Canada federal election October 21, 2019 part 2

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MegB
Canada federal election October 21, 2019 part 2

Continued from here.

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
NorthReport

Very sad that Canada’s Pipeline King Trudeau didn’t have the courage to address Canadians following this devastating decision against our Canadian government 

https://www.straight.com/news/1127527/trudeau-spin-cycle-puts-finance-minister-bill-morneau-and-mp-joyce-murray-front-kinder

 

NorthReport

dp

 

NorthReport
NorthReport

dp

NorthReport

Canada’s climate change plan — Alberta is out, so is it dead on the table?

https://globalnews.ca/news/4420844/alberta-climate-change-plan-federal-j...

NorthReport

'Houston, I think we have a problem'

Bombshell leak to Toronto Star upends NAFTA talks: In secret ‘so insulting’ remarks, Trump says he isn’t compromising at all with Canada

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/08/31/bombshell-leak-to-toronto-...

NorthReport

Quote:
Thankfully three Federal Court of Appeal justices  cut through the bullshit after weighing all the evidence

https://www.straight.com/news/1127416/central-canadian-media-and-trudeau-cabinet-must-wake-british-columbians-love-southern

NorthReport
gadar

More asylum seekers created by Fancy Socks

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/saudi-students-file-for-...

National Post has already said that it is a crisis. When will the govt start listening to journalists, or do they only care about what CBC and Red Star have to say. SAD.

gadar

This is essential life saving medication, it should be free. Just being cheaper than the States is not enough. And when The President hears about this he will order the company to lower its prices to levels less than Canada. Canada needs real leadership.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/epipen-alternative-auvi-q-pricing-during-...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This is essential life saving medication, it should be free.

Well, if shrimp, bee stings, or peanuts were an illegal drug, it probably would be free, like naloxone is.

gadar

sorry. wrong thread

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trans Mountain defeat threatens Justin Trudeau’s re-election story - Chantal Hébert

quote:

There is no quick fix to turn the page on this week’s legal fiasco before Trudeau seeks re-election next fall.

In the very unlikely event that the government has an abrupt change of heart and cuts its losses by renouncing the expansion, it would still have the existing Trans Mountain pipeline on its hands. Between now and the election, expect protagonists on both sides of the debate to depict it as a prime exhibit of Liberal incompetence.

From a political perspective, keeping alive the notion that the project will eventually see the light of day might seem like the more expedient solution. But while the government has a number of road maps at its disposal, none offer a shortcut to success.

gadar

I am sure somebody has mentioned this before, but the public owning the pipeline IMO is a good thing. This gives the Govt immense amount of control on the amount of bitumen shipped. A future progressive Govt can easily turn the tap off and even rip the thing out of the ground citing environmental concerns, the age of the pipeline, indigenous opposition, or maybe use national security as an excuse. And then ask the planet killing industry to build their own if they want to. If building a pipeline is not easy today, it is only going to get hard in the future.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
A future progressive Govt can easily turn the tap off and even rip the thing out of the ground citing environmental concerns, the age of the pipeline, indigenous opposition, or maybe use national security as an excuse.

And they'll (we'll?) get the money back?  If buying the pipeline was a bad idea, buying it and then not using it isn't a better one.

gadar

Mr. Magoo wrote:

And they'll (we'll?) get the money back?  If buying the pipeline was a bad idea, buying it and then not using it isn't a better one.

I think buying it and then burying it is a good idea. Not that I am saying that the motivation behind the purchase of the pipeline by the current govt is to bury it.

But if a future Govt decides to bury it I will support it and chalk up the cost as a cost we paid to fight climate change. Or a future Govt can also ask the people who want to use the public pipeline to pay a certain amount to mitigate the effects of climate change that are going to be created by the cargo. The public controlling what and how much flows through the pipeline is a good idea in my opinion.

NorthReport
gadar

Just like the Germans, Canadians should also call for surveillance of party stoking resentment against immigrants.

Guess which party would that be, I will give you a hint, the new leader claimed that he is just the old leader with a smile. Same venom but sugarcoated this time.

