It's Political with Althia Raj

Toronto Star

Probing and insightful conversations with Canada's top political insiders, hosted by Althia Raj. A bi-monthly political podcast from the Toronto Star. read less
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Episodes

Party money: Is it time to change how we finance politics?
17-05-2024
Party money: Is it time to change how we finance politics?
Hours after Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was expelled from the House of Commons for calling Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “a wacko” and refusing to withdraw his comments, both leaders’ parties had issued fundraising emails pointing to the incident on Parliament Hill and asking for donors for more cash. Fundraising is a huge part of what political parties do, it keeps their operations going and builds their war chest for the next election campaign. It also helps to buy them votes. The more money they have, the more they can spend on advertising and organization, and the more votes they can get. Since the end of the per-vote subsidy, parties are now dependent on public donations and those who donate tend to be more partisan and more ideologically extreme. So what does that mean for our politics? On this episode of “It’s Political,” we take a look at party financing. First, we’ll take a look at the current rules, how they evolved and who they give voice to. Then, we’ll head up to the Hill to get some MPs' views on the topic, before finally sitting down with three former party operatives to break down the perceived challenges of our current system and how it could be reformed to reduce the influence of those with deeper pockets. Some of the clips this week were sourced from the House of Commons, CPAC, the CBC, the Liberal Party of Canada, the NDP, the Conservative Party of Canada, the National Citizens Coalition’s YouTube channel, CNBC, WTOL, and PBS, This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Joy SpearChief-Morris assisted with production. Kevin Sexton mixed the show. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. In this episode: Former Conservative Party of Canada national campaign manager and former director of operations Fred DeLorey, former Liberal Party of Canada national director Sheila Gervais, former NDP director of operations David Hare, former Conservative Party of Canada director of fundraising Jaime Girard, co-founder of Democracy Watch Duff Conacher, Canada 2020 CEO and former senior director of communications for the Liberal Party of Canada Braeden Caley, McMaster University political science associate professor Andrea Lawlor, Royal Military College political science associate professor Holly Ann Garnett, Acadia University Politics Professor Alex Marland, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Calgary Conservative MP Greg McLean, Ajax Liberal MP and Health Minister Mark Holland, Langley—Aldergrove MP Tako Van Popta, and Montreal-area Lac-Saint-Louis Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia.
Is the NDP winning the fight for working people?
03-05-2024
Is the NDP winning the fight for working people?
We started “It’s Political” two years ago with an episode on the NDP’s supply and confidence agreement. Back then, we wondered, would the party get any credit for what they accomplished? Two years on, public opinion polls suggest the answer is “no.” The NDP believes the answer is really “maybe,” and one they hope to turn into a resounding “yes.” This week, we look at the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the NDP. First, Toronto Star reporter Raisa Patel, Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, Singh’s chief of staff Jennifer Howard, will lay out the challenges, internally and externally for the NDP. Then, our panel of NDP strategists will discuss what the party should do and can do to unite progressives against the possibility of a majority Conservative government. Finally, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will join us to discuss the supply and confidence agreement with the Liberals and the path ahead. Some of the clips this week were sourced from the House of Commons, CPAC, CBC, CTV, and Global. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Joy SpearChief-Morris assisted with production. Matt Hearn helped Kevin Sexton mix the show. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. In this episode: NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Toronto Star reporter Raisa Patel, Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, Singh’s chief of staff Jennifer Howard, NDP strategist and GT & Co. partner Brian Topp, former NDP MP David Christopherson, former director of communications to Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley and Wellington Advocacy vice president Leah Ward, and taxi driver Kirby Pittman. Hosted by Althia Raj.
Do budgets matter?
19-04-2024
Do budgets matter?
