7 Episode results for "Jordan Keith Rawlings"

Will Newfoundland turn on Trudeau this time?

The Big Story

21:32 min | 1 year ago

Will Newfoundland turn on Trudeau this time?

"If Canada's government is going to change hands on October twenty first we will get the first sign of it on election night in Newfoundland Finland and Labrador yes part of that is because the polls out east close earlier than anywhere else in the country but it's not the only reason this province as as a whole is often pretty red and stop me if you've heard this before in two thousand fifteen it was completely red trudeau and the liberals currently own all seven seats and as much as Newfoundlanders may be disappointed by some of the things that liberals have ever more accurately haven't done in their province. A repeat of the last selection is not out of the question. So what can the other party say to flip a few of those seats and send a sign things are changing what have liberals failed to deliver deliver that their opponents can capitalize on what do newfoundlanders need they aren't getting and which riding in this province is the most likely to be a harbinger Brynjar of what's to come on election night Jordan Keith Rawlings and this is the big story. David Vidmar is the legislative reporter for the Saint John's telegram in Newfoundland where we head for our latest in our lay of the land series the Saint John's telegram is part of the Salt Wire Fire Network Hi David. How's it going. It is going very well. Thank you for joining us from the East Coast. How is the grand experiment of democracy going out there. Well things are I mean changes changes. The norm. I think is a is a quite frequently in Newfoundland Labrador typically. We just came out of a provincial election which is back on back on. May Sixteenth where there was this massive liberal majority where they had thirty one seats in the provincial legislature and that has cut down to twenty which gives them a one seat edge over the you know over the opposition parties and whatnot so that was a that was a big moment obviously for us out here to see that amount of seats being cut down in Atlantic Canada. Generally I mean there's been there's been I it's only Nova Oh Scotia that hasn't gone to gone to the polls fairly recently they went back in two thousand sixteen you know but but we're seeing the Greens obviously making some eat some interesting in roads and whatnot in an and in an MP and New Brunswick they didn't quite formed government but my God did they come close so you know being close to the water being close to you know relying so much a natural resources. I think is is starting to rear. Its head just a little bit here on the East Coast. What are the chances that you're provincial election earlier. This year is a microcosm of what will happen to the federal liberals in Newfoundland and Labrador which were a complete sweep last time yeah and that's always the question you know. How much can we really read it into provincial politics to federal politics. you know it's it's. It's it's not a one to one ratio. There's we'll see how that plays out but I I wrote a story. Worry about this. about you know we can have of course online that talking to pollster. Don Mills Search Area Whatnot and the way that he phrased in terms of whether or not the liberals can sweep across Atlantic on to Canada with all thirty two seats He said that there's zero percent chance that happened on October hangover twenty so couldn't really be more more definitive than that a you know there and in Newfoundland Labrador everyone is kind of pointing at Saint John's east as as really Kinda main battleground. Perhaps even the only battleground. I think the Liberals will still see some success here in Oakland lambreau because we I have never in our history sent sent no liberals. There's has always been at least one liberal. That's insane from Labrador to up to Ottawa but we've sent all seven easier as liberals at twice in our history so there might I don't to be one opportunity Lucy. you know an interesting thing about about. Saint John's is that it's a direct rematch from two thousand sixteen election Harris Yeah Yeah Yeah. It's it's a one to one Nick Whale on it is the incumbent and in two thousand fifteen he beat Jack Harris who was a he was first elected in nineteen eighty seven that he lost real quick in the in the election after that and then he was years for the as the DP leader in the province and became the d. n. p. once again. I believe in two thousand eight hundred I elected and and now they're just having another crack at it. You know in John's east. I remember Canada conventional wisdom at the time which I guess didn't turn out to be completely wise was saying that Saint John's was was the most safe seat in the country for the new Democrats on the federal scale and then you so yeah yeah there was another really tight race so at the time in two thousand fifteen Ryan cleary was was was the incumbent for the MVP going up against the shameless regan whose name we all know much more on the federal a federal thing these days so any kind of went all in on Ryan cleary and maybe kind of forgot about it was just a little bit but this around it does not look like they are forgetting about checkers. You know Jagmeet facing was here before the election was even called so they really seem to be kind of investing there so you know in this province if any district is going to not be liberal liberal by the time October twenty first. It's probably John's east but you know nick. Whale is not going to go down without a fight no question about that so what makes Newfoundland and Labrador because we're doing this with all of the provinces what makes Newfoundland Labrador different from the other Atlantic provinces first of all but from from voters and the rest of the country to the biggest thing for us is that most of the people who live in Newfoundland Labrador live on the island of Newfoundland and most of us who live in Newfoundland live on kind of the northeast avalon which which is you know I'm I'm speaking to you from Saint John's right now which is really about as like it. If you're going to look at what the geography tells you it's as though everyone in on the island roofing like gathered as far away from mainland Canada as humanly possible which is essential for something but yeah which you know we'll we'll get back to that one but the fact that we are such big island really doesn't make us unique. I guess be is obviously an island is in the it's in the name but we you know we really are massive expensive land with a with a with a relatively small population by five hundred twenty five thousand people according in the two thousand sixteen sentences counter counted here and one particular thing that makes us unique across the country is that that population is going down the demographics of Newfoundland Labrador. We are getting older faster than anybody else. I believe that the the average population or the average age of newfoundlander right now is like forty six years old and by twenty forty. That's GonNa that's GONNA go up to above above fifty yeah. It's you know so we're getting older and the fertility rate is is is downward. We're dying faster than we are being born for one thing and then on top of that to oil downturn turn in say twenty two thousand fourteen twenty fifty and really really hit this province hard we in the last provincial budgets and twenty eighteen. We made a billion dollars off oil and gas. Ask and you know that's that's all guests are inter. Inter the royalties one for the government you know and that's on a pretty average price of oil. You Know Beckon Twenty before early two thousand twelve twenty fourteen or something like that. was you know we're looking at over one hundred dollars for a barrel also so my God we had money and now we don't so we have people people who are literally dying and not being replaced and people are leaving so the demographic challenges for Newfoundland Labrador really what's it's top of mind. I think that at this point. How does that impact what voters want from their government. What are they looking for right. Now that other younger younger more prosperous provinces might not well. This is a maybe a little bit of Jason here but but but but the main thing that we're looking for I think right now is is support from the federal government when it comes to Muskrat falls because that's the other thing that makes particularly unique in the country you know we talk about large hydroelectric dams you. I heard a sightsee and whatnot but but Muskrat falls was started by the provincial government or sanctioned in two thousand ten and at the time that the the sanction to the to the population or the the number that was put out there for the cost was six point two billion dollars. Not You know not a small chunk of change at the time for a prophet to five hundred thousand people now. It's twelve point seven billion dollars and there's a real risk that electricity bills in this province are going to double as a result of this and you you know the provincial government people were trying to work in trying to figure out how to how to prevent that from happening and one of the direct ask that. I think it was a little while ago. The finance minister just made a direct call just before the election actually the finance minister. Tom Osborne made a direct call to all party. Leaders saying we need money. We need about two hundred million dollars a year from the federal government a direct federal subsidy to Newfoundland Labrador's power bills in addition to about another half billion dollars annually that the that the province is going to have to come up with on its own court to try to to try to keep electricity rates down but but you know we need a commitment of two hundred million dollars from the federal government and so far none another federal leaders have kind of explicitly committed to that outside of saying you know we commit to working with Newfoundland Labrador on this particular issue so that I think think is kind of the biggest barrel on that. We're staring down so to speak right now that we need the federal government to help out on what about the things that the liberals promised would would help Newfoundland and Labrador back in two thousand fifteen you mentioned that may be only one of the seven seats there is really endanger of flipping to Newfoundlanders feel that that they've delivered in any sense on on what you were hoping for well they have and they haven't the funny thing about covering federal elections in duplan. Labrador is that you know we're sure we've only been in Canada for seventy years more so you know we we only have seven seats. We only have half million people so you know oh comfortable election time. We don't tend to hear a lot of really kind of detailed promises that are specific to Newfoundland and Labrador here one of the things that the liberals did come through on was there was a search and rescue center here in St John's that was closed down under the Harper government and shortly after the liberals gained end they went ahead and reopened opened that one so you know with the province as large an enormous has nine laboratories and Lord knows how cold North Atlantic is out there that was a search and rescue is a big deal here because we still have a lot of people on the water that was a commitment that they did follow through on and went there but one thing that they did not follow through on. That's playing out at this moment. Moment is is hesitant with municipal wastewater. There's a river head wastewater facility. I won't get to down in the weeds on this one but basically just you know in two thousand twelve there were some rules are brought in to say that you need to bring wastewater standards up to a certain amount and that means. There's going to be upgrade so just joking down here in two thousand fifteen and said hey look at that thing. We're going to give you two hundred billion dollars. That number just keeps popping up with something about two hundred million dollars really really popular but he committed that money that I was gonna come here and and when he was here about two weeks ago he committed that money again because it's not done and it's not just John but here's this concerns with the municipal wastewater one of there's places all across the province so we're facing the same same issue of raw sewage just being dumped into lakes. It happens here here in in in a number of municipalities because the municipalities don't have the the money themselves to do these expensive upgrades and the federal government hasn't put in hasn't put in their share at this point quite frankly so so you know in terms of what promises haven't have happened to and we're still going to wait and see what happens with with yet another province on wastewater that we got from trudeau ago so it's there's a there's a lot of reasons that I think that the federal elections take a little bit of a backseat here a Newfoundland Labrador because we're it quite frankly not as engaged in its by the you know by the way the parties who are running their largely due to how how far away we we are how small we are so we don't really get a lot of attention is what it comes down to well that was going to be my next question. Anyway is a lot of this election so far has been defined by scandal candle. I buy a SNC level and obviously men by the Liberals Bernird some opposition research about multiple conservative candidates and then of course course Trudeau's Brown face and black face scandal and from where we sit in Toronto it can feel that that dominates so I'm always interested in in more remote I would provinces that have more specific needs if that's a deciding issue for people or are we kind of an immediate bubble. I mean I think it matters to people you know. We're we're. We're seeing some of the national polls one at that. Don't seem to so much of a tick here and there for Trudeau. He's seen a dip. It was on the national scale. It's been written about and talked about plenty here in Newfoundland and Labrador but but the thing about Newfoundland Labrador and Atlantic Canada in general is that we we are really really white like I think it's ninety. The most diverse province I take from the twenty. Eleven cents is so we recognize. This isn't the most up to date number but according to the to the twenty eleven cents is the most diverse province in Atlantic Canada was Nova Scotia at at ninety. One percent white white or Caucasian candidate is is is you know we're we're primarily there there so a lot of people that I spoke to locally are suggesting that Oh asking why is this a big deal there and it's it's because we don't have a lot of people living in this part of the world that have you know an experience with black face racism of an understanding why that is such a such a problem you know and as such a racist action there so in that particular scandal in terms of in terms of how it matters you know. It's definitely going to take you know take votes while I mean I don't know and how can you really say anything definitively but but but I mean I can't imagine that it's not going to move the needle. But how much is it going to move the needle you know for people who maybe aren't super duper engaged in federal politics to begin with who don't have a symbol oh of lived experience to the people who who might have been directly affected and offended by this and then to some of the people who I've spoken to from you know from from progressive organizations and whatnot here in the province. They're saying forget about that. Let's talk about you know about a transportation institution into infrastructure. You know about about jobs. Those are the things that are going to matter to round newcomers one out of here so obviously it's complicated. Obviously there's a whole lot to it but it is jack error is going to win. Saint John's because Justin Trudeau mates really really really really really bad decisions back in the day probably probably not but you know but but jobs elsewhere well what could have him winning Saint John's east. If there was I mean you've mentioned money for for wastewater but if there were other issues that conservatives offenders share is coming to newfoundland before the election and he's promising missing things that would actually move the needle for Newfoundlanders. What's he saying. It should be something about Muskrat falls. You know once again about about federal support worked there. You know it. It's it's a provincial lead project but it was but there was a two point nine billion dollars in loan guarantees that were guaranteed by the federal government so the federal government has their finger in that you know has has a role to play their you know if if he were to come down and say do not worry about your electricity rates we got us and that's not even specific the sheer. That's that's. That's where everybody any party leader. If they're gonNA save you know don't worry we will bail you out. Hey money helps. Always you know yeah yeah. Sometimes you gotta see the Federal Government opened up the box dreams or over the strings. I need to say and we haven't seen it. You know we I ask them directly. Ah You know about it so that's the big issue because as it stands right now if people's electricity rates do double than people are literally in Newfoundland and Labrador Obrador in Canada in two thousand nineteen you're going to have people who are going to be choosing between heat and food you mentioned off the top one talking about Atlanta candidate in general that you you know the green parties made huge inroads in Pi and Atlantic Canada in general and I just wonder are they a presence in Newfoundland and I know the MVP has previously been a presence in Newfoundland Finland but all around the rest of the country were increasingly talking about a two party race and is there any chance of a third party playing spoiler in Newfoundland will the Green Party the funny thing about the Green Party not here I believe they do have a seven candidates or if not they have you know five or six. I'm not sure off the top of my head here but the Green Party is kind of nonstarter in Newfoundland Labrador in terms of their interests of their popularity because they have they haven't expressed anti-seizure hunt stance in their products out that they oppose the seal hunt and obviously the seal hunters is he's controversial here and there but in this province we supported in this province province is it's hunters or going out on the ice and taking what's there naturally you know and maybe with well primarily with guns the image that you see see their on screen white coats that are super super cute and cuddly those ones aren't the targets of the seal hunt and has been a lot of frustration over the people. You know who who are or are not recognizing you know at so anyway hill a little bit of a tangent there but but context. I didn't know that yeah that is the the that is the the number one roadblock for the Green Party and and I did actually talk with me about this. you know and and the basic stance is that well here's the funny thing about about kind of the Green Party policy there it seems as though the Green Party policy to say that the leader will not dictate and what issues the integrion. MP's would end up on and we saw the kind of Biton bite them in the rear. You know when it comes to comes to talk about separatism and when it comes oh you know maybe even reopening it would abortion debate. You Know Elizabeth May's kind of kind of stance there was was they can do what they want. You know I'm not gonNA stop them from opening up these this conversations and and and that policy which you know burn them here and there in the media there is also their defense mechanism against a about their dicillo hunt pitch because Elizabeth would just say while you know a a newfoundland and Labrador Greenpeace would have every single right to support the Green Party. Maybe even if the Federal Green Party opposes the seal hunt and wants to shut down so you know they have a they have a well known candidates in Avalon. His name is Greg Malone from Costco and wonderful grand band Jane and he's. He's run a couple times. You Run for city council he's. He's never had success on on the on the political scale. Oh and fun fact. We talked about black face. He also wore black face as part of what part of a sketch that he did. I think it was I think it was twenty eight days when when when it hits media here with all respect to the Greens and you know and and I know that the Green Party supporters you know here in the province but in terms of them playing spoiler in Saint John's. These are really any other part of the province. I'M NOT GONNA hold my breath personally so if Canadians are watching the early returns because you guys are I on election night. They should just be looking at saint. John's east to get a a sense of whether or not true is in for a good night or a bad one. Yeah you know that's where it will literally start because I think that would depending on how quickly the count that might Steve I decided writings is Saint John's but but yeah nick whale and holes on there. That's a good indication that that they're gonNA do okay here. you know if if these does change hands. I wouldn't necessarily read that as kind of overall condemnation of you know of how they're gonNA do but if a second writing in this province where to switch switch to the role that would earn your way from liberal to say that would be pretty jaw dropping that hotel a lot if I if they manage lose more than one sees a here in Newfoundland Labrador that's wouldn't I think that they're going to be shaking in their boots up in Ottawa. Thanks for this David. Thank you so much for having me David Marr legislative reporter at the Saint John's telegram and that was the big story another episode our our lay of the land series if you'd like you can head to our website the big story podcast dot. CA and right up there in the header Mary section where you can get all of these special episodes Komo before the elections. You know what happens if you'd like to talk to us about what's going to happen where or tell us who we should interview for these things up at the big story. SPN We want the best journalists from around the country and we might not know all of them you can also find us everywhere you get podcast on apple and Google institure on spotify. Please go in ahead of those five stars. Thanks for listening. I'm Jordan Heath Rawlings. We'll talk more.