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/german-politicians-call-for-surveill...

 

gadar
gadar

Restoring a work-life balance and better protections for part-time and temporary workers will be among the key focuses of a planned rewrite of Canada’s federal labour rules which are to be updated by the time Labour Day rolls around next year, Canada’s employment minister says.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-work-life-balance-preca...

Mighty Middle
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But if a future Govt decides to bury it I will support it and chalk up the cost as a cost we paid to fight climate change.

That's like spending your savings to buy a fancy SUV and then smashing it, to inform the world that you're against fossil fuels.

Also, wasn't it supposed to be just super awesome if the government would nationalize industries?  Where'd that idea disappear to?  And before you say "oh, sure, just not THIS one!" I actually recall the oil industry being one of them.

cco

If the government nationalized the oil industry, I'd be celebrating. Not everyone on this board would agree. Buying a single pipeline that the private sector refuses to build, for the future use of the private sector, at public expense, is not the same thing. That's nationalizing the risk and privatizing the profit.

gadar

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
But if a future Govt decides to bury it I will support it and chalk up the cost as a cost we paid to fight climate change.

That's like spending your savings to buy a fancy SUV and then smashing it, to inform the world that you're against fossil fuels.

Also, wasn't it supposed to be just super awesome if the government would nationalize industries?  Where'd that idea disappear to?  And before you say "oh, sure, just not THIS one!" I actually recall the oil industry being one of them.

I do not support the decision to buy the pipeline. The Govt shouldnt have bought it and it would have been dead. 

But since its already bought, I am just suggesting that it can be used strategically if a future govt. wishes to.

Not saying that the future use (or un-use) justifies the purchase.

R.E.Wood

Robin Sears gets in on the early election speculation:

Early federal election rumours build

"As Parliament returns, we might expect trial balloons citing “usually reliable Liberal sources” whispering that an election is being debated. If the war drums do not generate strong internal resistance, the prime minister may decide to go anytime between late September and early next year.

... The negotiating team returning to Washington, some weeks from now, would have a strong wind at their backs with a new mandate from Canadian voters, is the hawks second strongest argument. But the Liberals would stump the country first on an appeal over who is in charge of Canadian energy and infrastructure. Just as Pierre Trudeau did in 1980."

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/09/09/early-federal...

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Justin had best beware of Peterson's Curse. Plus, Ontario in 1990 didn't even have a fixed election dates law.

jerrym

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Justin had best beware of Peterson's Curse. Plus, Ontario in 1990 didn't even have a fixed election dates law.

I thought you were talking of Peter Principle that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle

 

jerrym

dp

NorthReport

Can’t blame the Liberals if they pull the plug soon, after all the name of the game is to get elected and stay elected so that you can reward your backers with government contracts. All the rest is of no consequence to any government

NorthReport
Aristotleded24

NorthReport wrote:
Can’t blame the Liberals if they pull the plug soon, after all the name of the game is to get elected and stay elected so that you can reward your backers with government contracts. All the rest is of no consequence to any government

If I was advising Trudeau, this is exactly the advice I would give him. People are starting to get scared of the Conservative association with the alt right, and the NDP is floundering. A spring election means that there doesn't have to be a by-election in Burnaby, and so the NDP will be dividing its resources between getting Singh elected and helping elect other MPs. Plus Notley is also going to have an uphill fight on her hands in Alberta, so the NDP will have to pick its battles and decide whether to help out one of its provincial sections retain power or help out their federal counterparts who will remain as the third party in a majority Parliament, with no net improvement on their overall federal influence.

R.E.Wood

NDP has yet to nominate a single candidate for next federal election

Federal political parties are gearing up for the final parliamentary session before the next election, but while the Conservatives and the Liberals tout having many candidates nominated and money in the bank, the NDP has yet to nominate a single candidate.

https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/09/17/ndp-has-yet-to-nominate-a-s...

