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Burnaby South Deserves a BC MP!

February 4th, 2019 · 29 Comments

It happened when I was covering Parliament Hill in Ottawa … and Toronto Bay Street lawyer John Turner was in the Capital to announce his candidacy to become federal Liberal Leader.

At a packed afternoon gathering of Liberal stalwarts, movers and shakers … elected, appointed, fundraisers, party supporters … and central Canada (ie Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto) media, Turner vowed if he became Leader, he’d form a truly NATIONAL government … even bringing the WEST back into the Liberal fold.

In fact, although he had mostly lived and been educated back East (Turner had been for years a Montreal and Toronto lawyer and both a Montreal and then Ottawa MP)  Turner said HE would seek HIS Parliamentary seat in Vancouver to emphasize his determination to improve the sorry Liberal standings in BC.

At least John Turner had SOME BC connections: he had lived as a child in Rossland, BC; his father later became Lieutenant Governor of the Province; and, Turner had attended UBC.

But let’s keep it real: in both his legal career and political life, Turner had been more a part of the Central Canada establishment …. so I challenged him on his new-found Western dedication.

With his background, I asked,  why should British Columbians believer HE would be any different than previous Liberal Leaders … making all kinds of promises to the West BEFORE the election, but then catering overwhelmingly to Quebec and Ontario afterwards … and giving the West short shrift????

All heads turned … and there was an audible moan in the room.

Turner vowed He’d be different … and said his commitment to seek a BC seat was genuine. Which he later did … representing Vancouver Quadra as MP from 1984-93.

And when he did make it to the PM job, Turner DID try to involve and boost and BC’s profile and interests back East … but Central Canadian Chretien Liberals (who he had defeated) were determined to get rid of him and he was out as PM within six months!

But at his re-entry into politics announcement,  the room was clearly shocked at such impertinence from a BC reporter who almost none of them had ever heard of or knew even existed in Ottawa!  LOL!

CTV reporter Jim Munson (now Liberal Senator) was so incensed at my question for some reason, back at the CTV offices (where the BCTV bureau was located, because we were part owners of the CTV network) he shouted at me: “What a question! That’s why you’ll never work for the national network!!”

“Good”, I shouted back. “I couldn’t take the pay cut!”

Munson was infuriated. But fortunately, BC viewers and my newsroom cohorts back home LOVED the question.

Decades later, my concern remains the same … this time with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh … as it was with Turner.

I believe Singh is seeking what he hopes will be a safe seat as an MP so he can get back to what he really wants: being the Leader of the NDP, headquartered in Ottawa, working hard to cater to Ontario, with its 121 seats, and Quebec, with its 78.

Burnaby South deserves better than an MP whose real interest lies 2,000 miles East. .

The voters should have an MP who will fight for THEIR interests, THEIR needs, THEIR priorities,  and, THEIR positions on national issue as BRITISH COLUMBIANS….and SPEAK OUT LOUDLY for them, even when their interests run counter to those of other provinces.

I don’t believe they would get that with Singh. 

Burnaby South voters will just be background extras in a larger Singh performance aimed at wooing and catering to Central Canadian voters (Ontario and Quebec).

At the expense of Burnaby South and British Columbia… because I predict Singh would NEVER stand up for them AGAINST the interests (federal jobs, contracts, spending … and, most of all, powerful political positions and Supreme Court appointments ) of Ontario and Quebec in his bid to win votes in the seat-rich East.

And let’s keep it real: unlike Turner, he will NOT become PM anyway … so a vote for Singh is a wasted vote.

If voters there really care about jobs in their riding, or in the Vancouver, Lower Mainland and BC economies … federally right now only the Liberals or Conservatives have a realistic chance of delivering for Burnaby South.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of new postings on this BC-based Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam …just First Alerts of new topics/comments.)

 

Tags: British Columbia · Media · National

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gary T // Feb 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Great column Harvey. I couldn’t agree with you more. What I find strange, is the fact that Singh waited so long to pick a seat to run for. Does he really think that others don’t look at that like I do ? I think, like you,that Singh has been shopping for what he thinks is a safe seat, and it is going to backfire on him.The big question though, is why did the NDP elect someone without a seat or even any kind of track record as leader ? There is so little about him in the news that I have to wonder if he actually registers in the polls , which I distrust anyway.

    (Response: If he’s true and honest, Singh should say in one of his speeches” Ask not what I as an Opposition MP can do for you; ask what you can do for me as an Ontarian who wants to become Prime Minister and need a safe seat to get into Parliament to pursue my dream!” h.o)

  • 2 DBW // Feb 4, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Not disagreeing with your main point; ridings should be represented by someone who knows the area and can best speak for the constituents. For most of my life I have voted NDP (easy when Jim Fulton and Nathan Cullen are on the ballot), but on one of the few occasions I have put my X elsewhere was an election when they parachuted a Vancouver person into the riding. He lost.

