Rachel Notley opposes academic honour for David Suzuki

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quizzical

i don't think she's a shill at all for oil billionaires.

how about you point me to where she ever said she was shutting down the oil industry in AB or even slowing it. or ever disagreed with the pipeline expansion.

i want the pipeline. i do not want the pipelune full of dilbit. 

there needs to be a refinery asap.

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

When was the last time Notley commented unfavourably about an honorary degree award (correct, never)?

Well, when's the last time a reporter asked her her opinion of an honorary degree award?

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

Unionist wrote:

When was the last time Notley commented unfavourably about an honorary degree award (correct, never)?

Well, when's the last time a reporter asked her her opinion of an honorary degree award?

That's exactly the point I made above. There was a huge violent onslaught, including "do we still hang for treason?" comments, in response to the award. So of course she was asked by the sensation-seeking media. She could have had the decency to say, "no comment", or, "that's a decision for the university, not government", or whatever. Instead, she piled on against Suzuki - and had no comment about the right-wing insanity. She should be condemned for that. I condemn her for that.

NorthReport

NDP Premier Notley has just gained about 15% on right-winger Kenney, so this tactic bodes we’ll for her re-election chances

6079_Smith_W

Not really, if you look at the numbers. UCP is still at around 50 percent.

 

 

 

NorthReport

 

Alberta NDP closing approval gap with UCP: Mainstreet poll

https://globalnews.ca/news/4169937/alberta-ndp-ucp-approval-gap-poll/

Party / Apr 18 / Jan 6 / Difference

UCP / 48.6% / 55.9% / Down 7.3%

NDP / 35.4% / 27.3% / Up 8.1%

The NDP has gained 15.4% on the UCP in the last 3 months, so whether or not people outside of Alberta agree with Rachel's approach, it appears to be working for her in Alberta where it counts.

6079_Smith_W

Yes, 48.6 is around 50 percent, and there is a margin of error.

 

NorthReport

Notley appears to have the momentum now which is significant.

Notley's Stand on Kinder Morgan Gains NDP Support Says Poll

"Rachel Notley's position has caused a huge swing.  The United Conservative Party is down almost eight points, the NDP and Rachel Notley is up almost eight points.  That's a massive swing from what we saw just three months ago."

The new poll suggests that among decided and leaning voters, the UCP and Kenney have 48.6 percent support, down 7.3 percent from January while the governing NDP with Rachel Notley at the helm currently have the support of 35.4 percent, up 8.1 percent from January.  Although Maggi points out that the UCP lead over the NDP is still more than 13 percent, he says things in Alberta have tightened up.

"We asked people, 'are you more or less likely to vote NDP now as a result of the position that Rachel Notley and the NDP government has taken' and we're seeing strong indications that more and more people would consider voting NDP in the next election.  So what looked like a foregone conclusion three months ago now is starting to look interesting."

While Maggi says the UCP would still win an election, if it were held today, it doesn't negate the fact that the NDP has made up a lot of ground since January.  He says when you start looking at some of the regional differences in the poll, the NDP closing of the gap seems even stronger.

"The NDP is doing much, much better in Edmonton than they were doing in January.  We saw them doing much, much better, almost at the levels of the last election in Calgary.  It's really just in the rest of Alberta that we see the UCP support extremely high.  We know that's where the votes are and that's where the seats are.  Even though it's a 13 point lead, it's just about a year until the next election and this is a much-needed bump for Rachel Notley and the NDP and it's largely on the backs of this issue (Kinder Morgan)."

Maggi says the poll also shows overwhelming support in Alberta for the pipeline's construction.  87.8 percent said they somewhat support the Kinder Morgan expansion, with 77.5 percent saying they strongly support it.

https://www.discoverairdrie.com/local/notley-s-stand-on-kinder-morgan-ga...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

This is just another one of  Unionist’s hates the NDP threads

..northreport i remember a time not so long ago you were calling the ndp brain dead and losers on a regular basis. both at the national and provincial level. you can go from spitting nails to kissing ass in no time flat. i find your politics elusive and unstable. and i find your accusations against unionist disingenuous.

