Listen now (65 mins) | Also: war crimes abroad. Protests at home, and the limits of free speech. A defence of Sarah Jama's rights to speak, and advice for the CBC (and all media) on handling Poilievre.
I’m listening to the podcast. I strongly disagree with Jen’s comments re the pro-Hamas mobs. Sorry, not sorry, while some of the mobs didn’t overtly invite violence, the sheer number of ppl screaming & shouting is extremely threatening. Don’t tell me that a Hasidic Jew wd feel safe walking on a public sidewalk where this is happening.
Crikey, Ottawa was moaning about the trucker presence & residents feeling ‘unsafe’ ‘threatened’ ‘unable to use public sidewalks’ & msm was WTF is going on here, omg??!! This? Right now? Is waaay beyond any of that protest.
As for your take, Jen, on police presence/responsibility is a just tad naive, at best. Didn’t everyone notice that there aren’t enough cops ANYWHERE to deal with immediate problems. They had to fly them in to SAVE OTTAWA for heavens sake. If Canada ever had to deal with multiple violent protests in multiple jurisdictions - we’re screwed, baby.
Thank you Jen for your comments on Sarah Jama. It is speech that we loathe that we must defend most strongly. I need to constantly remind myself of this; it's so easy to slip into a mindset of hating back. But that is totally counterproductive. It hurts society, it hurts the speaker, and most importantly, it hurts me.
Sarah Jama should not have been censured. It was fine to kick her out of caucus.
I don't think law enforcement or more specifically politicians have a clue where to stand on the calamity...that's about to get much much worse in Israel. There are three sides, but 2 are intertwined. It's an impossible fence to walk, not to mention the worst case implications.
I wish all reporters would refuse to accept the non-answers from all of them, "That doesn't answer the question", or "This isn't Question Period" seem like reasonable responses. I say that having never done the job, a definitely not being quick enough on my feet to even contemplate it. I'm just really tired of being served a steady diet of BS.
The fact that Atlantic Canada is still dependent on heating oil instead of natural gas speaks to a failure in federal energy policies. Most areas using natural gas switched decades ago because it was cheaper and cleaner. It’s also the low-hanging fruit of carbon emission reduction, as you emit 10% less CO2 per unit of energy. Gas pipelines to Atlantic Canada could’ve supported this transition, plus supplied LNG export terminals. Natural gas could also have accelerated transition away from coal-fired power plants, which is an even more significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
Finally, heating oil is an environmental problem. Heating oil was widely used in my BC city until the 1970s. One of the recurring nightmares for homeowners is finding out they have to clean up the mess from an old heating oil tank in their backyard. At minimum, it’s $5,000-$10,000 to get an inspection and remove an old buried tank. In cases where there’s been leakage of oil into the surrounding ground, I’ve heard of cleanup operations costing up to $250,000. People fixate on carbon emissions, but they forget that there are a lot of other environmental problems associated with liquid hydrocarbon fuels too.
Political cowardice on carbon taxes is to be expected, I guess. The logic of the tax is to make people feel the pinch and reduce their carbon emissions. If they don’t notice it, it doesn’t work. When people do notice it, they’re upset and politicians get worried.
I think many politicians and activists have gotten sucked into magical thinking regarding how quickly and easily less carbon-emitting technologies can be deployed. For most people, replacing a furnace or a car is a major expense that’s done on a cycle of a decade or longer. The new technologies are still much more expensive: the cheapest electric car is 50% more than a comparable gas-powered economy car like a Toyota Corolla. Heat pumps are not only expensive, but they’re far more expensive to run because they use electricity as an input. My company looked at switching from natural gas heating to heat pumps a few years ago as part of our net zero carbon emission initiative- it would’ve increased heating costs by a factor of 4 or 5 times. Finally, there’s a lot of people who are not going to be able to easily reduce their carbon footprint, notably people in rural areas. Anybody who’s decided to trade a long commute for housing affordability is likewise in a tough spot.
None of these things are insoluble, but they’re going to take a long time to change and settle out. Politicians need to do the hard work of forging a political consensus across the spectrum before they can implement something tough and effective that can survive longer than a typical electoral mandate.
Living in a Jewish neighbourhood, I can say the police presence here has been very evident and reassuring as far as I'm concerned. Not everyone feels that way. And if I wander out of my neighbourhood, downtown say, where the hip Israel-haters live or into a Muslim neighbourhood wearing my IDF hoodie, how safe am I? Not at all.
“A sorting exercise”. I love that!
So how is this going to play out during the next election campaign?
Liberals: Vote for us and we'll bring back the carbon tax in a year?
CPC: Vote for us and we'll get rid of the tax for everyone?
I generally agreed with Jen's assessment (and Matt's worries) on the high bar for hate-speech laws, but on the other hand: this is the country who went after a comedian for a dumb joke (granted eventually let off by a 5-4 supreme court decision), so I'm a little confused where that bar actually is.
And minor point, but I think Matt may have made a small mistake on the carbon tax exemption applying only to Atlantic provinces. My understanding is people are saying that because those are the only provinces using heating oil in any substantial numbers versus it literally only applying to them (e.g. https://halifax.citynews.ca/2023/10/26/liberals-to-pause-carbon-pricing-on-heating-oil-beef-up-heat-pump-incentives/ says "While the adjustments to that policy are to apply across the country ...").
Living in a Jewish neighbourhood, I can say the police presence here has been very evident and reassuring as far as I'm concerned. Not everyone feels reassured around here. And if I wander out of my neighbourhood, downtown say, where the hip Israel-haters live or into a Muslim neighbourhood wearing my IDF hoodie, how safe am I? Not at all.
Interesting re Sarah Jama - her many supporters don't care about her being silenced in the legislature; their many loud objections are against her being kicked out of the caucus. As far as most of them are concerned, Sarah Jama represents the party: pro-Hamas is the way to go.
Also a fair response on the baby beheadings. Still feel it is being used to dehumanize resistance, but if true some of the resistance is not human.
Just fact checking as that tank in the photo doesn't look like any that my furnace oil consuming friends here in the Maritimes have. Pretty sure it's for propane
As someone who strongly believes that Gaza should be repurposed as arable land, I also strongly sign on to your position re: NDP Sarah Jamma not being "cudgeled". "Free speech" MUST allow speech that is "offensive".
It is imperative however, that individuals accept the RESPONSIBILITY for evaluating what they hear. No amount of personal laziness permits acceptance of stupid stuff. We need to "up our game" at rejecting much of what we hear.
Good for you for standing up for Sara Jama