#135 - Eye (or ay ya ya) on politics, robocalls and environmental assessment

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

(2:43 - 9:12) The Conservative Party of Canada is denying that it knew about a scheme to misdirect voters to non-existent polling stations in the last election. Here’s one of the so-called robocalls, misdirecting voters to non-existent polling stations. Dave  Hudson lives in Guelph, and he received that call the morning of election day.  He quickly realized that something was amiss, and recorded the call. That was back in May, but I caught up with Dave this week. I called him up at work Here’s our conversation.

(9:52 - 14:22) Well, we’re in the final run up to the NDP leadership convention. As it approaches, a top concern for many delegates is this: Which leader will be most electable in Quebec ? Will Quebecois will vote for someone who is not from Quebec.  In his play Blue Dragon, Robert LePage addresses a similar issue, but with an international focus – should Quebecois look beyond their borders? Columnist Thomas Ponniah saw a recent production of the play, and it got him thinking. Here’s his column.

(15:04 - 19:03) The activist toolkit is one of the newest parts of rabble.ca, and it’s not just a resource and a feature within our site. Now it’s a podcast called Constructing Change. In this episode, Constructing Change looks at the protests against security certificate legislation, which allows the the Canadian government  to decide on extradition for Canadian residents without a public trial.

(20:00 - 33:48) Recently, Stephen Harper and two key ministers, Peter Kent and Joe Oliver, have said the Environmental Assessment Act allows too much public input, creates uncertainty for investors, and threatens economic development. The act is being reviewed, and a report is expected within the month. Jamie Keenan is with Mining Watch Canada, and he spoke to the Redeye podcast about why the act is important and some of the ways it strives to balance environmental preservation and industrial development. Here’s that interview.

If you haven’t already, take a moment to donate to rabble.ca in our fundraising drive. If everyone who listens essentially bought us a coffee a month, we’d be in great shape. If you matched whatever you pay for your monthly subscription to your local paper, we’d be doing even better.  If you can do it, head to rabble.ca/donate and make a donation. That’s rabble.ca/donate. See you there I hope. 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this program. Dave Hudson, Thomas Ponniah, Steff Pinch, Todd Ferguson and the Redeye collective. Our theme is composed by Bob Wiseman.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.