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:
..northreport i remember a time not so long ago you were calling the ndp brain dead and losers on a regular basis. both at the national and provincial level. you can go from spitting nails to kissing ass in no time flat. i find your politics elusive and unstable. and i find your accusations against unionist disingenuous.

Oh, it's ok, epaulo. Some people understand politics only in terms of "I blindly follow my party, I hate the other parties", and they attribute the same religious fervour to everyone else. It's the only way they can make sense of the world. That's why they shamelessly (because they don't understand what they're doing wrong) disrupt a thread about a Premier expressing her displeasure at a university's decision on an honorary degree, and convert it into some brain-dead 1 millionth conversation about how many decimals of a percentage point of a phoney poll their party has scored. It's extremely sad, but it's often what passes for political discussion these days. Our attitude should be one of sympathy and offering a helping hand.

If I spewed shit like that in the union or the workplace, I'd be relegated to... well, somewhere.

6079_Smith_W

If the NDP can't do well in Redmonton they had best pack it in. That is basically the first hurdle, and is no indication of winning power.

Look, I'm not saying it is an impossibility, but it is still the UCP's race to lose at this point. And as I mentioned upthread, at what point is Notley going to alienate her own base, and damage relations to the point that that the end result is worse than a loss that at this point is the most likely outcome?

Threats of retaliatory embargos and bans are the sorts of things we pillory right-wing leaders for because they are reactionary. That was certainly the case in what happened between Saskatchewan and Alberta last year. The threats are no more mature now.

 

 

lagatta4

Suzuki isn't to blame for the destruction of  passenger rail, including the southern line across the Prairies. Yes, people should take the train rather than fly, but can't do so if there isn't one. Buses are very uncomfortable, and Suzuki isn't a young man. We have to fight for quality public transport.

JKR

Unionist wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:
..northreport i remember a time not so long ago you were calling the ndp brain dead and losers on a regular basis. both at the national and provincial level. you can go from spitting nails to kissing ass in no time flat. i find your politics elusive and unstable. and i find your accusations against unionist disingenuous.

Oh, it's ok, epaulo. Some people understand politics only in terms of "I blindly follow my party, I hate the other parties", and they attribute the same religious fervour to everyone else. It's the only way they can make sense of the world. That's why they shamelessly (because they don't understand what they're doing wrong) disrupt a thread about a Premier expressing her displeasure at a university's decision on an honorary degree, and convert it into some brain-dead 1 millionth conversation about how many decimals of a percentage point of a phoney poll their party has scored. It's extremely sad, but it's often what passes for political discussion these days. Our attitude should be one of sympathy and offering a helping hand.

If I spewed shit like that in the union or the workplace, I'd be relegated to... well, somewhere.

It seems that ever increasing hyper partisanship is making it more difficult to discuss issues. I think modern communications have made it more difficult to discuss issues as modern communications have divided people more between tribal affiliations such as the growing red versus blue tribal divide in the US and the growing red versus blue versus orange versus green tribal divide here in Canada. On the internet it seems people are becoming more comfortable sealed within their own political tribe. Some prolific posters here on Babble tend to discuss issues strictly through a partisan lens. There seems to be more spin doctoring here and less discussion than there was a decade ago. I think a lot of people who come to Babble quickly leave due to the hyper party partisanship here.

Unionist

JKR wrote:
It seems that ever increasing hyper partisanship is making it more difficult to discuss issues. I think modern communications have made it more difficult to discuss issues as modern communications have divided people more between tribal affiliations such as the growing red versus blue tribal divide in the US and the growing red versus blue versus orange versus green tribal divide here in Canada. On the internet it seems people are becoming more comfortable sealed within their own political tribe. Some prolific posters here on Babble tend to discuss issues strictly through a partisan lens. There seems to be more spin doctoring here and less discussion than there was a decade ago. I think a lot of people who come to Babble quickly leave due to the hyper party partisanship here.