    Having said that, someone from the area is not necessarily a guarantee that they will speak for BC or their constituents. Sean Holman’s Whipped pointed out how rarely an MP or MLA voted against the party. You have pointed out your frustrations at MPs who do not speak for BC in Ottawa.

    Secondly, a vote for Singh may not be wasted just because he cannot become Prime Minister. What if he were to become the leader of the party holding the balance of power in a minority government.

    Then again, if he loses, the NDP will be essentially leaderless with only 8 months before the general elections.

    Political junkies can always find something interesting in by elections, but outside the actual riding they mean very little. The one in Nanaimo and this one in Burnaby South actually did/do have major consequences.

    (Responses: You raise a point that I find quite fascinating: ” if he loses, the NDP will be essentially leaderless with only 8 months before the general elections.” Maybe that would be BEST for the NDP in the long run. Let’s keep it real …even with a seat, Singh will NOT win the upcoming general election … so rather than dragging out the INEVITABLE LONG leadership pains that will follow, maybe even NDP supporters should make sure Singh LOSES Burnaby South to expedite the transition to a new leader. It COULD be done before the federal vote… and even if he or she would likely still not win, an election campaign would give the new leader LOTS of instant free exposure, coverage and chances to rapidly become known/familiar to the voters…. which could bode very well for the NEXT time around. h.o)

  • 3 Cameron Bell // Feb 4, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    There were many similar moments, Harvey, when you asked wonderfully impertinent questions.

    And many stories built around the underlying issues – and silliness – that grows in the limitless budgets of national government.

    Good, and fun, to be reminded.
    yours was a job well done.
    Cameron

    (Response: Readers should recall Cam was BCTV anchor, then News Director and the guy (along with Keith Bradbury) who hired me away from The Vancouver Sun to join BCTV … and the rest was a glorious time for NEWS (and me) in BC. Yes, we were impertinent, but always polite and motivated by our quest to Keep it Real for our viewers … not the powers that be… whether it was at the municipal, provincial or federal levels. And getting up to 650,000 viewers nightly … more than double the current audience, despite huge population growth since then, shows people understood and supported us. Even if the politicians did not. No wonder none of us ever got the Order of Canada or the Order of BC!! LOL! h.o)

  • 4 BMCQ // Feb 4, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    You make god points, it only seems to be logical and make common sense that ones MP is a person that resides in the Riding and is in fact part of the Community.

    Then again under Canadian Parliamentary Rules Parachute Candidates are a plenty, Hello DAVE Barrett and Christy Clark.

    I must admit I am torn on the issue but I must agree your opinion only makes sense. At this time I would say I am 70 – 30 I favour of having the Candidate as a Resident of the Riding, does Singh qualify is another question to ponder.

    I understand Singh has actually taken up up Residency moved into Bby South but whether he remains there if he loses his Byelection or later in the General that residency may change.

    Back in the day during a news Conference Harvey May have asked Singh the following, “Have you unpacked your Suitcases and Boxes as yet”?

    Who knows what will happen in the Byelection, like many other YVR Neighbourhoods andvRidings Bby South has seen a dramatic change in Demographics with a huge influx of Chinese and others with Higher Incomes and that may have a significant affect on the outcome. Personally I find it bothersome when Ethnic ?Groups Vote in Block, I believe it taints and cheapens an Election, I would never think of voting for anyone because of their Ethnicity, Gender, or other similar reason.

    Whatever happens to Singh I believe the 2019 Election could be the last for the Federal NDP (Tick Tock).

    If Singh wins in Bby South he will lead the NDP to a Shocking Deafeat and they will be left with a “Rump” of a Party.

    If Singh loses and Svend “White Feather” leads the NDP into the Federal the NDP will be Deafeted and again they will be left with ab”Rump” of a Party.

    Either way the NDP will soon within a year after the 2019 Election merge with the Liberals and the merged Party will then become the “Liberal Democratic Party of Canada” .

    Once that takes place it will be most difficult to Elect a Federal Conservative Government, it may take Generations.

    In the meantime with Andrew Scheer hiding out in the WitnessvProtection Program and Bernier Splitting the Conservstive Vote it appears that PM Justin may Rule for another Generation.

    The thought of that makes me Sick!

    BTW

    New Bby South Federal Liberal Candidate Li was once a B.C. Legislature Deputy Speaker, I wonder if he like Claire Travena ever took hisWife on aB.C. Tax Payer Funded Juncket to Africa or The Caribbean?

    Who ever Leads the NDP into the October 2019 Gederal Election will go down as the Last Leader of the Federal NDP, whether it be Singh or anyone else.

    The NDP made a Fatal Mistake choosing Singh as their Leader and they will never recover.

    As a Conservative it saddens me greatly.

