Hello and welcome to rabble radio. It’s the week of Friday, November 25. I’m your host and the editor of rabble, Chelsea Nash.
The top stories of this week include the Trudeau government’s return to Parliament. On Tuesday, we heard the Governor General deliver the speech from the throne. While Parliament will only resume for a very short time before it breaks again for the holidays, what did we learn about what’s to come? And, rabble’s coverage of the Wet’suwet’en crisis is ongoing. Contributor Brent Patterson traveled to the region to cover events as they unfolded. You’ll hear the latest on that in just a few minutes.
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 welcome back Libby Davies as she interviews political scientist Dr. Jeanette Ashe about the state of women in politics in Canada.
Dr. Ashe is the Chair of the Political Science Department at Douglas College and Visiting Faculty at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, King’s College, London. Her research interests include political recruitment, political parties, representation, and gender and politics. She is the author of Political Candidate Selection: Who Wins, Who Loses and Under-representation in the UK (Routledge, 2020). Other recent publications include Gender Sensitivity Under Trudeau: Facebook Feminism or Real Change? (University of Toronto, 2020), and Canada’s Political Parties: Gatekeepers to Parliament (Palgrave, 2020). She advises legislatures, parties, and organizations on assessing gender and diversity sensitivity and advises legislators on drafting legislation on gender equity and democratic reform.
Libby Davies, as you may know, is the author of Outside In: a Political Memoir. She served as the MP for Vancouver East from 1997-2015, and is former NDP Deputy Leader and House Leader, and is recipient of the Order of Canada.
The two discuss the barriers that continue to exist for women in Canadian politics, despite the fact that the electorate is actually more likely to support women candidates. After an election like the one we just had, which saw the Liberals lose four female cabinet members, it’s a good time to once again examine how our political parties here in Canada have a tendency to not support women and other diverse candidates.
Here’s their conversation, take a listen.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
This week at rabble, contributor Brent Patterson goes to the Wet’suwet’en territory and reports on the RCMP’s raid of the protestors’ blockade there as they defend the land against the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.
Just days after the conclusion of the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and calls from international groups to stop the criminalization of Indigenous land defenders, militarized police violence against defenders in Canada has seemingly become normalized, Patterson writes. Over 30 people and three journalists were arrested on November 18 and 19. It was the third RCMP assault on Wet’suwet’en territory in support of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline being constructed on their territory without free, prior and informed consent, with the first two taking place in January and February of this year.
Patterson raised some questions about the infrastructure that enabled the raids. RCMP officers were seen arriving at Smithers airport and being carried away in two white school buses. In the days after the raid, the same make of white school buses were seen emerging from the Coastal GasLink man-camp on the Morice River Forest Service Road — the same road that had been blockaded. This begged the question: were the RCMP using the Coastal GasLink camp to stage their raid? What other state infrastructure did they use to carry out the raid? Patterson reviews what they’ve used before.
Further, Patterson reports there are first-hand witness accounts of the RCMP in Coastal GasLink cars on the territory and RCMP officers arriving in Coastal GasLink-marked buses in the nearby town of New Hazelton to break-up a rail blockade in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en.
According to Patterson, all of this is compounded by the Canadian government’s financial involvement in the GasLink project — notably its $275 million investment in June 2019 supporting the LNG Canada export terminal along with Export Development Canada’s $250 million to $500 million loan to Coastal GasLink in May 2020 for the construction of the pipeline.
The appearance of collusion between the police and an energy company, along with the disregard of international human rights norms raise profound concerns that must be addressed, Patterson concludes.
Also on the site this week:
John Miller reports on a new survey from the Canadian Association of Journalists about who is telling you the news. Thursday, the CAJ released its inaugural measurement of the diversity of people who assign, cover and present the news. CAJ measured 3,873 news people at 209 media outlets, making it the largest-ever survey of the demographics of television and radio broadcasters, online news operations, and daily and community newspapers. Unsurprisingly, the typical Canadian newsroom is not representative of the Canadian population, with more than half of the newsrooms surveyed only employing white journalists.
Joyce Nelson reports on a terrible paradox facing the so-called green energy transition: to develop windmills, solar panels, and the like, many metals and minerals will need to be mined. MiningWatch Canada is estimating that “[Three] billion tons of mined metals and minerals will be needed to power the energy transition” – a “massive” increase especially for six critical minerals: lithium, graphite, copper, cobalt, nickel and rare earth minerals. With mining being an exploitative and dirty industry — of which Canadian companies are at the fore — perhaps the green energy transition is more red than green after all.
Plus — Karl Nerenberg breaks down the speech from the throne, though as he reports, there’s not much to break down. It was a speech full of platitudes and lacking in clear commitments, he writes. Catch Nerenberg and our other distinguished panelists next week for our Off the Hill live politics panel, where the theme is “Games of the Throne” and the return of Parliament. MP Leah Gazan will be there, as will Indigenous activist and writer Clayton Thomas-Müller and poet and scholar El Jones.
Find all the details of that and so much more at rabble.ca. There are a few other must-reads on the site this week I’d recommend you don’t miss — so head there now!
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.
I’m your host, Chelsea Nash. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll talk next week!
Thanks to our producer Breanne Doyle, Libby Davies and guest Dr. Jeanette Ashe. Thanks to Karl Nerenberg for the music and his reporting, Brent Patterson for his reporting, and all the journalists and writers who contributed to this week’s content on rabble.ca.