Cody87

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If I was advising Trudeau, this is exactly the advice I would give him. People are starting to get scared of the Conservative association with the alt right, and the NDP is floundering. A spring election means that there doesn't have to be a by-election in Burnaby, and so the NDP will be dividing its resources between getting Singh elected and helping elect other MPs. Plus Notley is also going to have an uphill fight on her hands in Alberta, so the NDP will have to pick its battles and decide whether to help out one of its provincial sections retain power or help out their federal counterparts who will remain as the third party in a majority Parliament, with no net improvement on their overall federal influence.

I wonder about this. I think it could backfire, be seen as very cynical and self-serving. In many ways, Trudeau succeeded by presenting himself the least like a self-serving politician in 2015. It could be bad for the brand. But it could pan out for them as well.

It's also tough to say whether giving the Conservatives/Berniers more time or less time would be better. At what point in time will they split the most of the vote? Given enough time, a clear winner may emerge. But not given enough time, Bernier (and Scheer!) can't do enough damage to Scheer.

If I was the liberals, I would wait until next October in the hopes that some of the international cultural tensions die down. Hell, maybe social media will figure out how to stop the alt-right by then.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early election call.

In a roundtable interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau says he is happy to rule out the prospect of a snap ballot, meaning Canadians can expect to go to the polls Oct. 21.

NorthReport

Tis the season for Liberal soul-searching

Preening and tut-tutting the Conservatives might fill partisans with a mulled-wine glow, but it isn’t going to win anyone over — or back — in 2019

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-selley-tis-the-season-for-liberal...

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

dp

NorthReport

Nice to see all you "progressives" (JKR bekayne josh debater smithee pietro_bcc re wood mulcair robbie-dee) supporting this shit.

Justin Trudeau's town hall meeting in Kamloops shows federal election campaign is already underway

The real danger for the Liberals is if Trudeau submits himself to a detailed interview on climate change by someone extremely knowledgeable about the Paris Agreement.

Like Bill McKibben. Like Avi Lewis. Like David Suzuki. Or like Mike De Souza.

That would reveal to the public how Trudeau's support for pipelines and an LNG facility in Kitimat makes it extremely difficult for Canada to meet its international obligations.

He would also have to answer questions about the effectiveness of his carbon tax in driving down greenhouse gas emissions. He would have to respond to questions about the role that his government's climate policies are going to have on the number of letahl forest fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

To date, Trudeau has preferred to be interviewed by journalists who aren't passionate about climate change, such as the CBC's Rosemary Barton, CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, and Breakfast Television hosts in Vancouver and Toronto.

As a result, the prime minister has enjoyed a fairly free ride on the environmental file from the mainstream media.

That's unlikely to change between now and election day on October 21, given the way the Liberals are likely to campaign.

https://www.straight.com/news/1185856/justin-trudeaus-town-hall-meeting-...

R.E.Wood

NorthReport wrote:

Nice to see all you "progressives" (JKR bekayne josh debater smithee pietro_bcc re wood mulcair robbie-dee) supporting this shit.

Justin Trudeau's town hall meeting in Kamloops shows federal election campaign is already underway

The real danger for the Liberals is if Trudeau submits himself to a detailed interview on climate change by someone extremely knowledgeable about the Paris Agreement.

Like Bill McKibben. Like Avi Lewis. Like David Suzuki. Or like Mike De Souza.

That would reveal to the public how Trudeau's support for pipelines and an LNG facility in Kitimat makes it extremely difficult for Canada to meet its international obligations.

He would also have to answer questions about the effectiveness of his carbon tax in driving down greenhouse gas emissions. He would have to respond to questions about the role that his government's climate policies are going to have on the number of letahl forest fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

To date, Trudeau has preferred to be interviewed by journalists who aren't passionate about climate change, such as the CBC's Rosemary Barton, CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, and Breakfast Television hosts in Vancouver and Toronto.

As a result, the prime minister has enjoyed a fairly free ride on the environmental file from the mainstream media.

That's unlikely to change between now and election day on October 21, given the way the Liberals are likely to campaign.

https://www.straight.com/news/1185856/justin-trudeaus-town-hall-meeting-...

