The View Up Here

Season 11 Premiere - Newfoundland & Labrador Votes with Con O'Brien


Newfoundland & Labrador may have only joined Confederation in 1949 to become Canada's 10th province, but May 16th is the 50th General Election in its history. The House of Assembly has 40 seats, one of the rare legislatures with an even number. This election comes at a momentous time in the history of the province, due to more than one major issue that will likely decide its future for generations.

Muskrat Falls - as the inquiry into how the largest project ever undertaken in its history rolls on, the evidence is clear. This project should have never happened, but it is virtually complete and will commence operation later this year. What will also commence is the massive debt repayment of a project that doubled in price under false promises and predictions. The next 70 years will require money that isn't readily available to pay for what has rightly been called a "boondoggle" but the bills don't stop coming.

The Cod Fishery - Mismanagement is a huge understatement in the handling of what was once the greatest natural fishery on earth. Touted to last a few years when brought down in 1992, the latest numbers on cod stocks indicate it will not be lifted anytime soon. It changed the way of life, the culture and the population lineage never to be the same again.

Healthcare - For a long time, healthcare results in Newfoundland have been last in Canada with very high costs. Will this election change any of the systemic problems within it? And where will the money come from?

The View Up Here welcomes Con O'Brien, a true Newfoundlander from a family with literally centuries of experience on the water and in the cod fishing way of life. Front-man for legendary Newfoundland folk group The Irish Descendants, Con joins us to discuss the election, the Muskrat Falls disaster, thoughts on whether the cod will ever return and the debt-ridden future of tomorrow's Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Broadcast Date: 05/15/2019

The View Up Here

Bill C-48 - Campaign Promise To Political Football To Profitability Position


How does a campaign promise, with wide-spread public support, turn into an election-year tug of war? An apparently long settled convention, agreed to by more than one country and international maritime organizations since the 1970's, to be codified into Federal law. Seems like the last step in formalizing what is accepted reality, doesn't it? Not when there are political advantages to be manufactured.

Bill C-48 seeks to make practice into procedure regarding oil tanker traffic along the Pacific coast of British Columbia from the Alaskan border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. This exact action was a campaign promise of 2015 and a big part of the Oceans Protection Plan of the Trudeau government. The bill was crafted and made its way through the House of Commons in relatively short order but has been before the Senate for over a year where it has become just another example of what can happen when partisanship, regional priorities and profit (real or imagined) becomes the driver over sound policy.

Despite there being zero port facilities currently, zero port facilities under construction and zero supplies of fossil fuels being delivered to this region of coastline, the lure of the same old touted but non-existent "future markets" has divided governments, First Nations, and citizens. To repeat, there is nothing in this bill that deviates from how things have been for the last 4 1/2 decades. There is nothing in world markets or global predictions as far as demand or profitability go that indicate any change in this convention being worth pursuing. But yet here we are. Polarization and viewpoint being driven by the usual culprit. Money. Or more accurately, the promise of money.

The View Up Here looks at the different sides in this drama and their seeming motivations.

Broadcast Date: 05/22/2019

The View Up Here

Election Integrity In Canada - Are We Prepared For Election 43 This October?


October 21, 2019. The day Canada will vote in its 43rd General Election. There is a subject of discussion that will only grow as voting day nears and it isn't about the parties and policy or lack thereof. It's about the integrity of the electoral system. In a digital world with information from everywhere to seemingly everyone, the issue of reliability is not a new question. Integrity of electoral processes around the world have been compromised. There is no disputing this fact. The 2016 US election. The 2018 US midterms. Brexit. France. Austria. Turkey. And right here at home with Electoral Reform referenda, Ontario and Alberta. New shadowy players in a new arena with an awful lot at stake.

Canada's current government has done more than most nations recognizing and trying to identify, contain and counter the threat. But surprise surprise, not everyone involved wants to take action. Why? Politics and money.

Bill C-76 did a lot to restore rights for voters, limit financial shenanigans and set limits regarding timeframes on advertising and fundraising. But nothing specifically on digital skullduggery. The environment changes rapidly and sources of influence disappear as quickly as they appear. Wiil the extra efforts protect the integrity of the election?

The Critical Election Incident Public Protocol (CEIPP) is made up of five senior bureaucrats that will assess threats and determine if they are serious enough to inform Canadians. The Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force consists of CSE, CSIS, RCMP, Global Affairs Canada and the Intelligence Advisor to Government. It is mandated to prevent covert, clandestine or criminal activities from influencing or interfering in the electoral process.