I hope you're wrong. But I fear you're right.

Anyway, let me say this (on topic): If a politician is asked about a strictly autonomous decision of a university, one not connected with public policy - whether it be a chosen field of research, the awarding of a degree, etc. - they should (in my opinion) say that that's a matter of academic freedom, and it would be improper for someone with power to comment. Unless they have something nice to say. Because that's how censorship and improper influence worm their way in - in addition to funding of projects by private enterprise, overall funding by private donors, etc. Universities need to be funded by society, with free tuition for students, and they should be left alone by governments to do their work.

6079_Smith_W

lagatta4 wrote:

Suzuki isn't to blame for the destruction of  passenger rail,

That one is in part due to oil too. VIA doesn't own the track, so the passenger trains have to pull over and give priority to freight. So trains can be half a day or more late (as the eastbound was on Easter weekend). Even the grain can't get to market because of other priorities. And STC? That shutdown was made specifically to destroy public transport.

lagatta4

Sorry to be an ignorant "Eastern Bastard", but what is STC? I guess the T is transport or transit, but I could derive either Saskatchewan or Calgary from the other 2.  Hard to Google since there are so many STCs.

Here, Jean Drapeau was proud to preside over the death of the tram system. It is a wonder Toronto managed to save their red rockets.  Perhaps Jane Jacobs had a hand in their salvage?

6079_Smith_W

Saskatchewan's provincial bus line, shut down a year ago. There is no public transit between Saskatoon and Regina any more.

And no worries.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
She could have had the decency to say, "no comment", or, "that's a decision for the university, not government", or whatever.

Yes.

To a lot of people, "academic freedom" means -- erroneously -- that "teachers can teach whatever they want however they want to and nobody can question it", but in reality, academic freedom has always meant that an academic can research whatever he/she wishes, and can present their findings, without interference from the institution.  It's what's supposed to prevent a university from trying to sabotage a researcher whose work is critical of a corporate donor, for example. 

But the same concept applies to the university as a whole -- they and their academic decisions should be at arm's length from government, the same way the judicial branch and their decisions should be.

voice of the damned

So do Unionist and Magoo(and anyone else criticizing Notley on this) agree that Premier David Peterson overstepped the bounds when he called for the UWO to dismiss J. Phillipe Rushton?

https://tinyurl.com/y7jfp68j

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

Gee, where to start with that comparison? Here I thought calling Suzuki a traitor was the bottom of the barrel.

NorthReport

Notley supports the university's right to decide.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
So do Unionist and Magoo(and anyone else criticizing Notley on this) agree that Premier David Peterson overstepped the bounds when he called for the UWO to dismiss J. Phillipe Rushton?

Yes.

The important asterisk is that that's not "agreement" with Rushton nor his methodology.  Nor, IMHO, was the University not firing him.  He's actually a wonderful example of Academic Freedom (if also a terrible example of why the public should value it).

voice of the damned

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Gee, where to start with that comparison? Here I thought calling Suzuki a traitor was the bottom of the barrel.

Huh? What's wrong with the comparison? I'm not saying Suzuki and Rushton are morally similar.

Unionist and Magoo argue that the government should remain neutral in academic matters. Arms length, as Magoo put it. I'm just asking if that applies to Rushton as well.

And yes, I chose Rushton because he is someone most people on this forum(myself included) consider to have been pretty much beyond the pale. But if you can say "I support the arm's length principle, and that even includes cases where the university is hosting the ideas of an absolute assh0le", then I applaud the consistency.

If you can't say that, then you MIGHT need to reconsider your commitment to the position, because you can only postulate so many exceptions to a principle, before you start doing damage to the principle.

6079_Smith_W

I have no problem making a distinction between someone the government disagrees with on policy issues, and a professor pushing racist pseudoscience.
Funny thing is governments and the oil industry have done their best to muzzle scientists warning about climate change.

voice of the damned

NorthReport wrote:

Notley supports the university's right to decide.