Not sure why I or the other posters you mention are to blame for supporting the Kitimat LNG project... I think you should turn your attention to the Horgan NDP government in BC, who are actually supporting it!

pietro_bcc

Yeah, since I'm one of the members you mentioned, can you point to a single post I've made where I supported the construction of any pipeline? Natural gas or bitumen. Because I've spent the last few years regularly going to protests against these disgusting projects.

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

David Suzuki: Pipeline blockade is a sign of deeper troubles

 

by David Suzuki on January 15th, 2019 at 8:27 PM

 

  • David Suzuki writes: "Expanding...pipelines keep us on a path detrimental to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and to the future of all people."GETTY

Recent controversy over a natural-gas pipeline blockade and the differing priorities of hereditary chiefs and elected band councillors illustrates a fundamental problem with our systems of governance and economics.

Elected councils for the Wet’suwet’en and other Indigenous bands have signed lucrative “impact benefit agreements” with TransCanada (now called TC Energy), builder of the Coastal GasLink pipeline that would bring fracked gas 670 kilometres from Dawson Creek, B.C., to an LNG Canada liquefaction plant at Kitimat. (A consortium that includes state-controlled Malaysian, Chinese, and Korean companies owns LNG Canada.) Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose pipeline projects that threaten the health and well-being of people who live in the territory, which they have never ceded or surrendered.

Governments of B.C. and Canada claim agreements with elected band councils constitute consent, even though Supreme Court cases—including 1997’s Delgamuukw v the Queen, which involved the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en—have recognized traditional governance forms, including the hereditary chief and clan system, on traditional territories. Elected band councils are more like municipal councils that have limited jurisdiction only over reserve lands.

The hereditary-chief system was in place long before settlers and colonizers arrived. Chiefs, clans, and house groups are responsible to the land and the people, and chiefs can be removed if they fail to fulfil their duties. The band-council system is a product of the Indian Act, which also gave us residential schools.

The councils can’t be faulted for signing the agreements. Money and jobs are needed to support communities that struggle under the current economic system. But pipelines and other fossil-fuel projects provide mostly short-term jobs and economic benefits, mainly related to pipeline construction. As with many elected bodies, it’s difficult for the councils to look beyond immediate priorities and election-cycle timelines.

The hereditary chiefs take a broader, longer-term view. A statement from the Unist'ot'en camp, where hereditary chiefs, land defenders, and supporters have operated a checkpoint since 2009, said: “There can be no question now that this is an issue of Wet’suwet’en Rights and Title. We have demonstrated that this fight is about more than a pipeline; it is about the right of Indigenous peoples around the world to exercise Free, Prior, and Informed Consent.”

As my good friend Miles Richardson—David Suzuki Foundation board member and former head of the B.C. Treaty Commission and Haida First Nation—told the Vancouver Sun: “When you look at the political world and the relationship between First Nations and the Crown, there’s a mighty struggle going on between two worldviews. There’s the Indigenous worldview manifested in the nation-to-nation commitment, and the colonial view, a 200-year-old failed policy that was denounced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and apologized for.”

The hereditary chiefs and land defenders’ worldview goes beyond this pipeline and even Indigenous issues in general. Neskonlith First Nation Chief Judy Wilson, secretary treasurer of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told the Tyee that defenders are standing up for everyone in the face of global warming and its impacts on land, air, and water. “That’s what the Indigenous land defenders are talking about when they say we need to protect the land and the water,” she said. “That water is sacred; water is life. It’s critical and crucial to every Canadian. Not only in B.C. and Canada, but globally there has to be an awakening now.”

https://www.straight.com/news/1188491/david-suzuki-pipeline-blockade-sig...

NorthReport

This makes too much sense so rest assured it won’t happen under Trudeau’s watch

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2019/01/16/trudeau-should-consider-buying-gm-and-making-electric-cars.html

pietro_bcc

Nah, that's unrealistic. Its only realistic to nationalize failing and polluting industries. Not growing and environmentally friendly ones.