Newfoundland Labrador federal government Labrador Saint John Canada Saint John Newfoundlanders Newfoundland Newfoundland Finland Newfoundland Labrador Green Party Muskrat falls East Coast Atlantic Canada Jordan Keith Rawlings Justin Trudeau Ottawa reporter Greens Federal Green Party
Should orcas have the same rights as people?

The Big Story

20:48 min | 1 year ago

Should orcas have the same rights as people?

"<music> by now most of us know that they're endangered even still the vanishingly small numbers of living southern resident killer whales. They are kind of terrifying to contemplate a matriarch young male and an even younger male. This trio of orcas hasn't been seen scene off the coast of b._c. since last winter. No scientists believe they won't appear again. There are now so few of these animals laughed that we we know them by individual families. We know them by their names. We know them by the heartbreaking behaviors they display as they die. It's heartbreaking to see see a killer whale carrying her calf who died shortly after birth for seventeen days. The orca known as j thirty five wooden let go of her baby baby. There are lots of theories as to what or who is to blame for their shrinking population near are nowhere near as many potential solutions the problem but there's one proposal out there gathering steam that seems immensely strange when its first proposed. It seems a little less strange strange when you realize that it's actually been done before and it seems maybe even a tiny bit logical when you look at the threats these animals face and how powerless they are against them so what if they weren't powerless what if we gave them rights and a voice or even person hood you know like we have baton nuts or is it the only way the courts will take them seriously jordan keith rawlings and this is the big story. Lindsey borgen is a writer who covers the environment among other issues for the walrus interest among other publications island high start by telling me if whales are people too. I do not know if wales are people but i i do know that wales scientifically <hes> we have done many studies into their consciousness consciousnesses very i read it once described as an athenian notion and and wales and others t- cetaceans like dolphins are proven to have have kind of the neuro chemistry <hes> that proves that they they are conscious will then we should begin with the story of j eight thirty five because <hes> it's one. That's a kind of more than a year old but it gets to the center of what we're talking about today so tell me that story sure so j thirty five live <hes> is a female. She's one of the matriarchs of the j. Pod of the southern resident killer whales and they migrate along the pacific northwest <hes> between b._c._c. and down into washington state <hes> and j thirty five came into the news last year because she we had a calf which was a very promising development but the calf died and after it died she carried that calf on her nose throat throughout the coastal waters for seventeen days <hes> so it was a very heart-wrenching image for many people and something that out here in n._b._c. <hes> we all we all followed and heard about on the news quite a bit i think he captured us because i mean a southern resident killer whales when when we say that we basically we mean orcas or killer whales so those like iconic black and white whales that you see you know we used to see them at aquariums. It's the movie from free willy so we do have a relationship with those wales <hes> and so two also see see one of those whales essentially going through its own version of grief. I think was quite shocking to many people will in in your piece. You talked about a term. I'm called environmental grief. If you could unpack that a little because it's just such a it's a sad and really poetic term it is and so it was coined by a academic named chris kevorkian and actually i've heard it being talked about a lot this year in particular in it essentially refers to hugh the feeling that humans have <hes> when we are witnessing a loss of ecosystem around us <hes> so it's the melancholy kali that we feel maybe when we we know that the coral reefs are being bleached off australia and we won't be able to see them for much longer or or knowing that the southern resident killer whales are in dire dire straits and maybe our children won't be able to see them <hes>. It's it's a kind of helpless bliss feeling defined by him. How close are we to losing these orcas. How many of them are left. I guess it's it's small enough that you can count them pretty accurately so <hes> at the time that i wrote the story i believe there were seventy six <hes> and actually there was some news that that it just came out <hes> out of vancouver seeing that three of them had recently died and so there are now only seventy three <hes> so the numbers i have not always been consistently tracked but from what we know those numbers you know the they've never dipped below seventy and they're already not a sustainable species as it is so any lower in. We don't know what will happen at. We don't know if the population will sustain itself. What's killing the kind of three main reasons for the decline of the southern resident killer whales that they tend to be in dispute in terms of which is more important than which needs to be focused focused on so the kind of main one that everyone can agree on a decrease in salmon spawning in their habitat which means that they don't have enough to eat. They starved to death. There's there's also data that indicates that noise and physical disruption from vessels and traffic in the sailor sea end in their habitat affects the <hes> <hes> ability of the whale to live in its natural environment and there are also still ocean contaminants in the environment <hes> even if they've been banned so d._t. D._d._t. is still present. There's pesticides. There's chlorine present in the water so that also affects the ability for salmon to spawn the kind of interesting for staying implication. I suppose <hes> for the southern resident killer whales and wait what makes them kind of so easy to focus on is that there's about to to be a huge increase in noise and physical disruption from vessels in their habitat and that's because they are linked to the expansion of the trans mountain pipeline so what's being done to try to protect them right now and what's <hes> what's actually worked in and what's not working so after j thirty five was tracked last year and we all watched her carrying her her calf draped over her nose <hes> the department of fisheries and oceans announced announced that it would do consultations before <hes> kind of proposing new management plan for the whales their recommendations included a voluntary slowdown down zone <hes> for vessels including tankers and various but also whale watching boats matz that's kind of a tense situation there because they're considered consider to be smaller and and tourism is such a vital part of the local economy that many operators say that they're not actually the problem in terms of making noise <hes> and they also <hes> increase some regular regulatory controls of contaminants in the water at that time <hes> and the hope that it would help salmon spawning in the area. We'll one of the reasons that we wanted to talk to. You was because of a more radical proposal to protect these creatures which kind of brings us to a woman named michelle bender. Can you tell me who she is and what she is proposing yeah so michelle bender her. She's a researcher. She works at the earth law center in spokane washington and she has been working over the past couple of months with environmentalists and researchers people who work in ecology and indigenous groups to basically create a report that hopefully governments would accept which <hes> indicate that the southern resident killer whale should be given legal person hood and as she has been doing that there's also a legal go group <hes> out of vancouver island who are doing the same thing the the west coast environmental law center so what does granting person hood mean exactly so so granting <unk> person hood essentially places or indicates that in this instance the southern resident killer whale should be given the same same legal rights as a person or kind of more indicative li i suppose or what they're hoping for as a corporation <hes> so it it would acknowledged that the southern resident killer whales have a stake in the environment around them and that the development taking place in that not environment should have their approval. How'd you get approval from awale <hes> so that that's the interesting question. This has happened in other countries in the past <hes> in my piece. I talk a quite a bit about two cases in new zealand. <hes> one of those pieces of river was granted legal person hood hud and the other an entire national park and basically what that requires is creating a board that would then represent present the whales at negotiations at the table at reviews at any sort of a public consultation process <hes> and that they would you know that would be considered a players in the game a bit higher than any sort of current status that they have now <hes> so you know it's one thing now for one legal group to <hes> or one environmental group to put forth a challenge to the expansion of the transplant pipeline for instance and say that it's because you know it will increase traffic and noise in the waters and therefore harm the environment german that the southern resident killer whales in and it's another thing for a board made up of people that are kind of acknowledged as representing presenting those actual whales. How are these kind of proposals seen by <hes> governments in canada and the united states they ever happened here. They've not happened in canada. Eh <hes> there was one well known case where the two non nation <hes> wanted to protect one of their secret alpine valleys from a ski hill development meant <hes> and they argued that the importance of that land was in <hes> the freedom of conscience religion which is is more similar are to a person hood case than anything else <hes> but they were still denied in that way the u._s. There have been a number of different proposals actually so there's a current one where there's a community along lake erie that has the community itself has granted lake erie legal person hood to protect it from contamination <hes> i'm from various pesticides and whatnot that that have basically almost killed all the bio diversity in the lake but there haven't been as many big cases uses as there have been in new zealand and also in south america. We'll what has to happen. Practically for this to succeed. I mean which governments have to acknowledge it it and and how do you enforce it on behalf of an animal the provincial government and the federal government would have do come to an agreement in this way so in new zealand and the way that it worked is that the national park there was a bill passed at the federal level that acknowledged that the park was then going to be represented presented in various negotiations by this board <hes> and that's that's essentially what would have to happen for the whales. You know there would have to be a certain amount it. It's a legal appeal process so there would have to be a certain amount of partnership going into it because wales are quite different than a park their migratory they you know they currently go back and forth across international borders easily so there's there's quite a ah there's quite a bit of complicated negotiations that would have to take place from what i understand when i was interviewing david boyd <hes> he's a u._p._c. professor and he works at the u._n. He's a he's an expert or an expert rather on human rights and the environment and and he wrote a book called the rights of nature which argues that we should be giving nature like the whales legal person hood and he sees it as starting on a local level that <hes> you know maybe a local governments on vancouver island for instance might come to the point where they've acknowledged that the whales are legal persons and you know that might then require being stricter in terms of whale-watching permits that they give out <hes> being stricter in terms of how they manage their ports <hes> and their dock systems and whatnot. Why do you think <hes> and maybe i'm wrong here but to me the idea of granting person hood to <hes> an orca <hes> or you know a whale or dolphin or whatever feels different than granting rights to a river or a national park and you think like that is that would help make the case or heard it or just create to your point. A whole lot of complexity is interesting because the idea of granting the the southern residents legal person <unk> actually came second to <hes> michelle benders ideal situation which would be to grant the ceiling see legal person hood and they found that it was much easier for easier for people to <hes> get behind the idea of granting the southern residents legal person hood rather than the sea and i think that a lot of that comes down to a shift in our culture in recent years so you know after that movie blackfish came out. I think that there was a huge. The public discourse surrounding the the kind of ethical conflict of keeping whales in captivity the fact that they infect you have consciousness in that they they have feelings in their intelligent and their brains are actually not that dissimilar to ours in a sense <hes> and therefore four it's wrong to cause them harm that may have bled into this idea that even southern residents in the wild should be granted protection and as well. How has this proposal gone over with the general public. I guess or even just feedback you've seen since the piece came out since this idea became more widely known it's kind of <hes> it's kind of a polarizing topic right so of course so i'm getting emails from people saying don't be ridiculous. Wales are how people or you get messages from people who completely agree and think that the southern residents should be protected at all costs <hes> and because their bodies are pretty political at this point. They're tied so inextricably to the approvals for the transmission pipeline. There's no way of avoiding how political it is and therefore or for you know having a refined debate or discussion around wail consciousness in the importance of wales to our ecology. It almost gets lost in the kind of flashy idea of calling them persons unfortunately. I think that you know linda nolan from b._c. Who who is the the kind of voice of this from the british columbia level you know she even she can. <hes> acknowledged that it's at times can sound outlandish. <hes> two people people <hes> that we should call them persons but at the same time she believes fully that that they should be receiving the same protections and the same representation brennan tation as even corporation would or an industry while i was going to ask you. There's a famous quote by <hes> mitt romney. If you remember the corporations are people to my friends and it's because of the rights that are granted to them and you know if we grant those rights to corporations and we can grant them to bodies of water or parks <hes> as ridiculous as it it does seem when you see a headline <hes> in the walrus that says wales or people to <hes>. What did you think i do not disagree that in in the in these times you know as we're kind of coming to further understand the extinction crisis this on our hands. <hes> you know were kind of all talking about climate change in a much more serious even in the past two or three years than we have ever before i. I don't think it's ridiculous at all to start considering how we might provide nature legal rights. I think that what sets people off is comparison. <hes> it's using the word person in my observation. That's what really cannot set some people because they think it appeals to emotion and that that it's being used as a tool of activism which is easy to understand <hes> y for instance industry might think that way <hes> especially the tourism industry so it's a fine line and i don't you know i don't know the i don't know the right answer. <hes> david boyd the the u._n. Representative eh you know he he talks about how when you read through the paperwork that made the the new zealand river <hes> that granted legal person person hood that the wording is so so unique and so different from what we currently have you know it it requires businesses to enter into friendship partnerships partnerships with the park instead of business agreements. <hes> i think that to get to turn industry and business or corporate appreciate <hes> sensitivities in that way takes a lot of work not sure i'm not sure how easy it would be. Is it more effective as that legal legal device that may or may not ever actually be passed and grant them these rights or is it more effective as a method to engage people on the topic whether or not this ever happens. I think it would need to have some legal backbone to it. I think you know it's certainly works <hes> to have discussion. I think especially out here where i live we hear about those whales kind of characters all the time <hes> in the news on the radio they are charismatic charismatic creatures and it is important that we talk about it but until some actual kind of concrete legal steps happen. I don't know how seriously people will take well. Yeah i mean there is that <hes> bad aspect of personality to it and i mean the three whales that died this week. Were were numbers until i read the article and realized that it was j seventeen. Who was <hes> j. thirty five's mother yeah that's been torn apart yup for sure <hes> and that's also a you know an important distinction to make in a in a i think that it kind of links lem even even more to this idea of person hood right that you can lose a bloodline that you know they are matriarchal society which means that they can <hes> that they can make distinctions ends between mother and father roles. What nights is fascinating. It opens up a lot of questions about what we need to be doing for this kind of very imminent decline. That's right off our shores. Thanks thank you lindsey borgen a writer for the walrus lots of other places. That was the big story for more from us. You probably know the address by now but we're at the big story podcast dot c._a. Or on twitter the big story f. p. n. and we would like to hear from you. If you think wales are people you can also find us wherever you get podcasts wherever you're listening to us right now and several dozen than other podcast applications and you can subscribe and if it lets you you can write us and review us and we'll appreciate it. Thanks for listening. I'm jordan heath rawlings. We'll talk tomorrow mark.

