This Sunday, Mark welcomes freelance columnist Susan Riley and Bob Plamondon, author and public policy consultant. Viewers are also invited to share their thoughts about the week’s political stories:
PM IN MIDEAST The Prime Minister this weekend returns from his first trip to the Middle East. Some critics claimed delegation members travelling with him were selected for political reasons. Others faulted his handling of settlement issues. But Stephen Harper also received praise from Israeli leaders for his leadership. Was the trip a success? And did it affect the government’s reputation at home or abroad?
ECONOMY WATCH The Canadian dollar this week dropped below 90 cents U.S. Meanwhile, the government is now expected to table a budget early February. Should steps be taken to prop up the dollar? What does a lower loonie say about Canada’s economic prospects for 2014? And what should be the priorities in the budget?
POLITICAL ROAD AHEAD The House of Commons resumes January 27th and party positioning for the next election continues. One recent survey shows Liberal support at 34%–increasing that party’s lead over the Tories at 28%. The NDP rose to 24%. What issues will dominate the agenda when Parliament resumes? And what is driving support for each party?
CALL TO IMPROVE RAIL SAFETY The Transportation Safety Board is calling for tougher standards for tank cars used to carry flammable liquids. The board also wants changes in routes and speed, as well as appropriate emergency response plans. Will Transport Canada adopt the TSB’s recommendations?
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 The Chat Room weekday mornings on 580 CFRA in Ottawa, writes two weekly columns in the Ottawa Citizen 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 Why I Run and was formerly Executive Editor of the Citizen.