Climate change on the campaign trail

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Hello and welcome to rabble radio: the election edition! Rabble radio has its finger on the beat of the issues that matter to you. We're here once a week, for half an hour, coming to you for the last few weeks -- and just one more week after that! -- with election coverage.


This week, we're talking about how climate change has featured in this election so far. It's a critical moment. Are we rising to the challenge? 

Coming to us from Toronto, climate and housing activist, and former NDP candidate herself, Diana Yoon is on the show to talk about how the issue of climate change is playing out in this election. 

You can catch Diana Yoon on our election-time Off the Hill panels, where we invite political experts with a progressive point of view to discuss grassroots, community-centred issues. Our next panel, titled "Election 44: Down to the wire," will feature Diana as well as rabble's own politics reporter Karl Nerenberg, Indigenous activist and educator Rachel Snow, rabble columnist and policy expert Chuka Ejeckam, and former NDP MP and author Libby Davies. Should be a lively discussion just three days before election day -- things are getting tense, that's for sure. 

Off the Hill is happening Friday, Sept 17 at 7 pm EST or 4 pm PT. Register for the zoom event to ask panelists questions directly. 


Now, it's time for the segment we call "in case you missed it," where we give you a rundown of all the rabble highlights you might have missed. It's never a slow news week during an election, so let's get into it. 

This week at rabble, two candidates-to-watch talk about the challenges of campaigning in the midst of wildfires, the fourth wave of the pandemic, and rising hate on the campaign trail.

National politics reporter Stephen Wentzell spoke to Hawa Yahia Mire, who is running for the NDP in the riding of York South -- Weston about the violent threats, and, in some cases, actual assaults on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau throughout this campaign. 

Mire wants candidates, including Trudeau, to keep in mind that Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are subjected to much of the same on a daily basis in Canada. The vitriol people like Trudeau now face are the result of allowing hate to fester for far too long. 

"We've seen the rise of organized hate groups across this country for a very long time. I don't think our elected officials have taken that rise very seriously," Mire said. "And now we're seeing the consequences of what happens if you don't take that hate seriously."

Including rocks being thrown at the prime minister, this continues to be one of the most unique elections in Canadian history, as candidates like the NDP's Joan Phillip are on the campaign trail -- a trail that is, literally, on fire in the B.C. interior. 

This week, Libby Davies interviewed Phillip, who is running in the riding of Central Okanagan -- Similkameen -- Nicola against Conservative incumbent Dan Albas, about the experience of campaigning during a climate catastrophe. 

"It makes it very hard for people to focus on an election when you're talking about daily survival," Phillip said. 

Mire spoke of the other big distraction in her Toronto riding: the pandemic. 

In her view, a pandemic election is anti-democratic because it presents more barriers to voting for society's most vulnerable, like seniors, the immune-compromised, and people who fear contracting COVID because they cannot afford to work. This is especially true in densely populated areas, like Mire's riding, she said. 

Both candidates spoke of the need to ground federal politics in the local; communities are what makes up Canada, and it's the voices of our neighbours that deserve to be heard on the Hill. 

Also on the site this week, Charlotte Dalwood makes her rabble debut with an interesting analysis of Western alienation. Instead of giving up on what appear to be Conservative strongholds in provinces like Alberta, writes Dalwood, leftists should see the desire for an overhaul of the existing political and constitutional order that separatists want as a means to adopt them into the socialist movement. 

And, Doreen Nicoll has the latest on the civil war in Ethiopia, where the Tigray People's Liberation Front is using child soldiers as human shields, but the international community -- including governments and NGOs -- have gone radio silent on the matter. Nicoll breaks down why there seems to be selective humanity within the realm of international law. 


Oh, and the music for this podcast? It’s the jazz stylings of our political boffin, Karl Nerenberg. 


Stay tuned for more of our special election coverage next week. If you like the show please consider subscribing wherever you listen to your podcasts. Rate, review, send it to a friend – you know the drill. Follow us on social media, @rabbleca on both Instagram and Twitter.

Got feedback on the show? I'd love to hear from you. Get in touch anytime at [email protected] I can't always promise I'll respond, but I do read everything.

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Stay engaged, register to vote, and keep listening.

Produced by Victoria Fenner

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