    (Edited…off topic.)

    (Response: Don’t forget Brian Mulroney and his brief “Maritime” experience: but at least as party leader and PM, he was able to pay off …oops, I mean ASSIST …. Elmer McKay who stepped aside temporarily for him and also reward voters ion the riding with federal spending. Singh will not be able to do any of that….just USE the riding for his own benefit. h.o)

  • 5 D. M. Johnston // Feb 4, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    The only thing I can say with the by-election in Burnaby is do not vote for any of the main parties, vote for the independent; at least the independent that is not wearing a tin foil hat.

    The NDP candidate is a carpet bagger.

    The liberal candidate, the new one I mean is a Liberal, ’nuff said.

    The conservative candidate is a Conservative, ’nuff said

    Give the independent a chance, we did in Delta South provincially and had the best MLA in recent history

  • 6 e.a.f. // Feb 5, 2019 at 12:31 am

    I don’t know why Singh didn’t run in Ontario because he had a profile there.

    Singh is the leader of the NDP the same reason others are the leaders of their parties. They got enough new sign ups who would vote for them in the election to become leader of the party. Singh out performed the others running for the leadership. Now will that be best for the party? Who knows. Not having him in Parliament has disadvantaged the NDP. Based on nothing, he may have come to B.C. because all those Ontario and Quebec M.P.s in the NDP weren’t happy he won the election to become the leader of the Party.

    If Singh is dedicated to the riding and he’ll have to be if he wants to hang on, he may just work for it. He just needs a really, really good constituency office staff. Even if I could hold my nose I wouldn’t vote for the Liberal or the Conservative. I don’t like the Liberal, he comes from the B.C. Lieberals and just couldn’t trust any of them. The Conservative, actually seems o.k. but he’s running for the wrong party.
    In my opinion, there is nothing to indicate Singh won’t do a decent job of being the M.P. so I’d vote for him.

    (Response: I don’t think it’s possible for him to “dedicated to his riding” in BC even if he wins: a NATIONAL leader for any party must know that the party’s chances to form government lie in Ontario and Quebec … and thus promises of increasing regional influence and rank, major spending, catering to power demands and appointments to major positions in the party ..and government if they win .. MUST FAVOUR Ontario and Quebec. Jack Layton proved that over and over … but at least he ran back there, not in BC just for his own convenience. Burnaby South should have an MP who will fight for jobs there … even if t means coming up against Ontario and Quebec demands and pressures. I have no doubt Singh will NOT do that!! h.o)

  • 7 hawgwash // Feb 5, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Watching this thing and looking at the competition, Singh should almost win by default.

    I’m a long time NDPer; I have come to shrug at the federal NDP and this guy does nothing to make me feel any better.

    I saw nothing in him when he was chosen leader and see even less now.

  • 8 BMCQ // Feb 5, 2019 at 8:14 am

    Cameron Bell – 3

    A very nice and thoughtful comment, I am sure Harvey and everyone else here appreciate your kind words.

    I remember watching your Newscasts, it is not quite the same today on any Network.

    Of course I was only a very young boy ! I wish!

    Take a Bow Harvey !

    ……………………………..

    e.a.f. – 6

    I also wonder why Mr. Singh did not run in Ontario, a very good question.

    The Singh appointment as NDP Leader and the result of the Byelection or the Federal Election if he survives Burnaby South will play a Major Roll in Canadians and the results will Change Canada forever and I do not mean for the better.

    A very sad and distressing thing.

  • 9 SG // Feb 5, 2019 at 11:19 am

    I think Singh is counting on not just the large Sikh community in south Burnaby, but also the rather large environmentalist anti-pipeline crowd there as well..
    IMHO banking on the large Sikh community is foolish, there’s no shortage of Sikh’s that vote Liberal and Conservative, however he’ll undoubtedly get the environmentalist vote.

    (Response: Media reports I’ve seen suggest the biggest issues identified by Burnaby South voters are the economy and jobs. Yes there are many people of Indian origin there, but apparently from many Asian communities as well … in fact 50% are from immigrant families and 72% have at least some post secondary education … so I do believe jobs and the economy could be a bigger concern than pipeline or environmental motivations. h.o.)

  • 10 Harry Lawson // Feb 5, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Harvey

    Another great post.
    I do not know who to feel more sorry for the constituents of Burnaby south or the NDP.

    Mr Singh is no Jack Layton nor is he a Ed Broadbent. Mr Singh could have run in several Ontario by-elections ,one has to ask why.

    I also wonder if Svend Robinson is running again in hopes of becoming the next NDP leader .

  • 11 e.a.f. // Feb 5, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Unless you’re “in government” its difficult to provide much of anything for your constituency beyond dealing with individual issues the people in the riding may have. that usually comes down to the constituency assistants. They actually do the work. So if the Burnaby riding wanted “something for nothing”, they’d vote for the Liberal as would any riding. However, just because you have voted for a member of the “ruling” party it doesn’t necessarily follow the constituents will gain much of anything.

