Here are the three things you should not have missed:
- MPs discuss the muzzling of Mounties
- Canadian companies with factories in Bangladesh
- James Bezan’s bill
After CBC obtained an email that showed RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson instructing his senior staff to run any meetings with Parliamentarians through his office and that of the minister, warning of unintended or negative consequences to the government, Power & Politics hosted an MP panel Candice Bergen, Megan Leslie and Francis Scarpaleggia. Bergen said this was a practical protocol on communication and basic guidelines, because everything is being politicized in this atmosphere. Leslie said it was bizarre that the RCMP needs a minister’s stamp of approval to do their jobs, especially as MPs are a touchstone for their communities that the RCMP can access. Scarpaleggia said it was the government that was politicizing everything, and while there was no problem with the commissioner being informed of these meetings, having the minister looking over the commissioner’s shoulder like that undermines the morale and the independence of the force.
After the collapse of that Bangladesh factory that was supplying clothing to Canadian companies, Rosemary Barton spoke with an MP panel of Bob Dechert, Paul Dewar and Wayne Easter. Dechert noted the offers of Canadian assistance, and that while Bangladesh has signed on to international labour conventions, there needs to be more work to ensure those rules are enforced. Dewar said partners on the ground should be working with companies and performing site visits, and said there should be minimum standards including oversight that should be part of our trade agreements. Easter dismissed the notions of boycotts, noting that while these jobs may be low-paying, they are usually better than anything else the workers can find. Easter agreed these kinds of labour and safety standards need to be included with trade agreements, however there currently is no free trade agreement with Bangladesh.
Power Play spoke with Conservative MP James Bezan about his private member’s bill to keep the most violent of offenders from having parole hearings for 40 years in order to keep from re-victimizing families the way certain offenders have done, toying with their emotions every couple of years even though there is no chance they will be eligible for parole. In response, NDP MP Hoang Mai said he is concerned the bill is flawed because it doesn’t address the parole process, and may wind up being an empty promise to those families. Mai also said that the bill might have issues with the Charter and our obligations under international law about there being a maximum of 25 years’ incarceration before a review process.
- Paul Taillefer of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation laid out his organization’s objections to the portrayal of teachers in the attack ads against Justin Trudeau, and said that they were akin to bullying. Don Martin’s Last Word also touched on this bullying comparison.
- Liberal Senator Romeo Dallaire discussed the effect of public service layoffs on the program to hire injured veterans.
Programming note: This is my final post for Politics on TV on Macleans.ca. It’s been fun, and I’d especially like to thank the hosts and producers of the shows, who were accommodating and great to interact with.