October 21, 2011

PrimeTime Politics Weekend

October 21, 2011

British Columbia native groups and environmentalists were in Ottawa this week, as well as mining company executives and their lobbyists. It’s the latest phase in the battle over one of Canada’s most controversial mining projects: the Prosperity Mine, near Williams Lake. B.C.

Last year, a federal environmental panel recommended against the proposed mine, concluding it would destroy Fish Lake – a habitat for salmon & trout – threaten rare grizzly bear populations, and violate native rights. Then-environment minister Jim Prentice and the federal cabinet turned the project down. Now, Tazeko Mines Limited has re-submitted a new proposal to mine copper and gold on the site, arguing it will create much-needed jobs in the region.

Martin Stringer speaks with opponents of the project: Xeni Gwet’in Chief Marilyn Baptiste, and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the B.C. Indian Chiefs.

He also speaks with Brian Battison, vice-president of Corporate Affairs for Taseko Mines Ltd.

Also, join Martin and his journalist guests: Mark Kennedy, parliamentary bureau chief for Postmedia News, and Susan Lunn, parliamentary reporter for CBC Radio. They’ll discuss:
The Shipbuilding Announcement:
This week, the government announced its plans for $35 billion in shipbuilding work over the next 20 years. $25 billion in contracts for combat vessels will go to Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, and $8 billion in non-combat vessels will go to Seaspan Marine Coproration in Vancouver. Up to another $2 billion in contracts could go to MIL Davie Shipyards in Lévis, Que. The decision was made by senior public servants and independent outside consultants. The government says it has removed politics from the decision making process. Nevertheless – how is the announcement playing out, politically? What is the fallout?

The Wheat Board Bill:
This week, the Harper government tabled legislation to remove the Canadian Wheat Board’s “single-desk” monopoly as the sole marketer of western producers’ wheat and barley.
The debate over the bill has been ferocious. Where’s it going? How divisive will it be?

And that other promised legislation…
The majority Conservative government also moved forward quickly on its ominbus crime bill and is poised to table a bill to scrap the long-gun registry.
We’ll talk about how far, and how fast the government is going in implementing its long-promised agenda.

Two New Supreme Court Justices:
We’ll look at the government’s appointment of Justice Andromache Karakatsanis and Justice Michael Moldaver to fill two Ontario vacancies on the Supreme Court of Canada.


image - Martin Stringer

Martin Stringer

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.