send it back to us. Or maybe even just, if you don’t send it back to us, we’ll automatically, use this version.
There’s ways to do it. Just to check. Just to tick off a couple other policy things mentioned in there is a lot mentioned about climate. the big thing they talk about is legislating a plan and bringing forward a plan to [00:47:00] exceed their targets by 2030, and to go to net zero by 2050 and make that a part of a law.
it’s still somewhat vague in how they’re going to get there. They talk about retrofitting homes and delivering more transit and active transit options.
But I guess we’ll have to wait for that plan to come forward before we know how clean Canada is going to work.
But it is good to see a commitment to actually move a bit faster, even if I’m not sure how they will do it. Yeah. With a lot of this stuff, it really does seem like a case where. maybe compare it to far liberal governments is a little more efficient, but relative to everything they’ve been talking about and doing the last couple of years, it’s I think it’s largely the same things reannounce with maybe a little more stuff coming down the pipe.
It just doesn’t really feel right. Appropriately grand enough for all of they’re hinting at it. And they definitely set expectations way too [00:48:00] high.
And they want to expand the first time home buyer incentive. Your favorite policy, right? Scott? Yeah.
Subsidies for home buying. Isn’t like the big problem in Canada right now. Really? If you want to really impact. Home ownership and housing costs. They should be looking at st. Bernie and got the GST credit for rentals, put in a lot more money up front into that actually subsidizing the expansion of housing in general, rather than trying to incentivize buyers who will just bid up the price and have the not available enough housing that already exists.
Yeah, this is not gonna, they claim that these changes to the first time home buyer incentive will make it more affordable in the most top in the largest cities in Canada. Assumably presumably, Vancouver and Toronto, but it’s [00:49:00] such a marginal effect. if you already have the cash to put a down payment on a home, you’re not going to be able to.
Buy it just because of this incentive. I am glad to see that they are committing to building more housing and putting more money into building housing across the market spectrum or across the affordability spectrum. But yeah, let’s kill the maybe cause I’ve already used up my first time home buyer incentives.
There’s no more reason for me to support this policy. Yeah. If you were to traditionally be taking advantage of it at some point in the future, but yeah, in terms of the grand policy just doesn’t really do a huge amount and targets the wrong part of the housing infrastructure. I, if they really wanted to have an impact.
We’re requiring, broad up zonings around any federally funded transit infrastructure would probably do more than this. Ain’t not cost them any money either. I’m eager to move on to the bill C two that was brought [00:50:00] out today, but I want to touch on. In addition to the fact that there wasn’t anything broadly transformative in this throne speech, as much as they promised.
The other thing that really wasn’t in this throne speech was any mention of oil and gas. They did talk about Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland in terms of making sure the energy expertise is used in the green transition. But in even in previous years, they’d mentioned support supporting oil workers, at least as a light.
Attempt to appeal to Kenny, but I guess this may be the throne speech where Trudeau just fully wrote off Alberta, unless Albertans are in for the transition that’s coming.
Yeah. It was definitely a pivot away from that. He, yeah, probably it purely political calculation. The liberals part that they. Are not going to be able to gain anything in the Western oil producing [00:51:00] provinces. And because of that, it’s not worth putting a huge amount of political capital in that front. The other thing that was noticeably absent was much in the way of the conformed policies.
If there’s a breach section, right at the end about it were the speaker notes that, the global orders under constant stress and freight ranting, but there isn’t really much in how that actually is going to be addressed by Canada. There’s a bit about supporting an international development, which is fine, but like more aid to developing countries.
Isn’t really going to help stitch together. The global order there’s the Michael’s being held captive and trying to get a venture, but no mention of poo is holding them captive and the broad. Geopolitical challenges [00:52:00] associated with China overall, it just was entirely underwhelming. And if they hadn’t even mentioned at all, it probably would have, not highlighted how lacking that such an was.
I liked, Gengar since take on Twitter, which is that the U S is about to break out into civil war and that wasn’t mentioned at all. So what was the point of this whole thing? Yeah, it was pretty hot. That’s a hot take. But at the same time, Canada is so intertwined in the broader North American economy puncture a bilateral and trilateral institutions.
It’s our military is fairly well integrated in terms of a common North American defense. If the us does fragment or have like much worse political challenges than they currently do, which yeah. [00:53:00] The way things are having gone over the past couple of weeks, it’s looking increasingly likely everything in here will not matter at all that whole situation.
Just implodes. let’s turn our attention to bill fee too. And then we can, I think, put all of this federal politics in context, C two was the promised get support to people who are currently on Serb and move forward with. Some kind of support. the bill that was drunk this morning looks largely like it was telegraphed a couple of weeks ago in that there are three new programs, the Canada recovery benefit that will provide a weekly allowance for up to 26 weeks for people who are not eligible for EDI.
