This week on Open Sources Guelph, we will have to once again confront tragedy, albeit closer to home. What’s been described by many as a terrorist attack has cast into sharp relief many of the political discussions happening around coffee shops and computers right now as people look to what’s happening south of the border and wonder if it shares some of the blame. We’ll dedicate the first half of the show to terrible news from Quebec, and then we’ll look at the (lack of) electoral reform here at home, and how events in Washington might now be having a negative impact on the Canadian economy.
This Thursday, February 2, at 5 pm, Scotty Hertz and Adam A. Donaldson will discuss:
1) Quebec Part 1. The Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec was the venue of a terrorist attack Sunday night. Shortly after Muslim parishioners were gathered for their evening prayers, a gunman burst in with an assault rifle and replayed a scene that’s been enacted far too often in recent years. Five are dead, almost 20 more are injured, a couple of whom are still critical, and one man has been taken into custody. If there’s a bright side to this whole saga, it’s that Canadians came out en masse to support their Muslim friends and neighbours, and Canada’s messages of peace and inclusivity seem louder today than the day before. We’ll gauge the cultural fallout of the attack.
2) Quebec Part 2. Alexandre Bissonnette is the suspect charged in the case, and by many accounts he was an introverted, but otherwise ordinary young man. We don’t know much about the 27-year-old, but seems that he was anti-refugee and anti-feminist, but pro-Donald Trump and, more disturbingly, pro-Marie Le Pen, the leader of France’s ultra-right political party the National Front. Combined with the fact that this attack came on the same weekend Trump signed his controversial “Muslim Ban” executive order, and the chaos it caused, can we separate the actions of this madman with the politics causing so much decent and uncertainty around the globe? Should we be concerned that the actions of certain politicians might inspire more violence?
3) Electoral Dysfunction. Well, it seems all those predictions that the Federal Liberals were trying to weasel out of electoral reform were right after all because the Liberals did indeed weasel away on Wednesday saying that there’s no national census or thirst for changing our voting system. That will surely come as a surprise to all those people that came out to town halls and meetings to speak on the subject, not to mention having to put up with odiously cliched moves like the MyDemocracy survey with the slim hope that they may still reach the promised land. But now the Liberals have dashed all hope, the question is, will they pay for it at the ballot box?
4) Meanwhile in Ingersoll. On Friday afternoon, the biggest worry in our area was the news out of Ingersoll that the GM plant there was cutting over 600 jobs and shuffling them off to Mexico. It’s an unusual development because over the last several months, the plant there has actually been staffing up, and adding more shifts as the car maker seemed to be ramping up their Ontario operations. So what happened? People are wondering, and it seems to come down to one word: Trump. GM, afraid of incurring the Twitter wrath of the U.S. President, is looking at making cuts in Canada instead of the U.S. So is Canada now slated to be NAFTA’s whipping boy in the Trump era, and what can the Government of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau do about it?
Open Sources is live on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca at 5 pm on Thursday.