All that Jas - The Orca

All that Jas


One suggestion for the now-official BC Liberal leadership race comes from the unlikeliest of sources – Drex.

I’ve always thought journalists who enter politics are sellouts. When Steve Darling went into politics I was one of many who rolled my eyes…hard.

But Jas Johal is honestly the only guy that could change my opinion on that, and it’s for that reason he should be the next leader of the BC Liberals.

It’s clear by the election result that the BC Liberals need to make deep changes to their party and culture. They lost a substantial number of seats (exact number TBD) and a lot of their candidates that lost ran somewhat divisive campaigns. Wilkinson did nothing, and the ultimate price was paid: the public turned on them in key liberal strongholds.

Jas started his career as a reporter at 980 CKNW, followed by 11 years as a reporter at BCTV. He then went international, covering some of the biggest stories across the planet from Southeast Asia to China. The guy has seen the daily struggles of Canadians and the world over.

He’s seen the shit people wade through every day just to live. And he’s reported on it to the country.

Now, I’ve only met Jas once, when he came onto my old show at CKNW. Nice guy. I thought he was just another journalist who sold out – but then you read the things he’s covered over decades as a reporter, and it makes perfect sense that he should use that knowledge to lead the BC Liberals into the present.

I have not a clue who’s gonna run for leadership, or any of their histories. I just know Johal’s because it’s all public record. How many of them will have seen the daily struggle of others apart from their own? I have no idea, but because of the career Johal chose before politics, he witnessed the everyday life of Canadians.

Reporters live everyone else’s drama, daily. Whether a family losing everything to a fire, or a Vancouver business shutting up shop and firing thousands, as a journalist, Johal had a front seat to what some of us may call hell.

Isn’t that what you want your politician to know? Your everyday struggles? So they can help makes changes for the better?

The answer is yes.

Christy Clark was all over politics early, which in some ways could have clouded seeing the everyday. Wilkinson is a doctor and lawyer, well educated, but aloof as hell. He didn’t show much personality, and people don’t like drones.

Isn’t that what you want your politician to know? Your everyday struggles? So they can help makes changes for the better?

But Johal, he’s fresh. He’s only a few years in. And he knows our stories. All of them. And he ain’t as tainted yet.

That’s crucial, because the BC Liberals really need to freshen things up. Their position on LGBTQ+ issues has been tacky, and on “real estate” (which we call housing) out of touch.

I’ve met amazing young members of the BC Liberals who’ve tried their hand at politics here and there, and volunteered on campaigns. God, even some of them likely showed Mike de Jong how to send emails. And those folks likely have fresh ideas they’d love to bring to the table.

I know that Jas Johal is one of those guys. Know how I know? Journalists inherently give a shit. It’s that simple really. They never lose it.

True, some get big jobs, get paid too much and lose some touch with reality. But people who remain reporters for so long are addicted to life in the trenches. Telling peoples stories of misery while in many cases not making their own ends meet. Because if you didn’t know, folks, most journalists get paid garbage.

Journalists inherently give a shit.

It appears for now, Johal may have lost his Richmond-Queensborough riding by just a few hundred votes. But his concession & extremely congratulatory thread of tweets to John Horgan & presumptive NDP MLA Aman Singh really speaks volumes about what this guy wants to do.

Cynics will simply see it as PR spin, and look, I’m usually the chief cynic when it comes to the BC Liberals. But I believe he’s been genuine.

He already knows the changes that need to be made within the party to bring them into the present. And that’s why he should take on the big job…if he even wants it. I suspect he does.

A former #1 late night host at CKNW radio, Drex is about to launch a new thing at a new place soon. That’s all he can say.