Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with employees of the Public Health Agency of Canada, July 2020. Image credit: Adam Scotti/PMO’s political discussion board, babble, turns 20 next month. That’s two decades of progressive social media, beginning years before social media was a thing. Things have changed since April 2001, but one thing remains constant — babble continues to be the place to discuss politics from a progressive perspective. Here’s some of what we’re talking about this month.

Coronavirus: what Canadians need to know

When babble’s coronavirus thread first opened in January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) had yet to declare a pandemic and the first North American case had just been reported. Little more than a year and over 2,300 posts later, COVID-weary Canadians have been posting information and experiences drawn from a variety of credible sources, combating the wealth of misinformation and outright falsehood that has characterized some reactions to the pandemic and the restrictions required to keep people safe. Babblers were quick to understand how the virus brought to a head anti-Asian racism. The ongoing crisis in long-term care homes, exacerbated by the pandemic, has renewed calls to reverse the privatization of these residences, and babblers continue to question how the vaccine has been rolled out. Why is it taking so long? Are the wealthy and privileged jumping the queue? Is big pharma playing games with our health? Hard questions from concerned progressives.

The Biden administration

With 380-plus posts since being started two months ago, our thread about the Biden administration is one of our more active. Just weeks before U.S. president-elect Joe Biden was sworn in, pro-Trump rioters and members of white supremacist hate groups stormed the Capitol in what was called an insurrection egged on by defeated president Donald Trump. Five people died and countless were injured in what some feared would set the tone for the new Biden administration. Of course babblers did not forget the conservatism of Biden and the choices he made at the outset — progressive choices notwithstanding — and reminded us all that “not Trump” would not be good enough.

Trudeau facing ethics and criminal questions over $900million WE contract

It’s the scandal that just won’t die (because babblers won’t let it!). When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau awarded a nearly $1-billion contract to WE Charity last summer, it slipped out that the Trudeau family was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for WE speaking engagements. Oops. Now we’re hearing that donors’ money may not be going where it was intended. One donor was told he was funding a Kenyan school, yet apparently some other donor’s name is on the plaque at the school. Oops again. Trudeau and the Kielburger brothers have some explaining to do. Stay tuned to this thread as the scandal continues to unfold.

Time for Defence Minister Sajjan to resign after sex scandal coverup

Continuing on the Trudeau government scandal theme, people are questioning the Liberals’ vetting process for high-ranking government appointments (our most recent governor general, former astronaut Julie Payette, resigned after allegations of bullying and abuse of current and former staff). Demands are being made that Canada’s Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan resign for his failure to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct against two of his chiefs of staff — General Jonathan Vance and, most recently, Admiral Art McDonald. Scandals, coverups, broken promises, lack of transparency: babblers are rarely on side with Liberal politics but the pattern of poor choices leave them frustrated and disgusted.

Boil-water advisories and Canada’s Indigenous people

The Canadian government is crying poor when it comes to reneging on yet another promise to Indigenous peoples — an end to boil-water advisories by the end of March 2021. Yet billions continue to be earmarked for the aging Kinder Morgan pipeline project, which would move dirty and expensive tar sands crude from Alberta towards non-existent Asian markets. Way to continue to deny people the basic human right of clean water in favour of a project propping up a planet-destroying, dying industry that flies in the face of yet another Liberal promise — environmental responsibility. Angry yet? So are babblers. Read all about it in this informative and passionate discussion.

On babble, you’ll see just about any and every major national and international issue discussed, picked apart and analyzed (plus a whole bunch of issues that should be major but have been lost on the mainstream media). Look for our 20th-anniversary report as we mull over some of the best discussions on babble since 2001.

Meg Borthwick has worked in broadcast, print and online media for more than 30 years. She is the moderator of rabble’s online discussion forum, babble.

Image credit: Adam Scotti/PMO

Meg Borthwick

Meg Borthwick (aka Rebecca West) is a babble moderator and has been a member of since 2001. She has a decorative liberal arts degree in Quoting Chaucer at Dinner Parties (English/Drama double...