Martin Stringer discusses the week’s events in federal politics with a panel of MPs from the different parties.
And Martin is joined by this week’s journalists’ panel: Louise Elliott, Parliamentary Reporter for CBC Radio, and John Geddes, Ottawa Bureau Chief for Maclean’s magazine.
Among this week’s topics:
1. The “in & out” scheme:
4 senior Conservatives – including two sitting Senators – have been charged with misleading Elections Canada concerning the party’s advertising spending in the 2006 election. And this week the Federal Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling, which the Tories had said supported their case. The party says it hopes to appeal to the Supreme Court.
* How serious are the charges and allegations against the party?
* How is this playing out, politically?
2. “From the Office of….”
An assistant in Immigration minister Jason Kenny’s office used the Minister’s House of Commons letterhead to solicit partisan donations to the Conservatives’ campaign to attract “ethnic” voters. The Government has apologized and the Minister has taken action regarding his staffer.
* How damaging a matter is this?
* What about the Conservatives’ game plan – also made public by this incident – for targettinbg “ethnic” and “very ethnic” ridings?
3. An election narrative?
* Will questions of integrity, ethics, and transparency become an effective issue for the opposition parties?
* Or do Canadians simply not care?
* And WILL there be an election, after the March 22nd budget?
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.