NorthReport

Trudeau bold on pipeline investment, but timid when it comes to electric cars

Linda McQuaig

January 17, 2019

ECONOMY

ENVIRONMENT

POLITICS IN CANADA

 Adam Scotti/PMO

Long after the last factory has left Ontario, one can imagine Doug Ford still sporting a full-on Cheshire grin as he puts up billboards proclaiming the province "Open for Business."

Certainly, the premier didn't seem even slightly embarrassed that he'd posted his billboards along the American border just before America's biggest automaker announced plans last November to permanently shut down business at its flagship Ontario plant.

For the rest of us, however, the closure of General Motors' Oshawa plant should serve as a game-changer. Despite Canadian taxpayers bailing out GM with billions of dollars in 2009, the shrinkage of its Oshawa workforce has continued relentlessly -- from a high of 23,000 in the 1980s, down to 3,000 now -- and soon to 0.

The Toronto Star's business columnist David Olive made a persuasive case that Ottawa should step in and buy GM Canada (at a fair, negotiated price), and use its facilities -- including assembly plants, engineering labs and cold-weather testing centre -- to create the first Canadian-owned automaker. As Olive observed, we know a lot about building cars in Ontario; we were making motorized vehicles here for about half a century before Honda began its transition from making motorbikes to cars.

There's never a perfect moment for a really ambitious move, although actually this might be a good one -- the global auto industry is in flux, with the world expected to transition to the electric car over the next few decades.

A study by researchers at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Georgetown University concluded that such a transition is likely to come faster than expected. They estimate more than 90 per cent of passenger vehicles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and other advances nations could be electric by 2040.

It's hard to imagine such a speedy transition -- but then, it was probably also hard in 1910 to imagine Henry Ford's futuristic Model T replacing the ever-popular horse-and-buggy. (Back then, the Model T was far too expensive for ordinary people. But within a dozen years, its price plunged by 70 per cent, and in 1925, almost 2 million Model Ts were sold.)

The IMF researchers point out that a transition to 90 per cent electric cars by 2040 "would meet the conditions to keep global temperature rise below 2C."

They also note that such a transition would disrupt the auto industry. Since an electric car has fewer parts, they maintain that "on-shoring" -- that is, assembling cars in advanced economies rather than "offshoring" them to low-wage countries -- is likely.

This suggests that a Canadian automaker building electric cars could lead to future jobs here.

Of course, any decision to invest billions of taxpayer funds would have to be made with utmost care.

Yet, oddly, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed no such careful consideration when he promptly jumped in with $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to purchase the leaky, 65-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline last spring, declaring it "in the national interest" to ensure the pipeline's expansion after the corporate owner threatened to back out of the project.

And taxpayers could be on the hook for another $9.3 billion if Ottawa ends up financing that expansion -- which would enable Alberta to triple production of its heavy oil, delivering a devastating blow to the battle against climate change.

Meanwhile, Trudeau has shrugged and shown no interest in using taxpayer dollars to create a Canadian-owned automaker that could involve us in the future challenge of combining transportation and clean technology -- a challenge that seemingly holds the best hope for tackling climate change.

Of course, Trudeau's investment in the pipeline was driven by a desire to appease Alberta (which it failed to do). Furthermore, it had the support of the business community, whereas business would oppose a publicly-owned automaker, seeing it as encroaching on its turf.

That's why, when it comes to an investment that could put Canada in the race to develop a new generation of electric cars -- and make us leaders in fighting climate change -- Trudeau is timid and unimaginative.

But when it comes to buying an aging, climate-destroying pipeline -- with the blessing of the business community -- our prime minister is all boldness and swagger.

Linda McQuaig is a journalist and author. Her book Shooting the Hippo: Death by Deficit and Other Canadian Myths was among the books selected by the Literary Review of Canada as the "25 most influential Canadian books of the past 25 years." This column originally appeared in the Toronto Star.

Photo: Adam Scotti/PMO

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RELATED ITEMS

Trudeau chooses oil over national interest in Kinder Morgan pipeline buyout

How can something be in the national interest when it would significantly contribute to the destruction of the very planet that sustains us?

