This week Martin Stringer speaks with Louise Elliott, Parliamentary Reporter for CBC Radio, and John Geddes, Ottawa Bureau Chief for Maclean’s Magazine.
Topics of discussion include:
1. The Economic Action Plan:
On Thursday, Prime Minister Harper announced the government will extend the deadline for completing federally-funded infrastructure projects from March of next year until October 31st. On the same day, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page released a report which found that only a third of recipients of federal infrastructure funding felt the program had a beneficial impact on unemployment.
* What should we make of the extension? Of Kevin Page’s report?
2. Human Smuggling Bill Under Fire:
This week, the Liberals joined the NDP and the Bloc Québécois in vowing to defeat the governmeent’s bill on human smuggling, even before it goes to committee. They say Bill C-49 violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and punishes refugee apllicants, instead of smugglers.
* Where does this leave the bill?
* Is it “fatally flawed”, as Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said this week?
* How is this playing out politically?
3. “WikiLeaks” and Canada:
* What impact are the illegally released diplomatic documents having on the Canadian political scene?
* How is the political class here responding to the publication of the stolen documents?
Also, Martin speaks with Environment minister John Baird about Canada’s environmental policy and our role at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico.
Having covered the Canadian political scene for more than 25 years, Martin is as politically astute as he is savvy. He joined CPAC in 1996 and has covered leadership races, political conventions and federal elections, serving as PrimeTime Politics’ Hill correspondent daily and host of the show’s Friday edition. Martin began his career as a reporter for CBC Radio in Quebec City and also worked for seven years as national and international producer for CBC Radio’s flagship show, As It Happens.