May 27, 2012

This Sunday, Sandra Blaikie fills in for Mark and welcomes two veteran political journalists to discuss the week in national politics. Viewers are also welcome to contribute their thoughts about the big stories of the week.

On the program:

* Lawrence Martin, Columnist for The Globe and Mail
* Elizabeth Thompson, Senior Political Writer for

Tune in, call in, and tweet in, this Sunday, to talk about:

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE REFORM: The opposition says the government is “scapegoating” unemployed Canadians with its proposed regulation changes to Employment Insurance. The changes will tighten eligibility, and frequent EI claimants will have to accept lower paying jobs. Are the proposed new rules fair? And will these EI changes put too much power in the hands of one minister?

CP STRIKE DERAILED? The federal government plans to introduce legislation to end the Canadian Pacific Rail strike, if it threatens the economy. About 4,800 workers walked off the job this week, prompting CP Rail to lay off another 2,000 employees. The Minister of Labour says a prolonged strike would cost the Canadian economy millions of dollars. Should the federal government intervene, as it did in labour disputes at Canada Post and Air Canada?

QUEBEC STUDENT UNREST: More than 500 protesters were arrested in a single night this week, as demonstrations in Quebec continue over proposed tuition fee hikes. The Quebec government introduced Bill 78 in an attempt to restrict protests but critics claim it is a violation of rights. What is the solution to the Quebec student protest? Is the Quebec government on the right track with emergency legislation?

OUT IN 2014: The prime minister announced Canadian soldiers will be out of Afghanistan by March 2014. Canada is pledging $110 million annually, over three years starting in 2015, to support the country’s security forces. We know what this war cost Canada in lives and dollars, but what was achieved? Are we leaving too soon or too late? And should Canada continue to support Afghan forces with financial assistance?

BACKTRACKING BACKBENCHER: A Conservative MP is now backtracking on his criticism of his government’s budget implementation bill. British Columbia’s David Wilks says he supports Bill C-38 even though in a meeting with constituents—recorded and posted on social media—he expressed strong reservations. Which should come first for an MP—allegiance to party or to constituents?

ANYTHING ELSE: What are the national political stories that matter most to you this week?


image - Mark Sutcliffe

Mark Sutcliffe

A broadcaster, writer and entrepreneur, Mark joined CPAC in the Fall of 2009 to host The Week – a Sunday morning, national phone-in on the week in politics. He also hosts Ottawa Today, weekday mornings on 1310 NEWS, in Ottawa, and is the CEO of Great River Media. A marathon runner and volunteer, Mark is also the founder of iRun magazine and the author of Long Road to Boston. He was inducted into the Order of Ottawa in 2016.