    It isn’t the first time in history a party leader has run outside of their own neighbourhood to get into a Leg. or Parl. Its what happens in our country. That’s just how things work.

    like hawgwash I’m not over whelmed by the current leader. They should have stayed with Mulcair for all the difference this will make.

    BMCQ, loved the “future telling”. We will now all proceed to live long enough to see what happens. Plse ensure you’re here in 2020.

    Your description of Scheer made me laugh. It is sad however, because the Cons may run a very negative campaign, American style, which will add nothing to the discussions and future of our country. The federal Conservatives had much better candidates to choose from. Lisa Raitt is certainly one of them. It is to be hoped the Conservatives, if they loose the up coming election, will try to bring Rona Ambrose back. I may not be a “fan” of the federal Conservatives, but they represent a large number of Canadians. For a democracy to survive and thrive, in my opinion you need a min. of 4 parties for people to park their votes with. Now in Canada, we also have parties which are exclusively in Quebec, with also makes for a better democracy. It gives voters a place to put their vote.

    Bernier splitting the Conservative vote may be good or bad, don’t know for sure, but my gut says, not so good, the guy created the pee pee party and it may have an appeal to an element we don’t need in Canada.

    Now as to the predictions, BMCQ, the NDP began as a very small party and was at that level for years, and year, and years. My take on it, it will survive and come back as will the Conservative party. It would be nice of some ridings which are unhappy with all political parties vote independent. Elizabeth May as the leader of the Greens would have my vote except for the Green’s little excursion into foreign politics which doesn’t take kindly to Israel. However, that aside, the Greens will bring something to the debate as well.

    One other reason I like a nice moderate vibrant Conservative party, is that in case the Liberals do “fxxk” up, there is an alternative. That is what Brian Mulroney was. Lets hope the federal Liberals pay very careful attention to that time in our history. You need to have an alternative to any “ruling” party if you’re going to have a vibrant democracy.

    the NDP has never formed government at a federal level. It has made agreements with the federal Liberals, but we might want to ask the question, if not for the NDP would we have had the social programs we take almost for granted these days.

  • 12 Richard Skelly // Feb 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    You may have asked the impertinent question. But it should be noted that John Turner won the Vancouver seat, wresting it from an incumbent, Bill Clark, who had been a tad bland…but by most accounts a good Progressive Conservative representative of his constituents.

    Turner was also reelected in 1988. Of course ‘Chick’ won the battles but lost the wars: losing both general elections (the 1984 contest massively) to the Brian Mulroney-led PCs.

    Barring a miracle, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has no chance of leading his party to form government after the next election. Odds are long that a Singh-led NDP will even contend for second place to regain the one-term Official Opposition role they had from 2011-2015.

    No matter. Canadian politics has examples, other than John Turner, of non-resident politicians representing a distant riding. Tommy Douglas represented a Burnaby riding. Provincially, Premier Christy Clark ended up running in an Okanagan byelection after losing in Vancouver.

    In these cases, constituents know full well they’re getting an outsider. But when the outsider prevails, it’s because a majority of voters in that riding consider it a privilege and a duty to democracy to elect a party leader.

    As for then CTV stalwart Jim Munson, his barely suppressed Grit sympathies led him to become Director of Communications for PM Jean Chrétien. Two days before Chrétien retired, he appointed Munson to the Senate, a sinecure he still enjoys. But a fate you blessedly avoided, Harvey.

    (Response: There have been many politicians who … in the interests of promoting their OWN careers … have run in seats of convenience where their parties have had great successes in the past. And when they achieve POWER in GOVERNMENT, they have been able to repay the “favours”. Singh is different in two ways: he will NOT ever lead the NDP into government and become PM; and even if he wins the seat, he would actually be hurting his own party’s long-term future by delaying his political exit and chances to replace him with someone who COULD possibly rebuild the party and its chances in the public’s mind. h.o.)

  • 13 Gilbert // Feb 5, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Jagmeet Singh is an absolute disaster. He represents the far left of the NDP, a champagne socialist who waited too long to get a seat. He’s an expert in raising taxes, redistributing wealth, overspending and scaring business. It seems many in the NDP voted for him because they thought it would be great to have a leader who was not of European descent. I vote based on qualifications, not ethnicity. He should have run in Ontario. He’ll do absolutely nothing for the people of Burnaby South.

