Message of the day:
“The minister needs to take responsibility.”
Questions not answered
- Why is Public Health not involved with the tainted meat issue?
- What will the NDP position be on the CNOOC-Nexen deal?
Power & Politics began with an MP panel on tainted meat. When Evan Solomon showed projected budget decreases for CFIA for the next two years, Malcolm Allen noted that of the projected $100 million increase they previously received, only $18 million was spent. Frank Valeriote asked why CFIA hasn’t been subjected to a third-party audit as recommended by the Weatherall Report. Pierre Lemieux disputed that point.
On Power Play, Don Martin spoke to John Masswohl of the Canadian Cattleman’s Association, who said that he hasn’t seen any shortage of inspectors. Masswohl said his members are concerned about uncertainty in the market. He said there will be issues with capacity with processing if the XL plant doesn’t reopen soon.
Evan Solomon later spoke to Bob Rae, who noted that last week the government language was “we” on the CFIA and this week it’s “they.” When asked if Ritz should lose is job, Rae noted that somebody needs to take responsibility.
Power Play had its own MP panel. James Rajotte said the minister has been on the scene out west, and that there is a bill going though the Senate that could grant inspectors new powers. Megan Leslie said the minister should be held to account rather than pointing fingers at CFIA. Roger Cuzner said the government has been more interested in protecting the minister than it has in food safety.
Evan Solomon spoke to Maher Arar about Omar Khadr’s case. Arar said he relates strongly to the Khadr’s experiences in Guantanamo Bay. He noted that we have not yet heard from Khadr. Arar said that if asked, he would be willing to mentor Khadr through his rehabilitation.
Don Martin spoke to a Liberal panel about Trudeau’s announcement. Noting that Trudeau’s next stop will be in Calgary, blogger Vincent St. Pierre said Liberal votes increased in Calgary in the last election. Sheila Copps said Trudeau can attract young people to politics.
Power & Politics extended its coverage to carry the Trudeau announcement.
The NDP devoted its opposition day to the CNOOC-Nexen deal, so Power & Politics asked an MP panel about it. Peter Julian said the party wants consultations going forward after the Potash deal was rejected. He said they expect the government to rubber stamp the deal. Mike Lake said the minister would consider all aspects of the deal, including the American concerns. He said the Act does have special consideration for state-owned enterprises. Geoff Regan said the minister should extend the process, and noted the deal remains in the hands of cabinet, which doesn’t have to explain its decisions.
New Supreme Court justice:
Power & Politics offered a briefing on Justice Richard Wagner, the nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada. Wagner faces a Commons committee on Thursday.
Don Martin spoke to B.C. Premier Christy Clark from Calgary about her meeting with Alberta Premier Alison Redford. Clark confirmed their 15-minute meeting was “definitely frosty” and largely a courtesy. Clark says she communicated that B.C. has five criteria for signing on to the pipeline — benefits being the only one under contention. Clark wants a discussion on what benefits will flow, and how some can better compensate B.C. for the share of risk it is assuming.
First Nations Child Welfare:
Don Martin spoke to Cindy Blackstock from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, who told him First Nations children on reserves receive about 25 per cent less funding to stay safely in their homes than those in the provincial systems. Blackstock said she feels the government has spent $3 million in court fees to avoid facing the issue.