Anjali Appadurai at Barge

When you’re trying to pull off an upset

In our latest newsletter, we look at a candidate trying to beat the odds. Plus, why DFO cancelled an interview two years in the making
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Anjali Appadurai looking into the distance on the beach.
“His brother was back home pulling bodies out of the floodwaters in his hometown and he was there in this hall of suits. He was locked in these multilateral negotiations that have been held up and blocked by the same colonial powers that have created the crisis. And the fundamental power struggle of climate change, the deep injustice of it, was really laid bare.”

You’d be excused for thinking that quote, from B.C. NDP leadership candidate Anjali Appadurai, might be referring to what’s happening right now in Pakistan — where floods have killed more than 1,100 people, affected tens of millions and destroyed huge swaths of critical infrastructure and agricultural land.

In fact, it was Appadurai’s recollection of her 2013 encounter with Yeb Saño, then the lead negotiator for the Philippines’ delegation at a United Nations climate conference. Saño’s country had just been hit by the devastating typhoon Haiyan.

Not long after, Saño made the switch from the political world to the climate movement. Appadurai, at 32 years old, is doing the reverse as she tries to become B.C.’s next premier. But does B.C.’s climate movement have the clout to help an outsider pull off an upset bid for the province’s highest office?

That’s the question writer Arno Kopecky poses in this new piece for The Narwhal, where he finds the odds to beat front-runner David Eby may not be as long as they seem.

After all, Arno writes, Canadians are no strangers to voting in candidates who once seemed like longshots (see: Rob and Doug Ford, and the polls for looming Alberta and federal conservative leadership votes).

What’s playing out in B.C. right now, of course, is a little bit different: Appadurai is hoping to rally a youth-dominated climate movement to vote, something that age group didn’t exactly do in droves during the last provincial election.

Go here to read Arno’s fascinating analysis on a race that turned from boring to interesting very quickly.

Take care and never say never,

Arik Ligeti
Director of audience


P.S. We’re holding our first in-person event in Toronto later this month, in partnership with the fine folks at Hot Docs! Award-winning photographer Amber Bracken will be in town along with our Ontario bureau for a very special Night With The Narwhal on Sept. 22. It’s going to be a lively discussion about the on-the-ground coverage you’ve come to expect of us — from Wet’suwet’en territory and beyond — with some stunning visuals to boot. Go here to grab your tickets today!  
Tweet by Jimmy Thompson that reads: I just got an ATIP response that details how  @DFO_Pacific  handled this interview request, and some corrections are in order.   First, some background: I requested an interview about what DFO was doing about its problem if workplace harassment and abuse.

A dropped call with The Narwhal


In late March, reporter Jimmy Thomson was about to interview a director at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) after two years of trying to get someone, anyone, on the record to talk about its response to allegations of harassment, intimidation and assault faced by fisheries observers out at sea. But two hours before the interview, DFO emailed him and cancelled it — and now we know who was behind that decision.

Jimmy had already acquired 700 pages worth of documents that showed turmoil in the department following investigations published by The Narwhal and VICE World News. DFO, it turned out, was taking quiet steps internally to tackle the problem.

So why did they cancel? Jimmy just got back a new access to information request and turns out federal fisheries minister Joyce Murray’s office asked DFO to not speak with Jimmy and instead send him a written response.

“The department was eager to talk about the real work that had taken place,” Jimmy tweeted. “They even tried to calm down the political flaks.”

What prompted the ministry request? Documents show its desire to avoid “owning” a problem that Jimmy notes was “created, in part, by its own Harper-era decisions.”

 
J-Talks panel event page with a photo of the panelists: Emma Gilchrist, The Narwhal; Chuck LaPointe, Narcity; Farhan Mohamed, Overstory Media Group; Brandi Schier, Discourse Community Publishing: In conversation with Erin Millar, CEO and co-founder of Indiegraf media

The Narwhal in conversation


Curious about how The Narwhal has grown to a team of 22? Join our editor-in-chief Emma Gilchrist for a J-Talks panel hosted by The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF): The News Startups, Ecosystem Builders on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.

CJF hosts these panels to talk about the role of Canadian journalism as it faces ongoing challenges in the digital era. 

“I’m excited to share how our readers make The Narwhal’s unlikely story of success possible,” Emma said.

“We essentially threw all the traditional rules for media out the window — no advertising, no shareholders, no clickbait. Instead, we invested in high-quality, in-depth and investigative journalism and attracting a diverse and talented team of journalists. And our readers keep rewarding us for that, providing a really inspiring example of what can happen when you stick to your guns.”

 

This week in The Narwhal

A woman gardens on her small balcony.
Small plot, big veg: city gardeners are growing food at home
By Ramona Leitao
On condo balconies and in front yards, gardeners across the Greater Toronto Area are fighting grocery bills, food insecurity and stress.

READ MORE
 
Power lines
Ontario Energy Board rejects calls to investigate Ontario Power Generation for $5.5 million in sales to unknown customers
By Fatima Syed
READ MORE
 
Hockey Rink with goal post
How geothermal energy could slash costs for hockey rinks
By Julia-Simone Rutgers
READ MORE


 
Nechako river with low water levels
‘Trying to save our fish’: B.C. First Nations appeal a court ruling in an attempt to restore the Nechako River
By Matt Simmons
READ MORE
 

When you’re confused about why a scheduled interview was scrapped. Don’t worry, our newsletters won’t cancel on you or your friends — just tell them to sign up.

What we’re reading

B.C. crews battling Keremeos blaze are using fire to fight fire
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