GM's Oshawa plant closure less a moral failure than an imaginative one

What term could you use to replace, say, socialism? How about -- socialism?

GM closure not a good sign for Alberta's bitumen market

Increasing the pace of extraction to increase the supply is not a sound strategy.

 

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2019/01/trudeau-bold-pipeline-investment-tim...

NorthReport

Trudeau chooses oil over national interest in Kinder Morgan pipeline buyout

 

- jun 7

 

http://rabble.ca/columnists/2018/06/trudeau-chooses-oil-over-national-in...

NorthReport

NDP's Singh can prove his critics wrong, but must up his game

Karl Nerenberg

January 18, 2019

RABBLE NEWS

Wayne Polk/Flickr

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s chances of winning the February 25 byelection in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South look better by the day. But if he wins, he still has a long road in front of him heading into the fall general election.

About a month ago, before the prime minister called the byelection for Burnaby South and two other ridings, the media were reporting polls that showed the NDP trailing badly in the B.C. riding. More recently, however, a new poll showed Singh quite comfortably in the lead.

That newer poll came after the by-election call, but before the Liberal candidate was forced to step aside. Former candidate Karen Wang’s offence was telling voters they should support her because she is Chinese, while Singh is Indian.

Until the most recent developments, there had been a lot of chatter about what would happen if Singh were to lose the by-election.

Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair said openly what others were thinking: Singh would have to quit, and the party would get itself a new leader before October’s vote. That prospect, apparently, worried the Liberals. At least, that has been the conventional Ottawa insider opinion.

Liberals need a weak NDP to win again

The chattering class view is that the NDP is in trouble, what with poor fundraising results and mediocre poll numbers. And they lay the blame for that trouble at the leader’s door. Singh has been weak and ineffective, they say. He is largely absent from Ottawa, and has been unable to articulate a clear, progressive message much at variance with that of the Liberals.  

If the Liberals have any hope for a second majority, the argument goes, they need the NDP to stay weak. Liberal and NDP votes are like a teeter-totter. When one side goes up, the other goes down.

And so -- again, according to Ottawa insiders -- the Liberals have been not-so-secretly hoping for Singh to win the Burnaby seat and then lead his party to a dismal showing in the next election.

Well, the Liberals might get their wish, or, at least, part of it. Singh is now an odds-on favourite to get himself a seat in the House of Commons on February 25.

The second part of the Liberal wish list might not, however, be such a foregone conclusion.

The next election will present very polarized options to the voters.

There is a Conservative Party that, in effect, denies climate change, wants to radically tighten immigration and refugee rules, and lower taxes for the wealthy. In other words, it wants to return to the Harper era. Further to the right, there is Maxime Bernier’s party that openly appeals to bigotry, while advocating a radical, Ayn-Rand-style reduction of the state, which would include ending Canada’s supply-management system for agriculture.

Meanwhile, the Trudeau Liberals, commentators say, have been offering the most progressive government Canada has seen in many decades. The Liberals have left little room on their port side for the NDP. In such a polarized environment, say the experts, potential NDP voters will flock to the Liberals -- especially given the fact that Singh has not done much to differentiate himself from Trudeau.

Singh is in favour of electoral reform, while Trudeau betrayed his promise on that. But changing the electoral system is an arcane matter for most Canadians, not likely to sway many voters.

Singh also opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline, which Trudeau’s government now owns. But the NDP, as a party, is not united on that issue. Alberta’s NDP government is 1,000 per cent for the pipeline.

Charisma and charm are not enough

When they chose Singh as leader, many NDPers seemed to be seeking the magical and ineffable quality of charisma Trudeau brought to the Liberals. They wanted someone very different from the cerebral, tough-talking, prosecutorial Mulcair -- a candidate who had the indefinable ability to “connect,” to use Singh’s own word.

The view of Ottawa insiders is that what the NDP got, in the end, was someone who had all of Trudeau’s flaws -- like a tendency to be vague on policy and a preoccupation with image to the detriment of substance -- and none of his strengths.

The chattering class should not count its chickens, however, be they free market fowl or marketing-board hens.