Will these measures work? Why weren't political parties made to comply with PIPEDA private information guidelines? Why aren't social media platforms willing to voluntarily comply to C-76? $$

Broadcast Date: 05/29/2019

The View Up Here

Canadian Journalism Support Fund - The $600 Million Street Fight Is Heating Up


Just in case you haven't heard, traditional media in Canada has fallen on hard times. Just ask them. Coverage on this topic by corporate print, periodical, radio and television has not been sporadic or lacking detail. But it's not like this is an overnight avalanche without a clear pattern developing over the last 30 years.

The once exclusive domain of print for classified ads which generated a huge portion of revenues started to disappear with eBay, kijiji, Craig's List and others near the turn of the century. It has been replaced by...nothing. A high market saturation of subscriptions to print started to decay more than a generation ago. It has been replaced by...nothing. The speed and agility of the internet is no competition for hard copy physical text in delivery or currency. That was countered by creating a new delivery system by entities with no digital experience. Aggregators simply took it and ran, also taking almost all the revenue from the activity. Television thought the video format would insulate their ad revenues. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and others said not so fast. These lost revenues have been replaced with...nothing. Only radio has managed to keep afloat, but not anything more than that.

Everybody knows the problem. It's only been almost 50 years since the Davey report in the Canadian Senate "The Uncertain Mirror" sounded the alarm on the then new issue of media concentration. Today, Google and Facebook take 2/3 of all advertising revenues in media. That's concentration. Canadians still trust and value their traditional media by a large margin compared to the internet giants of today.

In 2017, the Public Policy Forum undertook a new study to guide government on how to go about trying to rescue legacy media in Canada - "The Shattered Mirror". The money has been earmarked, $600 million of it. Now the hard part begins. TVUH looks at the study and the options going forward.

Broadcast Date: 06/05/2019

The View Up Here

Christchurch Call, Digital Charter & Trust Project - Progress Or Avoidance?


Tragedy such as the massacre in New Zealand rightly brings calls for action from the public at large and therefore from Governments. It seems that there is a new wrinkle with every new terror event and Christchurch exposed the futility of Big Data to control content. The most disturbing part may be that despite Facebook removing the terrorist's video in short order, it was copied and re-posted globally by a magnitude over live views.

The Christchurch Call is the resulting action from a global group of nations, corporations and monitoring agencies. It builds on initiatives already underway mostly from a control perspective but calls for urgent measures by platform providers first, government regulatory efforts second. History does not indicate that Big Data can or will control the problems on their own. Where the momentum goes as the latest mass slaughter of innocents fades from screens has yet to be determined.

Canada has not been a spectator as the internet devolves and indications are that patience is wearing thin. Electoral integrity has been in the news with a lack of co-operation from social media platforms to comply. The reality is any regulatory measures on Big Data will fall to the next government. Canada's Digital Charter seeks to reform competition and privacy rules to build a "foundation of trust" between Canadians and the digital world. It's the result, to this point, of a topic that has been prominent since 2016 for Ottawa. How much can be accomplished without regulation and penalties for non-compliance? How can Big Data be trusted?

Enter a private initiative called The Trust Project. Funded and controlled by Big Data and friends, the premise is to restore credibility to media. But which media? Is it a new censorship and independent media suppression tool? Is it integrity or revenue that drives these efforts? Will artificial intelligence algorithmic policing help or continue to confuse things?

Broadcast Date: 06/12/2019

The View Up Here

The Last Week Of Parliament 42 - What Passes And What Dies?


We are in the last scheduled week of sitting for Canada's 42nd Parliament. Normal procedures would be the House rises for Summer Recess, they return for one day in early September for a Motion of Dissolution, after which the Prime Minister asks the Governor-General to dissolve the House and drop the Election Writ. However...this may not be a normal recess. The rush is on to pass legislation for Royal Assent before that election campaign can begin and both the House and Senate have extremely packed Order Papers.

The Senate is scheduled to sit an extra week compared to the House, which depending on how things go down, could force a longer than one day return and more than one motion in the House. Negotiations on Amendments and shuffling of papers from West Block to the Senate Building and back is at a hectic pace. How do topics from the last election campaign end up being rushed in the last week after four years? Politics.

But let it be said, the 42nd Parliament sat for the entire mandate in ONE session. No proroguements. No contempt of Parliament. No obvious subterfuge of proceedings for political leverage. So, there's that. A refreshing return to normalcy. But then, no idiot Speaker in either chamber this term either. What a coincidence.

