February 3, 2012

PrimeTime Politics Weekend

February 3, 2012

Join Martin Stringer and his journalist guests: Bill Curry, reporter for The Globe and Mail, and Susan Lunn, parliamentary reporter for CBC Radio. They’ll discuss:

1. Old Age Insecurity:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has kicked off a political firestorm by suggesting his government will bring in changes to the federal Old Age Security system. He says the changes – still unspecified – are still far off, and that no current OAS recipient will be affected, nor will anyone nearing retirement age.

But the Prime Minister says changes are necessary to ensure the “long-term sustainability” of the OAS system.

– Is the system approaching a crisis of sustainability?
– How is this all playing out, politically?
– How might the changes effect Canadians?

2. The Economy & the Budget:

We saw new economic indicators this week. The deficit is dropping faster than the government had forecast. But in November the GDP declined by 0.1%, in January the national unemployment rate rose to 7.6% – suggesting economic growth is slowing or stalled.

– What might it all mean for the government’s budget plans?
– What should we expect from the upcoming federal budget, expected in a matter of weeks?

3. China-Bound:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper leaves Monday for a visit to China. What should we be watching for?

Also, Martin speaks with Richard Shillington, a statistician and social policy analyst who has spent years studying government policies on taxation, income distribution, pensions, welfare and poverty. He conducted a study of the Old Age Security (OAS) system for the federal government’s Department of Human Resources and Skills Development.


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.