November 18, 2011

PrimeTime Politics Weekend

November 18, 2011

This week, join Martin Stringer for his look at the week in federal politics.

Martin speaks with Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who is hosting the Halifax International Security Forum, taking place this weekend.

As well, Martin is also joined from the forum by France’s Secretary General for National Defence and Security, Francis Delon.

And, Martin is joined by his journalist guests: Louise Elliott, Parliamentary Reporter for CBC Radio, and John Geddes, Ottawa Bureau Chief for Maclean’s magazine.
They’ll discuss:

1. The Keystone decision:
Last week, citing environmental concerns, the U.S. State Department decided to postpone a decision on the multi-billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline extension, which would have shipped
raw bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to refineries in the U.S. Gulf States. The pipeline will have to be re-routed around an environmentally-sensitive freshwater aquifer in Nebraska.
And a final decision won’t be made until 2013, after the next U.S. presidential election.
– We’ll look at the political fallout here in Canada from that American decision

2. The Trans-Pacific Partnership:
At last weekend’s APEC summit, the Harper government changed its position, announcing it is now interested in taking part in negotiations to join the new trade association of Pacific Rim
countries. The organisation has traditionally been opposed to any supply-management programs among its members.
– What is behind the decision?
– What might it mean, economically, and politically?

3. Far from “Warm and Fuzzy” !
Parliament took on a decidedly tumultuous and nasty tone this week – with accusations of stupidity, incompetence and lack of patriotism flying left and right. And the “F-word” was used in tweets by one NDP
MP to denounce the government. Meanwhile, the Harper government has broken all records for its use of closure on bills since its election, using time allocation 9 times since June, and 7 times since the fall
session started in September.
– We’ll look at why the tempers are flaring, and what’s yet to come.


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.