Environment, Natural Resources, Public Safety, Justice and Indigenous Relations have the large majority of logjams with progress. Considering the disarray those portfolios were left in by the previous Government, to a degree it stands to reason they are the big holdups four years later. Or does it? Has the new "freedom" of the Senate made our system better or worse? The only remaining partisan caucus there, the Conservatives, have gone from compliant lapdogs to opposition yapdogs. But their majority is a distant memory. The Independents now rule the roost.

What will make it to Royal Assent? What will die on the Order Paper with the dropping of the Writ? We will take a look.

Broadcast Date: 06/19/2019

The View Up Here

Bill C-69 Is Law - When Does The Sky Fall? It Doesn't


After more than two years of orchestrated panic, corporate media (mis)direction, intensive industry lobbying, legislative time-delaying and threats of litigation from industry-captured Provincial governments... Bill C-69 is now law. No more National Energy Board on new projects. No more Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 pre-determining the "review process". Considering the complete failure of that regime from the Harper era that resulted in nothing other than Federal Court appeals, Certificate quashing and projects being sent back to actually follow the rules of the process, this should be welcome news. Alas, it is not if most sources are to be taken at face value.

The reasons for rewriting Canada's major project environmental assessment rules are clear. But what about all the other fundamental factors? Why isn't the first question to be answered based on economic viability? Why does evidence demonstrating extreme harm to every species in the project's path turn out to be mere footnotes in decisions? How did the concept of "Indigenous consultation" turn into note-taking exercises? How did "public input" turn into an undefinable obstacle course designed to discourage that input? Why are alternative projects to acheive the supposed goals rejected out-of-hand? Something along the lines of the inmates are running the asylum is an accurate description.

Does C-69 fix all these shortcomings? Not by a longshot. It never would have without the eventual 150+ amendments to the original bill, never mind what was given Royal Assent. Why does the industry with the majority of project assessments, Mining, accept C-69 as a necessary update and clarification to the process? Why is their viewpoint being virtually ignored while corporate media wails for Oil & Gas? This episode will look at what has really changed, and it isn't all that much despite the narratives of Chicken Little.

Broadcast Date: 06/26/2019

The View Up Here

"When They Came For The Beach" & The TMX Redux with Robyn Allan


"When They Came For The Beach" tells the story of a group of friends livng in direct proximity to what some want to become an oil tanker parking lot. There is no doubt that working, living and playing in the Lower Mainland around metro Vancouver is a unique lifestyle that, like anywhere else, can be taken for granted with familiarity and routine. But can it be taken for granted without worry anymore? Based on real events, this is the first novel from author, economist, corporate executive and fierce intervenor/thorn in the side of the NEB - Robyn Allan.

It's one thing to be anywhere in the world and read about the protests, court cases and hearings over the controversial Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline proposal. It's quite another to consider the project in your back yard or seeing it looking out your front window. This is the motivation for "Trainer" and her friends as they become immersed in the process of supposed approval of this environmental albatross. From following the rules and finding hardly anyone else does, to networking with like-minded citizens, to embracing some methods of the opposition when necessary, to coming to the realization that the system meant to protect Canadians does nothing of the sort, this is an unfinished journey of discovery and education that reveals an unappealing truth not easily found. By design.

In the all-too-real world, TMX has received approval once more from the Federal government but it is only one of many things that must happen for construction to start. Robyn returns to The View Up Here to discuss her novel, her motivation to write it and her thoughts on what's next for the TMX circus.

You can get "When They Came For The Beach" in multiple formats or read it for free at

Broadcast Date: 07/03/2019

The View Up Here

The Canadian White Male GenXer Power Club or Council of Federation?


The Council of Federation is the official name for the 13 leaders of Canada's Provincial and Territorial governments to congregate and accomplish... nothing much. Ever. Lots of communiques and photo-ops and demands and bluster, but scant little on actual movement towards solving any of the issues they insist Ottawa is responsible for creating. Because, of course, it could never be their own doing.

The most outstanding difference in this year's attendees is that they were all male. For the first time since 2008, there are no female Premiers in Canada. Did any of the 13 leaders comment on this, or did the press ask about it? Nah. Too much so-called business to take care of, no time for trivialities. Besides, that 52% of the population is out-of-sight, out-of-mind in the White Male GenXer Power Club (with guests based on their electoral wins despite not being caucasian).