    (Response: I frankly did not know much about Singh when the NDP chose him as leader. I wondered if they were guilty of REVERSE discrimination … choosing him because of his minority background (ie selecting someone BECAUSE they’re of colour, female, or gay, trans or religious minority etc.)… but thought he/they should get the benefit of the doubt. The more Canadians have “experienced” Singh, I believe more and more have come to the unfortunate conclusion he is an “empty suit” … not really inspiring, full of great job-creating and economy-building ideas or leadership PM material and was chosen BECAUSE he was of colour/Sikh etc. and I now believe delegates DISCRIMINATED in his favour mostly because they wanted to make a political statement. Voting FOR someone just because of whatever they are is just as bad as voting AGAINST them for the same reason. Sad. h.o)

  • 14 BMCQ // Feb 6, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Gilbert – 13 – Harvey – Response

    Excellent Post and Response they cover it all.

    Why would any group or individual choose anyone for any position based on Ethnicity, Skin Colour, Gender, or any other silly criteria dreamed up by Leadership designed to appeal to a certain Voting Base or Demographic.

    Speaking of “Empty Suits” Harvey, Canadian PM, “Selfie King” , and “Mr. Dressup” based his choices for Cabinet on just that, he chose his Cabinet based on and equal number of male and female Candidate MPs.

    For sake of argument we will assume his Cabinet consists of 20 Members, he chose 10 female and 10 male Which in his silly world makes sense.

    I must then ask this question, what if the Top 18 Liberal MP Candidates for Cabinet were women, would PM Justin jetisson 8 of them to appoint 8 LESS Qualified Male MPs to achieve Gender Balance? Really?

    How Juvenike.

    Yes, I am unfortunately more than well aware all Parties can be guilty of this but in the case of a Major Sovereign Democratic Country it is just simply Juvenile.

    How stupid does he think “Canadian People Kind” are?

    The NDP did base their choice for Leader based on Politically Correct reasoning and manipulation and in my opinion it will soon prove to be a Fatal choice.

  • 15 13 // Feb 6, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Honestly having a problem getting worked up on this topic. Having said that I pray that the ND P win this safe seat. I don’t care about gender ethnicity sexual orientation quotas or even species Any thing to keep the left split.

  • 16 BMCQ // Feb 7, 2019 at 10:57 am

    All current Major Canadian Parties have their issues but it appears that Mr. Singh and his Brain Trust are doing their Best to make PM Justin look like a “States People Person” and that is very difficult to accomplish.

    https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/ndp-shifts-position-on-sensitive-venezuela-issue-despite-differences-of-opinion-inside-party

    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/kelly-mcparland-the-ndp-shouldnt-be-mad-at-mulcair-hes-just-telling-the-truth

    Perhaps it is just me but the problem with Mr. Singh and the NDP will change Canadian History.

    I am not sure if I will get much agreement on this but it appears that Politicians from ALL Parties at ALL Three Leve3ls are creating a very worrisome and unstable environment in Canada and Tax Payers/Citizens need much better Leadership than what we are getting.

  • 17 e.a.f. // Feb 7, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    watched the news report covering the all candidates meeting. Looked like it didn’t go that well, with one man “railing” against people of colour. Guess he isn’t dealing well with the make up of Canada and that may actually be part of the problem in all of this.

    BMCQ, we get the leadership we vote for. that’s democracy. Politics, the world have always been unstable. Its just a different “topic” every time. Its how we adjust to the “changes” that is important.

    The Conservatives have many more capable people than Scheer. His hiring of a former “staffer” from the Rebel does not engender any great confidence. You do have to wonder if the Burnaby Conservative candidate is aware of he guy’s back ground. Mulcair would have been better. Trudeau still is the best of the Liberals and those cheques which go out each month to reduce child poverty will get my vote every time. You may not need them, but there are a lot of people who do.

  • 18 Gene The Bean // Feb 7, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    13 – ya who needs environmental regulations, workers comp, fairness and equality for women and people of colour, kindness to the disadvantaged and poor. Screw them, right? I got mine,not my problem.
    Whoever dies with the most money wins…….
    Sad. Bigly sad…..

  • 19 BMCQ // Feb 8, 2019 at 7:14 am

    13 – 17

    As usual YOU are the Voice of Reason and Common Sense !

    I am quite positive that 90% of all Contributors on this Blog agree with your Premise. Why would we not, your statement is simply common sense.

    Why should anyone have “Special Status” and be singled out to receive “Special Treatment” because of their Gender, Sexual Orientation, Ethnicity, Politics, or any other Politically Correct Mumbo Jumbo desired by “People Kind” like PM Justin, and his Disciples.

    “Merit Based” Qualifications regardless of the circumstance of Work Position is the only way to go.

    Try getting hired in ANY Government Job at any City, Province, or Federal Level in Canada today if you are a Pudgy White Middle Aged Male of say about 55 years old and see what that gets you. Not much I can confirm.

    Reverse Discrimination Unfair Hiring Practices based on Gender, Ethnicity, Skin Colour, and the rest have having a very detrimental affect on the Work Place and those soon to be Minority White Males over 50 years old and it is disgusting.

