Some might say the unveiling of a new cabinet is like Christmas for political nerds…I guess here at rabble we are no exception.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau introduced his new cabinet to the country, shaking up his inner circle and giving us a peek into who he trusts most. There’s a lot we can learn about a government from the PM’s cabinet picks. What regions are represented? Whose got the chops for the top portfolios, like finance or global affairs? While there aren’t any “official” demotions… who is being given a less prestigious portfolio and who is being cast out of cabinet completely? There’s a lot to unpack.

This is rabble radio, and this is what’s up for discussion. I’m your host and the editor of rabble.ca, Chelsea Nash. This week, I’m joined by rabble’s senior politics reporter Karl Nerenberg as he breaks down the meaning behind the prime minister’s cabinet decisions. 

After that, I’ll take you through this week’s top stories at rabble.ca, including lots of talk about next week’s United Nations Conference of Parties 26 – that is, the UN’s global climate change conference happening in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Karl and I talk about the new ministers in three key portfolios: Global Affairs, Environment and Indigenous Services. Karl has been covering Parliament Hill for rabble.ca for ten years. He’s been a journalist and filmmaker for over 25 years including the eight years he spent as the producer of the CBC Radio show The House. Here’s what he had to say about what we can expect from this government’s newly unveiled cabinet.

You can read Karl’s stories about the cabinet announcement and all things Canadian politics at rabble.ca. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The upcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland is a crucial one, as columnist Lois Ross points out this week on the site. Many say COP 26 is our last chance to try to reach an international agreement that will limit the global temperature change to 1.5 to two degrees. Seeing as global agriculture contributes 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, Ross argues that figuring out how to slash emissions in this industry should be a keystone discussion at the conference. 

COP 26 isn’t just about a gathering of world leaders, however. Joyce Nelson reports on three major issues that activists will be pushing on the sidelines next week, both before, during and after the conference which runs October 31 through November 12. 

Activists want the 197 participant countries to include at least three more sectors in the requirements for nations’ emissions reporting and cutting. The first sector is the plastics industry, which the fossil fuel sector has fully embraced as its financial life-line. When we think of plastics, we may think of the thousands of plastic particles polluting our oceans and drinking water, or we might think of wildlife getting caught in plastic trash. The plastics industry has more to answer for than that, writes Nelson, as a new report from the Beyond Plastics program at Bennington College in the U.S. reveals that plastics production is on track to release more emissions than coal. 

The second sector is the world’s militaries, which are currently exempt from having to report on emissions at all, thanks to the United States’ insistence that the Pentagon be exempted from all international climate agreements during the 1997-98 negotiations for the Kyoto Accord on climate. Apparently, it’s a matter of national security. During those same negotiations, the U.S. obtained an exemption for all countries’ militaries from having to report or cut their carbon emissions. 

Lastly, activists would like to see large hydro-dam projects held accountable for the emissions they produce, despite often being touted as a climate “solution.” 

Also on the site this week: 

Stephen Wentzell spoke to new Nunavut MP Lori Idlout about the water crisis in Iqaluit. Idlout only won her seat in the federal election two weeks before she received the news about her city’s water contamination. In early October, Iqaluit residents began writing Facebook posts complaining of a foul odour in their tap water stemming from a municipal water service.

That foul odour was fuel. This presented a big challenge to the territory’s rookie MP, especially as the water crisis started just before a territorial election. 

As Toni Morrison wrote, “all water has a perfect memory.” The revelation that an MP is being forced to live without safe drinking water should be a wakeup call for all Canadians, Wentzell writes.

And, Monia Mazigh has a task list for Justin Trudeau if he is actually going to prove he is as serious about fighting Islamophobia as he made out during last month’s Islamophobia summit. You’ll remember that summit was organized in the wake of the fatal attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario. 

Finally, David Climenhaga has the latest in what he’s now calling the implosion of the government of Alberta. He breaks down the sexual harassment allegations being levied against members of Jason Kenney’s cabinet — the latest scandal in a government that cannot seem to catch a break. There ain’t no rest for the wicked. Catch up on this and all the latest headlines as always at rabble.ca. 

That’s a wrap for this week’s episode of rabble radio. Stay tuned for more of our social and political coverage next week — I’m sure we’ll be bringing you more coverage of COP 26 as it unfolds. If you like the show please consider subscribing wherever you listen to your podcasts. Rate, review, share it with your friends — everything helps. Follow us on social media across channels @rabbleca. 

If after listening, you feel like you have something to tell me, I’d love to hear from you. Get in touch anytime at [email protected]rabble.ca. I can’t always promise I’ll respond, but I do read everything.

As always, check the site for the latest in-depth analysis, insightful opinions and breaking news. I’m your host, Chelsea Nash. Thanks for listening! 

Thanks and welcome to our new podcast producer Breanne Doyle, Wayne MacPhail for his advisement, Karl Nerenberg for the music, and all the journalists and writers who contributed to this week’s content on rabble.ca. 

Image: Saffron Blaze, via http://www.mackenzie.co 

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rabble radio is the flagship show of the rpn. It’s a mix of political commentary, soundseeing tours, movie reviews, and the latest in Canadian music. It’s all produced by a country-wide cadre of volunteers.