This edition of the Council's itenerary also included an invite only pre-conference with Alberta's under RCMP investigation newbie Premier Jason Kenney. This event's photo-op purpose being to try and appear like average people flipping pancakes and planning how to influence the Federal election. The other pre-conference photo-op was at Big River First Nation north of Saskatoon. Only 9 Premiers showed and the AFN ended their boycott of this biannual waste of time as a concession. Representatives from Inuit and Metis organizations did not.

Despite the premise of gathering to solve problems for their respective citizens and "helping the country", as usual once in the meetings began it was special interests that drove the agenda. Domestic trade, international trade, so-called energy corridors, health care and Indigenous issues all got varying length communiques issued that will effect or change absolutely nothing. As usual.

Considering this is a Federal election year, the corporate media coverage was spotty and shallow. Well not here lol

Broadcast Date: 07/17/2019

The View Up Here

Blowing Hundreds Of Millions Of Tax Dollars To "Own The Libs"


Canada's Federal election nears and we have never seen this current level of collusion between the Federal and Provincial conservative-based political parties. On many fronts, with corporate press assistance, there is a common narrative but it is not credible to oppose the suggested targets of the overall campaign. At first, things such as a Constitutional challenge to the policy of Federal Carbon Pricing seemed legitimate, if somewhat over-dramatic. Coincidentally it was only conservative based Governments elected since the Federal win by the Liberal Party in 2015 that were pursuing the strategy that was given little chance of success by constitutional experts. And those experts were proven correct.

First the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled that Ottawa is within their jurisdictional authority to impose a federal price on carbon. The exact same exercise continues on in Ontario. The litigation for show was not recommended to the Manitoba government after assessment. New Brunswick stands with their blue buddies ready to intervene on their behalf wherever and whenever necessary. Enter the ringleader Jason Kenney in Alberta, fresh off electoral victory and ready to fight for the sake of fighting on anything not a conservative idea. Yes this will go to the Supreme Court and yes it will be defeated. Piles of money wasted on a lost cause. Why?

Now we have progressed into refusals to negotiate agreements between Ottawa and Provincial capitals which is preventing funding of many programs that benefit ALL Canadians. Of course the narrative is it's the Libs' fault. Finger-pointing abounds, as expected with zero progress. The end goal that may be correct is a defeat of the Liberals this October may clear the way to meet the requirements to amend the Canadian Constitution. The impossible formula is now within reach of one ideology in their collective minds. The ideology of the past - Conservatives. Ominous indeed.

Broadcast Date: 07/24/2019

The View Up Here

Who Are We Rid Of, Who Will We Miss And NO The Election Date Is Not Moving


There is always a degree of changeover, an attrition rate, as every Parliament ends and the election process gets rolling. History tells us that it is usual for the party in power to have fewer Members of Parliament decline to run for re-election than opposition parties. The exception being when the governing party knows their time in power is ending, as in the Progressive Conservatives in 1993 when over a third of caucus saw the writing on the wall and thought better of it.

Since the nomination processes of each party are at different stages, the numbers will continue to change as October 21 approaches. But the norms seem to be holding. The governing Liberals are currently looking at a 14% attrition rate. The Conservatives sit at a 23% rate which is lower than their 29% attrition rate of the 2015 election. The New Democrats have an uncharacteristic 35% attrition rate for this fall's vote. The average rate for all parties since 2000 has been 16% attrition. Who are we happy to be rid of? Who will we miss? Who was booted from a caucus? Who has passed away while in office? Who crossed the floor? Who lost nomination? All factors in the attrition rate.

The other issue is the costs related to "severance pay" for MPs who choose not to run again and those who will lose their re-election bids. The costs are already nearing $2 million, but by the end of October could be many times that. Plus anyone with less than 6 years service will get their pension contributions returned plus interest. Not your average workplace to put it mildly. Let's try to figure the inherent real costs to the Canadian public.

Also, did you know that the election date of October 21st came very close to being changed? A constitutional challenge based on religious rights was made and Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault was forced to consider the change by the Federal court. A big precedent has been set for Canada. Let's look at the decision.

Broadcast Date: 07/24/2019

The View Up Here

Manufactured Outrage For Sale Or Rent with Dave Glover


Outrage is for sale or rent to any group that can afford to have it manufactured. There certainly is no shortage of what would be the manufacturers themselves. Messaging campaigns are part of every industry, including politics. And yes it is lucrative. The marketplace for outrage is a true growth industry, just look around. Once outrage has been promoted, the drum beat of repitition must be maintained or increased or softened as required. Of course if you are being told that some issue is unacceptable, there will surely be a hollow alternative you will be encouraged to consume. That generates the monthly billing cycle.