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If we cant take the heat, how can we adapt to the kitchen?

The Big Story

24:11 min | 1 year ago

If we cant take the heat, how can we adapt to the kitchen?

"So I have this fan and my window. That's supposed to bring the air in if it's a bit cooler outside it makes a huge difference if it's not cooler outside. It's really just blowing in more hot air. The heat has a weird way of making you feel really sleepy but also nauseous so like for instance on Friday. When I went home it was really hot and I was really tired and I take a nap and I just kind of kept waking up from the snap feeling really sick but tired and I was like in a daze days for like an hour and eventually just had to get up and take a freezing cold shower and even that freezing cold shower didn't feel cold because I was so hot everything inside of me was just like needed to be cooled down? What did you end up doing? I I did not stay home that weekend. My boyfriend's place through air conditioning. It's usually what they do or my parents lease warnings blanket areas of Ontario Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador this hour for even in Canada is being blamed for at least seventy deaths or it is going to be muggy tonight tomorrow tomorrow night Monday Monday. Officials are cautioning those especially vulnerable to extreme heat to be extra careful. I'm lucky I have air-conditioning. It's included in my condo fees. I can use as much of it as I want and believe me. I do even though it's making the problem worse but people who don't have air conditioning people like our producer there beside who you heard earlier I don't even I know how the live some of these days and Claire is a healthy young and she can't live and her apartment when the he gets really bad there are thousands of less healthy people with the same problem. A lot of those people are isolated Amerian real danger every time the temperature spikes and you probably knew this one was coming but it's also happening more frequently much more frequently solutions to climate change are nice to think about and they are worth chasing. They don't matter here. A certain amount of temperature increase is already baked into this scenario so even if we magic our way out of this hell tomorrow we're still going to have to live with heat. What does that due to our bodies? And what do we do about that. How do we prepare individually? But how do we prepare our infrastructure or social. Programs are public policy to deal with a world where it's going to be a lot hotter and humans are ready for Jordan Keith Rawlings and this is the big story. Dr Blair felt the head of the intact center on climate adaptation of the University of Waterloo Waterloo. I Blair. Thanks for joining us well. Thanks for having me so I because <hes> I think maybe we don't quantify at the right way. Sometimes what is a heatwave and how do we get this description right technically yeah there is no universally agreed upon join a definition of heat wave but as general rule of thumb. We're talking about three days in a row where the temperature doesn't drop below thirty degrees Celsius day or night right. Do we often get that right. When we you see it reported in the media you know mentioned casualty and conversation <hes> probably maybe not so much casually in conversation people don't stick to the technical definition of they really mean? It's going to be real hot for the next few days. <hes> does it qualify as extreme weather in the same category as hurricanes flooding etc yes in my opinion. It does flooding the number one cost in Canada by far due to climate change the expression of extreme weather events we have more <hes> frequency with fires in the country now driven certainly impart at least due to climate change but but <hes> extreme heat is certainly <hes> driven by of climate change and things are going to get a lot hotter a lot quicker in this country going forward due to climate change. Do you think we understand that association as well as some other places in the world given that we have such a culture of it's so cold here and you know while the winter is the winter is Canada's time and then when it gets how we should just be grateful that it's hot yeah. There probably is a little bit of that but I think though in the last few years for example last July in in in Quebec as you as you well know weighed over six people die during an extreme heat event so I think that the magnitude of of these events now and and the constantly negative consequences associated with them that that certainly is drying more attention in the country that things are unusual over the past few years what kind of increase crease have we seen I in terms of heat wave specifically while we don't. We don't have really good date on heatwave specifically we have data on heat itself right and Canada's up about one point seven degrees Celsius over warmer on average over the period of the last <hes> seventy years and Canada's heating at two times the rate of the global average and indeed the further north you go in the country the disproportionately warmer it's getting relative to to background where they were pre industrial revolution solution so to speak but we've done some pretty good modeling so for example here in southern Ontario in reference to heat what they predictions are that <hes> right now for example. We have about twenty to twenty two days per summer in southern Ontario where the heat <hes> exceeds exceeds thirty degree Celsius by two thousand forty forty five that will go to sixty to sixty five days are maximum daily temperature right now in this southern Ontario region is about thirty seven degrees Celsius in twenty five thirty years from now that will go to <hes> forty to forty four degrees Celsius rate now we experience on average of about zero point six zero point five heatwaves per summer in other words again three days in a row where the temperature doesn't drop below thirty degrees Celsius in twenty two twenty five years from now in two thousand. forty-five that will go to to to two point five heatwaves per summer so things are getting a lot hotter quickly. How do we adapt to that? There's a lot of things we can do. There's physical adaptation and there's behavioral adaptation for example the vulnerability on the physical outside of the equation where I personally think there's great risk is <hes> and I'll I'll just use the example of Toronto for the moment but you could extrapolate to various other cities. We'll talk about every the why the swath across the country in a moment Toronto and give you just one example but you know quite frankly the the the numbers wouldn't be that far off for a Calgary or whatever you if you adjust for population but for example here in Toronto we have about five hundred thousand people living in apartment buildings that are eight stories and higher that that are more than thirty years old in terms of age and ninety five percent of these buildings do not have central air conditioning and only one third of them have backup electricity generating capacity to to run the building in the event that there's electricity outage so this is a recipe apiece for disaster because first of all these buildings are hot to begin with these old style buildings and if it's hot outdoors it's really hot indoors but let's say we had an electricity outage during a heatwave that means first of all water doesn't go above the sixth or seventh floor in a building when the pumps I don't run for the building under CD pressure won't go above the six or seven floor so you get people up on the fifteenth or twentieth floor. If if not hire during heat wave a don't have access to water be if they don't have backup generation to drive the elevators <hes> it means people have no way out there up their stock without a way out particularly. If if it's an older. Let's say out an older couple in their eighties. I don't know Walker. How how do they get down twenty four or you've got a single parent with a whole bunch of kids trying signed to take care of so they can be up without water and without air conditioning capacity combined with no ability to get out so this this is <hes> very dangerous situation so in terms of how do we adopt one situation is to focus on ensuring that we have backup generation to run pumps and elevators to give people first of all water in the event of an outage access to at least and billy to run fans for expedited as and then away out of the building by way of elevators for people like that? How long does it take an a heatwave for them to be endanger it can be a very short period of time and and and they're they're different classifications of people with vulnerability for example the elderly people with pre-existing respiratory conditions this can be <music> <hes> problematic for them? The very young and also homeless are quite vulnerable to these conditions so what we want to do and within a day or so of an extreme heat wave it can become problematic for these people that to the point of dangerous and what we WANNA do by way of adaptation is set up <hes> systems using the social NGOs to identify before he way whatever whatever Kerr where are these people. Where are they distribute? Where did they live and then make sure we have a system of people set up to check on these people these vulnerable people on a regular basis during heat wave knocking on doors and literacy? Are you okay. Do you need to go to a cooling center. Do you have adequate water <hes>. Do you have a fan <hes>. Do I need to take you to a cooling center to help you out but we we WANNA put these systems in place to make sure that we're not simply going a knocking on a door four days after heat wave and finding somebody in the extreme condition of suffering from from heat what about people <hes> who are in the same situation you described <hes> but our our young and healthy lake clear our producer who was talking to US earlier but how she's in that exact situation you know she's on a higher floor of an apartment building no central air no air conditioner. Does it take for them to endanger are they. In the same amount of danger <hes> they're not in the same amount of danger but but after two to three days of consistent heat can be problematic but if you're young and healthy generally speaking you can go out you can get somewhere to cool down and go you may go to a cooling center in the basement of the building. They might have one cool room. If they don't have central era even window air conditioners you can go to a cooling center. You could go to a shopping mall that might be cool down and so forth but it's the people that are more in the conditions whereby it's not so easy for them to get out and get to a place to cool down. They can find themselves in harm's way pretty quickly. How important is does it for temperatures to come down at night and are they still doing that? <hes> temperatures come down at night but increasingly so <hes> as mentioned earlier we are going to get more and more heat waves where it is still going to be persistently hot at night at may be not not as hot as it was during the day but still problematically hot and the modeling we've done on their shows quite clearly that you know the the extent and duration of these waves is going to be more problematic going forward so we need to prepare and we need to prepare quickly plus within within cities <hes> where eighty percent of Canadians live we also get a heat island effect cities can be one two three degrees Celsius beyond just normal ambient heatwave just driven by the city itself for example. There's dark surfaces within cities. The RUSSA buildings tend to be dark so when sunlight hits these dark surfaces it doesn't <hes> bounce back up into space radiate backup space the the energy stays in the system at ground level because the dark surface absorbs sunlight and that contributes to heating so one of the things we want to build into play more and more and more is to ensure that we have cool roofs which are basically dark roof painted white sunlight back into space and <hes> that will produce a cooling effect <hes> the <hes> we want to ensure that we maintain the tree canopy within cities because that also helps create shade and and produces a cooling effect so there's a lot of things we could do you know behaviorally structurally within buildings themselves <hes> outside within the surrounding communities and and then we also want to make sure that people from a personal perspective they remain hydrated they adjust the time of day at which they work you know particularly if they work outdoors they might WanNa start earlier in the morning and end at noon before the real heat kicks in they WANNA wear <hes>. Much later clothing right now I'm sitting in the student with a suit and tie on and this is about the worst you can do in reference to a heatwave. You don't WanNa address like this. You WanNa keep late and cool so you are coming on the radio to you didn't need to wear a suit