Singh has stumbled a few times since becoming leader. But those missteps have been the inevitable growing pains of a new leader. Many tend to forget that the late NDP leader Jack Layton made a few serious blunders of his own early in his tenure.

In 2004, for instance, commentators excoriated Layton for suggesting that Liberal finance minister Paul Martin’s austerity policies had caused the deaths of homeless people. The Liberals had, in fact, cut funds for affordable housing, but the commentariat faulted Layton because housing is largely a provincial, not federal, responsibility.

The late NDP leader also alienated many potential supporters when he seemed to suggest his party would recognize the legitimacy of a Quebec vote to secede, even if carried only by a single vote. Layton’s failure of leadership was not necessarily the party’s nuanced and reasonable policy on the federal government’s duty to negotiate in the event of a yes vote. It was his inability, at least at first, to convincingly explain that policy.

In the end, Layton gained his political sea legs, and the NDP went on to increase its seat count in each of his four elections, culminating in the orange wave of 2011.

A clear vision and bold policies

Singh is still, by and large, an unknown and untested quantity, but he does bring a lot to the table. He has an accomplished career as a criminal defence and human rights lawyer and deputy leader of the Ontario NDP. He also has a compelling personal life story.

In addition, when the next election rolls around, the Liberals will be running on their record, not merely on the prospect of getting rid of the nasty and negative Harper regime. They will have to answer not only for the promises they kept, but also for those they failed to keep.

There are, for a start, the Liberals’ failures to fully live up to their promises on both democratic reform and Indigenous rights. Those failures might matter to a lot of people to whom Ottawa insiders rarely speak. 

In addition, the gulf between the top and bottom ends of the economic spectrum in Canada continues to grow, despite a bit of Liberal tinkering. That, too, could weigh in the balance for many voters who supported the Trudeau team last time. The Trudeau government’s main measure to deal with poverty, to date, is a late-mandate, on-paper strategy they might or might not ever implement. Economic inequality could provide an obvious issue for Singh and the NDP.

And finally, while the current government talks a good game on the environment and climate change, it has not significantly delivered results in the form of reduced emissions, as Canada’s Environment Commissioner has reminded it more than once.

All of this could provide ammunition for a reinvigorated Singh, if and when he wins a seat and enters the House of Commons as party leader.

The NDP leader’s big challenge will be to go beyond a critique, however trenchant, of the failures of the Trudeau government.

In addition to tearing a strip off the Liberals for their many betrayals and failures, Singh will have to communicate a clear and compelling vision for his party. Even more important, he will need to articulate a muscular and tangible set of policies that would give life to that vision.

Photo: Wayne Polk/Flickr

Karl Nerenberg has been a journalist and filmmaker for more than 25 years. He is rabble's politics reporter.

 

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JAGMEET SINGH

BURNABY SOUTH

CA

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NorthReport

And from the comment section in Karl's article

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    Jp Jude • an hour ago

    Sort of agree, Mr. Nerenberg, certainly about the by-election. I have begun to think the whole ethnic thing could play to Mr. Singh's advantage, federally. China and India are cooperating, militarily in Afghanistan, and Xi and Modi seem to get along, not to mention they are the two biggest world (I think) and Asian economies. Could be handy having a Canadian with ethnic sympathies, he might have sympathy for the Huawei situation, too...But, I, more importantly, think Mr. Singh represents the new face of Canada; a dark face with a strange religion who has settled in our land (no offence to anybody): he's the future. With the cons and libs basically splitting a white demographic, Mr. Singh appeals to new immigrants looking for a familiar face, new Canadians (like me, first generation sorts) tired of the same, old names and faces having the same, old debates, and other first generation sorts looking to see versions of themselves in the political landscape. I happen to think it is very helpful Mr. Singh can read which sounds ridiculous but considering Trudeau didn't read the new-old NAFTA/USMCA deal and Trump just makes up his own reality, a person familiar with facts is something of a novelty. I think the election is going to be a toss-up because climate change is something no one wants to talk about, I think everyone is afraid to, but, like garbage (funnily enough) is not going to go away...

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