Hello, and welcome to rabble radio! It’s the week of Friday, December 3, 2021.
The top stories of this week include the Liberal government’s ban on conversion therapy finally passing the House with unanimous consent, both Justin Trudeau and Doug Ford received failing grades on their environmental policy, and, Syrian refugees need Canada to act. Has it forgotten them?
rabble breaks down the news of the day from a progressive lens. It’s a good place to catch up and catch on to what’s happening in Canadian politics, activism, environment, and so much more. Listen to us on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
We catch you up on the news of the week and take you further into the stories that matter to you.
This week on the show, we’re bringing you a segment of our monthly live politics panel: Off the Hill. This month, the theme is Games of the Throne. Libby Davies and Robin Browne host guests MP Leah Gazan, poet and scholar El Jones, Indigenous activist and writer Clayton Thomas-Müller and rabble’s own national senior politics reporter Karl Nerenberg.
Parliament is back, and our guests unpack the speech from the throne and what it means for activists. If you can believe it, this is the final show of 2021, and our panel looks back at the year that was — and takes a look forward to the new year. Take a listen:
Stay tuned for details about January’s Off the Hill panel early in the new year.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT.
This week at rabble, national politics reporter Stephen Wentzell covered two huge milestones for the 2SLGBTQ movement in Canada. First, a trans person became a leader of a major federal political party for the very first time when the Green Party of Canada appointed Amita Kuttner as its leader. Kuttner, 30, is the youngest, first trans person, and first person of east Asian descent to lead a national political party. Kuttner, who uses they/them pronouns, calls the appointment an “honour and a serious responsibility.” They succeed Annamie Paul, the first Black and Jewish leader of a major federal party, who departed as leader amid controversy and major internal strife.
Wednesday was another day of hope for the 2SLGBTQ community, when the House of Commons unanimously passed Bill C-4, an Act that, if passed, will criminalize so-called “conversion therapy” in Canada. A conversion therapy ban had been set to pass through the Senate late last summer, but fell off the order paper when Parliament was dissolved for the election. The new legislation goes further than its predecessor, however, as it bans the harmful practice for children as well as adults. The unanimous vote in the House of Commons was noteworthy, as previously, there were 62 votes against the legislation from Conservative Party members.
For Mike Smith, a survivor of conversion “therapy,” the ban means others won’t have to suffer like they did, Wentzell reports. Smith was subjected to efforts to change their sexual orientation and gender identity at the age of 18, and suffered horrific trauma as a result. Read more at rabble.ca.
Also this week:
Karl Nerenberg reports on the failing grades received by both the Trudeau and Ford governments. Two days after the Trudeau government presented a throne speech that was disappointingly weak on plans to combat climate change, the federal environment commissioner blasted Canada’s emissions reduction record. On that same day, Ontario auditor general (AG) Bonnie Lysyk reported that the Doug Ford government would not achieve even a fifth of the emission reductions it has promised to achieve by 2030 if it stays the course.
Krystal Kraus writes about the need for the activist community to confront death and to develop new strategies for mutual and communal support for those in the movement who might be struggling with mental illness. She reflects on activists in the Toronto activist community who have died in recent years, and writes about the lessons each of them taught her.
Columnist Rachel Snow wants Canadian settlers to ask themselves what they really know about the First Nations who reside in Canada.
“The truth is that Canada does not see or understand First Nation people,” Snow writes. “In fact, Canada has lumped together First Nations, Inuit and Métis into a potent mixture; Canada labels us “our” Indigenous peoples, as if this broad group could ever be possessed by the colonial state.”
That’s it for this week! If you like the show please consider subscribing. Rate, review, share it with your friends — it takes two seconds to support independent media like rabble. Follow us on social media across channels @rabbleca.
Thanks to our producer Breanne Doyle, to Off the Hill hosts Libby Davies and Robin Browne, guests El Jones, Clayton Thomas-Muller, Karl Nerenberg and MP Leah Gazan. Thanks to Karl Nerenberg for the music and his reporting, Stephen Wentzell for his reporting, and all the journalists and writers who contributed to this week’s content on rabble.ca.