Maclean's on the Hill: Could Ottawa blow a Supreme Court deadline?

Maclean’s on the Hill: Could Ottawa blow a Supreme Court deadline?

The Maclean’s Ottawa bureau gives your weekly audio briefing on all things #cdnpoli

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Each week, the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau sits down with Cormac Mac Sweeney to discuss the headlines of the week. This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured the destruction in Fort McMurray and announced new employment insurance help for regions hit hard by wildfires. Cormac spoke with Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, the chair of a new cabinet committee handling the response to the wildfires in northern Alberta.

The federal government has taken the first step in fundamentally changing the way we vote in federal elections. The Liberals announced a committee that will study options for electoral reform, including proportional representation and ranked ballots. We speak with an expert who’s critical of the Liberal road map to reform.

The controversial assisted dying bill is expected to pass through the House of Commons in a matter of days. But it appears the Senate is poised to pose fundamental amendments to the legislation. We speak with Conservative Sen. Bob Runciman, the chair of the Senate committee that’s studying the bill, about potential amendments—and the prospect that legislators could miss the Supreme Court’s deadline.

Should the spouse of the Prime Minister be allowed to have more than one taxpayer-funded assistant? Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s suggestion that she may need more staff to deal with demands on her time has sparked a debate on Parliament Hill. We look more deeply at the controversy with a professor who specializes in gender and politics.

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The full episode


Part 1. Kent Hehr on Liberal plans to help Fort McMurray

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits with local MP David Yrudiga (left), Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi (back middle) and Grand Chief Steve Courtoreille during a tour of the devastation in Fort McMurray. (Adam Scotti/PMO)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits with local MP David Yrudiga (left), Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi (back middle) and Grand Chief Steve Courtoreille during a tour of the devastation in Fort McMurray. (Adam Scotti/PMO)

This week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toured the destruction in Fort McMurray and announced new employment insurance help for regions hit hard by wildfires. Cormac Mac Sweeney spoke with Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, the chair of a new cabinet committee handling the response to the wildfires in northern Alberta.


Part 2. Electoral reform is coming to Ottawa

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is applauded by her party as she responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is applauded by her party as she responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

The federal government has taken the first step in fundamentally changing the way we vote in federal elections. The Liberals announced a committee that will study options for electoral reform, including proportional representation and ranked ballots. We speak with an expert who’s critical of the Liberal road map to reform.


Part 3. Could Ottawa miss a Supreme Court deadline?

The Supreme Court of Canada building is pictured, in Ottawa, on October 15, 2014. The Trudeau government appears to be in no hurry to grapple with the explosive issue of doctor-assisted dying, even as it prepares to urge the Supreme Court next week to give it more time to craft a new law on the matter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Supreme Court of Canada building is pictured, in Ottawa, on October 15, 2014. The Trudeau government appears to be in no hurry to grapple with the explosive issue of doctor-assisted dying, even as it prepares to urge the Supreme Court next week to give it more time to craft a new law on the matter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The controversial assisted dying bill is expected to pass through the House of Commons in a matter of days. But it appears the Senate is poised to pose fundamental amendments to the legislation. We speak with Conservative Sen. Bob Runciman, the chair of the Senate committee that’s studying the bill, about potential amendments—and the prospect that legislators could miss the Supreme Court’s deadline.


Part 4. What do we expect of a prime minister’s spouse?

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, holds their son Hadrien Grégoire while she greets students from D.C.'s Patterson Elementary School, after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, holds their son Hadrien Grégoire while she greets students from D.C.’s Patterson Elementary School, after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (Cliff Owen/AP)

Should the spouse of the Prime Minister be allowed to have more than one taxpayer-funded assistant? Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s suggestion that she may need more staff to deal with demands on her time has sparked a debate on Parliament Hill. We look more deeply at the controversy with a professor who specializes in gender and politics.


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