It is said every time without fail, but in 2019 it is a valid statement. Canada has never seen a Federal election like this one in October will be. Political parties have more opportuity and methods to influence you and solicit you for money than they ever have before. The backstop against large funded Political Action Committees in Canada has taken new permissive form. There's just too much to be exploited to not join most of the so-called liberal democracies in letting money and ideology have full access to the system. Right at the head of that line is legacy corporate media to offer their assistance for a price. Infotainment pays much better than journalism.

Scandals are made. Cabinet integrity. Fundraising. State visits. Court cases. Is this anything new? No, but It used to be that a scandal actually was a scandal. That's still possible but it may also be a scheduled release event timeline with a planned purpose.

Dave Glover returns to The View Up Here to discuss this tendency of means buying controversy for gain, among other issues that we will happen upon live. You can catch Dave on The Drive Time from 4 to 7 pm EDT weekdays on Northumberland 89.7 FM out of Cobourg, ON or go to to listen online.

Broadcast Date: 08/07/2019

The View Up Here

Ordered Populism In Canada Is Real And Growing with Frank Graves


There is no denying it any longer, even if the establishment in academia, media and government itself keeps on trying. Populism is alive and growing in Canada. Not all versions of populism are the same as history shows us. Some versions have had positive results but those historical legacies are not what we are seeing across the world in the so-called "liberal democracies". This 21st century trend leans toward "Ordered Populism" which feeds on authoritarianism and a moral certainty that appeals to base emotions rather than evidence and logic. History shows the end results from such ideologies is not something to attain to.

Canada is not magically immune to this dangerous trend despite the statements of derision and denial from those with platforms capable of having a real impact in media and punditry. Populism is here, it is growing in appeal and it will effect this fall's Federal Election in a way we have not seen before. When you look at the work of Public Policy and Polling firms, there is a clear indication of what is moving the needle and the speed is increasing.

Frank Graves is the founder and President of EKOS Research Inc., which began their opinion research and polling on the spectrum of policy, attitudes and trends in 1980. Their work has been solicted and used by the public and private sectors, from Prime Minister's Offices, to Ambassadors foreign and domestic, to corporations seeking insight on products and attitudes, to organizations seeking to make an impact in their field. Mr. Graves has been widely published and has lectured at such institutions as the Rotman School of Business, the Kennedy School at Harvard, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and numerous Canadian universities.

The View Up Here welcomes Frank Graves to inform and comment on the inevitable new reality of Organized Populism in Canadian society, specifically and as a whole.

Broadcast Date: 08/14/2019

The View Up Here

Will The Pallister Devastation Of Manitoba Bring Electoral Reset with James Wilt


Manitoba votes on September 10th in its 39th Provincial election to fill the 57 seats of the Legislature. But despite a fixed election date law, Premier Brian Pallister has chosen to go to the polls over a year earlier than necessary. Why you may ask? Some opinions lean towards the Conservative brand gameplan of solidifying enough Provincial governments to enable the possible amendment of the Canadian Constitution with a Federal Conservative win this October. Some opinions point to the building protests and resistance against his austerity measures requiring a new mandate to continue with any seeming legitimacy.

There is no question about the turmoil the Pallister government has caused in three years. Healthcare has seen strikes and consolidation as facilities close and wait times grow. Education has seen ideological interference linked to funding. Environmental policy has disappeared with little regard. Social programs have been slashed, addiction grows and adequate housing and services disappear as privatization spreads. Indigenous policy has hit a low point as issues continue to grow. Nothing has been immune as the "Premier of Costa Rica" plays the role of "Father Knows Best". Is there a viable alternative?

James Wilt is a freelance journalist and graduate student based in Winnipeg and can be found on twitter at @james_m_wilt. He has written for The Narwhal, VICE Canada, The Globe & Mail, Briarpatch and National Observer. Currently working on a book about public transportation for Between The Lines Books, James joins The View Up Here to analyze and discuss the Manitoba election based on his comprehensive piece in Canadian Dimension titled "The Devastation Of Manitoba: An Autopsy Of Pallister's Austerity Regime" available here

Broadcast Date: 09/04/2019

The View Up Here

Canada's Election About Nothing... And Everything


Here we go Canada. The Writ must be dropped by September 17th for General Election 43. Can you tell? In a word... nope. The same lacklustre campaigns on social media and television have maintained the same predictable messaging since Parliament rose in June. The Party primary slogans have been rolled out and the only thing they share is the simplicity and vagueness of them all. Trying to keep it simple appears to be the name of the game. Will any of them work is the question that will be answered on October 21st.

