Each week, the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau sits down with Cormac MacSweeney to discuss the headlines of the week. This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to Washington. The PM’s official visit to the White House came with a lot of fanfare, celebrity buzz and even some meaty policy announcements.
Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Trudeau’s parliamentary secretary, joins us to talk a bit of policy and recount a memorable moment with U.S. President Barack Obama. Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells, who was in Washington, offered in-depth analysis of Trudeau’s trip. We also talked to a Carleton University professor about what president-prime minister relationships can do for Canada-U.S. relations.
Finally, we hear from B.C. Premier Christy Clark, who’s set to hit a milestone in her political career. And we talk gender equality with Status of Women Minister Patty Hajdu.
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The full episode
Part 1. Mr. Trudeau goes to Washington
Pomp and pageantry galore greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his whirlwind official visit to Washington, D.C., capped by the first state dinner to honour a Canadian PM since 1997. Liberal MP Celina Caeasar-Chavannes joined her boss on the trip south of the border. Cormac MacSweeney got Caeasar-Chavannes on the line from the Canadian Embassy. They spoke about Canada-U.S. policy, cross-border bipartisanship, and a moment on the White House’s South Lawn that Caeasar-Chavannes will never forget.
Part 2. Paul Wells reports from Trudeau’s trip
Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as his entourage criss-crossed Washington, D.C., over the course of a three-day official visit. Wells joins the podcast to explain what Trudeau gained by taking Washington by storm, the balance he struck between policy and substance, and the possibility that the Trudeau-Obama bromance might be overstated. He also previews a trilateral “Three Amigos” summit planned for this coming summer—and announced by Obama.
Part 3. Can the Trudeau-Obama bromance lead to cross-border substance?
Whatever actually got done when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Washington, D.C., the warmness between Trudeau and U.S. President Barack Obama made an impression back at home. But will those good vibes actually help improve relations between the U.S. and Canada? To get a sense of what past top-level relationships might teach us, Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes spoke to Carleton University associate professor Stephen Azzi, the author of Reconcilable Differences: A History of Canada-US Relations.
Part 4. Women in politics: Christy Clark and Patty Hajdu.
Former Nunavut premier Eva Aariak held that post for five years and a day, the length of her single term that ended on Nov. 15, 2014. As she left office, Aariak held the record for longest-serving female first minister in Canadian history. B.C Premier Christy Clark is about to leave Aariak in her dust as she passes the five-year mark herself, and counting. Ottawa bureau chief John Geddes spoke to Clark about Hillary Clinton’s campaign for U.S. president and how to get more women to enter politics.
As Ottawa celebrated International Women’s Day, Cormac MacSweeney spoke to Status of Women Minister Patty Hajdu about the work Canada still needs to do to achieve gender equality—and also which women she’d like to see grace a new Canadian bank note.