Politics on TV: Devolution, dismissal, and a trip to Washington

The three things you need to see

Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Former NWT premier on devolution deal
  2. MPs on Howard Sapers’ report
  3. Thomas Mulcair’s trip to Washington

NWT Devolution:

Power Play spoke with former NWT Premier Stephen Kakfwi about the devolution deal that was signed today by Stephen Harper in Yellowknife. Kakfwi said that devolution is still in a work in progress, but not all First Nations groups are on side, and there is time before the deal is finalized to get them on side. Kakfwi said that he hopes that with the new powers the territorial government will ensure it can take a balanced and mature approach to the issues they will now be dealing with, but noted that they have taken some curiously contrary positions on certain land use agreements. Jerald Sabin, founding editor of Northern Pubic Affairs magazine, pointed out that devolution has been a process for the past 45 years, and that the NWT’s growth has been stagnant, and it is hoped the devolution of these powers will help kick-start their economic development.

Howard Sapers’ report:

With Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers concerned that his report on Aboriginals in prison has been dismissed by the Correctional Services, Power & Politics hosted an MP panel of Chris Alexander, Jack Harris and Francis Scarpaleggia (first 17 minutes) to discuss the response. Alexander said that more bureaucracy was not the solution, and then gave lines about crime rates and laws only targeting criminals. Harris said that Corrections has demonstrated two decades of failure to address the issue, especially as legislation put in place to deal with it hasn’t been followed, and that there needs to be leadership on the issue. Scarpaleggia said there is a blockage within CSC, which is the only explanation for why a healing lodge was opened in Edmonton but not filled with inmates, and that if the minister was concerned with the budget for a deputy commissioner to oversee the issue, he could re-profile the funds he already has available.

Mulcair’s trip:

To discuss Thomas Mulcair’s trip to Washington DC, Don Martin spoke with Laura Dawson of Dawson Strategic and Anne McGrath of Ensight. McGrath said that Mulcair was not going down to lecture, but to establish relationships with the players there, though he has concerns about how Keystone XL would export jobs. Dawson said it is always difficult to get the attention of the people in Washington, and that he needs a clear delineation of quid pro quo – but that Keystone XL is a no-win situation for Mulcair.

Worth Noting: