Jody Wilson-Raybould Gets MY Vote

In the end, for me, it comes down to ethics, integrity and principles.

As I wrote before on this Blog, I happen to live/vote in Vancouver Granville … the riding represented by former Liberal Justice Minister and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.

I voted for her when she ran as a Liberal in the last election … not that I knew and supported her personally, but I had tired of Conservative PM Stephen Harper’s dictatorial style, disdain for holding press conferences, silencing of public officials and, even during the election campaign, his own refusal to take or answer more than minimal questions.

It was time for a change.

Some believe it’s that time again; others disagree; some support other parties … all good reasons to vote for whoever YOU decide is most worthy.

And I have to say … as an independent voter … I found policies/messages I could support and also policies/messages I would oppose offered up by ALL the parties … making my choice this time much more difficult.

But in Vancouver-Granville, there has also been a very different calculation to consider.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is running as an Independent … after being trashed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals for refusing to interfere in the Court case facing the huge corporation, Quebec-based SNC Lavalin.

As I wrote in August, I had concerns, though, about voting for an Independent in a close election and also wondered, based on Wilson-Raybould’s own repeated and seemingly constant emphasis of her First Nations background/interests, whether she would be a one-issue MP … neglecting the rest of us in her riding.

You can read that piece here:

Perhaps she or her strategists read that piece, because since then, Wilson-Raybould … and her campaign … have repeatedly emphasized other issues of concern in Vancouver-Granville as well: cost of living; the economy; fairer taxes; affordable housing; climate change; health care and support for a pharmacare program.

And then, there’s the “hero” factor.

Because Jody Wilson-Raybould had done something I witnessed VERY RARELY in my 38 years of reporting and covering politics at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels: she stood up on principle against power and pressure … even at the cost of her own appointed position.

No one should under-estimate how remarkable that is for someone who pursues a calling and a career in politics … especially at a senior federal Cabinet post … forsaking all the perks and privileges that go with that.

Standing up ON PRINCIPLE against a Prime Minister!

It goes much beyond sacrificing just the extra pay, the larger offices … both on Parliament Hill and at departmental HQ … the prestige, the car/driver, deferential treatment by many of those around her.

Wilson-Raybould also gave up her role participating at one of the highest appointed positions in Canadian politics.

For principles!

People who have read my writings on this Blog know how high I price I paid in my own career … standing up for others, for fairness, for workers’ rights and dignity … against bullies and injustices.

Never regretted doing that for a minute! Because, in the end, principles are MUCH more important than perks.

So Wilson-Raybould has my vote.

Harv Oberfeld

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Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 31 Comments

Trudeau Will Aim at Green/NDP Voters Who Want Climate Action to Vote Liberal … and Block the Tories

There’s good reason Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been repeatedly emphasizing and promising more action on climate change and reducing carbon emissions.

It is not to appeal to his party’s own base: they are already on board; it’s not to try and convince Tory supporters about the need for greater environmental actions: they have already rejected both him and his policies; and, it’s not even aimed at ridings where the NDP and Greens are fighting it out for the seat.

No … the Liberals are aiming at NDP/Green supporters in ridings where the raging battles are between local Liberal and Conservative candidates … and there is no REALISTIC hope that the Green/NDP candidate will win the seat.

The Liberals believe Climate Change and the Environment is THE major issue for many, many voters in this election campaign … especially Millennials and other younger voters.

In other words, the selling point will be … for NDP/Greens … that the Liberals represent the least of two evils over the Conservatives … majority or minority … in both majority/minority scenarios if they REALLY want action on climate issues.

Here’s why:

Friday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer released his party’s full platform .. highlighting tax breaks, spending cuts, increased health and benefits spending:

The Liberal platform is also on-line:

The full NDP platform is here: ; and the Greens’ platform is now also on-line:

And the Liberals are gambling on something more than just the usual platform/promises.

Trudeau and the Liberal strategists are hoping that … in the privacy of the voting booth … those NDP/Green sympathizers, in realistically unwinnable sets, will help the Liberal take the seat instead … to at least move ahead with more climate action than if Andrew Scheer and the Tories become government.

In fact, Generation Squeeze … a national “research, education and advocacy organization for Canadians in their 20s, 30s and 40s” recently released its analysis of the Climate platforms of the four major national parties.

(You can read their FULL analysis here:

Their conclusion: government led by the Greens would do the most to help limit climate temperature increase to 1.5 degrees or less within the next 10 years; the NDP’s and Liberals’ proposals overall rate about the same.

But they rate the Tories’ climate efforts well behind.

“The Conservatives actually trail behind the other three platforms quite significantly,” GS researcher/spokesman Prof. Paul Kershaw of UBC told Global News Thursday.

“All party platforms except the Conservative Party commit to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below Canada’s 2030 target while pushing to net zero by 2050. The proposed pace of GHGs reduction is clearly the fastest under the Green Party plan and is most consistent with a 1.5dC GHG pathway,” the report concluded.

“All three parties except the Conservative Party also commit to accountability measures to ensure Canada is on track to meet its long-term GHG reduction commitments. The Conservative Party platform does not commit to a specific target in 2030 but subsequent clarification has committed to achieving Canada’s 2030 target. There is no evidence the Conservative Party has committed to net zero GHGs consistent with a GHG pathway to support the attainment of 1.5 degrees,” it states.

So the national research group awarded the Greens its top score; gave the NDP and the Liberals a tie for second ; but gave the Tories a Minus score.

And it won’t help that a Climate Change debate scheduled for the University of Ottawa Oct. 16 was cancelled after the Greens, NDP and Liberals accepted to send a participant, but the Conservatives refused, saying they couldn’t find anyone to take part.

So with only the two main parties likely to form government (majority or minority), that’s why Trudeau/Liberals have been talking the topic wherever and whenever they can … trying to reach out to those Green/NDP supporters who believe climate change IS the main election issue, but vote in ridings likely to be won by one of the two main parties.

Will the message work: Keep Scheer/Tories at bay and keep Trudeau/Liberals in power to advance the fight on climate change and the environment ?

We’ll ALL find out Oct 21.

Harv Oberfeld

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Posted in British Columbia, National | 44 Comments