Well, I think the criticism is that she engaged in a bit of "soft interference" by saying that she would not have voted for the award had she been a member of the senate, even though she defended the right to go ahead with the award now that it's been offered.

Though I wonder if she could have sidestepped the whole issue by just saying something like "Well, I personally don't agree with David Suzuki on pipelines, but the university can do whatever it wants". That is, not actually commenting on the vote itself, and confining her remarks about Suzuki to what I think is already known about her opinion.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I have no problem making a distinction between someone the government disagrees with on policy issues, and a professor pushing racist pseudoscience.

Are you saying that in the latter case, the government SHOULD get involved in academic business, instead of letting peer review and the academic process handle it?  Other than virtue signalling, I can't see any good reason for government to go a meddlin'.

voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

I have no problem making a distinction between someone the government disagrees with on policy issues, and a professor pushing racist pseudoscience.

I think Peterson could have said "Rushton is an absolute racist quack", without challenging the university's decision to keep him employed. Being tenured shouldn't, and doesn't, as far as I know, shield you from having your ideas, rather than your employment, called into question.

But if you think what Peterson said was okay, that's cool. I think you do have somewhat different ideas on academic freedom that what I would attribute to Magoo, and possibly Unionist as well.

NorthReport

Part of the problem is the timing, no question about that.

This is a good editiorial about the issue and Notley is not even mentioned. Funny that.

 

http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-u-of-a-right-to-...

6079_Smith_W

Nope I didn't say that (in answer to both your questions).

And considering Notley made it clear she wasn't interfering it seems like a straw argument. Politicians can offer an opinion and this is an honourary degree not firing a professor.

But what I find odd is both the comparison and the irony that there has been plenty of government interference against climate scientists and pipeline opponents; it is probably the most targetted field in recent years. That her role here is rhetorical doesn't mean she isn't contributing to it.

6079_Smith_W

What she did say was that the university was "tone deaf" and that their giving Suzuki the award was "polarizing". That, and that had she been on the board she wouldn't have voted for it.

Really, her faux objectivity and faux respect for independence is a bit of an aside to the far more active ways she has been pushing on this.

But it is definitely a criticism of the university. Of course she is allowed to say stuff like that. But what is problematic about it is that it both justifies those who are manipulating universities in favour of pipelines and against climate change, and emboldens others to make far more extreme accusations. Which in fact we saw in the wake of this.

Comparisons to that situation in Ontario? Well it was a completely different situation in plenty of ways. So no, what someone might think about Peterson's actions isn't a point of principle that is relevant to this.

 

 

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:

So do Unionist and Magoo(and anyone else criticizing Notley on this) agree that Premier David Peterson overstepped the bounds when he called for the UWO to dismiss J. Phillipe Rushton?

https://tinyurl.com/y7jfp68j

1. What exactly, precisely, specifically did Peterson say (there's no indication in this article)? Let me know, and I'll tell you whether I think it was out of bounds. Agree, VOTD?

2. Notley said she would not have voted to award Suzuki an honorary degree. Thankfully, the oil barons have only authorized her to rule the province, not to sit on the university senate. So her opinion on Suzuki's degree was out of bounds. She should mind her own business. No one cares what she thinks about Suzuki or degrees. Especially given her obvious biases in favour of oil sands, pipelines, and threatening and attacking anyone who stands in the way of her masters' mission.

quizzical

so you speak for everyone now? and know everyone too.

must be nice to be so full of yourself to claim everyone's caring 

how about you look after your own province's shit and mind your business like you telll everyone to do when they make comments about Quebec.

w it pisses me off your fighting for a Kenney led Alberta and it makes me have absolutely no use for your words or opinion.

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

so you speak for everyone now? and know everyone too.

must be nice to be so full of yourself to claim everyone's caring 

how about you look after your own province's shit and mind your business like you telll everyone to do when they make comments about Quebec.

w it pisses me off your fighting for a Kenney led Alberta and it makes me have absolutely no use for your words or opinion.