Has the famous line from Prime Minster Kim Campbell been proven accurate? It does seem the gameplan of not talking about serious issues in a campaign has more fans than ever before inside political circles. By regular circumstance, the party looking to return as government has an interest in calm, steady sailing to the vote. More needs to be done. Stay the course. Don't change now. OR ELSE... THEM. The party looking to reclaim government, following recent patterns from their Provincial counterparts, says even less about plans and gets ripped apart when they do. So, it's all about THEM. Something not working? THEM. Do your feels hurt? THEM. Life sucks? THEM. Never mind what we will do, that's later.

Clark. Wall. Pallister. Legault. Ford. Higgs. Kenney. They all used the same plan. WE are not THEM. That's it. This is a political phenomenon of the 21st century coinciding with the rise of Ordered Populism in democracies across the world. Canadians have witnessed the speed of disruptive change in these nations, not for the better. So what do they have in common?

The International Democratic Union is a global right-wing governance coalition that shares methods, technology, tactics and ideology to get their members elected and in power. Despite the name, today's neofascists around the world fill it. What does IDU Chairman Stephen Harper have in store for Canadians? Count on the real plan not being mentioned.

Broadcast Date: 09/11/2019

The View Up Here

Why Is The State Of Civil Rights Missing From Canada's Election Campaign?


It has become an assumed fact by Canadians and others that in international surveys looking at standard of living, healthcare, education, public safety or stability that Canada will be in the first five poistions. It didn't happen by accident or without decades of work by politicians and activists of all stripes to make Canada a global leader in quality of life. But standards only remain with constant maintenance, examination and the will to make necessary changes.

Is it an engineered lack of public awareness, secretive practices or institutional control that is keeping Civil Rights out of this Federal election campaign?

Tim McSorley is National Coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and he returns to The View Up Here to discuss a few of the many glaring examples in present-day Canada where the rhetoric of Openness and Freedom doesn't match up to the realities. What is at risk to all Canadians in ignoring the problems in our Intelligence Agencies?

No-Fly Lists, Databases and Unaccountability - The problems in these systems have existed from the day they were created. No informing citizens of being on a list. No evidenciary disclosure. No appeal process. No redress for removal from a list. In a word- Unconstitutional.

CSIS - Controversy never leaves this agency, with good reason. Recent racial and religious profiling failures with no apparent purpose or result have once again cast the agency in a nefarious light. Will they ever be held to following the rules?

Hassan Diab - Despite the past failures involving Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and countless others the evidenciary, deportation and repatriation processes in Canada have been in need of rewrite for decades. Reports and recommendations are never implemented. ICLMG is at the forefront of these efforts and we will discuss them to advance the cause that Canadians are protected by their own Government by default not demand.

Broadcast Date: 09/18/2019

The View Up Here

There Is No Brownface Scandal Without Dirty Tricks


There is no question that the behaviour depicted in past incidents by Justin Trudeau creating the "Brownface/Blackface" scandal is racist behaviour. Society changes at glacial speed and similar incidents still take place in present day. But the period of time straddling the beginning of the 21st century is not our distant past. And to his credit, Justin Trudeau said so himself when accepting responsibility for the evidence presented to an astonished global audience.

The speed with which the Liberal Party campaign acknowledged that it was Justin Trudeau in those pictures gave hint that they knew this was coming at some point. There was a strategy in place to admit, atone and try to move forward. Well, what else can you do under these circumstances? Also true to form came the firestorm about the competency of Trudeau to lead from the usual sources and many more now interested in our sleepy little election.

Why was that specific moment picked to release it? By whom for what purpose? Was it intended to show the Canadian public the inadequacies of Trudeau, or was it part of something bigger? Polling shows the highest outrage coming from CPC and PPC voters, while acceptance of the apology is high amongst People of Colour? Does that make sense? There are questions about the source nobody can find, the novice tasked with breaking this story and the veracity of its intent. There is curious commonality in the background of many people involved, most out of public view.

Amy MacPherson returns to The View Up Here to talk about her work investigating and piecing together the timeline of the Brownface Scandal that raises multiple new questions. Her excellent piece we will be discussing can be read at

Broadcast Date: 09/25/2019

The View Up Here

Does Any Party Have A Winning Climate Change Plan?