Otherwise, the big change is that they’ve gone from $400 a week to $500 a week. Which if you can do the math for four weeks in a month, puts it at the rate [00:54:00] of $2,000. It’s a little bit more than $2,000 a month, actually, that serve as that, which meets the NDPs criteria, that drug meets things set out that he doesn’t want people to be, see a benefit cut as if they move from serve to this recovery benefit.
There are still additional conditions on this. Like you must accept to work where it is reasonable to do but the new benefit of this recovery benefit is that it will roll back like EDI does so that if you earn you start earning money, you don’t immediately get cut off of it. was, an issue initial issue with Serb.
So that’s helpful. there’s the recovery Canada recovery sickness benefit. This is the quote unquote sick leave. This is. Pay for up to two weeks off, for workers who are sick or my self isolate due to COVID-19. Now the challenge is this isn’t exactly sick leave in the way I think you, or I would think of it where it’s like, Oh, I called in sick tomorrow, but [00:55:00] I’m fine on Monday.
This is no, you. Can’t work for at least half of the time you would otherwise work in a week because you either have COVID might have COVID or have been told by an official to self isolate or your employer because of COVID. So it’s not just you have the sniffles and can’t go in it’s you have, are likely have COVID you can’t go in for 10 days.
That by itself is good, but Hey, if there’s one thing the pandemic has shown is that we had a really unhealthy relationship with going into work sick before and spent a lot of flu and cold unnecessarily. And that should be seriously. We thought it doesn’t really do that. And the third program is the Canada recovery caregiving benefit, which just like Canada recovery benefit will cover you for up to 26 weeks.
And this is a [00:56:00] per household benefit for any worker who needs to look after a child under 12 or a family member who needs to stay home because they can’t go to school daycare because of either COVID closures there, or those individuals who are under care have COVID, which covers the other realm of.
People who might need to take time off. So overall, this is pretty good. And I did go through the legislation and some of the backgrounders and found that these three programs will be administered by CRA, which gives me a lot more confidence because going through service Canada and the AI system is frustrating as all hell.
And if you have to take two weeks off and you have to go to service Canada, and right now I’m still waiting for confirmation that I’ll be getting my parental leave that I applied for three weeks ago. I think it took six weeks for me to get my first paycheck. Now I’m not chasing them as hard as some people might have to because I’m in a fairly comfortable financial situation, but that won’t last.
for income [00:57:00] support system, it’s not really an acceptable amount of time to turn things around. Yeah, so CRA good. They did really well with the Serb. It’s good to see them on this. The other caveat is all three of these programs will sunset on September 25th, 2021. So they’re only in place for a year and this bill needs to pass by the weekend because sir, And this weekend, which kind of brings me around to the politics of this, which is that the government knew all of this.
They paroled knowing all of this. And now they’ve brought in a bill that they’re basically daring the opposition to vote down and thereby leave millions of people without any income
I can. Can I say that I hate this. It’s awful. Yeah, the protest, no matter what they said about, Oh, we need to put a lot of our attention to the throne speech or whatever else. I said it [00:58:00] was really about making the waste scandal and the cabinet and the. Committees of parliament investigating that go away.
But yeah, the unintended side effect of that, hopefully an unintended side effect of that was that yeah, it caught the deadline really tight to actually get the syrup replacement in place.
I have no idea if this was like some Machiavellian political move to try and force the NDPs hand, the. Throne speech gets voted down. They can’t pass this and then we’re suddenly in general election, but that well, but even by a half, because if everything dries out prednisone at election starts is probably not the NDP.
That’s really going to get the blame for most people. maybe like the super avid political Watchers might, Connect all the dots into that way. And maybe it’s lose, it’s use the liberal [00:59:00] brinkmanship on it, but even then, like I said to clever by a half, probably, I’m not sure it is. I don’t think they’ve angled for an election though.
I think they’ve angled for. A renewed mandate and renewed throne speech. Like they announced these benefits at $400 a week. And so that then the NDP was able to say, Oh, you’re proposing a benefit cut. And then magically, they found the extra money to go to $500 a week, thereby meeting one criteria. Now the NDP still says they have some concerns about the sickness benefit and whether or not that counts as sick leave as was promised.
But it’s hard to see the NDP not voting for this and also holding up and also passing the throne speech at least. So we can see what’s in the fiscal update. That’ll be coming at some point later this fall, because we’ve yet to see a budget this year hardly see one that gets passed.
[01:00:00] I think the other thing to mention is C two also allows bill C to also allows cabinet spending to continue with less direct oversight until the end of 2020. Now it’s not a blank check for the government, but it’s a renewal of that debate that we had over the summer over whether parliament is just like.
And this was a bill Maher, no thing. is he just asking parliament to just let them have the purse strings to some extent? Yes, because there is no approved budget and we’re in an emergency. So the government does need to spend a little bit at will ad hoc, but. Yeah, the blank check they were angling for earlier was a nonstarter then.
