Friday, June 29, 2018

The 2019 Election Cycle & the Annual Summer Silly Season Both Begin

         By Chuck Black

The annual summer "silly season," a period when the news cycle seemingly lessens in intensity starting around the July 1st Canada Day holiday and finishing up during the Labour Day long weekend in September, seems to have come a few days early this year.

Amidst chants of "This is What a Liberal Looks Like," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears onstage with Liberal MP Navdeep Bains during a nomination event in Mississauga, Ont., on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. At the event, which one political commentator compared to scenes in the 1992 American-British satirical mockumentary film "Bob Roberts," Bains was nominated and acclaimed as the Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Milton for the 2019 general election. Photo c/o Chris Young / Canadian Press.

As outlined in the June 27th, 2018 Canadian Press post, "Federal Election 2019: Navdeep Bains becomes 1st Liberal candidate to be nominated," the Liberal party has begun to nominate standard bearers for next year’s federal election, which under law must take place on or before October 21th, 2019.

The Liberal's first candidate, incumbent Navdeep Bains who represents the riding of Mississauga—Malton in the House of Commons, is also the current minister of innovation, science and economic development (ISED), a portfolio responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the National Research Council (NRC) and a host of other science granting councils.

To be fair to Bains and the Justin Trudeau government, they have been more than generous to Federal scientists and engineers. The 2018 budget commits approximately $3.8Bln CDN spread over the next five years for a range of new science programs.

It's just that the Liberals haven't done very much for the Canadian space industry.

As outlined in the March 8th, 2018 post, "Space Advisory Board Chair Admits Disappointment over Budget but Promises to Continue to Support Space Sector," the Federally mandated Space Advisory Board (SAB) was "certainly disappointed that space was not included as a key theme in the 2018 Federal Budget."

In fact, none of the SAB recommendations have so far been adapted by the Federal government.

Several space industry scientists and engineers attended the Wednesday nomination meeting and, rumour has it, they had a chance to talk with Bains about rocketry, planetary exploration and the sad state of the Canadian space program.

Bains presented well, but made no promises. The event was good political theatre but no one said space or rockets or made any new Canadian committments relating to science, the Moon or Mars.

Bains is smart. He knows that he's trading on access and kind words and that's enough for tonight. Later on will come the need for the hard political wheeling and dealing needed to be re-elected.

Hopefully, his guests also understand this and aren't caught up in the political theatre or overwhelmed by the singing.

Bains surrounded by adoring fans after his nomination on June 27th, 2018 in Malton. Photo c/o Al Calder. 

In a few days, the attendees will likely get an e-mail from someone affiliated with the Liberal campaign who will ask them for money.

Then the real horse trading will begin. That's the way these events work.

As outlined in the February 8th, 2017 Hill Times post, "The Top 100: Navdeep Bains, the 'minister of everything'", Bains has been ranked as the 4th most influential Canadian politician behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his chief of staff Katie Telford and senior Liberal party political adviser Gerald Butts.
Editors Note: Those anticipated e-mails requesting funding for the upcoming campaign have begun arriving. 
As outlined in a June 29th, 2018 email from Ishmael Azam, the national director of the Liberal Party of Canada, "In the last election, our platform was built by doing one simple thing: having real meaningful conversations with Canadians, and listening carefully to what they had to say." 
Liberal party campaign literature. Graphic c/o Liberal Party of Canada
The e-mail included a listing of potential issues facing Canada today, along with a request to choose the most important one. The listed issues are:
  1. Fighting climate change 
  2. Achieving gender equality
  3. A secure retirement for seniors 
  4. Opportunities for young Canadians 
  5. Indigenous rights 
  6. An accessible Internet 
  7. A diverse, multicultural Canada 
  8. The rights of disabled Canadians 
  9. Accessible universal healthcare 
  10. Fighting for a stronger middle class 
  11. Legalizing and regulating marijuana 
  12. Science and evidence-based policy 
  13. Renewing Canada's leadership in the world 
  14. LGBTQ2 rights 
  15. Honouring Canada’s veterans 
  16. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms 
  17. Canadian innovation and creating jobs
As expected, there doesn't seem to be anything in the list of Liberal party options which relate to space, rockets, planetary exploration or the sad state of the Canadian space program. Besides, according to the e-mail, we're only supposed to pick one. 
Better luck next time, Liberals.
Chuck Black.

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.


  1. It was a pep rally for the Liberal party. The food was delicious.

  2. I was looking at the survey and wondering if any questions could have anything to do with space. It seems like it would be a bit of a stretch.
    From the survey:
    "In the last election, our platform was built by doing one simple thing: having real meaningful conversations with Canadians, and listening carefully to what they had to say." red text added by me.
    Since this is the alleged first step one can assume they are building the Liberal platform based on responses to this survey?
    Again from the survey
    "Which issue facing Canada today is most important for you? (Pick one)
    Fighting climate change
    Achieving gender equality
    A secure retirement for seniors
    Opportunities for young Canadians
    Indigenous rights
    An accessible Internet
    A diverse, multicultural Canada
    The rights of disabled Canadians
    Accessible universal healthcare
    Fighting for a stronger middle class
    Legalizing and regulating marijuana
    Science and evidence-based policy
    Renewing Canada's leadership in the world
    LGBTQ2 rights
    Honouring Canada’s veterans
    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    Canadian innovation and creating jobs"
    If I have to pick only one does that mean I am either a "Canadian innovation and creating jobs" Liberal or a " The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    " Liberal? I was hoping for both my rights and jobs, but its not up to me. Liberal party members will be pitting a list of 17 "most important" issues against the other 16 to be brokerage politicized to another Liberal government. Are these space or rockets?


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