Climate Change and the Environment are issues in this election like never before. All polling shows that Canadians across the spectrum recognize the urgency to take real action and change the way things have been done for so long. The reasons vary, from the concern for future generations to the dependency on a dying industry to the mass extinction of flora and fauna to the sheer cost on our way of life. The generational divide on this growing problem will continue to get more pronounced and political parties will stake out their positions based on their demographic support.

Despite the scientific and anecdotal evidence that has been amassing for decades, political will continues to be elusive. There is no issue more indicative of what political power actually listens to, and it's not the citizenry or the evidence. Elaborate conventions and documents with no binding provisions are presented as progress, with no tangible punishment for failing to honour them. Fossil fuel subsidies continue unabated despite the promise of eventual elimination. Substantive change in energy use and production have not happened.

So what are the positions of the major parties being sold in this election? The View Up Here will try to translate the platforms and hold them up to the light of reality. Is there a best option of what is likely? Will positions from the parties with no chance of forming government have any impact? Or are they well aware there will be no lasting impact of proposing to go somewhere that in this current reality is not nearly as simple as they claim?

Climate change is not going away. But apparently neither is politics.

Broadcast Date: 10/04/2019

The View Up Here

The Global Disruption Machine Finds Canada Not Like The Rest ... Yet


A global disruption machine has been roaming the globe for some time now. Seeking political upheaval and piles of transitory revenue it's been rolling along without effective counter-measures. Until Canada. Familiar tactics and methodology have not yielded the same results to date.

A level of political party collusion, be it temporary or strategic, has appeared in Canada like never before. Grievances have always existed between the Provinces and Ottawa but now they are being manufactured and sold as critical national issues. With only partisan aims. Your host will be happy to inform on this vector.

The next common vector of systemic disruption involves corporate media masquerading as journalism. Opinion has always been a big part of ownership, to be tolerated. What's new is the misinformation, gaslighting, clickbaiting and blind political preference without shame. Behavioural scientist and independent journalist Caroline Orr joins us to look at Canada's post-truth mass media world.

The most dangerous vector is ahead of the curve. They are the curve. Big Data owns the disruption game. Psychometrics, AI analytics, micro-targeting and stealth are remaking the landscape. Netwar Systems specializes in Big Data methods with regard to digital ecosystems. With insight, experience, skill and advanced tools, they have unlocked insights around political narratives in the US, Canada, UK, Belgium and Germany. Netwar Systems also identifies disinfo campaigns, botnets and other nefarious activities. They have found evidence of such in Canada. Neal Rauhauser and Jessalyn Hernandez join us to explain their findings and provide context about this situation. Finding demand for their services to decypher Big Data increasing, expansion is necessary. There is no dark money funding for Netwar Systems (see below)

Broadcast Date: 10/11/2019

The View Up Here

Canada's First Post-Truth Election with Stephen Lautens


Remember that excruciatingly long 2015 Federal campaign in Canada? With the one party that had that leader nobody respected outside of his ever-shrinking cult? The same party that insisted that Other Guy just couldn't handle the big chair? Well, it didn't turn out so well for that party, to most of Canada's relief. So this time around that party will have learned from that lesson, right? Right?

Apparently not. The way they see it, they didn't go far enough to ensure their narrative controlled the scenario at all times. From all angles and all directions delivered by as close to all outlets as possible. Hell, even make up some outlets to push the propagnda. More is more. How can we lose?

It worked for Brexit, it worked for Trump, it worked for Ford, it worked for Kenney. Bring on the Post-truth ascension of the Ordered Populists, eh? Despite a level of flat-out lying day in and day out on everything under the sun that aligns with an invisible roadmap to the future based on "We're not that guy", Canada remains unconvinced.

From Season 1 Episode 17 to tonight's Season 12 Episode 6, The View Up Here has welcomed Stephen Lautens to bring humour, irony, satire, insight and bold reality to Canada's political tribulations. We look at some of the sustained efforts that have made their way to Canada from, mostly, the Republican Party of the US be it directly or by enhanced proxy. It's no longer about facts, policies, economics or national vision. It's all about setting the narrative on every subject back to one purported cause. The absolute unsuitability of one man who represents a version of Canada the whole world recognizes and overwhelmingly holds in good standing. The Canadian electorate knows more about the party and its leader who have been Government over the last four years than any other option on the ballot. Yet the non-stop narrative of what THEY are about leaves a dangerous void.

