It has been too long, Issue 58

It has been too long! The last time I posted a newsletter was just before the Canadian general election. I told you that I had voted for the New Democratic Party (“NDP”). 

Well, the election has come and gone. The make-up of the House of Commons hasn’t really changed. The Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau have a minority government with about 160 seats, ten short of a majority. 

What did the election tell us about Canada?

  • I hate labels. However, results show that a significant majority of Canadians lean “left”. The LPC, NDP, Green, and Bloc Québecois  had an aggregate vote percentage of just over 60%. The “right leaning” Conservative Party of Canada and the Peoples’ Party of Canada captured just under 40% of the vote. 
  • Conservative Party strength resides in interior British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and western Manitoba. Rural areas tend to vote Tory.
  • Liberal strength is in Atlantic Canada; and, in and around Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, and, to some extent, Vancouver. Urban areas tend to vote Liberal or NDP. 
  • The divides: east + the coasts / west; and rural / urban 
  • The Tories may have to move left to capture more middle-ground voters. This will increase the danger of them losing more of its western base to the Peoples’ Party. 
  • The Liberals could lose more voters to the NDP. Get used to more minority governments.
  • Climate change and strong, government-run health care are important to Canadians. 

Leader’s next election?

Will Erin O’Toole survive? I think that Jason Kenney of Alberta was seen as he leader-in-waiting. Now he is badly damaged goods. His pandemic management has probably scarred his reputation permanently. This is good for O’Toole. Is there anyone else? 

I find it very difficult to take Maxime Bernier seriously. I probably should but he has a weird following and a strange history. Nicholas Pereira who ran for the PPC in New Brunswick claims expertise as a testicle breather. And I  remember the Julie Couillard relationship. The linked picture prompted George W. Bush to comment to Bernier: “Well well well, haven’t you been keeping good company”. Early signs of the sense of humour so enjoyed by Michele Obama?

Trudeau is an empty vessel? If this minority government survives beyond eighteen months, the Liberals will replace him. Chrystia Freeland or Melanie Joly anyone? Also, many in the party dream of a Mark Carney leadership bid. He is a committed Liberal. 

Jagmeet Singh is a thoroughly  decent human being but he is not Jack Layton or Tom Mulcair. Will we even have a Green Party? 

More Elections

Québec’s municipal elections take place this November.  Not enough people vote in these contests but should. These  elected officials have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives. Cars or people, garbage collection, sanitary sewers, safe drinking water, community planning, public transit, and hundreds of mundane issues get managed at  town and city halls. 

And then, there will be a Québec election. If it were held today, Barney Rubble (aka François Legault) would win in a landslide. He knows he is popular and it is leading to arrogance. The press is slowly exposing this arrogance and things could get very interesting over the next twelve months. 

Also, Legault lost a lot of brownie points for taking sides in the federal election. Ottawa’s Liberal government has money Legault wants and it will have opportunities to make him sweat. Nobody wants to go back to the dark Duplessis years. Dominique Anglade, the opposition leader, effectively skewered Legault by comparing him to a parish priest telling people how to vote during the Duplessis era. 

But enough politics

I don’t want to discuss politics for a while. I want to get back to writing about the things that interest me most. So this is my segue newsletter. It has been too long!

Cities are in Crisis

March 7, 2024

Anastasia Mourogova Millin, March 5, 2024 Earth’s urban population will grow by 2.5 billion people over the next 30 years. Over the same time period, urban land expansion put at risk the survival of 855 different species and will threaten the homes of over 30,000 animal and plant species. Add in the impact of climate […]

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]