Small request: Even when you're angry, stop screaming at me. It doesn't make for a productive conversation. I have never made comments like that to you. If I did and forgot, remind me, and I'll apologize.

As you (and your mother) know, I have always appreciated your contributions - I sit and listen when you speak on issues (e.g. Indigenous) where I have much more to learn than I know now. I have never told anyone to shut up when they talk about Québec, but I have never shut up either when someone (from Québec or not) gets it very wrong. And this thread is not about who wins some stupid election which I don't care about. It's about academic freedom without government interference, and it's about the future of the planet. I have every right to comment, as do you and everyone.

 

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

1. What exactly, precisely, specifically did Peterson say (there's no indication in this article)? Let me know, and I'll tell you whether I think it was out of bounds. Agree, VOTD?

Well, the direct quote doesn't seem to have survived into posterity, except for a verbatim bit about Rushton's views being "offensive to the way Ontarians think" or some such, which doesn't address the issue of his continued employment.  

Be that as it may, we can probably just go back to the original principle...

"Except in cases possibly involving illegal behaviour[eg. senators were directly bribed or threatened with violence to give the award, in which case it's a police matter], there are no circumstances whatsoever in which it is acceptable for an elected politician to criticize a publically-funded university's decision to award an honorary degree."

Is that essentially your position? Because it seems consistent with what you've written on this thread.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
And considering Notley made it clear she wasn't interfering it seems like a straw argument. Politicians can offer an opinion and this is an honourary degree not firing a professor.

I think the only problem with that is that she's not interfering because she has no power to.  We can't know if she's saying "oh, well, I'm just a citizen like anyone else and I can have personal opinions too" because she would never "go there" or whether she wants everyone to know that if only it were in her bailiwick, she would go there.

No, it's not cause for resignations and new elections and all that.  But she didn't need to give her opinion, unless she really wanted voters to know that if it were up to her, this wouldn't have happened.  That's my read.  Same as when a politician says they're disappointed with a legal verdict.  What are they actually saying, if not "damn, I wish I could have somehow changed this", and that's also not their place.

NorthReport

Very misleading thread title by Unionist and once again he targets wrong person

https://www.google.ca/amp/calgarysun.com/opinion/columnists/bell-kenney-goes-after-teachers-union-over-suzuki/amp

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

Very misleading thread title by Unionist and once again he targets wrong person

https://www.google.ca/amp/calgarysun.com/opinion/columnists/bell-kenney-goes-after-teachers-union-over-suzuki/amp

You're giving me a lot of entertainment this evening (Eastern time), NorthReport!

You don't have to tell me Kenney is an ultra-right asshole. I figured that out long ago.

I changed the thread title on your suggestion, when you said this two days ago:

NorthReport, on April 28 wrote:
You are putting Notley in the same category as Kenney just look at the title of this thread. Thanks but no thanks.

So I removed Kenney from the title, so we could just discuss the actions of the, like, you know, the government. And I said:

Unionist, on April 28 wrote:
You're right, my bad. Fixed it. Thanks for pointing that out!

I thought we were good, but apparently I still got it wrong. You want me to attack Kenney, and praise Notley. Am I right?

How do I say this politely:

Over. My. Dead. Body.

 

 

NorthReport

Notley says she supports academic freedom.

What more do you want and can you expect from a Premier of Alberta?

https://www.thestar.com/edmonton/2018/04/25/this-voice-needs-to-be-heard...

But below is the reality of where Notley lives:

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/corbella-honorary-degree-to-suz...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:

Notley says she supports academic freedom.

What more do you want and can you expect from a Premier of Alberta?

Could she have just shut her mouth about honorary degrees?

It's possible to both support the government's purview to control immigration and NOT say, out loud "personally, I kind of wish we weren't getting all these foreigners".