and tie well there you go and <hes> it but even and that's an issue because it's it's habit forming so you know for someone who even has a reasonable degree of understanding of this challenge I I'm in a behavioral mode where I almost automatically put on a suit and tie so we've got a I have to get past that. How do we snap yeah people out of that? I think what's going to happen and we see it with the manifestation of extreme weather events in in lots of regions of the can of whether it's whether it's flooding or fires or heatwaves are <hes> sea level rise in the coastal regions and so forth increasingly so and you see this in the media all the time the frequency with which these extreme weather events are manifesting themselves is certainly on the increase and I think as a result of that Canadians are coming to the realization that look there is a change here <hes> that has happened in seems to be continuing to happen and therefore we better adapt and we'd better adapt fairly rapidly you mentioned some of the things we can do to our infrastructure to better prepare but in the meantime what are these extended periods of heat doing to our existing infrastructure are we built for this no not really for example just with road surfacing of the pavement we can see pavement buckling under extreme heat and so from a structural perspective have we put the expansion joints in place to allow for the heat rail lines can expand under he conditions and caused a buckling and destabilization for railways traveling on rail so <hes> in Canada's north. It's probably where we see. The greatest manifestation manifestation of problems due to heat. Maybe not a heat wave but heat in and of itself because <hes> permanently frozen ground permafrost in Canada's north is is thawing out in it literally and it's it's melting and this is causing tremendous problems for <hes> in reference to the structural integrity buildings in the north where they're literally tipping over there falling over on permafrost yeah they were they were built assuming that ground was going to be rock-solid year round and now it's thawing out and the stilts that are sitting on that ground are now tipping over in airports in the north is very problematic with runways that are <hes> almost realizing the equivalent of sinkholes runways as as the ground thaws and permafrost comes out of the ground. <hes> air runways are collapsing so the <hes> <hes> the manifestation of of heat particularly in the north which in areas of Kenneth North where heating at three to four times the global outrage. This is very very problematic. What about we've talked about cities mostly what about rural areas in particular agriculture because there's one aspect of this that I do here sometimes that more <hes> fertile land will become available in Canada and maybe this is the one positive thing out of climate change yeah so you can talk to for example sample potato farmers in Alberto and they will you know very often are not very sometimes make the case that they may be able to get one more crop per per season with a little bit extended <hes> extension in the temperature <hes> there or a bits and pieces of manifestation of a positive here in there in reference to <hes> heat but by and large negatives vastly outweigh the positives because our infrastructure is designed for a certain heat structure element and you even see the <HES> industries <hes> having to adjust to to heat now that you might not otherwise think for example whistler? Almost everybody in the country is familiar with whistler whether they've been there not but a popular ski resort Whistler is now one one point six degrees Celsius warmer today on average temperature than it was one hundred years ago and they're getting twenty percent less snowfall so they're actually having to adjust the business model of whistler to take into account mountain biking and hiking other attractors occurs to bring people into that region because the the the duration of season in accessibility to go skiing is being diminished due to climate change how have other places in the world where it's this hot a lot of the time learn to cope with us well they learned earned a cult through behavioral modification and a time of day at which they threw for example time of day at which they work <hes> the clothing they wear they try to have cooling facilities in in certain facilities but not always but in various places around the world and right now with a heat waves in in Europe <hes> we also have situations where large numbers of people are actually dying during his extreme heat events. So where are we adapting. The answer is yes or are we adopting fast enough. Probably the answer is no. Do you find that it's easier to convince them that at the extreme weather manifestations of heat waves are connected to climate change than it is with say <hes> tornadoes and hurricanes and flooding which we still there's still an argument in popular culture about how much of that can be attributed to climate. I'm a chance by and large relative to the manifestation of extreme weather risk whether where was it heat wave or a flood or a fire or whatever the the the factor may be I find for the general population you have to experience it once or maybe twice before you realize that are are have the sensation that this is probably real in something different. <hes> I work a great deal for example <hes> in reference to working to mitigate flood risk in the country and I find in citizen communities if they get flooded flooded out once they might kinda take you get hit hard <hes> they might take that as well that was just a one off but if they get to one and one hundred years storms in a five year period all of a sudden they start to get religion on the file and think oh there really is something going on here and we have to act <hes> so what we've gotta do. We've gotTA GET SMARTER THAN that and we've got anticipate. The chains that we know for sure is coming and by the way climate change Israel it has happened is happening and it's irreversible. It's here to stay period. There's nothing we can do to stop climate. Image we can slow it down but we can't stop it so we've got to transition into thinking ahead of the curve on preparedness relative adaptation and one of the limitations quite frankly and Canada has been that up until maybe two or three years ago ninety five percent of the discussion discussion on climate change in this country was on carbon pricing mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Should we have a cap and trade system or carbon tax and that really drew down probably ninety seven percent of the discussion about climate change was on pricing pricing carbon risk and I'm fully in favor of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions but what almost never got discussed was adaptation to the extreme weather. That's on the ground today which is more extreme than it was thirty years ago and that's going to get more extreme extreme in the future going forward so should we be talking about mitigating greenhouse gas emissions the answer's yes but not exclusively we should be focusing on adaptation should be fifty at adapting to extreme weather events should be fifty percent of our discussion on <hes> how we deal with climate change and then operationalizing the measures to put in place to mitigate the risk and by the way a lot of people think sometimes that adapting to extreme weather risks while this is going to be really costly but quite frankly when you're building new structures the first time or you have a scheduled schedule retrofit it costs almost the same amount of money to build something right under the umbrella of adaptation to climate change versus building it wrong but if you build it wrong and then have to retrofit. It's enormously expensive so I you know this is something that I think we have to understand and as a as a country that this is this is non-negotiable proposition adopted too extreme weather risk one of the last things I wanna ask you as you mentioned way back at the beginning of our discussion about what you're modeling would say about number of days above thirty degrees by twenty four forty twenty forty-five how much of that is already based on what's baked in to climate change now regardless of what we do five years down the road and how much room is they're still for it to get worse. Effectively the the numbers I described relative to escalate heating. They're baked into the system probably not the best word to use but maybe it is the best word they are baked into the system and <hes> sometimes people will look at <hes> Canada and other countries being signatories for example to the Paris accord which is a good thing which I'm in favor of the Paris accord and I'm glad that we signed but the reality of the situation globally as this and I'm back not not too long ago maybe two months ago speaking to the U.. N. G. Twenty <hes> climate group in Argentina on this whole topic of climate. I meant change and what I found there what that for countries that were signatories to the Paris accord they all said more or less the following the and this is what I'm saying that extreme heat is not going to go away anytime soon or other forms of expression of climate change virtually what all the G. Twenty countries said is that we will work to embrace energy efficiency we will work to embrace renewable power we will work to to to Laura Mitigate our carbon footprint but we will do sort our own pace with their own verification and at a rate it at which does not negatively impact our economies so in other words vacations lot of qualification in other words. They're not going to live up to the Paris accord. Virtually none of these countries are gonNA meet their commitments. Everybody gets very upset at the United States for pulling out but even for the ones who stayed in they're not gonNA meet their their their commitments number. One in the reality is and I was just looking at the numbers from the International Energy Agency rate now on this planet about eighty to eighty one percent of world energy supply at this moment comes from about a third third third coal oil natural gas that that's where we get our energy on the planet three fossil fuel based sources the when they're burnt they released C._o.. Two in the atmosphere which drives more warming more more climate change by two thousand and forty and these are recent numbers from the International Energy Agency and even if they're off by a percent or two in their calculations really it makes no difference it will still be eighty-one percent of world energy supply will come from third third third coal oil and natural gas but the carbon footprint by two thousand and forty will be collectively about twelve to fifteen percent greater than it is today and that will be and that's driven through population growth on the planet more people on the planet the world's most people many people don't realize the worldnet population changes on a per hour basis by eleven thousand people per hour. If you subtract deaths from burs every single our there's eleven thousand more people on the planet which translates through tonight five million more people on the planet per year which means another one point two to one point five billion people on the planet by two thousand thirty thirty five and those people require energy and a great percentage of that energy based John. I A projections is going to come from fossil fuels and indeed recently when I set with the chief climate delegate from India <hes> over lunch she made the point to she made the following point to me she said Blair in our my country right now we have between three hundred and three hundred fifty million and people who don't have access to freshwater and they don't have access to electricity by two thousand Twenty Six two thousand twenty seven three quarters of those people will have access to electricity and three quarters of that electricity supply will come from coal fired electricity generation period without offsetting those gases so I'm not trying to be alarmist. I'm just saying this is the reality that's on the table and we really really need to prepare for extreme heat floods fires sea level rise permafrost loss particularly you obviously in northern regions and the single biggest problem we have in Canada right now on the climate file by far is complacency. We think we have the luxury of time and we do not have it every day. We don't adapt is a day we don't have and we have to move much much doc much quicker on this file thing we currently are so work on reversing it over the long term but adapt right now that's exactly and adopt rapidly work on reversals and adapt work on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions but adapt to the extreme weather. It's on the ground right now. Thank you thank you very much. Dr Blair felt mate had of the intact center for Climate Adaptation. The University of Waterloo I was the big story for more from US can find us at the big story podcast dot C._A..