    Frankly I am surprised that the White 50 year old Male is not on the “WWF Critical Endangered List” !!

    Mr. Singh was chosen NDP Leader for those silly juvenile politically correct reasons championed by Special Interests in that Party and they will soon feel the wrath of the Tax Payer and Voter that wants Merit Based Politicians for their Representatives in Federal, Provincial or Municipal government.

    I can only hope that Federal Votes are wise enough to see the same flaws in the current PM who Rules by Polls and Juvenile, Silly Political Correct Philosophy.

    I heard Mr. Singh pontificate on a few things during a Media Scrum this week and he is so weak and unprepared I was actually embarrassed for him.

    “Bigly said 13, Bigly Said” !!

  • 20 e.a.f. // Feb 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Why should there be such things as “special status”. I’ll tell you: because they had no status within our social structure for centuries. It is unfortunate of a white mid 50s male is currently being “disadvantaged” but for centuries they weren’t. Some times society has to take the leap to make the changes to make everyone a tad more equal. Having worked in organizations which were very, very white and male, the organizations decided, all things being equal if two candidates were equally matched, the “minority” would get the job. Now the organizations reflect society.

    At one time in the work force women never got past a certain level and neither did people of colour, being openly gay only got you beat up. Lesbians, hid in the closet if they wanted to work.

    Singh may have or may not have been chosen for his ethnic back ground. But at some point some one had to take the leap. It was not until Moe Sihota was elected an M.L.A. in B.C. in the 1986, that a person of Indian descent had been elected to any Leg. in the country. He ran in a riding which had traditionally voted NDP. Had the party not taken that “gamble” where would we be today? Perhaps in my people’s opinion, better off. Over 30 years later, we see people of South Asian descent in all sorts of political positions.. Had the NDP not taken that leap would things have changed all that much? In 30 some odd years we will make a documentary about Singh, just as they did about Sihota.
    Lets not forget either it was Frank Calder who ran for the NDP in 1949, in B.C. to become the first Indigenous person to be elected to a legislature.

    The news reported Singh was the target of some nasty posts, showing him in front of a mansion, which he did not own. The ad claimed this was the palace he was living in in Burnaby. How many “white” politicians in B.C. have had that done to them in a campaign? Singh’s response was to joke, his wife wanted to know about the house also.

    We will not know until Singh is elected to Parliament how he will do. We might want to give him the benefit of the doubt at this time.

    (Response: You make some very interesting and even compelling references to factors such as ethnicity and race etc that people have struggled over to achieve equality … and nothing makes me feel better than seeing candidates elected in ridings where they are from a minority, not just rubber stamped because they come from the majority there. Great!! BUT you omitted what I think is a very important point …captured in the headline of this piece: Burnaby South voters deserve a BC MP. Period! Regardless of religion, race etc. I believe Singh is just USING Burnaby South for his OWN advancement nationally and should have run in his own province … Ontario. An MP should represent his constituents … not just serve the MPs agenda. h.o.)

  • 21 13 // Feb 8, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Ya I got mine, and it would seem that the NDP in BC and the Trudeau Libs are trying desperately to take it away from me.
    Im not sure why you read greed and contempt into my post, perhaps you read and interpret using your narrow minded bias.
    My comment in gentler terms was simple. I want the NDP leader to win the Burnaby seat. This will allow him to lead the juggernaut Federal NDP to take more seats away from the Trudeau gangsters. I wonder how far Trudeau is willing to go to protect a corrupt Quebec business.
    Excuse me I have to go and make sure Ive still got mine and to hell with everyone else. Sad Gene Sad.

  • 22 BMCQ // Feb 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    e.a.f. – 20

    You said, “But at some point someone had to take a leap”.

    Interesting, that thought never would have crossed my mind as i would have judged Singh or any other Candidate seeking to be Leader of my party on his accomplishments, his qualifications, his strength of character, his integrity, his passion, his ability to relate to his constituents, and his understanding of Canada and our place in the World, just what do Canadians want and deserve.

    Perhaps that is the difference between you and me, I believe in Substance and you believe in something totally different, well that is not my Canada.

    Before you and one or two others take a swipe at me by calling me a Racist and a few others ist’s and isms I should point out the following.

    My 29 year old Son is adopted and the Birth Mother happened to come here from the South Pacific. My son has a very Rich Mix of Ethnicities from that part of the World and he shares much of the same Blood Line as Mr. Singh, I would not want my Son to be guaranteed anything based on his Skin Colour, his Ethinicity, or any other “Politically Correct” Measuring Stick.

    Canada and Canadians are far better than you might think they are, Canada and Canadians believe in Merit Based Appointments, Canada and Canadians believe in Equality and Opportunity for ALL, even if they happen to be 50 year old Pudgy White Males.

    Now that is my Canada.