Her opinion was simply not needed.  Yes, it was legitimate, and yes she acknowledged that it's not actually up to her, but she didn't need to weigh in.  Why do you suppose she chose to?

Any decent journalist could ask her at least a dozen questions in a row to which she'd say "no comment"... so why did she feel compelled to comment?

NorthReport

This honourary degree is unfortunate timing in that it has been rescheduled to accommodate Suzuki. If it had been granted a year ago when originally planned, there probably would not be the uproar in Alberta that there is now This is due to the new BC's NDP government position on the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and as well, where do people think Dr Suzuki lives?  

6079_Smith_W

I think it is great timing, actually.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This honourary degree is unfortunate timing in that it has been rescheduled to accommodate Suzuki.

Can you tell us more about this?

How much too big for your own britches do you need to be to be too busy to receive your own honourary degree?

"Gosh, that's super, but how about a year from now when I'm not so busy hosting The Nature of Things?"

NorthReport

All you need is one honorary degree to be called Dr.

Dr Suzuki is a busy guy, and when you already have 29 I suppose he has his priorities, after all he probably doesn’t have too much more time. I remember recently being at Dave Barrett’s memorial and although Dr Suzuki had been asked to speak, his wife spoke in his place, as he was in a remote area working on a research project, and chose not to interrupt his work.

NorthReport

And if you had any doubts that the U of A made a mistake, reading the following should confirm that they didn’t.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/article-is-david-suzuki-a-science-denier/

Unionist

NorthReport wrote:

And if you had any doubts that the U of A made a mistake, reading the following should confirm that they didn’t.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/article-is-david-suzuki-a-science-denier/

I guess you hadn't heard that by consensus of research scientists, it has been determined that Margaret Wente is a right-wing piece of shit?

Glad to see she's on board with Rachel Notley. It helps clarify matters a lot.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Suzuki Backlash Shows Risks of Universities’ Dependence on Corporate Donors

Some of our friends from next door should take a pill. They’re so overwrought they’re losing their focus, snapping like a blind dog without a bone.

quote:

The university, however, is standing pat. “Universities must not be afraid of controversy. Instead, we must be its champion,” stated president David Turpin in an open letter.

This is really much ado about nothing. In the grand scheme of things, whether or not Suzuki gets another honourary doctorate is neither here nor there. He already has two dozen of them. He has the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia and was once chosen as the greatest living Canadian in a poll conducted by the CBC.

One of his honourary degrees, by the way, came from the University of Calgary. Here at home, UBC and Simon Fraser have both given him one. Maybe Thompson Rivers University will be next.

quote:

On the other hand, corporations also have the right to donate, or not to donate, to their universities of choice. If a university cheeses them off, it’s their business if they stop giving. It may be shortsighted, but it’s their money.

But good lord, if corporate donations are going to be clawed back over something as unimportant as an honourary doctorate to an unpopular environmentalist, what will happen when something really serious happens?

The Suzuki uproar demonstrates just how fragile the financing of universities is. So strapped are they for cash, so inadequate is their public funding, that they would close their doors without philanthropic and corporate money.

One need look no further than our own Thompson Rivers University for proof. Next time you’re on campus, count the number of plaques that name buildings, wings, theatres and classrooms after wealthy donors and corporations. You don’t get your name on something at TRU for volunteer work; you get it for being a good donor.

NorthReport
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..re #148 looks like ndp damage control

NorthReport

Nice to see the Notley-led NDP defending the U of A's position on Suzuki's honourary degree.

Quote:
Schmidt says Kenney is in “an uncomfortable position” because the United Conservative leader champions free speech but doesn’t want Suzuki to get an honorary degree.

Unionist

I haven't seen one single quote from Marlin Schmidt defending U of A's right to award this honorary degree. I've read NorthReport's article, penned by some raving lunatic called "Rick Bell". Even he couldn't find an actual quote.

If anyone has another source for Marlin Schmidt's comments, please share. I couldn't find any. 

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