Politics on TV: Friday, Oct. 5 edition

Message of the day: “We were listening about EI.”

Questions not answered

  • Will the changes to prison chaplains be considered constitutional?

HIV disclosure ruling:

On Power & Politics, Richard Elliott of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network debated the Supreme Court ruling with University of Ottawa law professor Carissma Mathen. Elliott called the ruling a setback because it says condoms are not good enough to reduce transmission. He said the finding ignores science and potentially casts anyone with HIV as a criminal, even if they are practising safer sex. Mathen said the ruling balances interests, especially because it considers a partner’s right to consent.

Richard Elliott also showed up on Power Play, where he noted that the onus will be on prosecutors to only take forward prosecutions that are in the public interest.

Fiscal update:

On Power Play, Don Martin spoke to economist Carlos Leitao of the Laurentian Bank of Canada, who said 54,000 new jobs in Canada is significant. He said it’s a myth that most of those jobs are low-wage. Leitao said the higher-than-expected deficit numbers for the last fiscal year was a surprise, though the trend is in the right direction.

EI clawback climb-down:

In a last-minute-on-a-Friday announcement, the government said  it will back down on EI changes around clawbacks for people working while on claim. Power & Politics hosted an MP panel to discuss. Kellie Leitch said a pilot project allows for a buffer to make long-term changes. Roger Cuzner said it won’t change the situation for people on the ground because only older claims are eligible. Malcolm Allen said the program is now more convoluted, especially because some people can’t opt back to the old program.

Prison chaplains:

With news Corrections will be laying off part-time prison chaplains of non-Christian faiths, Hannah Thibedeau convened an MP panel to discuss. Candice Bergen said they are not cutting non-Christian contracts, just part-time contracts (even though they mostly tend to be non-Christian). Once full-time contracts expire in March, Bergen said they plan to hire non-denominational “spiritual advisers,”  though people may offer specific denominational guidance on a volunteer basis. Paul Dewar noted the government’s defence of religious freedom abroad does not seem to match the actions at home. Irwin Cotler said the move undermines the Charter.

First Nations chief in Iran:

Don Martin spoke to Chief Terrance Nelson of the American Indian Movement, who is heading to Iran to discuss the human rights.

Underwater claims:

Don Martin spoke to the University of Calgary’s Rob Huebert, who explained that Canada is engaged in Law of the Sea negotiations that could grant us vast new undersea territories. Huebert said when the Russian claim was rejected in 2000 it sent the message that we need to do more to exploit oil and gas resources in that new territory.

March to the Top:

Hannah Thibedeau spoke to Roseanna Mandy, a wounded Canadian Forces veteran, and to Rocco Rossi of True Patriot Love about an expedition of wounded soldiers climbing the Himalayas. Mandy, who was injured in a training incident, credits resilience and being adaptive as a common thread to the soldiers. Rossi said 100 veterans applied for the expedition, 20 were chosen.