Broadcast Date: 10/18/2019

The View Up Here

The Winners, The Losers & The Other Losers with Stephen Lautens


Canadian Federal Election 43 is over. Too bad the misinformation about it isn't over as well. Unfortunately, that likely will not end. Ever. No party achieved a majority of seats, with the Liberal Party of Justin Trudeau coming the closest with 157, thirteen short of the magic number.

The Conservative Party certainly made gains, from 99 on election night last time to 121 this time. But that is still regarded as a huge failure considering the problems the Liberals worked themselves into and the single-issue campaign of Trudeau Must Go. It seems to be everyone's fault except theirs and Andrew Scheer's, according to their messaging.

Jagmeet Singh did prevent a New Democratic Party wipeout, if just barely. The Orange Wave of 2011 has drained completely. But it appears the rookie leader did establish his brand in a favourable light with Canadians overall.

The Green Wave simply did not happen, despite unprecedented attention given to Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada. The big question going forward is whether it is time for a change in leadership, with a certain victorious independent MP's name being mentioned by more than a few.

The Bloc is back, big time. Yves-Francois Blanchet has taken a fractured party and made a real power broker in this new Parliament, to the chagrin of most in the Rest of Canada. Scavenging from all three national parties, the BQ is now again the political will of Quebec in Ottawa.

Oh yeah, au revoir Maxime. Take your racist gang with you.

The View Up Here completes the Federal Election Sandwich, with Stephen Lautens returning to discuss and examine the results of our exercise in democracy and what may come next after last week's episode that tried to decipher a campaign like none Canada has ever seen before. Hey, we were so enlightening before the vote, why not take another stab at it? At least that's our official statement on things. Honest.

Broadcast Date: 10/25/2019

The View Up Here

Could The Deep State Be Us? A Tough Assessment with Stanley Cohen


This final new episode of The View Up Here will try to demonstrate the irony in picking that name for the project back in 2014. After the 2008 meltdown, the opportunity existed for a brief moment in time to actually change the systemic abuse and domination by those who run the machine. A new generation with a new way of communicating were looking for change. And with this new part of society seeking to change things came new ways of organizing and taking action. The status quo lagged in effective countermeasures outside of the usual prosecutorial power of the State. New methods gave way to the evolution of alternative voices from every conceivable position. Of which, TVUH was born. But then something happened. Eventually people behaved like people always have.

Systemic abuse and rot have always existed in every society. The difference is what is done about it. Accelerating the speed of everyday life has given us conditions where solutions are demanded at a speed to match it. How can this be done with generational systems of neglect? Do what people have always done. Don't fix it, just sell a fix for it. Label it. Personalize it. Make it a hill to die on, complete with a Hero. With diametrically opposed solutions, team comes before an actual fix.

Stanley Cohen has spent the majority of his life entwined in this never-ending loop, defending the things that do not change no matter how the rules of engagement are interpreted for that particular moment in time. From Season 4 Episode 17 in January 2016 to today's Season 12 Episode 8, The View Up Here welcomes Stanley back for his 6th guest appearance to discuss what could be called the perpetual self-own. Pause must be given to consider why identifiable systemic ills are analyzed to death, the proposed solutions are team issues and nothing gets fixed. Is the central core of maintaing the status quo even required if the hive mind is conditioned to do it for them counter-intuitively?

Broadcast Date: 11/05/2019

The View Up Here

The View Up Here Festivus Finale


This is it. The View Up Here Festivus Finale. Six years. Twelve seasons. More than 55,000 listens.

Scandals. Whistleblowers. Campaigns. Anonymous. Occupy. Memorials. Too many Federal bills to count. Too many topics, too many rants, too many lulz. Way too much butthurt. For and against. Frans, enemies, promotions, campaigns positive and negative.

Smoker Sundays. Church of the Hidden Realities. The Smarks. MMM Live on the 5's. TVUH Globals. Shows launched. Shows ended. Shows destroyed. Wars of the Internetz started and ended. Challenges issued, challenges accepted. Praise. Derision. A good time was had by all. And the band played on.

So many people have told me over the years about what a great episode that was or I'd never heard of that issue/problem/guest before and thanks for opening my eyes/mind/pocket to it/them. That was pretty much all I ever wanted to accomplish here. I cannot adequately convey my thanks to all the guests and listeners over the years. I've always said that I've never had a guest leave unhappy and I stand by that statement as the show ends.

It's open lines on the final episode. I will say what I want to say and then I turn it over to whoever wants to add to it. Whether this finale is twenty minutes or three hours, that's up to the listeners.

Broadcast Date: 12/08/2019