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled her latest budget Tuesday, with big spending plans to increase the housing supply, deliver on commitments to Indigenous people, boost funding to the Canadian military and finally deliver on a promise to create a Canada Disability Benefit. But there is more to the budget’s $39.3 billion in new spending than just those big ticket items. There is a little bit of money in there for nearly everyone. It is an election budget, with lots of promises, most of which start to kick in next year. And to pay for it all, without sinking further into deficit and blowing past Freeland’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the federal government is increasing the inclusion rate on capital gains, affecting business investments and, with some exceptions, those Canadians earning more than $250,000 from capital gains annually. This week on “It’s Political,” we’ll look at the government’s 2024 spending plan and its decision to target capital gains as a way of raising taxes with economists Armine Yalnizyan and Christopher Ragan. But before that discussion, we’ll unpack the budget process and look at the last budget, the 2023 budget, and review its forecasts, its promises and what it actually delivered on. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, WhiteHouse.gov and Right Side Broadcasting. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein, and mixed by Kevin Sexton. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. In this episode: Armine Yalnizyan, an economist and Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers, Christopher Ragan, the director of McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, Heather Scoffield, senior vice president of strategy at the Business Council of Canada, Yves Giroux, the Parliamentary Budget officer, Tyler Meredith, a senior fellow at the Munk School and former budget crafter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Kevin Page, the president and CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa, and Evert Lindquist, a University of Victoria School of Public Administration professor. Hosted by Althia Raj.
Does the Online Harms Act go too far?
05-04-2024
Does the Online Harms Act go too far?
The federal government’s latest effort to regulate speech on the internet was met with relief from parents who’ve long advocated for a safer space online for their children, but with alarm from free speech advocates who believe the government’s bill goes too far. This week on “It’s Political,” we dig into the Online Harms Act with a number of experts, discussing what it contains and what the controversies are about. Then we sit down with Justice Minister Arif Virani. In this episode: Federal Justice Minister Arif Virani, as well as the Center for Media, Technology and Democracy founding director and McGill University associate professor Taylor Owen, the Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director Christine Van Geyn, University of Calgary associate professor and Canada research chair in cybersecurity law Emily Laidlaw, the Canadian Center for Child Protection’s executive director Lianna McDonald, University of Ottawa professor and Canada research chair in internet and e-commerce law Michael Geist, former Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission vice chair and Macdonald-Laurier Institute senior fellow Peter Menzies, University of Windsor law professor Richard Moon, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s CEO Mohammed Hashim, B.C. Civil Liberties Association staff counsel Safiyya Ahmad, and NDP House leader Peter Julian. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, CTV, Global, The Canadian Press Gallery, CBC, City, The Rebel’s YouTube and Privacy Lawyer David Fraser’s YouTube. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Michal Stein and Althia Raj, and mixed by Kevin Sexton. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
What would Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre do?
22-03-2024
What would Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre do?
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre attempted to topple the Liberal government this week by introducing a motion calling for a non-confidence vote on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to increase the carbon price on April 1. With all the other parties supporting a price on carbon — the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Greens — Poilievre’s motion was more about partisan communication strategy than a legitimate attempt to defeat the government, but it raises important questions. With the Conservatives leading in the polls, what would a Poilievre agenda look like? What policies would he and his party pursue? What tone would a government led by him take? This week on “It’s Political,” we dig into what we know and don’t know about the Conservatives’ agenda. The Toronto Star’s deputy bureau chief Stephanie Levitz, Le Devoir’s parliamentary correspondent Boris Proulx, and Poilievre’s former director of communications during his leadership bid Ginny Roth join us. We’ll also break down the latest polling figures with Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, and hear from Queer Momentum’s executive director Fae Johnstone about her airport run in with Poilievre. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, Poilievre’s Facebook Page, Poilievre’s YouTube channel and CTV. Listen here and follow or subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein, and mixed by Kevin Sexton. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
The reality of the Liberals’ pharmacare bill
08-03-2024
The reality of the Liberals’ pharmacare bill
On Feb. 29, Canada’s Health Minister Mark Holland introduced a pharmacare bill in Parliament, seemingly laying down the foundation for a new national universal single payer pharmacare plan. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh declared victory. After fifty years of efforts, he boasted that a first big step had been taken toward giving all Canadians equal access to medicines regardless of employment status or financial means. The deal starts small, just two classes of drugs — diabetes medication and contraception — are covered free of charge, and only if the provinces who will administer the program sign on. But already a fight is brewing between public-system advocates who want a single-payer public program established and expanded to include a vast list of medicines, and the pharmaceutical industry, health insurance firms, pharmacists and the business community who fear a multibillion-dollar change to their bottom lines, and the impact on patients and government deficits. Navigating between the two sides is the Liberal government, which succumbed to NDP pressure in order to stave off a federal election. In this week’s episode of “It’s Political,” just how committed is the Liberal government to public pharmacare? Federal Health Minister Mark Holland joins us. But first we dig deep into the debate over drug coverage in Canada with Dalhousie University Political Science Professor Katherine Fierlbeck, Canada Research Chair in Health Justice Dr. Nav Persaud, former Ontario health minister and former chair of the Federal Advisory Council on Pharmacare Dr. Eric Hoskins, Pharmacist Kristen Watt, Ontario Pharmacists Association CEO Justin Bates, Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association President Stephen Frank, Canada Canada Research Chair in Access to Medicines at the University of British Columbia Michael Law, Queen’s University Assistant Professor Dr. Samantha Buttemer and Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Matthew Holmes. Some of the clips this week were sourced from the CBC, CPAC, Global, and the Canadian Press Gallery. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein, and mixed by Sean Pattendon. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
Is Canada ready for Trump 2.0?
