Urban Equity blogs

Where are our priorities?

3 April 2019 by André Darmanin

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Image courtesy of nasa.gov

The Ottawa media bubble has had it all wrong. They are deflecting from the real issues that Canadians want to hear about.  The bullying and opining that took place over the last two months on social and mainstream media regarding Jody Wilson-Raybould and SNC-Lavalin affair, and by extension, Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar Chavannes were unheard of.  Amateurish at best.

Simply put, this was a human resources issue, tied into race and gender.  More so, an investigation of the centralized power of the Prime Minister’s Office and the separation of duties between the Attorney General and Minister of Justice are required.  Now that the bullies got their wish, the focus of a real crisis should be addressed.

Canada’s Climate Change report was released on April 1 and outlined on how Canada is expected to “lead the heightened risks of heatwaves, wildfires, floods and declining freshwater availability“. Meanwhile in a world where political winning strategies and short-termism are ubiquitous and messaging is vacuous, politicians, the media and big business are to blame.

I completed an excellent podcast series titled Drilled that uncovers the history of climate change denial in the United States.  Canada is guilty by association here too, especially where oil tycoons are making every attempt to distort the messaging. For example, well-known climate change deniers the Koch brothers are overtly wielding their power in almost every transit initiative in the United States.  They have a history of influencing Alberta politics and I am confident having an impact on the current provincial election race as we speak.  

Stephane Dion was ahead of his time with the Green Shift back in 2008, which went nowhere during that year’s election.  Now with the amplification of the American media comes the Green New Deal led by progressive Democratic politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and policy director Rhianna Gunn-Wright, notably two women of colour.   The current Federal Government, rightly so, is going all in with carbon pricing, but there must be more robust policy discussions that are linked to social justice, economics and infrastructure to name a few.

Now that the diversion has come to an end,  it’s time to refocus on where our priorities must lie pre and post-Alberta provincial and Federal elections. There also must be a strong response from our senior officials to stave off the lobby groups that don’t have an action plan and distort the debate. This is a true crisis communications issue to tackle. 


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