Canada Toronto US Dr Blair producer Ontario Quebec Newfoundland whistler International Energy Agency University of Waterloo Jordan Keith Rawlings Ontario Quebec Calgary University of Waterloo Waterlo Walker billy Paris
Why impaired boating includes basically everything now

The Big Story

22:09 min | 1 year ago

Why impaired boating includes basically everything now

"The questions I'm about to ask our silly but the reason I'm asking them will become clear during today's episode so have you ever had a beer while paddling a canoe what about drinking and a Kayak what about cracking a cold one while lounging in your nearest lake on an inflatable mattress for those of US lucky enough to have cottages or cabins and that's kind of a summer weekend ritual and although you know by now or at least you really should you can't operate a motorboat after having a couple. A canoe is different right or at the very least a floating lounger certainly is right. Maybe right now it depends on the cops and the courts the judge a recent conviction that came about after a tragedy has now opened the door for just about anything involving watercraft and alcohol from canoes is to those loungers two pool noodles technically and yes an impaired boating conviction will cost you your driver's license and leave you with a permanent criminal record so yeah was questions not so silly anymore Jordan Keith Rawlings. This is the big story week. One of our Friday cottage in-cabin Specials Ryan Platt is an Ottawa based reporter with the National Post Brian. Hello why don't you start by <hes> just telling me because I hadn't seen it until the ruling came down the story of David Cillers and how all this began so this started in April twenty seventeen it was was originally a police call just about somebody who seemed to be in distress on a freeway ramp in Ontario's cottage country so it's near <unk> brace bridge in the Muskoka region of Ontario and when the police arrived the sky was shivering cold hold and he had no shoes on and he was soaking wet. It was just barely above zero that day and what eventually the police figured out from talking to him was he had been out on a canoe in the river. The canoe had tipped and a boy a young boy eight years old had been <hes> carried away on the river and they were very close to a waterfall and he went over as it turned out he went over the waterfall so the police quickly conducted a search found the young boy who was who was already dead in the water by that point and the police then turn to the question of intoxication breathalysed David Sellers who was thirty seven years old at the time he was over the legal limit and so he was charged with impaired operation of a vessel Russell and this ended up becoming the first case ever to go to court <hes> at least that anybody can find in any court records is the first ever time cases gone to court to test whether a canoe counts as a vessel in our impaired driving laws because doesn't tell this boats have counted on impaired driving laws since the nineteen sixty one but until this point had all been motorized boats powerboats and things like that this was the first time that edit ever been tried on a canoe and so the judge had to rule on whether canoe who counted and he ultimately ruled yes so tell me <hes> how the police have traditionally dealt with incidents like these if this had never been tested in court until now I think it really depends on the police force in the part of the country but in Ontario for whatever reason. Season Ontario police have been more likely this includes both the Ontario provincial police and I believe also the regional police forces in the G._T._A.. The Greater Toronto area so the Peel region police and I think even the Toronto Police have also taken in the stands but especially the Ontario provincial police who patrol cottage country and much of the Great Lakes areas and a lot of waterfronts in Ontario have long taken the stance that because vessel is not defined in the criminal code which the whole issue here. It's just been a unclear term for the decades that it's been in the criminal code. Ontario provincial police have long taken the view that canoes and Kayaks and paddleboats all count as a vessel but prosecute prosecute so then they have laid charges before we know I talked to <hes> -Tario police <hes> marine unit coordinator so in in coordinates a lot of the marine enforcement activities that they do. He said he knows that they charged three people who in twenty eleven but the prosecutors withdrew the charges because they didn't think there was a reasonable chance of conviction in court so basically police have been trying to make this happen for a while but prosecutors felt that they didn't have a very good chance of a conviction court in some ways. I think they he may have been waiting for the right case to come along because if you're looking to set a legal precedent you want what's called a good set of facts and so a case where an eight year old boy died because the person operating the canoe with him <hes> was intoxicated. That's the kind of case I think prosecutors decided this is a serious enough case that we're willing to take it to court so what had to happen. <hes> in the months between when the police investigated and decided to lay the charges and until it came in front of a judge for a ruling what was interesting was there was a parliamentary bill that was being debated kind of alongside this as a criminal case was was playing out in fact so Cillers was charged in April twenty seventeen and it was in April two thousand seventeen at the same time the government introduced an impaired driving bill bill c forty six this hiding of the bill was totally coincidental. It was actually meant to coincide with the introduction of their bill to legalize marijuana so the same time the government legalizing marijuana it wanted to make sure that it was taking public safety very seriously so it introduced an impaired driving bill to go with it but what's interesting is that the bill c forty six contained all kinds of changes to impaired driving laws including to allow police to start checking for marijuana at the side of the road but it also looked to fix up a bunch of areas of the law and one of the areas that it looked to fix up. Was this long-standing issue that there's no definition of what a vessel is so at the same time that you had this precedent setting in case potentially coming forward to court because prosecutors had decided to go forward with charges against Mister Solarz you had parliament with a bill where the Justice Department was proposing. They said they're information was that prosecutors. Don't go forward with this charge in so they were proposing to clarify the definition of vessel to say doesn't count as anything that's powered exclusively by muscle power which is basically to say that if you're just paddling you're not counted impaired driving loss so so you had this bill that was going to clear up this point at the same time that this case had just been started in M._p.'s were ultimately convinced. This was about six months later they there was protests. They heard about this case for one thing. which I do think played a role they also so how protests from safe boating advocates sane? We are are mass GINA's at any. If you're intoxicated you shouldn't go out on the water and so this bills a problem for us. If you're saying paddlers don't count M._p.'s were convinced by that. They took that clause. <unk> out of the bill and so the part that would have cleared up what a vessel council has was taken out of the bill and so the definition remained bag which meant the judge had to rule on it and so what did the judge rule uh specifically the judge it. There's an inch so there there was a separate ruling on this aspect of the case it came out in November twenty eighteen and the judge had to hid invited arguments for both sides from the crown about why canoe should counting are impaired driving laws and from the the defense about why it shouldn't and the judge had to because like it's just has vessels in the criminal code. It doesn't say what a vessel is and so the judge had to look through dictionary definitions through legal definitions from from other countries and the two things though that I think were the most <hes> influential in the judge is thinking was Howard vessels treated in other law laws in Canada so not the criminal code but like marine regulations said <hes> are based on <hes> customs regulations and things like that and also what happened at parliament because parliament the M._p.'s had the chance to remove paddling and chose not to and so based on those two factors the the judge ruled that essentially if you can use it to navigate on a waterway it's a vessel and <hes> so that would mean canoes count and it would also potentially include a lot of other things but particularly uh-huh kayaks and rowboats and things like that so that was a separate ruling and the trial had still not completed then which back came recently exactly so the crux of this is that slurs was charged with basically really two types of offenses the four charges and total but the two types of offenses were impaired driving offenses and then a criminal negligence causing death charge and so if the judge had ruled that canoes don't count the criminal negligence the charge would have gone forward but the other charges couldn't have because they were impaired driving offenses he ended up getting convicted of all four and so when this was being debated in parliament and justice officials were explaining why they were going to paneling out of impaired. We're driving charges. They said our understanding is that prosecutors. Don't use these charges anyway but even so at criminal negligence. Herge is is seems like the appropriate charge to us in a case where somebody is intoxicated about and causes either bodily godly harm or death the thing about an a negligent criminal negligence charge is that it there's a high burden on the crown to prove it. They have to prove that somebody was acting not just carelessly but in a marked departure from how a reasonable person person would act in those circumstances and recklessly endangered somebody's life and so it's not just carelessness. It's criminal action and in this case of course they were I think based on following the case they were easily easily able able to meet that threshold to say that he acted in a criminally negligent way and that's why this eight year old boy died the impaired driving charge though which he was also convicted of it's much easier for prosecutors to get that conviction because it it's the act it's not whether you endanger somebody's life or not it's it's actually simply the act of paddling while you're drunk or stoned that becomes illegal and once they've got the breathalyzer tests and they can show you were indeed paddling or controlling the canoe in any way. You're basically cooked. That is the illegal act right there unless you can find some kind of procedural error which defense lawyers are very good at doing but it is the reason why this is. I think an interesting legal conundrum is because impaired driving laws are extremely serious laws and have gotten it seems like almost every year governments are are increasing the penalties around them but they're meant. They're designed for motorized vehicles. That's why they're so serious because they endanger the public and so now if you have this applied to paddlers. Are we really saying that you are guilty of this very very serious criminal offence just for paddling we'll in there are mandatory minimums. I mean maybe not specifically but acceptable mandatory minimums minimums for any <hes> impaired driving conviction right Yup. It's <hes> so there's a judge's only have a certain amount of discretion under these laws because there are mandatory minimums and and having you know report a lot on the justice system in Ottawa and and <hes> you know legislation that would amend the Criminal Code. I personally don't believe that mandatory minimums unimpaired driving are ever going away. I think that this is one of the mandatory minimums that the government will always keep and and so it's a mandatory minimum fine for if it's just a basic I defense and you're driving of it's at least a thousand dollars. It might even be more than that. That's on a first offense on the second offense you quickly get into mandatory jail time and of course if there's any kind of bodily harm or death involved then jail time is almost given but this is the thing about impaired driving is that you don't even have to hurt anybody. If you get caught doing it. That's the criminal offense and so we now in the situation where even just paddling Adalina canoe or Kayak or almost anything else that you can use on the water you are subject to all these these mandatory minimum sentences and you don't even have to have heard anybody and so given the conviction and given the fluid the definition of vessel. What does this precedent actually opened the door for because I know I know paddlers and you could make a case for canoeing with children or row boating with children and putting people at serious risk of bodily harm but there are all sorts of other other vessels out there that I would have never imagined counting under this law yes and so the first thing that needs to be said here is that this was a decision of Ontario called the Ontario Court of Justice so it's the Lower Court Ontario okay with means it's not it's not a binding finding decision on other courts that doesn't Happen Front for the province of Ontario until it goes to a higher court such as the Ontario Court of Appeal and it wouldn't happen even for it wouldn't be binding on other provinces until the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on it so we may eventually get to that point but at this point a if a case comes to a different judge that judges may rule differently because this is not a binding legal precedent but I think it will be very influential because it's the first case that's ever dealt with this so having established that it basically comes down to what prosecutors think a judge will agree as a vessel because there's not a clear definition in the criminal code because parliament has never given a clear definition so does a stand up paddle board count for example? I think it probably does does a surfboard. I'd say or I mean I used an example my article somewhat ridiculous example of a pool noodle but if you're using it to float into navigate an channel. Does that mean that you're included an impaired driving laws me. Where exactly do we draw the line here? I think the judge is unlikely to sign off on something such as a pool noodle but a stand up paddle board. I think if you do it after you've had four beers I think you're probably guilty of a criminal offense as it currently stands will end to your point earlier I mean. If you end up with a a good enough set of facts in which a minor or somebody is hurt or killed. There's now a legal precedent at least to make that argument well. This is the we are basically in the realm. Now of you know prosecutorial discretion on what prosecutor decides is a good enough case that they want to bring forward and I do suspect that for the most part prosecutors when bring forward a case unless they believe that it is an egregious case that deserves <hes> prosecution I think they will they will tread carefully in other words but they don't have to and this is why you always have to be careful about how the criminal code is <hes> structured right because you don't want to open cases up where people are are prosecuted unfairly and I think now if you have a situation where <hes> police are are upset at you in any way or even just in a bad mood it really messes up your life to even get charged with impaired driving because it's an automatic license suspension in in most provinces I believe voting laws are they're definitely including that Ontario. I think that's the case with most provinces it. There's all these mandatory penalty kick in right away and then a conviction I mean it's a permanent criminal record. It also makes it sometimes comes with driving prohibitions. It can be very expensive to get your driver's license back again in the pair driving charge let alone a conviction can really mess up your life and the police now are within their rights really to lay it on anybody they find out on the water who can't pass a breathalyzer test so this might seem like a self evident question based on what you just told me but just to be clear. It's a driver's license that we're talking about here so you could lose your ability to drive a car <hes> for operating theoretically at least stay a paddle board while intoxicated yes those so the driver's licenses is a provincial question when we're talking about criminal code. It's federally regulated. I see the dried the the driver's license suspensions are administered under the Highway Traffic Act which is was which is a provincial acts of these are all called. They're called administrative penalties and provinces because of that reason it's different in every province but by this point most provinces have automatic roadside suspensions engines that kick in as soon as you're even charged with impaired driving and so in other words if you get charged with impaired if you're if you fail a breathalyzer tested side of the road you can't drive away your drivers license gets immediately suspended and often your targets impounded. I don't know one hundred percent. How many provinces is this is the case for but I know it's the case in Ontario d seem penalties that kick in <hes> for at the roadside for your car kick in for boating so if you are caught if you're charged sorry with impaired operation of a vessel in your out on the water all the same automatic driver's license suspensions kick in and the police could even impound your car if they wanted to? There are within their rights to do it when you talk to people in the legal community about this ruling in the questions it raises <hes> what's their reaction action. There's a really mixed reaction to this. I mean a lot of defense lawyers. Unsurprisingly think that this is a step too far but you know a lot of those lawyers would include people who are defending impaired driving clients read time and so they're they're already very skeptical at how much power police have when it comes to <hes> impaired driving enforcement. It's a little more interesting. I and I and I think generally prosecutors police are certainly I mean you look at the Ontario provincial police <hes>. <hes> they're already out on social media promoting the fact that they can charge you with impaired paddle really they're. They're thrilled with this. Yes and I talked to the coordinator for Marine Enforcement and he said it's a fantastic decision and thinks that it will mean that there they can start charging more paddlers Adler now because they tried to do it. Before of course it was prosecutor soon. Bring it forward because it's a point that that you raised in one of your pieces if vessels is so open for definition. Is there anything that prevents us from having the same open definition finishes applied to waterways like what is a waterway it the criminal the criminal code is not clear on this right. I mean it it will it will be up to judges to decide and so in his ruling I mean the defense raised the the they said well. This has been charged her floating on a rubber dinghy in your backyard pool well yeah and and the judge said no based on his interpretation of the candidateship in act which he was relying on heavily for what counts as a vessel or not it would needs to be on a navigable waterway so something that you are using to basically transport people or goods and the public is using it and commerce's using it and so on so your backyard pool doesn't count but that's not based on anything in the Criminal Code that's based on this one. The judge's work to interpret a very vague phrase in the criminal code and another judge might come at this differently. There's no guarantee and so ultimately this is the fault of parliament because parliament never defined this properly in the criminal code and that's something that parliament is supposed to do. It's going to be up to judges to figure out what counts and what doesn't count and one judge may have a different opinion about this than another judge and so what's immediately next for this ruling you mentioned that each province would kind of have to decide whether or not <hes> it would be binding on their own <hes> do the people you talk to in the stuff you found in your reporting. Give you any indication of whether this will actually end up being something that's binding or if this is just a sort of weird ruling ruling that will eventually be clarified. I suspect that for now it's going to depend on the case. I mean a lot of people when they look at this alerts case feel that this was such a sad and tragic case that the charges has seemed appropriate. What's going to really test? The system is when you have something where somebody has not hurt. Anybody has not done anything is not really endanger the public but has been charged with impaired operation save a canoe and in fact it already appears to have happened one case because there was a report in the Thunder Bay newspaper that has soula coat man so it's a small community north west of Thunder Bay has been charged because because police some around L. midnight he was paddling no lights or anything out in the water but he was impaired <hes> and was charged with impaired operation of a canoe. That's a case where nobody's been hurt but maybe you argue. It's it's dangerous enough activity especially you should be doing at night that the charges through justified but the these cases to come forward. That's where it's going to be very interesting to see if a judge decides this is inappropriate charge but until parliament he clarifies the law or a higher court ways in it's going to be a case by case basis. Thanks Brad thank you Brian. PLATTE is a national post reporter based in Ottawa. That was the big story live from the cottage cannot live if you want more of them. You can find them at the big story podcast dot C._A.. We can hit us up on twitter at the big story F. You can also subscribe rate review you all of it for free. Wherever you get your podcast that's apple or Google or stitcher or spotify?

Ontario prosecutor Ottawa Toronto Police David Cillers US reporter David Sellers M._p. National Post Ontario Court of Justice Jordan Keith Rawlings Toronto Ontario Court of Appeal marijuana Great Lakes Ryan Platt Herge twitter
Stalkerware: When a phone becomes a tool of abuse

