It’s said, “March comes in like a lion”, but for the federal New Democrats it was the February convention where the membership was thrown to their leonine new leader, Jagmeet Singh. And they ate each other up.
If nothing else, the party’s choice matches strategy with their arch-rival Liberals; opting for a youthful, energetic, and above all photogenic front man. But what about NDP policy?
Following the stifling years of Tom Mulcair, is the membership ready to make a substantive progressive, as well as cosmetic change?
One area providing the opportunity to prove the party’s positional difference is Palestine: BDS, the US embassy move to Jerusalem, West Bank teenager, Ahed Tamimi’s arrest and continued detention, and recent IDF military actions in Gaza all provide ample grist for differentiation in the NDP’s foreign policy mill.
Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, lecturer, and author whose book titles include: ‘The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy,’ ‘Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping — The Truth May Hurt,’ ‘The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy,’ ‘Canada in Africa — 300 Years of Aid and Exploitation,’ and his latest, ‘A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation.’ He recently wrote the anticipatory article about the NDP convention, ‘Burying Canada’s Anti-Palestinian Consensus‘, and attended to see which way the new NDP’s winds would blow.
Yves Engler in the first half.
And; as if to accentuate Alberta NDP leader, Rachel Notley’s contempt for the well-being of British Columbia’s share of the Pacific Ocean, the HMCS Calgary, one of Canadian Forces’ Orca-Class frigates, dumped a reported thirty thousand liters of fuel into the Strait of Georgia over the weekend.
The spill took hours to discover and longer to be reported to authorities; and, days after the fact recovery efforts have consisted of “searching for the spill”. Environment Canada was quick to allay fears of negative environmental effects, saying “evaporation” and “natural dispersal” should suffice to clean-up the Navy’s mess.
What’s worse than this lame official reaction though is the sad proof it presents of the immense procedural and attitudinal shift required if coastal ecology here is to be maintained in anything resembling its natural state: with or without the vast increase of shipping traffic expected if the Kinder Morgan pipeline should make it to Port of Vancouver “tidewater”.
Jason Colby is Associate Professor and Majors Adviser in the Department of History at UVic. His academic focus is Modern U.S. History, International Relations, Environmental and Business History, Pacific Northwest. His first book, ‘The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and U.S. Expansion in Central America‘ was published by Cornell Press and follows those themes; his second and latest, ‘Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator‘, due out later this year, takes another course.
Jason Colby and loving our aquatic neighbours in the second half
And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin to bring us up to speed with some of the good things to get up to in and around Victoria in the coming week. But first, Yves Engler and Burying Canada’s Anti-Palestinian Consensus with the NDP.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/