23-02-2024
Is Canada ready for Trump 2.0?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau managed one chaotic term under U.S. President Donald Trump, and he’s made it clear he’d prefer to continue working with current President Joe Biden. But with the Republican primaries favouring Trump, a divided electorate and a U.S. election this fall, Trudeau faces the possibility of another Trump White House. One that’s likely much more unpredictable and isolationist than the first Trump administration. Earlier this month, at a campaign rally, Trump suggested NATO countries that don’t spend enough on defence would be left to defend themselves if Russia were to attack. His comments sent shock waves throughout Europe and North America, with experts and politicians warning that undermining NATO undermines the security of all member countries. On today’s show, we talk to experts with first-hand knowledge on what a second Trump presidency could mean for Canada and what we should do to prepare. In this episode: Canada’s former ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton, Canada’s former ambassador to NATO Kerry Buck, Queen’s University professor emeritus of political science and author of "Canada Alone" Kim Richard Nossal, and retired Lieutenant-General and former Liberal MP and parliamentary secretary for Canada-U.S. relations Andrew Leslie. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from: CTV, CBC, Global, CPAC, CNBC, PBS, Fox, CP24, and the Associated Press. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein and mixed by Kevin Sexton. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. Suggested Readings: What a Donald Trump victory would mean for Canada's economyDonald Trump's dangerous agenda: EditorialNATO chief hails record defence spending while warning that Donald Trump's remarks undermine securityJoe Biden says Donald Trump sowing doubts about U.S. commitment to NATO is 'un-American'Donald Trump stands by remarks about not defending NATO members after backlash
Is Canada’s consensus on immigration fracturing?
09-02-2024
Is Canada’s consensus on immigration fracturing?
For decades, there was solid political and social consensus on immigration in Canada. But recently, cracks in that consensus have emerged. In 2023, Canada’s population hit 40 million, after growing by more than a million people in one year. Most of that growth was in temporary residents, such as international students and temporary foreign workers. Unlike with permanent residents, Canada doesn’t set targets or caps on how many people enter the country on a temporary status. Amidst a housing crisis and a health care system buckling under the weight of demand, a growing number of Canadians appear to be pointing the finger at policies that allowed for a surge in unplanned growth. Last month, in response, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a two-year cap on international students and a promise to crack down on so-called “puppy mill” private colleges. On today’s show, experts discuss what contributed to the breakdown in Canada’s long-held consensus, and Miller sits down for an interview with Althia. In this episode: Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller, Toronto Star immigration reporter Nicholas Keung, Place Centre founding director Mike Moffat, Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, Statistics Canada demographer Patrick Charbonneau, Canadian Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Matthew Holmes, Dalhousie University assistant professor of social work Raluca Bejan, Centre for Newcomers chief program officer Kelly Ernst, University of British Columbia post-doctoral research fellow Lisa Brunner and One Voice Canada’s Balraj Kahlon. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from: Kellie Leitch for Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, YouTube, CBC, CTV, CBC Radio, The Montreal Gazette, CPAC and Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein and mixed by Kevin Sexton. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. • 4:20 — Mini documentary on public opinion, the rise of unplanned migration and some of its consequences • 26:44 — Interview with Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller
Chasing views: How social media is changing Canadian politics
08-12-2023
Chasing views: How social media is changing Canadian politics
Alberta Conservative MP Damien Kurek was kicked out of the House of Commons this week for using unparliamentary language. Within minutes of his expulsion, Kurek had the video of his outburst up on social media proudly showcasing his outrage at the Liberal government.  Last week, another Alberta Conservative, Rachel Thomas, was forced to apologize after requesting Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge stop answering her questions in French and instead use English. Thomas wanted a social media clip her audience could understand. Social media is changing the way MPs are behaving on Parliament Hill and it’s increasingly changing the way political parties court support.  In this week’s episode of “It’s Political” we take a look at his issue from a number of different angles. First, Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt gives us an overview of how political communications has changed during her time in Ottawa. Then, MPs Kevin Waugh, Rob Oliphant and Stéphane Bergeron reflect on the demise of local media, where their constituents get their news, and how the new media landscape is changing the way MPs engage with one other. Later, I sit down with Canada Proud founder Jeff Ballingall, who worked with both Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and former leader Erin O’Toole, as well as Mélanie Richer, the former director of communications for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, and with Cameron Ahmad, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former director of communications. And finally, we’ll hear about the impact an MP’s social media campaign recently had on a member of the upper house, Senator Bernadette Clement.  In this episode: Toronto Star national columnist Susan Delacourt, Saskatchewan Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, Ontario Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, Bloc Québecois MP Stéphane Bergeron, former Conservative media strategist and Mobilize Media president Jeff Ballingall, former director of communications for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Earnscliffe senior consultant Mélanie Richer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former director of communications Cameron Ahmad, and Ontario Independent Senator Bernadette Clement. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, The Senate, The House of Commons, CBC, Pierre Poilievre’s Facebook page and Damien Kurek’s X/Twitter account. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
Is carbon pricing dead?