The Big Story

23:23 min | 1 year ago

Stalkerware: When a phone becomes a tool of abuse

"There is a terrifying thing that happens to our technology in an abusive relationship, all those devices that people use in the course of their everyday lives from home security cameras to internet search histories to GPS data and find my phone features those become not useful information or helpful tack, but potential weapons, an abuser and the smartphone is potentially the worst of all the latest report from citizen lab, a Canadian research center calls it the predator in your pocket, and the organization has issued a warning about what's known as Stocker wear. And how helpful it can be facilitating cases of technology fueled violence and abuse. So what is stock wear. How easy is it for an abuser to install it on a victim's phone? How can you tell if it's been installed on yours, what options do the police, and the courts have to protect victims and how? How are these programs able to be sold on apps stores, when they are marketed specifically at people looking to keep watch over their partners without their knowledge? Jordan, Keith Rawlings. And this is the big story, Kate Robertson is a research fellow with citizen lab and also a criminal player for coming and Kate as for having me, can you start by explaining what is Stocker wear? What does the term referred? Well, it's my easiest to understand soccer wears a spectrum of different types of technology that can be used in an abusive manner, and it's often in statistics tend to suggest that it tends to be abusive men who use technology in a way that allows them to either surveillance, without the knowledge of the target women, girls and children predominantly or to use technology and a more exploitive sense. That's overt in brazen in the sense it, it's used in a harassing manner threatening manner or an expletive manner. What does that actually look like? What kind can you give me some examples on, we've been looking at Stocker where from a number of angles? But with. You think about it as a spectrum of different types of technology can really be surprisingly, a lot of different types of technology that we see in use in our day to day lives that we don't necessarily associate as abusive source of harm. And so when I say that I think about different types of apps on our phone or functions on our phones, for example, like a fine, my friends function, which we think of to us to help us keep track of our phone quite literally, but even helpful and, and legitimate types of technologies like that can be repurpose for, for a more malicious. And in that, for instance, in the context of find my friend function that could be a geo location, tracking, and essentially monitoring the very fine movements of an individual throughout the city where they're going, what types of friends. They're associating. What kind of restaurants whether they're going to, for example, shelters to receives support or a lawyer's office to get legal advice and even what kind of? Lawyer's office. So you can imagine that our location is a very revealing type of activity and in the context of ongoing form of surveillance or harassment. It can be very damaging in pernicious type of activity, but on the other end of the spectrum, we've been looking at type of more malicious and powerful form of a malware, which is essentially a programmer, an application off, as we refer to them, which can be quite easily installed, perhaps, without someone's knowledge on their their phone, and it allows the person who's operating this program to remotely monitor all of the person's activities on their phone, essentially, you, think about the way that we interact with our phones and a day to day life. And it's completely seamless. And so our techs our phone calls or emails, photographs, videos, all kinds of very personal and private types of data is coming and going on her phone and these apps. Apps are particularly serious and disturbing nature because it allows almost unlimited access to this data without the persons knowledge or consent. You mentioned it's pretty easy. How easy if I gave you my phone, how long would it take? What would you have to put some of the stuff on my phone? Well, we found, and we've been looking at a handful of commonly available ups that are available at a consumer level either online or common apps stores that we all know in us. And so, when you think about cybersecurity. For example, we often think about, you know, the hacker in a foreign country that's somehow find a hole into our phone, and they're looking for some way to exploit our data, but often phones and other types of cybersecurity measures, don't necessarily think about the threat from within your own home. And so if someone has essentially a two minute window of opportunity say while you're in the shower. Or on, you know in another room. You know, that's probably all all about the time of you would need to be able to install and download one of these programs. If you have a access to unlock it, essentially, how detectable are they would, I know usually I downloaded new out by yet on my phone's desktop screen. You know, there's a, a range of different types of programs. But some of the programs that we've been looking at, in particular, one of the essential problems with the business model and the practice relating to these products is that they really go around what we understand, to be commonly accepted laws and norms, relating to data protection, data access, and that we need to have given consent to have data sharing with a third party. So these apps operate in a manner, and have the clear potential and marketed opportunity to provide the remote surveillance with access to data without giving any notice, so the apps can operate in the background of your phone. You'd never have any pop up. Necessarily, that's letting you know that your data's being sent to another phone and watched in that way. But certainly there are steps that can be taken. And this is often how some of these stories are coming to light is that perhaps are being used in a brazen way where the person's expressly telling the person, I have all your emails. I know where you've been and you start to gather and suspect through a variety of clues that someone might have access to your data because how else, for example, would they come to know certain pieces of knowledge and that kind of thing, technically speaking, there's ways to detect, you know, for, for someone looking at the phone, whether they're other signs that are not might be operating in the background, in that manner, like looking at the battery usage or stuff like that. I guess it's, it's hard to is summarize a one size all fix for detection, and certainly a complicated area. But, you know, signs that you might have something operating. Your background is is looking at. Whether other devices have had access to Illich in the background and the settings on various apps that you might be using whether there's been an unknown device, accessing it, whether your phone has been jail, broken, and so steps that can be done to reduce the risk of this, as you know, updating your operating system or enabling two factor authentication, I was centrally means that whenever data's access there has to be to devices that you use an an have entered the password into before data's accessed. So you mentioned that these apps some of the ones that you're looking at are marketed this way that legal this, we're talking, it doesn't seem like I mean, some of the stuff you've already discussed is outside the law. So how are these apps created who's making them we certainly haven't exhaustively looked at every single app provider. That's available in the marketplace. But we've certainly we, we've looked in particular in the citizen lab. Reporting research, eight companies in particular that offer services like this, and part of the findings of. Our our work has been that the advertising practices. Sometimes an and quite often six of the eight companies expressly in some form hod monitoring of a spouse or intimate partner is part of their advertising package. And so the certainly not the entire market, but it's certainly something that companies seem to offer as part of their service. And so that raises a number of very important questions that you picked up on re regarding the legality of their products as well as how they've made them available in the marketplace. And we had to companion reports that were released this week and one of those looks at ecosystem itself, including for example, there advertising practices, but also a really holistic picture of the Canadian laws that might apply to this type of commercial activity. Okay. And you know it's funny because if you if you think. About well, you know, we'll go set about identifying all the different types of laws that could apply to this. And it wind up being a much bigger endeavor than we'd initially envisioned because there are truly so many laws in Canada, that do have the potential to apply from a criminal perspective from the perspective of civil law remedies. That might be available for the victims of this type of behavior as well as the role of various regulators in Canada, who might have a mandate over different product safety, from a consumer level issues as well as privacy legislation. So you mentioned that all these things exist are any of them being used and applied now to this kind of malware that has been one of the major findings that there even though we didn't identify actually very, many gaps in the law itself, there's a huge disparity between what the law says about this type of service. If you could call it dot or these types of products. And how the law is responding and I would say that it's responding. Little if not at all, like this is a common theme. When we talk about crimes that occur online and the Canadian legal system. That's a fair comment. And, and I, I would say that over the years, we've definitely seen movement towards responding to the ways in which crimes, and abuse can be perpetrated and digital landscapes. And that's not necessarily unique to the criminal lot often law will try and keep up. But with modest success and technological change when it comes to, for example, these, there's very specific type of malware that we've been looking at we haven't been able to find any case that has landed in a criminal court relating to the use the development or the sale of this type of product and that certainly not because the criminal laws in Canada wouldn't clearly apply. We have outlined in our report, how those laws have clear potential to apply not only to individuals who use these apps in a malicious way. But also the company. Is that develop and create the programs as well as those who offer it for sale and profit off of it. Did you find any cases where it was brought to the attention of the authorities, and then no prosecution happened that was part of the purpose and endeavouring in this area of research, is that although it over the years, we've increasingly come to know of the extent, perhaps, you could call it a tip of the iceberg in terms of our knowledge of the problem. It's really hard to say for sure how big the iceberg is because we've heard about it through, for example, investigative journalists other civil society actors who've been doing research in the area as well as in particular, frontline support workers, who have worked with, for example, women and women shelters where they go for support in the context of domestic violence and abuse and anecdotally, we've heard frequent reports of these types of concerns being raised. And sometimes we brought to the police, but have to. Only skip to the end of the story because I don't know everything that happens in between that we don't have known cases as to how they've been dealt with. And so there's any number of reasons that can explain why case may or may not be acted on, but it's not something I can tell you or your audience because we just don't know. But that's something that we're hoping to shed light on in this research, because part of the issue is certainly, making sure that people understand that this is a problem that it is part of a broader more systemic problem with respect to technology facilitated abuse against women, and girls and gender-based, violence, or generally. And so while we can certainly look to different technological fixes and ways that the private sector can mitigate the problem. It's certainly something that needs to be looked at holistically not only by law enforcement, but other policy-makers legislatures and regulators in Canada, when you talk to people like shelter workers and other folks who are on the front lines of. Domestic violence partner violence in Canada. What do they tell you about this problem specifically as it's something, they're seeing more of their general awareness of it, because I don't feel like there is in the general population well, in terms of the statistics and research that we do know of in Canada per se the that has come from frontline workers themselves, and the support context, and so there has been some studies in, in Canada, in terms of collecting the reported experiences through frontline workers, and, and certainly that's an indicator of the problem. It's also an indicator that further research would be useful and necessary in order to understand the full scope of the problem. How these cases are being handled, and the the prevalence. And in Canadian society, but what these workers are reporting is, I would say, primarily they struggle with a feeling of being overwhelmed with the problem because they seem to report that numerous people are coming to them with this type of problem. They they're holding a phone. They don't know. Whether they can trust their own phone, or how to fix and solve the problem and, and certainly support workers and social workers or not trained to be tech tech experts, and so they themselves don't know necessarily how to what advice to give them. And so it's certainly an access to Justice problem in that we don't have obvious solutions when you think about it. When you have a concern about your phone in our day to day life. If we need some type of support or health, one of the first places we go to our phone, and so it can create a, a real catch twenty two in a sometimes even dangerous way. And that if you're googling we're making calls or going to locations that are reflective of your knowledge and insight into the problem, it has the potential to put you at risk. If the person is monitoring your own growing awareness of the problem. And so that's something that certainly support workers have identified as something that they struggle with is what to recommend individuals, do, that's. That situation. So what did you and citizen lab come out of this research, recommending, where there were there, some key things that really need to happen? One area, certainly is that the phone providers and designers as well as AP providers and designers have their own responsibility as individuals that are creating these programs and software to turn their minds to cybersecurity from our perspective of individuals who are invulnerable communities and who are vulnerable to this type of and abuse. And so when we think about cybersecurity, we can only think about it from the perspective of the foreign hacker, but also the surveillance from within our own home, in so there's a number of ways that apps and phones can be designed to better protect us from this type of malware, for example. And so the private sector has an important responsibility. That certainly includes these companies who are expressly making these products available on the marketplace without, for example, having even identified in. In their websites or online information. People who've been at targeted and, and victimize end of their own products how how they can remedy the situation for example. And so that's a clear oversight. And, and we've identified a number of ways that their business practices violate Canadian laws in that in that regard including privacy legislation. But in terms of other actors in the legal system, law enforcement and other regulators who have the opportunity in the laws available to them to investigate this type of issue, not only at the one on one individual level. But also or systemically we've identified a number of areas that might work towards the goal of cutting. The problem off more at the source. So the company level or for example, even the, the idea that class proceedings could be could be looked at as a form of securing some of the civil remedies that might be available in this context where you do have some of that. I. Problem, where the victims are of this type of activity may not even know that they're victims in that in that way. And then, you know, more broadly rather than a specific fix or recommendation, one of the most important ways that we identified moving forward and, and working towards fixing the problem is recognizing that the problem exists, and connecting it to that broader source of gender-based harm that does exist in our society, and so recognizing the problem is, as they say the first step to recovery. Is this something you've seen out side of citizen lab, as a criminal lawyer, is it showing up in the courts now, it certainly is, and I've had a number of different opportunities to observe this problem in the course of my career so far. And a number of ways that the courts are slowly starting to respond, for example, when I first started out, I worked as a crown prosecutor, and there would be sometimes instances of technology, facilitated abuse that would. Perhaps come up in the context of a set of facts, that related to another more traditional type of offense like assault or threat. And these facts would essentially be re read in as what they call is aggravating facts, but they wouldn't necessarily be the subject of more specific charges. And so you can see from that perspective a window into how other types of domestic abuse. Whether it's harassment or domestic violence and assault often goes with other types of technology, facilitated abuse. And while we haven't seen criminal cases that relate more, specifically to this type of malware that we've been researching, we have seen other types of technology facilitated offenses, that have been increasingly active acted upon by law enforcement, as well as prosecutors and the courts. And so a good example of that is offensive nonconsensual distribution of intimate images, which is a bit of a mouthful. But it it's calming. Revenge porn. That's correct. And that don't that label itself has a number of problems associated with about this, certainly how it's commonly known and that something that was literally not an offense in Canadian law until there was a mend -ment that did fill that legal gap. And that's something we've now seen many, many cases going through the Canadian courts, the first thing I thought when when reading the report and listening to, to how you discuss the way these things are made as the problem that stems from a crazily, male dominated field, making apps marketing apps, the tech sector general. Well, that's certainly something that we've as a society and security rate researchers have certainly been trying to shine a light on is that diversity and the profession is a very important thing because issues like this just, simply aren't necessarily crossing the minds of individuals who have the privilege of not being afraid of being the target of this. Type of abuse. And so that's something that certainly needs to be addressed as a company and private sector level. What should someone who might suspect has Maur on her phone or even who confirms it? What should the next step be would you recommend? They go mmediately to the police that basic help at a shelter. What's out there? Well, I have to give it a somewhat nuanced answer to this question. Because part of the risk is associated with the fact that they're perceiving that their phone may be infected already, which means some of the data that they might create by virtue of trying to solve the problem might be fall into the hands of the person who they they've identified a safety concern in respective. And so if for example, you're being tracked in terms of your geo location, going to the police station will become potentially a known, fact and so risk management is entirely a core part of whatever recommendation in. Individuals might receive when they're speaking to support workers or going for other sources of support and that, that problem can be managed and should be managed and other actors need to take responsibility for making these pathways to safety available because we certainly can't leave the burden of this problem on the shoulders of the individuals who are experiencing this type of harm. But in terms of steps that could be taken, for example, one starts at the phone level in terms of updating your operating system changing all the passwords, and your apps and on your phone and enabling. For example, two factor authentication, which helps mitigate some of the risks that are present in the consumer marketplace from from these apps, and I've heard some recommend, for example, that at the end of the day, if someone is their safety is at risk, the police need to be the source of support in order to secure their safety. And so that's going to be something that at the individual level people. Way measure, but another stop that someone might think about taking is taking the phone to the actual phone company, for example, Roger store and having getting sources of tech help that might not otherwise be available and it's not necessarily an obvious clue. Why you're going to the Rodgers store? For example, and so creative solutions are unfortunately, what are necessary in that type of problem? Thanks for this. Thanks for having me. Kate Robertson, a research fellow at citizen lab, and a criminal lawyer that was the big story, if you want more, you can go to the big story, podcast, dot CA. You can also find us on Twitter at the big story. F PIN and us. And all our fellow shows at frequency podcast network dot com. Don't forget to write us and review us and subscribe for free, wherever you get podcasts on apple and Google on Stitcher on Spotify. Thanks for listening. I'm Jordan heath Rawlings. We'll talk tomorrow.

Canada Kate Robertson Jordan heath Rawlings Stocker research fellow soccer harassment partner Twitter Illich programmer Keith Rawlings assault Rodgers apple Roger
When a murder investigation goes horribly wrong: Part One