    I am still torn as to Harvey’s Statement as I believe any and all Parties deserve to have their Leader Sit and Lead in Parliament.

    I also believe that any Party would want their Leader choose a Safe Seat regardless where that Seat is located. So perhaps I have answered how I see this question.

    Honestly I am not even sure if the other Parties should Field Candidates but……..

    And finally, I really wonder just how Burnaby South really is for NDP Leader Singh, he may just find out the hard way.

    Unfortunately from his underwhelming performance up to this point it appears Mr. Singh is much like CanadiAn PM, he is in the Deep End about a Foot or So much too Deep.

  • 23 Diverdarren // Feb 8, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    e.a.f, “Some times society has to take the leap to make the changes to make everyone a tad more equal”

    Where did you get that, Animal Farm?

    I think you have demonstrated the difference between conservative and liberal beliefs on equality.

    Conservative reasoning is clear, that prejudice is wrong. Denying equality based on ones beliefs is a vice.

    Liberal belief that denying equality, if it has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged persons or groups is a virtue.

    A racist has a belief that they can deny equality because they believe they are righteous.

    A liberal has a belief that they can deny equality because they believe they are righteous.

    Both are wrong.

    Whether you deny equality because you want a quota of x number of some group you want to ameliorate, or you are denying equality because you’re a racist, you are both denying equality.

    Equality is a derivative of Natural Justice.

    e.a.f, it seems you profess the liberal believe that justice is achieved when society allows inequality.

    Conservatives believe justice is achieved when society only allows equality.

    Conservatives see inequality as repugnant, regardless if the source of the inequality is bigotry or liberal attempts at amelioration.

  • 24 DBW // Feb 8, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Well Harvey, I always find it interesting how your topics evolve (devolve?) as the comments roll in.

    We are a long way from your original topic, but seeing that we are on the topic of equal opportunity…

    BMCQ was not the only person to express this sentiment, but he always has the best words so I will quote him

    “Mr. Singh was chosen NDP Leader for those silly juvenile politically correct reasons…”

    Now I am not sure if there is an inkling of evidence to support this statement but it does have me thinking.

    Can a person of colour become the leader of a party in Canada without an asterisk attached to his/her name?

    The implication here is that Jasmeet Singh did not win the leadership of the NDP on merit. At least one of the other candidates was better, but through reverse discrimination, Singh was handed the leadership.

    We likely wouldn’t be talking this way if Singh were doing a much better job of leading his party. Does that mean people of colour are held to a higher standard, that they cannot be sucky leaders like Adrian Dix, or Michael Ignatieff or Stephane Dion or Kim Campbell? And yes those leaders were criticized and the party second guessed, but the legitimacy of their victory at the leadership convention was not questioned as it has been here.

    Andrew Scheer isn’t doing the best job but nobody is saying well he was only selected leader because he is a pudgy 39 year old white guy.

    I am not even sure if I am being very coherent and what exactly I am trying to say, but I just find it disappointing that ethnicity is still an issue.

    (Response: I have to assume enough NDP members/delegates believed Singh, on his merits, was the best candidate for leadership when they voted. And although I have NEVER voted for or against a candidate solely because of race, religion, sex etc I have to admit, knowing the discrimination/struggles MANY minorities have faced, have occasionally favoured someone facing a tougher fight in a CLOSE race just to give them a boost/chance. BUT notice, my criticism in this case is I feel the guy is primarily simply USING Burnaby South for his own advancement… not REPRESENTING it…or the interests of Burnaby South voters. In fact, if it would serve him better in Ontario or Quebec in terms of power decisions/spending/contracts on projects before the federal government/Commons, I believe he would sell Burnaby South’s residents out in a flash! Burnaby South voters DESERVE a BC MP. h.o)

  • 25 Eldon // Feb 8, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I’m dying to see him defeated. Would be more fun than watching C Clark lose after being air-dropped into Point Grey.

    Not sure why the Cons are enjoying Singh’s flaccid leadership. They need a Jack Layton performance from the NDP to put Scheer in the PMO. Not shaping up that way…

  • 26 BMCQ // Feb 9, 2019 at 8:57 am

    DBW – 24

    First of all you just put up an excellent Post and you bring up some good points.

    Don’t question what you are stating, in my opinion you have offered up a very thought provoking and important series of things to consider. The

    It is difficult to provide factually supported reasoning why and how Mr. Singh was Elected NDP Leader so my opinion can certainly leave me open to question and criticism but sometimes all we have is our opinion, some logic, and perhaps a small pinch of supporting factual evidence to support our conclusion.

    Perhaps more importantly the most important factor is who was Singh, Scheer, or PM Justin Running against when they made the decision to seek their Party Leadership.

    As an example I believe the Conservatives erred badly when they did not Draft Rona Ambrose for Leader, it was a Huge Mistake, who cares what the Care Yaker Rules were.

