What I might consider then: apply EA, get response Jan 15, which is also the day RD/ED2 apps are due. If deferred, ask to convert to ED2. Ah, here, they may be hoping for that:
I suspect they have challenges with yield. I really wish they’d provide their EA answer in Dec. On the bright side, the Feb 1 deadline allows the applicant to receive most other late EA results.
If I recall, BC didn’t do a ton of deferring in their first year of ED, maybe 20% compared to the old 40% under EA, so hopefully you’d get a clear answer one way or the other.