Claire Rattee: she’s young, she’s hip and she’s a Conservative candidate
Disclaimer: Ashley Teixeira is a Director for the VP Internal for the University of Calgary Campus Conservative Club, and is a volunteer for her local candidate.
As the Conservative candidate in the Northern B.C. riding of Skeena—Bulkley Valley, Claire decided to run for federal office after a successful term as a Kitimat councillor, having escaped the clutches of homelessness and poverty eight years prior.
During a meeting in Ottawa, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister gave some “friendly advice” to Justin Trudeau. Pallister told Trudeau that there was growing frustration in western Canada has towards Ottawa, according to the CBC.
In their meeting, the two leaders discussed a range of issues that came up during the election campaign. This included climate change and indigenous issues, as well as western alienation. Speaking to the CBC, Pallister stated that “there’s some great frustration with the lack of progress, not just on pipelines, but on other things.”
After the election, a deep frustration with Ottawa turned quickly into a separatist movement. This was blamed on the Liberal party, who due to a series of policy decisions, did not pick up a single seat in Alberta. Parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have also been vocal in their frustration with Trudeau’s government.
Pallister was critical of Trudeau’s carbon tax and other policies designed to hinder the Canadian oil and gas sector. This has been a deeply contentious topic in the prairies, especially due to the recession that was triggered as a result of Trudeau’s pipeline bungle.
Unlike the Saskatchewan and Alberta premiers, Pallister has not threatened to rip up the equalization agreement.
In this recent federal election, a new election law came into place that punishes people who spread fake or misleading penalties with severe punishments, according to the CBC. During the election, and in the foreseeable future, anyone who publishes disinformation online will face up to five years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.
The one crux, however, was that the word “knowingly” was removed from the legislation, meaning that anyone who accidentally posts false information can be charged under Canada’s criminal code.
This applies to any post that disseminates false information about a candidate, a political party, or the leader of a political party. This law will likely be unfeasible to enforce as disinformation is shared so easily on social media.
These laws have been created in response to the incidents of foreign interference that have plagued western democracies over the past few years. In the United States, for example, allegations of Russian interference have taken up large portions of the national political debate.
This new election law has faced criticism for restricting free speech and being a dramatically heavy punishment for what shouldn’t necessarily be a crime.
“We didn’t see high levels of effective disinformation campaigns. We didn’t see evidence of effective bot networks in any of the major platforms. Yet we saw a lot of coverage of these things,” said Derek Ruths, a professor of computer science at McGill University in Montreal to the CBC a few weeks ago, in a story about how disinformation was overblown last election.
A new Ipsos poll has given another indicator of what many already suspected: The prairie provinces are more eager than ever to separate from the rest of Canada.
The exclusive poll conducted for Global News found that the majority of respondents in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and in the Maritimes believe that Canada is “more divided than ever,” and according to Ipsos vice-president Kyle Braid, those numbers have reached “historic” heights, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
“This is really a story of two oil provinces that feel that they made a substantial contribution to the Canadian economy during the boom years and now feel when things are not going as well, they feel isolated, underappreciated, misunderstood by the rest of the country,” he said.
According to the study, “agreement that the country is more divided than ever is highest in … Alberta (79%) and Saskatchewan (77%). A majority of residents in the two other western provinces of Manitoba (58%) and BC (54%) also agree the country is divided, but their agreement is aligned with Ontario (56%) and Quebec (54%) and not their western neighbours. Two-thirds (66%) of Atlantic Canadians agree the country is more divided than ever.”
The poll surveyed 1,516 voting-age Canadians online between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, 2019.
Among the other questions were “Canada is more divided than ever,” “my province would be better off if it separated from Canada,” and “I think the views of western Canadians are adequately represented in Ottawa.”
According to the poll, approximately one-third (33%) of Albertans surveyed and just over one-quarter (27%) of Saskatchewanians agree with the statement: “My province would be better off if it separated from Canada.”
That separatist ethos is up 8 points compared to last year’s numbers (from 25% to 33%,) and up 14 points from the 19 percent figure found in 2001. According to the survey, “a belief that Saskatchewan would be better off if it separated is up 9 points from just over a year ago (from 18% to 27%) and up 14 points from 2001 (was 13%).”
That separatist sentiment is rivalled only by the Quebecois, where 26 percent believe that their province would fair better by leaving Canada.
After years of Elizabeth May saying that she would never run outside of Nova Scotia, the Green Party Leader packed her bags and moved to Vancouver Island. The Green Party apparatus, in those days composed of hippies and homeopaths, believed vehemently that the island would be the epicentre of where a “green wave” would be triggered; the faultline of where their leader would change Canada forever.
Pundits happily bought into these prophecies. And so, for the next eleven years, the Canadian public was subjected to the shaky, crackpot premonitions of commentators and May. This wave never materialized, and now in 2019, May has resigned as the leader of the Green Party with the hope (God forbid) of becoming the speaker. In retrospect, it is perfectly obvious why the climate Christ never delivered on these expectations.
This becomes clear through a brief glance at the Green’s results. In 2008, for example, the Green party failed to win a single seat, despite winning their largest share of the popular vote. Or take 2011, where the Green’s vote was sliced in half, although this time the compost crusader actually managed to win her seat. The only “breakthrough” that ever occurred was in 2019— for the first time ever, a Green MP was elected east of the Rockies, 13 years after May first became leader.
May, naturally, celebrated the results of the 2019 election in the style of Justin Trudeau: jubilant and utterly lacking in any circumspection. The other Green MPs were refreshingly contrite. Jennica Atwin, for instance, told The Post Millennial that she “was surprised more than anything else, I thought there were a few ridings that were guaranteed … it would have been nice to have a bigger caucus.”
Some point to the Green’s results as a symbol of May’s dogged determination. It is far more grounded, however, to dig up that rather overused cliche about madness: “trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” At the very least, it is evidence of the party’s stagnation.
May’s failure is especially poignant when considering the background of the 2019 election. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians had marched on the streets of our cities to demand better environmental policy, and Greta Thunberg received deafening and entirely unscrutinized coverage. Even in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 30 percent of those asked stated that the environment was their top priority in the election.
In an age like this, it is remarkable that May’s Green Party failed to convert any significant number of these people into Green voters. May has naturally shrugged off responsibility for this, pointing the finger at our “unjust” electoral system. But surely, in one of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet, the Green Party leader should have achieved more than three elected candidates.
The Green Party’s failure to capitalize on this lies squarely at the feet of their leader. May would have us believe that it is first-past-the-post that stunted the Green’s development, but it is difficult to blame the electoral system for the public’s total refusal to accept the Greens as a serious party.
Much of this derives from May’s willingness to accept candidates anywhere along the spectrum of dangerous to deranged. Take, for instance, her enthusiasm for allowing a holocaust denier to run twice for the party. Not one to relent, in 2019, May permitted a Quebecois separatist candidate to join the rank and file.
May’s outrageousness has also contributed to their reputation of wackiness. “Waging a war against wifi” and presenting 9/11 truther petitions to the House of Commons are hardly ways to endear yourself to the Canadian public.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to accept that May has contributed to the building of the environmentalist movement in Canada. Although, it has become overwhelmingly clear that the Greens would never cement themselves as a viable alternative so long as May was at the helm.