And I expect, we’ll see the opposition parties in this minority government trying to start to claw back some of that, prerogative of the house to set spending. So that may be the most contentious part of this going forward. [01:01:00] I think the only other federal politics to talk about from this week was that weird.
Addressed to the nation that Trudeau did after the throne speech was somewhat unprecedented in that he asked for special time on the airwaves to be given to him to what no one was really told. And then he just basically talked about how COVID is still bad. You should still take it seriously. And if you don’t behave over Thanksgiving, you will not have a Christmas.
Oh. But then he recapped the throne speech and talked about how great the liberal government is. Yeah. So I, in theory, this was put, the networks were told that this was going to be a nonpartisan address and the covert stuff. Yeah. it’s nonpartisan that the prime minister address in the nation on, the major pandemic crisis going on.
Yeah. That’s legit, but. At least half the airtime was all about the throne, speech contents, and [01:02:00] that definitely trust over into partisanship, which should not have happened. So that was disappointing. At least, Oh, tool E-Pro you Francoise, Blanchette and drugged me to sing each, got their respective chances to reply and O’Toole and Francois bland shed at least were looking very well despite their positive COVID test.
So that was good to see them in good health. Oh, so today much Peter dropped responding to that and his, deputy party leader, campus burden. I think she’s deputy department did in the post throne speech response thing. And. Honestly, we can serve just front and center of tool as much as possible because the position in a rebrand and he’s trying to do is going to be much more palatable to Canadians.
And your typical Tory has proven to be, and they might as well lean into that because it was. [01:03:00] No, it wasn’t be night and day since sheer, but was significantly better than his own senior party leadership was that very day.
So let’s turn it to quick takes. And I only have one today, which is I have to touch on the mess. That was the green party leadership federally this week. It came out on, I think it was Tuesday that Miriam Hidad, was being expelled from the leadership race. she’s one of the ecosocialist candidates.
And I guess there was a specific debate where her opening statement was I’m being expelled. I’m not gonna finish this debate and that just blew up. it turns out. It’s not exactly clear why she, what exactly she did. The suspicion is that because she had endorsed the BC ecosocialist party over the BC green party, that this riled up [01:04:00] enough people within the BC greens and brought disrepute as it were to the federal green party in part, because the then leader of the BC ecosocialist, Stuart Parker had a number of.
Allegedly transphobic views. He’d gone to bat for JK Rowling in a way that people who are fighting hard for trans rights these days don’t tend to do. And then when people criticized them for it kept doubling down in a way that was not good. when her dad discovered that those were his views, she held back her endorsement of the BC soaps ecosocialist and then he was quickly ousted as party leader, and there’s a new leader and they do plan to run some candidates.
But I don’t think we’ll be checking in on them too much unless they, Oh, they’re not an entity really. It’s probably not worth any time to focus on them unless you want us to. Do we repeat what we did last election, where [01:05:00] it talked to a bunch of the fringe, fourth and fifth parties leaders.
So yeah, if you want another round of that, give us a shout. If not yet, we’ll probably ignore the ecosocialist because we’ll be inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a weird thing for the green party to. Throw someone out over because Elizabeth made, when she was leading the federal green party, endorsed someone running a dance, a green party candidate, the federal green party candidate, specifically this was Cody Wilson Raybould, and the fight in her writing.
Like it was so shitty thing for Elizabeth May to do, to a member of her own party and a candidate that party nominated. But most of them, they didn’t get kicked out of over that. And it’s [01:06:00] well, and the beasts are greens and federal greens are not the same party. They are not like the NDP. Can I say, like it’s even weirder to do it for endorsing one different party over another party.
That is not your specific part. it just does not make any sense. so did appeal that proposed expulsion and. Just this morning, the party ultimately ruled that. she did a very bad thing that they are still keeping quiet because they don’t have to say specifically what it was, in the interest of democracy they’ll allow her to continue in the race.
So ultimately I think they just did the Barbara Streisand effect, where they brought a lot of attention to the thing. That they did not want discussed. So Hidad might actually do quite well in the race now it’s definitely different a boost, but overall, I think this is yet another example of how, when the green party talks about doing pull the [01:07:00] tits differently, in reality, it’s do in politics badly.
Finally, we were asked to comment on us politics beyond what we mentioned earlier, and look at that a little bit more. It’s just a dumpster fire. I don’t really have any comment. There’s enough podcasts out there either from Canadians, you, the people, or I think Rob Russo has a U S politics podcast for leftists.
There’s a million us politics podcasts out there. Yeah. There’s no shortage of that in sturgeon pod, church of this podcast over there. the only comment I can say is that. They’re in really bad shape, but the structures of the American political system are not well set up for these particular stresses.
And it’s legitimately worrying that things could go really badly over the next couple months.