The Big Story

22:09 min | 1 year ago

When a murder investigation goes horribly wrong: Part One

"Today's story is about a police investigation. That you won't believe is real. Why am I so confident when I say that because in this story reality is almost impossible to grasp even for the people involved? It's a story about a decades old murder but the ending if you can call it an ending came just a few years ago. It's a story about lease using tactic. That is so unusual around the world that it's known as the Canadian technique. It's a story about what happens when you are living in an alternate reality created just for you and you don't know it and that is just heart one this special two part episode. It gets even darker from there. I'm Jordan Keith. Rawlings this is the big story. Michael Linda is a contributing editor at Toronto Life. And the author of one of the strangest stories. We've read yet this year. I might go I. Why don't you start by telling US How and I guess also when in Wear Beverly Smith died. Sure so About two weeks before Christmas in Nineteen seventy-two Beverly Smith Was a twenty two year old young mother. She was married she lived in A little a brick house in a village called Raglan Ontario which is Just a little bit north of Oshawa and the ninth of December that year. She waved goodbye to her husband for the last time he worked his name's Doug and he worked at the GM Plant Shwe and She one day she Sat down at her kitchen table to write some some Christmas cards and She talked to some of her family and then sometime that evening someone went into her home. A apparently there was no forced entry. So it's likely that she knew the person and Shot her in the back of her head with a twenty two caliber bullet tell me about her body being discovered in the investigation that followed sure so dug Smith her husband Beverly's husband called in on his break at the plant. And you know he called home in the phone just coming and That alarmed him so he called across the street to two of his neighbors With whom he was friendly Man named Allendale Smith no relation to beverly and his wife Linda. And you know sort of said I'm concerned that Beverly isn't picking up the phone can can you? Can someone run on run across the street and and and see what's going on so Linda went across the street? Saab every laying on the ground and set to Doug. You need to call home right. Come home right now. they called They called the The authorities Alan Smith. He sort of worked A little bit for the humane society and he had a truck that he used For Work and he he actually brought the truck across the street into Beverly Doug's driveway to help. Illuminate for the authorities where to go and in a sort of colossal in case of bad timing. It just so happened to be the The Durham Regional Police Which was Just recently formed was their first murder investigation and it was. It was on the night of their first annual Christmas party So the officers arrive. Doug said that he could smell some booze on the officers breath and they begin their investigation. They knew that Doug would deal a little bit of pot on the side and he had about but have half dozen ounces of weed Which he later admitted to the authorities were stolen. So the motive in this case they think was that someone came to steal that that six or seven ounces of weed shot beverly in the process and they started trolling around for anyone. They they knew might have a motive. They looked at his supplier. They looked at some of his His clients And you know they opened up some wiretaps nothing really came of it and so you know that that year the case when cold for the first time how long did it stay cold It was it was sort of it was reopened a number of times over the decades Once I believe in the eighties and you know they would re interview people and nothing would really come of it. And then in the in the two thousands there was suddenly a a break in the case what had happened was that So Beverly Smith had a twin sister named Barbara. Identical twin be looked so similar that even their mother could only tell them apart by little freckle on the tip of. Beverly's knows and Barbara. You know as you can imagine her her grief. Her and her family's grief was You know was immeasurable. And she sort of stuck on the police's case to make sure that that the investigation would be cold but would not be forgotten right and so she went to the you know the the head of major crimes at the germ regional police one day and said you know. I'm losing my hope I need you to hold onto it for me. And she passed the inspector little stone with the word. Hope engraved auto and The inspector kept it by his desk and it was not long after that that there was a break in the case so they interviewed an old friend of Allendale Smith's Who said that on the day of the murder he had asked Alan if he could score him. Pot and Allen said Yeah I can get it from my neighbor and the day after the murder. Alan call this guy back and said I've got your pot for you. And he also said that Allen had a twenty two caliber rifle which we know was used in the in the murder and so the police all of a sudden are like That helpful neighbor. Who helped shine the light for US? So many years ago is all of a sudden and interesting suspect and so they interviewed. Allen's Allen's excellent now ex wife Linda. Linda admitted that Allen could have left her site very briefly on the night of the murder said that she heard this bang which she thought was a car backfiring but could have been a rifle and so later that year they charged Allendale Smith with With the second degree murder of his neighbor beverly and that's it right the stories. That's weird happened. No absolutely not. So when so when they arrested Allen he said he had nothing to do with it and when they put them in jail still at innocent man at this at this is when they put an undercover officer with him posing as another prisoner to try to elicit a confession and Alan refused. So what happened was that the police knew that Alan had since The Murderer Beverly Smith. All those years ago decades ago Alan had had a incredibly difficult life and he had a long history of mental illness and Psychiatric Care. You know so for example. He was an alcoholic who drank every day smoked weed. You know whenever he could get it took pills and coke if he could find it but you know most of all he was he he. I should say he also. He heard voices he had he had trouble. Sort of telling the difference between reality and And fiction and you know he once said that he had one of these voices that would haunt him. He had imprisoned it in a jail in scarborough and ran away from it he was diagnosed with mood disorders. And you know had had it very tenuous grip on reality but more than anything. What he really wanted more than anything was a friend. He was incredibly lonely and what he really wanted was someone to go fishing with. He loved fishing. But you know. He said he had no one to do it. With and so the prosecutors. And the and Allen's defense came to an agreement that if the were allowed to go over Alan psychiatric records from all those decades go through it and there was no confession by Alan than they would withdraw the murder charge. And so it's a huge gamble for a defendant right to to to do that. I mean you know. Can you remember everything you've said? In the course of you know thirty five years with your health professional I can't but Allan said go ahead and so they did so A warrant was issued for the police to be able to look at these records. They were remain sealed until the judge approved it all but On the way on the plane ride back from Calgary Where they collected some of these records. The police just opened up the records. Anyway and just started going through it and they turned every page and they saw his loneliness and they saw his his His inability to distinguish reality from fiction his wanting to go fishing but they never found a confession so they withdrew the murder charge but now they were sitting on this goldmine of someone else's imagination. This person that they still thought you know could be involved in this murder and so they decided to weaponize his his psychiatric records to do this incredibly controversial type of police investigation called Mr Big. This is where the story gets. Even further off the rails. So why don't you first explain sort of the concept of a Mr Big investigation? And then I'll get you to describe this. Specific instance sure so Mr big investigation. It's sometimes I've heard been referred to as the Canadian investigation because it's illegal in in a lot of other countries real Yeah AND THE FIRST MR. Big that we know of it wasn't called Mr Big happened in one thousand nine hundred one but the modern form of it arose in our seem rcmp investigations mostly in British Columbia in the nineteen nineties. And what it is. It's it's four police investigations where there isn't good forensic evidence and what they really want to seal the case with someone that they know is probably guilty as a confession and so. Mr Big is sort of a play sort of like performance art where the audience and the subject is the sort of unsuspecting mind of of this person they think is a killer and so it takes essentially two main actors one is the best friend and the other is Mr Beg. The best friend is an undercover officer. Who Introduces himself to the subject? Ingratiates himself to him makes the subject trust him and then starts including the The the subject in increasingly serious crimes. They're all make believe crimes of course because they all involve this cast of other undercover officers the whole time the The sessions are recorded as far as we can tell right so there's some sort of body pack that the officers wear to sort of To sort of record everything that's happening and then there's this whole other cast of of officers support supporting actors. Who are who are sort of Invigilators these these scenes of these make believe scenes and then finally the best friend will introduce the subject to Mr. Beg who presents himself as the head of a crime family or a drug syndicate or something like that and essentially forces him to do something that requires The subject to confess to the worst thing he's ever done which is the crime. They're trying to charge you for okay. Well now tell me. Specifically what they did an Allen's case because I can only imagine that it helps this plan if you have folders and folders full of Psychiatric reports on the target of this kind of thing. Yeah I mean if you're trying to warp the reality of someone enough to try and get them to confess. It helps not only to know as much about them as you can but to know that they already have this predisposition to mistaking fact for fiction and fiction for facts. So what they did with. Alan was looking at the sum total of his of his sort of mental misery. They decided Oh there's a there's a play that that we can engineer here and it started with a fishing contest. One day Some helpful stranger knocked on the door and You know in exchange for answering some survey questions would enter him into this sweepstakes for an all expenses paid ice fishing trip up north. Would you be interested in that? Alan and Alan Thought. Oh my God yeah I would love to go fishing. That would be great. And a little bit later he gets a phone call and LO and behold by his. By some streak of luck he wins. He's the lucky winner. And the call is actually placed from the Durham regional. Police Office and at one point. They have to hang up the phone because officers so and so is being paged over the loudspeaker and they almost give the plot away in the first right And so Alan wins and one day a van comes to pick him and I think they're four five other lucky winners all undercover officers. The van is driven by undercover officer. And they all go. And they fish and Allan this one guy strikes up a conversation with Alan. He's carpet cleaner. Who's just moved actually? Wow into into Allen's neighborhood and they have this wonderful conversation They get out onto the ice this Nice carpet cleaner. His name is Under publication bands. So we call him skinner in the story. He's Downing Beers. Alan has quit drinking at this point. And he's smoking joints and their fishing and what he wanted. They're having fun and Alan. You know ends up giving skinner his phone number after and says you know like call me. And he does and he does and you know they they strike up. I mean you can only describes a sort of rather lopsided love story skinner and Allen become the best friends they see each other or talk on the phone every day. They Grab Coffee. They drive around in skinner's truck and they fish and it seems to Alan that he He he's getting what he's always wanted like it's like the universe had read his mind and answered his prayer. And you know Alan go so far as to to say love. Ya You know into skinner's body pack When they when they part ways it's a kind of beautiful story of like of like you know that most improbable thing which is like a male friendship later in your life you know except it's completely fake it's all fake and so what happens is that skinner starts starts at the Mr big in earnest. He tries to elicit a confession from Allen. Without using Mr Big himself he tells his own made up story about this illegal thing that he did where he was his his. This girl he liked was involved in a car accident. Many decades ago she was the driver. She was drunk. Her passenger died and skinner in an active sort of criminal gallantry. He pulls the dead passenger into the driver's seat. So the girl will get away with it and you know sort of asks like Alan. Have you ever done something like that? And in fact drives Allen Past Beverly Smith Sold House and Alan. He says nothing will only offer sympathy to skinner for having to you know had to do that so many years ago and so now skinner realizes all right. We're GONNA have to dial up the pressure and he starts including Allen in sort of these low level crimes Which again are not. They're not real. They're drug deals. Where you know skinner handsome drugs to another undercover officer. But Alan is sort of implicated in Rhode Island believes it's real and And then finally They do this for a number of months. And then finally you know it's time to bring mister big and Mr Big were told you know we don't again. His name is also under publication ban So WE JUST CALL MR. Beg The only physical description that we have him which didn't make it into the piece but is true from my reporting is that he had really nice teeth and he's he introduces himself. As as like the the sort of you know the big shot the guy in charge right sort of led to believe that he's like the head of some sort of you know criminal syndicate the guy scanners been doing these Dr- quote Unquote Drug Deals. That's right lake at skinner's sort of like you know boss You know he's a carpet cleaner but he's also clearly doing all this other stuff and he answers to Mr Big and Mr big sort of boasts that he has a big marijuana grow up that he blew thousand bucks on dinner in Toronto. Recently you know he's he's the head Honcho and he after one of their early meetings. He hires skinner and Allen to sort of watch. Watch each other's backs. Skinner goes into a strip club and and Does like these fake drug deals Mister. Big and You know they even they even by Alan Lap. Dance there That which is like the the essentially the only real thing that's happened talent in this whole this whole this whole charade and then things things sort of come to a come to a very peculiar had when Alan thinks he and skinner going fishing but skinner tells them Donna. We gotta do this other thing. I and takes Allen to meet Mr Big and what they're going to do is they're going to sell forty pounds of marijuana forty pounds that like it's like ten garbage bags of we do some idiot right and then they're gonNA steal it back and Alan. It's like a right and so they go. They do the drug deal and then they follow this guy who's again another undercover officer back to the Comfort Inn where he staying and then Mr Big and skinner a shotgun sawed off shotgun right and says all right. Let's do it. And so skinner runs in into this guy's room with the shotgun pointed at him with his finger on the trigger makes them get on the ground and then. Allen is told thirty seconds after after I run in with the shotgun you come in and grab the weed and we'll get out of here go to Mr big give it to them and then if we do it right Mr big is gonNA reward us by letting a wall up fishing at At his cottage using the same incentive that they know will work on Alad right and so he does it. You know skinner runs in with the shotgun. Alan runs in thirty seconds after grabs the pot. they get it to. Mr Big and then Allan goes home to get some rest before going up to fish. Mister bigs cottage. It all worked out perfect of course absolute as you can probably tell with the story. Yeah No So what happened is that is that at about one o'clock in the morning skinner knocks on Alan's window and it's like come on. We gotTA GET UP Allen. Thinks he's just you know they're getting up extra early for this fishing trip but no he. Skinner drives Alan to go meet Mr Big and they meet in this like industrial lot and as they pull up they can see. Mr Big is covered in blood and in the back of of his of his vehicle. Is this body wrapped in a tarp and covered in blood? And Mr Big says it's the guy from last night the guy we sold the drugs to stole from you know we got. We got a problem here and you guys are going to be the ones who are going to clean this up and Alan starts to panic little. Does he know the dead body is not a dead body it's a mannequin. It's like A. It's like a big like waited Kendall Wright and the blood is from a sheep but Alan is meant to think that Mr big has now murdered someone so this guy's in just the head of a crime family the the you know this guy that he's sort of working for now but he's a killer and Mr Big says you and your best friend skinner over there you guys go get rid of the bloody boots that the guy was wearing you. Dispose of his body smashed up a cell phone. And if you don't screw this up we'll we'll still go up to my cottage and go fishing and so starts panic. You know as they're driving with this body in the truck you know Alan Thinking to himself like what do I do like do I just do I do? I leave my best friend now to jump out of the moving car like I don't even know murder right right but like now he sort of torn because like Mr Big now knows that he knows right if he killed this guy why would he kill me right and he thinks maybe. I'll jump out of the car right now and just get myself out of all of this right but he doesn't know where he is. He doesn't have a cellphone right. He doesn't want to leave his best friend. And so and so. He helps dispose of the body. Smashes up the cell phone he they come to the sort of precipice with the body and kick it over the edge into oblivion the bury the shoes and Allen meanwhile is like having what looks to us like a like a panic attack. You know he he says get out of here. He's he He says he he feels like he's going to throw up and finally they arrive at. Mr Big's cottage and Alan is you know he's been up for almost two day straight now and he goes to lay down and while he's sleeping skinner and Mr big go and meet on on on the road outside the cottage with a bunch of the other undercover team. And they decide together. No one is leaving this cottage until Alan confesses to Beverly Smith's murder that's Michael List. A contributing editor at Toronto Life. He'll be back tomorrow to wrap this up. And that was the big story part one. At least you can find the Big Story. Podcasts DOT CA. You can find us on twitter at the big story F. P. N. or at frequency pods. You can write to us either on twitter or from our website can tell us what you think can tell us what you like what you don't like. And of course you can rate US and review US five stars. Only please wherever you get podcasts on Apple Google on stitcher on spotify. You pick you listen. We're always free. Thanks for listening. I'm Jordan Heath Rawlings. We'll talk tomorrow with the conclusion.

Alan Mr Big Allen skinner murder Allendale Smith officer Beverly Beverly Doug Michael Linda Alan Smith US Allan Jordan Heath Rawlings contributing editor Alan Lap Toronto Life Alan Thinking Oshawa
How can Canada stop the growth of hate groups?

The Big Story

25:50 min | Last month

How can Canada stop the growth of hate groups?

