Today, August 31, 2020, is International Overdose Awareness Day. Team Advantage is rebroadcasting this episode of CRACKDOWN, featuring an interview between host Garth Mullins and Tim Slaney, a harm reduction worker at the Lethbridge supervised consumption site (that shut down today). Listen to more and subscribe at crackdownpod.com.
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, but so what? Who needs to be made aware? Who among us can’t see the corpses piling up from this endless war?
And just when you think things can’t get much bleaker, they do.
On today’s show Garth interviews Tim Slaney. Tim is a harm reduction worker at the supervised consumption site in Lethbridge, Alberta – one of the busiest in the world. And the government is shutting it down.
Dimitri Lascaris, leadership candidate for the Green Party of Canada, joins Team Advantage to discuss socialism, the state of the Canadian media ecosystem, proposals to increase the power of workers in our economy, and how to challenge the establishment — both within political parties and in the media landscape.
Jason Kenney’s attacks on public education continue. Politicized attacks on Alberta’s curriculum review, farcical comments by government spokespeople, and poor planning for the return to classes mid-pandemic are all eroding trust in public education. Medeana Moussa and Barb Silva from Support Our Students join Team Advantage to discuss what awaits students as they return to school.
As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to make its presence known in Canada and the United States, racist and colonial statues are increasingly being subject to the intense gravitational pull of the Earth. What kinds of statues and monuments are objectionable in Canada? What’s being done about it? And what do statues have to do with how we remember history? Team Advantage is joined by Sean Carleton, Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, to discuss Nazi monuments, colonizing nation-builders who do genocide, and why it’s good and cool that statues of these figures come crashing down.
Alberta’s UCP Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon is planning on partially closing 20 parks, and handing over management of 164 parks to private companies— and internal disclosures suggest a further sell-off of Alberta’s parks is in the works. Alberta has also rescinded the 1976 Coal Development Policy, raising the possibility of open-pit coal mines in Alberta’s Rockies and foothills. Join Team Advantage as we discuss the sell-off of parks, and work to imagine what parks could look like in an era of Land Back and climate change.
In 1972, the B.C. New Democrats led by the charismatic Dave Barrett won an upset victory in British Columbia, defeating the 20-year reign of Social Credit’s W.A.C. Bennett. In a stunning “legislation by thunderbolt,” Barrett’s government passed 367 bills in three years, introducing a wide range of progressive reforms. Join Team Advantage as we survey what the Barrett government accomplished, and consider more generally the possibilities and limitations of social democratic strategy within the Canadian context.
Further reading: The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975 – Geoff Meggs and Rod Mickleburgh Barrett: A Passionate Political Life – Dave Barrett and William Miller The 1200 Days: A Shattered Dream – Lorne J. Kavic and Gary Brian Nixon
Kenney’s UCP government has used the pandemic to their advantage, passing a number of outrageous laws that accelerate handouts to Alberta’s most profitable corporations, while cracking down hard on the rights of citizens to protest. Team Advantage convenes to discuss Alberta’s Job Creation Tax Cut, Bill 1: Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, and Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act.
Are Calgary’s police officers being held to account when they abuse their power? Calgary-born filmmakers Marc Serpa Francoeur and Robinder Uppal join Team Advantage to discuss their recent CBC documentary, Above the Law, an eye-opening investigation into police brutality and the lack of accountability in the Calgary Police Service.
Remember when the Liberals campaigned on expanding national child care, but eviscerated the welfare state instead? Oh, the 90s! Doug Nesbitt, founding editor of rankandfile.ca, joins Team Advantage to discuss the reign of Canada’s Liberal Party through the 1990s. How did austerity and double-digit unemployment become normalized? What happened to Canada’s social programs? How did the business lobby exert such influence? How did the media manufacture a fiscal crisis?
What happens when a community depends on fossil fuel extraction and the industry always calls the shots? Team Advantage digs into the history of coal mining in Nova Scotia, examining the role of the labour movement, deindustrialization and attempts at nationalization, the history of mining disasters, and the long-term effects of regional decline. What might Alberta glean from Nova Scotia’s experience?
Special thanks to Socalled for the intro track “Springhill Mine Disaster” (also known as the Ballad of Springhill).