    In the case of the NDP (please correct me) it seems they jettisoned Mulchair because he did not capture the Crowds the way Mr. Layton did so they decided to go the Route of Identity Politucs much like we see with Progressives in the U.S..

    Somewhere somehow the NDP made a Huge Mistake with Mr. Singh and IMHO it could mean the end of the Party. It appears to me Singh would be a solid Minister of a Minor Portfolio but not Leader of anything.

    I believe that a Visible Minority will/would one day become PM if Leader of the Conservative or Liberal Party.

    As an example I strongly believe Condoleezza Rice could become Conservative PM in Canada or Republican POTUS, she has it all, Education, Accomplishment, Highly Intelligent, Leadership Skills, Judgement, and the Two most important factors a Visible Minority and Female, yes Identy Politics are important but……

    I am not all in with Harvey when he accuses Dongh of using Bby South but his argument is stronger than what I could put up.

    When Christy Clark parachuted into the Okanagan the Party was required to offer certain guarantees to the Memberthat stepped aside and he is now back, something similar when Premier Barrett parachuted into Van East and the WILLIAMS Seat I am told.

    e.a.f. Earlier asked why did Singh not run in Ontario when he had a chance, that remains a good question.

    One thing for sure if the Federal NDP had a Barrett or. Layton today they would have a chance of securing many more Seats right across the Country, Mr. sSingh, is not Equipped, not Prepared, has NO Presence, has no Subastance, and has no ability to debate and think on his feet.

    It mtters not that he is Running in Bby South of Brampton.

    Why didn’t a Sitting NDP Member step down in his own Dafe NDP Neighboured close to Brampton, at least it would have been a more natural fit and easier to sell.

    I am not an NDP supporter but Canadians that support the NDP must feel somewhat betrayed and very concerned about the future of their Party.

    As mentioned Singh has apparently moved into Burnaby South, I wonder if he has unpacked his Boxes and Suitcases as yet?

  • 27 BMCQ // Feb 9, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Eldon – 25

    Your last Paragraph says it all!

    The October Election will change Canada and it’s People forever.

  • 28 e.a.f. // Feb 9, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    BMCQ, I’ve never referred to you as a racist. come to think of it I most likely suggested that was one thing you’re not on a personal level and yes I remember who your son is, so lets forget that.

    DiverDan, you certainly write some good comedy lines. I don’t take it personally when you suggest I believe in inequity. It just causes me to laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Many who believe I’m advocating inequity are most likely white males. Everyone sees things differently because we have different back grounds and have experienced life differently, frequently on the basis of our country’s of origin.. That is why Harvey’s blog is a good place to come and debate things.

    Eldon, in my opinion, the Conservatives ought not to have elected Scheer, he’s weak, out of touch with how others live, the man hasn’t had a real job outside of politics except for a 6 month stint. He’s been on the public gravy train first as Speaker and then leader of the Cons. You only have to look at who his campaign manager is and where that guy worked before Scheer hired him. “The Rebel” as run by Ezra Levant, is/was not a “nice” “publication”. If you want to know about Ezra and Hamish Marshall you can check out Wikipedia or the Ontario blog, Montreal Simon. It will give you some insight into the federal Conservative Party. As they say, you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. The current Conservative party and the hiring of Hamish Marshall clearly isn’t what the Conservative Party once was. There were a lot of other good and decent candidates who could have been the Conservative leader. May not have agreed with them on lots of things, but they were able politicians who understood how things worked.

    We could agree both the Cons and the NDP could have had better national leaders, but both parties for their own reasons have done what they’ve done. We’ve seen Scheer and he really needs to go. Singh, we still haven’t seen what he can do.

    Harvey, one could agree with you, Bby. might deserve a local person as M.P., but we all know politics and how its played. some times its the long game.

    who knows perhaps Singh just had enough of the cold long winters in Ontario.

    This has been fun and I’m happy to see I’ve stirred the pot a bit. Perhaps we can re group on the subject of Singh 60 days after he has taken his seat in Parliament to discuss his performance. If he looses perhaps Harvey can have us discuss why we think it happened, for 24 hrs. only though.

  • 29 Marge // Feb 10, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    @eaf Your description of Scheer matches that of Trudeau. Never really worked a day in his life other than teaching for a few weeks at an all girls’ school in Vancouver, then a ski instructor. He has lived off the family trust fund for years. He was only chosen for his name and good looks. The back boys in the party control him it is very clear, given how poorly he speaks when confronted by anything he hasn’t know in advance.

    Also if anyone knows their civics, the person elected for any riding toes the party line no matter what. The party comes first always and the riding second. So Mr. Singh if elected will represent the NDP first and his constituents last. Besides in each riding there is an office so if a person has an issue, there is someone to handle it and I’m sure these are local people not pulled out of Ontario.