Politics on TV: Brazeau, Baird and the mentally ill - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Brazeau, Baird and the mentally ill

The three things you need to see

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Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Senator Brazeau
  2. John Baird goes to Washington
  3. Getting tougher on mentally ill offenders

Senator Brazeau:

Power & Politics started off with a briefing from Terry Milewski, who replayed some of the more controversial moments from Brazeau’s Senate career and those swirling about the time of his appointment. Hannah Thibedeau then spoke with NDP MP Megan Leslie, who said it was appropriate to kick Brazeau out of caucus, and that Harper needs to think about how to recoup Brazeau’s salary, while she made a number of general comments about the appointed nature of the Senate. Thibedeau then spoke with Chief Gilbert Whiteduck from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, who was asking for Brazeau to resign and take some time to look at his life. Whiteduck noted that his community is angry with Brazeau for the statements he makes, especially about Chief Theresa Spence.

John Baird:

Power Play spoke with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who met with new US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington today. Baird said it was gratifying to know that Kerry things so highly of Canada that his first meeting was with our foreign minister, and on the matter of Keystone XL, he said that Kerry was committed to completing the supplementary assessment out in short order, and was approaching it with an open mind.  Baird said their discussions also touched on the issues of the Beyond the Border initiative, and the progress on the new Windsor-Detroit bridge. Over on Power & Politics, Baird added that their discussions did touch on Mali, but said that there is no pressure for Canada to contribute more.

Mentally ill offenders:

After the government tabled new legislation today to deal with offenders deemed criminally not responsible, Thibedeau spoke with an MP panel comprised of Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Françoise Boivin, and Sean Casey. Findlay said the legislation makes public safety the paramount consideration when dealing with these offenders, and gives more consideration to victims. When asked for statistics on recidivism rates or who was consulted on the bill, Findlay said that the bill wasn’t about statistics, but about restoring faith in the system. Boivin said that she was disappointed in the bill, as it had no guarantees that it would correct any lapses as it leaves it to the court to decide which offenders are high-risk. Casey said that the bill plays on the fears of the Conservative base as a fundraising tactic, and was not based on empirical evidence. He added that by looking at the issue of these offenders through the lens of victims’ rights, it didn’t provide any balance with the dignity or constitutional rights of the mentally ill.

Worth Noting: