Politics on TV: Keystone XL, sequester cuts, and EI inspections - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Keystone XL, sequester cuts, and EI inspections

The three things you need to see


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Reaction to the State Department report on Keystone XL
  2. The impact of the US sequester cuts
  3. EI inspection documents

Keystone XL:

The US State Department released its draft environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline, which said that it would have no impacts and stated that even if the pipeline doesn’t get built, the oilsands are likely to expand anyway. Power & Politics spoke with MPs Peter Julian and Ted Hsu for reaction, where Julian said that the report sets out a public consultation process, and that while Obama has said that climate is important, the Harper government’s record falls short. Hsu said that there will be an impact on the economy of Western Canada whichever way the decision goes, and that while it’s good to diversify the market, we need to develop resources in a sustainable way. Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada also weighed in, and said that the report also notes that future demand in the States is likely to decrease as their own domestic production increases, which could mean the pipeline may be deemed unnecessary.

Sequester cuts:

Power Play spoke first with Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty about the impact of the cuts to Canada. Beatty said that the cuts could mean losing half a percentage point of growth for the American economy, and that while their economy was still positive, the cuts to growth wouldn’t help. Beatty expected a lag of 30 to 60 days in full implementation. Don Martin also spoke to Canadian Ambassador to the US Gary Doer, who said that there is a larger budget coming down in Washington on March 27, which may mean a longer-term package on expenditures and revenues. As for the cuts, Doer said an immediate impact would be overtime ending for customs officers at border crossings, along with orders to take one day in ten off, which will hamper cross-border trade and travel.

EI inspectors:

After CBC obtained documents that advises EI inspectors to check addresses, bank accounts and even physical appearance during their random house calls, Hannah Thibedeau hosted an MP panel of Kellie Leitch, Jack Harris, and Rodger Cuzner. Leitch said that these are the same kinds of inspections that have happened before, and are merely suggestions for questions to ask, be it for regular or special benefits. Cuzner said that in the past, inspections were only done if there was a suspicion of fraud, but making them random turns them into intimidation. Harris said that the government has an attitude problem with the unemployed, citing Finley’s comments about EI being “lucrative,” while these changes are part of attacks on seasonal workers.

Worth Noting:

  • Former Ambassador to China David Mulroney talked about the state of play in the relationship between our two countries.
  • Seaspan shipyard CEO Jonathan Whitworth explained why the PBO’s report on the Joint Support Ships was too premature to be accurate, as they don’t even have the platform concepts for the ships approved yet.