"For many canadians who have stared in horror at events happening to the south of us over the past four weeks or for years. There is a comforting thought that arrives immediately afterwards. Thank god we're in canada or maybe better phrased thank god. That could never happen here but could it. The united states right now is a unique mix of anger guns conspiracy theories white supremacy and abject poverty and all of that has bubbled over the past few months to create scenes. That the whole world will never forget yes. America's recipe might be unique but canada already has most of those ingredients in abundance. And we haven't done much to solve the problems driving any of this kind of anger. Though doesn't explode overnight. It takes individual people time to arrive at the mixture of hatred and hopelessness. That's needed to turn rhetoric into action. So today's question is not really can happen here. It's what can we do to stop it from happening here. And of that applies to governments and politicians and two police forces but it also applies to you and me and to anyone who wants to believe. The canada really is different. Because if it is it's only because we all work to make it that way. I'm jordan keith. Rawlings describes the big story. Shaquille chaudhry is the co founder of animal leadership. He is also the author of deep diversity overcoming us versus them. Hello shaquille jordan. Why don't you just take me back a week ago. And i know There must have been all sorts of things going through your head as you watched the events leading up to and including the storming of the us capital. You know what's going through. Your head is as somebody who spends his career dedicated to racism and social justice issues shocked at the images and then not surprised given the patterns and the trends that have been at play. What do you mean by that. The election of trump has been a time of absolutely unprecedented dislocation and kookiness in the political. Front i mean we had rob ford here in toronto and we thought that was bad. But he was more of a harbinger of the kind of right wing. Populism that has been sweeping across the western world and trump is the has been the most toxic version of that and so we've been seeing escalating violence We've been seeing congress in And and the senate deadlocked being not particularly helpful to anybody and that level of polarization actually didn't start with trump. that's actually been happening for forty years. It's it's been actually building since the reagan era since the eighties when neoliberalism and the economic model that basically has has wages for the average person stagnate over four decades and yet we are making our economies making. You know three four five times. What it was both in canada and the us What it was in the eighties and yet people aren't feeling bad. The rich have become richer. The poor become poorer and that might sound like some kind of leftist cliche but the is is that ten years ago a research team led by peter turkson in the us predicted that by two thousand twenty the us and many parts of the western world. We're going to be at quote unquote peak violence. And so the trends have been at play and the key driver of their research has been income inequality and so the trends have been building and today peter church in his team would say that that the us and the environment in the us over. The last four years is similar to the environment in just before the french revolution in france and just before the civil war the united states so these trends have been have been playing out. And i've been. I've been really researching a lot about authoritarianism. Because i work with issues around polarization and racial polarization and an integral conflict. And so i've been looking at this or the last few years and just watching this build up and build up and knowing that it was something big was going to happen and we knew it enough that we actually scheduled a two day conference which is in fact on the twenty first and twenty second january after inauguration day because we just assumed that something was going to happen. Wow it's really interesting that You mentioned income inequality because there's a lot of discussion around the way that is often used Instead of white supremacy and racism. You know i think we've all heard the term It's because of economic anxiety when People are trying to excuse some of this behavior. So i'm interested in your perspective especially as somebody who looks at both sides of this is where does income inequality and economic anxiety end and where does The racism and white supremacy that that still drives some of the stuff begin. They're both intimately linked. I just think that racism and white supremacy become more activated when people actually feel more economically Disparate more of more feel more economically desperate. I should say and when we are desperate many things become possible. We want to figure out why we're struggling. And that's when society becomes most susceptible to conspiracy theories and snake oil salesmen. The wrong kind of leaders always rise in this kind of a time period. You saw this in the context of almost any society that's at in a pre revolutionary Context where war just before war breaks out. I mean you saw this in In the build up to nazi germany. That people are looking for answers. They're looking for saviors. They're looking for something and so white. Supremacy is intimately tied to racism is intimately tied to it because as soon as become economically poor. Someone needs to be the scapegoat and the scapegoats are always minority groups and so these two are intimate linkages. Racism becomes more pronounced. Racial injustice becomes more pronounced antisemitism more pronounced when we are at a point where the where the gaps between rich and poor as our as enormous as they are today. How different is the climate in canada right now from the climate in the united states. This is something. I've been trying to wrap my head around on one hand. The images are so shocking that you would of course say it can't happen here on the other hand Things that happen in america do tend to follow in canada quite often so two ways. I'd answer that question one. Is that the rise. In white nationalist groups white chauvinistic groups. Like the proud boys. All these kind of things are at the same levels as they are in the us. In in candid in fact a report just came out at the end of december. Two thousand and twenty that indicated the head in the atlantic provinces. The places that many of us imagine our pastoral and a setback in time like they saw a in that context alone something like sixty percent increase in four years of trump. Right of a white nationalist groups of white hate groups of of these kinds of these kinds of things so our numbers are the same. What's different is a in the. Us people are armed right. There are more weapons than there are people in the country. That's a huge factor. And the second thing is that are that are they're saving race is is our society a safety net and and that cannot be underestimated right now and i really want politicians especially to be paying attention to this if you want to prevent or at least hold back. The tide of what's happening down there From spreading here 'cause already here was just be clear response to that is more security not security from policing economic security the one of the foundations if we want to tackle this has to be universal basic income. In fact that's what martin luther king was fighting for in the sixties and members of the civil rights movement that was the language of that day universal basic income as intimately tied towards the healing. That's needed around racial injustice. These things are linked together so politicians general public good people. We have to fight for universal basic income as we fight for racial justice because those two things are intimately linked because the poorest communities are racialized. The poorest communities are disproportionately set amongst indigenous populations. Right so these things are intimately linked and we have to be fighting them together. Can you describe As somebody that does a lot of one to one work on overcoming biases you know how how do white supremacist groups or chauvinist groups. Like the proud boys. How do they recruit ordinary people. Where does it begin. And and how do you go from being interested in this group too. You know the kinds of stuff that we've seen recently. I can just tell you what. I what i've read about it. And and some of the roots are released similar. It's people looking for answers just as it's young people that are lost. That don't have a sense of place that don't have a sense of connection to others that are most vulnerable to get involved in gangs. Were the experience on sense of family. Were the experience some sense of connection where they have some answers and some certainty when we are in states where uncertain. We're all vulnerable to being recruited of being recruited and being told lies. Were vulnerable to that because we are desperate as humans. We are desperate to make meaning and try to understand what's happening to us in y in a summit shows up and seems to understand us even a little bit and that's what trump did to a lot of people even though he's a total charlotte and even though he has no connection to the people but he was able to speak some of their language he was able to speak and give them a very clear response to a very complicated situation. The clear responses simplistic. It doesn't ever meet the needs of how complicated poverty is income equality But he told them some things and gave them common enemies to focus on and as humans we can be easily activated into common enemies and the common enemies became mexicans. The common enemies became muslims. The common enemies became immigrants. The common enemies became democrats than anybody who was doing anything that that in any way shape or form had something to do with expanding access to social services was easily painted as these are the people who are trying to change your way of life and so. I think that it's really easy to be recruited but it's harder to be recruited when we feel secure when you feel secure in sadder cells. We feel secure enough to have a roof over our head to know. Our kids are getting the school That we can have a job promotion. That kind of security is the kryptonite to fascism is. The kryptonite to hate is allowing people to feel more secure than. We're not so vulnerable when you look at the level of income inequality in the united states and how as you say trump was able to really weaponized that. Do you see any politicians in canada attempting to use that. Same tactic attempting to prey on people. Who are feeling economically anxious. Let's say And turn them against something. Oh sure i mean i mean. We've seen all kinds of politicians unfortunately We know that in this day and age. The party that is most vulnerable to that in any way across western row tend to be conservative. Parties tend to be parties. Don't want change and so a move. You saw this with stephen harper. When he was you know in a desperate bid to to win another election started going towards the whatever that was cultural barbaric practices hotline reelected conservative government will also commit to establishing and rcmp tip line so that citizens and victims can call with information about incidents of barbaric cultural practices here in canada or to notify authorities. That a child or a woman is at risk of being victimized but these practices have no place in canadian society. Fortunately canadians pushed him back and said sorry. That's not us and trudeau one. So i feel like there's lots of politicians that are coming out with that and it is one of the things that conservative parties especially have to be on the lookout for is how those kinds of extremist politicians that basically wanna make canada great again or some slogan like that that that those are the ones that That are going to tap into into the same population as here. that is That's going to be supportive of those kinds of xenophobic policies. And again i think part of our saving grace is a. We don't have the same kind of gun culture and be because we have a social we have more of a social safety net here for people and on top of that we had a government that immediately started going ear two thousand dollars a month right and and that helps what about on an individual level I know probably lots of listeners. And and we hear from some of them Have seen a friend or acquaintance or even a family member you know. Start to start to go down that rabbit hole where you see them posting stuff Or talking about stuff that you know you wonder where they're getting it from and it starts to get a little bit more angry and inflammatory. How do you intervene and break up that process. Because i think we've all seen that once you go pretty deep down that hole. It's really hard to come back. I don't think the short there's an easy answer to that. There's no solution to that jordan. That's depressing. i think the only thing is is it's a fine balance between challenging Between countering and you know not wearing yourself out every single time it happens. The only thing that tends to change people that are really really entrenched is relationships. And that's really hard. But can you stay in relationship in some way shape or form to the degree that you can't exercising the boundaries. You need to was so be in a relationship so that that person still have something to come back to because just like them. Getting there wasn't overnight. It didn't just happen. There's a whole bunch of circumstances that allow for that. The way out of it is not simple. The way out of it is also not easy and so that's the hardest thing to be in his to be in a relationship where people are saying stuff that is just you can tell. It's been fed by fox news. It's been fed by you. Know people who just have strong opinions and interests in Keeping people divided and we need a lot of literacy in this area And we need relationships because there's lots of information but frequently when you just a research shows. Is that when you push people. With more data and more facts you can just entrenched them in their position If you can spend some time listening which is really hard and people are saying really stupid things but if you can spend some more time listening to actually be in conversation And then offer something back and find your common ground that would be more tactical so. I really wish that i could just give you a three step process jordan that is shown to work over and over again. But there's just not but it's one of those things where when i'm in my best self i don't give up on people When i'm feeling exhausted myself i'm like draw boundaries for yourself and you know get ready to cut bait right when when it's too much and only you know when is too much and And what the impacts are being set around your children if so you better stand up right if these conversations you can have in private just you knows can wearing on you. You may have more capacity so it depends on the pack the implications. But i'm always in the best case scenario is to find your way to hold your boundaries to offer your opinion but do as much listening as talking. This is my last question. And i don't know In fact i do not expect you to have an answer for it but How much does the image and personality of the person at the top of this matter and other words you know after joe biden is inaugurated hopefully without incident. Does that help the tone get better. Does it entrench people. Even further on both sides you know how much of it is trump as the disease versus the symptom. Trump is definitely a symptom. He's the most toxic cancerous symptom but he's a symptom and it's a huge amount of difference as to who's on top so for example trump did everything to elevate and escalate anti-muslim muslim sentiments. For example. so you see Anti muslim hate crimes. Happening all over the place And so any time there is even remotely anything that looks or smells like a quote unquote terrorist attack. That involves anybody who who may have even the remotest connection to a era for muslim identity. trump would often stoke that as a way of attacking people muslim backgrounds. And you saw hate crimes going up on the other hand we have. We have data that shows that After the nine eleven attacks. George bush The days after than he walked into a mosque and he and he was there during prayers and he said he made a speech and said islamist. The muslim is the is the religion of peace and humidity saw a de-escalation of hate crimes. Right so escalation de-escalation it matters. The research shows us what leaders say do has impact on everybody else and And so the research shows that and our lived experience shows that so it does make a difference. Now joe biden. is a democrat. Obviously it will make a difference with certain degree but will be more important as what happens with the republican party and what happens with republican leadership. And what they do if they do what. They've continued to do which is to hold up his lies. Then it will it will polarize. It will continue to polarize. And here's here's the thing and this at this point this is this is not at all hyperbole. But the us at the edge of civil war there at this edge you look the data you can look at the symptoms. You can see where people are and what we know is that From research on on authoritarianism and democracies is that the death of democracies occurs when the polarization in society when the division so extreme that people seem to his enemies and and that is what needs to be blunted and there are ways to do that. There are ways to reduce it. And so i don't wanna leave us with the sense of despair but If you're okay with it there are there are at least three things. We can all do to both support the positive things that are happening. Us but also to prevent what's happening That kind of thing happening here in canada. First of all was overwhelming. Is this requires. You know the social change three step which is educate mobilize an act so educate the first of all what's overwhelming about. This moment is it. Feels like it's come out of nowhere when we can't see the pattern it's overwhelming so if you look at the research on on authoritarianism and fascism we've lived through it in the last four years we didn't know we were living through it and so that's important when we start seeing the pattern then someone like trump behaving Like a total uncivil league During the first presidential debate Against biden media shouldn't be raising going. Can you believe he said that. Was like whoa. Of course you should believe that. That's just what he does. Stop focusing on theatrics and start looking at the pattern when you can see the pattern. It actually is relieving to say okay. This is another way. He's using complete. Lies will lies as the use of lies is propaganda techniques through all of history every authoritarian uses them. So media needs to talk about that but we had home need to be able to talk about so uncover the patterns authoritarianism and fascism. Because that's a time period rent people. This is happening. Globally received the rise of authoritarian everywhere. There is no reason to think that it can't also happen here. In canada we have the same kinds of people those tendencies here. And we need that to be able to reimagine democracy. We need to learn about our civil liberties and we need to learn how to be allies to marginalized groups because Marginalized groups especially muslim indigenous of black jewish communities. All of these always hurt hardest when fascism hits so we've got to be aware of that the second thing is mobilize mobilize means help build community literacy. Identify the patterns of the frontier in authoritarian behavior and also promote. What our civil liberties are we. Don't even know what we're losing because we're so detached from them so we need to get reconnected to that. We need to build coalitions. We need to embrace imperfection and reject purity politics. This is not the time for purity. This is the time for connection and People need to also mobilize around what racial justice means. And the last thing i want to say is then we act once we know. And we were in a collective we act and there's a million ways of collective action That rate range from getting people to vote as we saw in the brilliant organizing in georgia That helped turn the senate Used to be here red state that no law as now a blue state at least purple. That those the kind of things you can. Do you can mobilize people. Will you can educate you can build community. You can support inside your organization. You can do any and everything that is needed to both reimagined democracy. What it means and also to counter authoritarianism at the same time and all of that supports Can support racial social justice wants. We've also got that in our in our purview. That sounds like a lot but it's also really good to have some concrete things so thank you so much. You're welcome beer. Shaquille chaudhry co of animal leadership. That was the big story for more from us head to the big story. Podcast dot ca. Find us on twitter at the big story p. n. rate to us via email. The big story. Podcast all one word a lower case at dot rogers dot com and as always wearing your favorite podcast player. All of our episodes you can go back. As far as you want on apple and google institure spotify and many many many others thanks for listening jordan heath rawlings. We'll talk tomorrow.

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