24-11-2023
Is carbon pricing dead?
It’s been described as a signature blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s signature policy. Last month, the Liberals announced a three-year pause to the application of the carbon price on home heating oil to help ease the costs, especially in Atlantic Canada where it’s used in about a third of all households. Climate and energy experts decried it as a weakening of Trudeau’s policy, former environment minister Catherine McKenna condemned the move, and potential leadership candidate Mark Carney said publicly that he wouldn’t have done things that way. Provincial premiers, such as Alberta’s Danielle Smith, Ontario’s Doug Ford, British Columbia’s David Ebby, Manitoba’s Wab Kinew, and Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe all called for the carbon price to be eliminated from home heating for all their residents. Moe went so far as to pledge to stop collecting and transmitting the levy on natural gas. What was expected by some rural MPs to be a popular announcement, unleashed a huge outcry putting the debate over carbon pricing right back on the front burner. This week on “It’s Political” we dig into the carbon pricing debate, with Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, experts Andrew Leach, Dale Beugin and Katya Rhodes, and Liberal MP Kody Blois, whose persistent lobbying led to the policy change. 4:23.077 - Kody Blois 17:15.840 - The Case for Carbon Pricing 39:46.601 - Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault In this episode: Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, Nova Scotia Liberal MP Kody Blois, University of Alberta Professor Andrew Leach, Canadian Climate Institute Executive Vice President Dale Beugin, University of Victoria Assistant Professor in climate policy Katya Rhodes. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, The Senate, The House of Commons, The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, CBC, Global News, CTV, Pierre Poilievre’s Facebook Page, The Conservative Party of Canada, Scott Moe’s X/Twitter account. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
Is it time for Justin Trudeau to go?
10-11-2023
Is it time for Justin Trudeau to go?
Eight years ago, Justin Trudeau and 30 ecstatic Liberal MPs walked up to Rideau Hall, ready to be sworn in as Canada’s next government. But after three elections, the Liberal glow has faded – drastically – as more and more Liberals suggest it’s time for the prime minister to step down. This week on “It’s Political,” Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, P.E.I. Sen. Percy Downe and Toronto Star reporter Alex Ballingall join me to discuss whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should step down, and what the Liberals could do to address the public’s growing fatigue with their leader.  But first, if Trudeau were to step down, what would he be remembered for? We ask several close observers for their thoughts on the prime minister’s legacy. Some of their answers may surprise.  2:20 Mini documentary on Justin Trudeau’s legacy31:55 Panel discussion on Justin Trudeau’s future as Liberal leader Some of the clips this week were sourced from CBC, CPAC, Global, CTV, and The Guardian. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. In this episode: Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, Prince Edward Island Sen. Percy Downe, Toronto Star reporter Alex Ballingall, University of Calgary political science professor Lisa Young, UBC economics professor Kevin Milligan, Acadia University politics professor Alex Marland, Queen’s University adjunct professor Eugene Lang, the executive director of First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada and McGill University School of Social Work professor Cindy Blackstock, Canadian Climate Institute executive vice-president Dale Beugin, and York University public administration professor Thomas Klassen. Hosted by Althia Raj.
Canada and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
27-10-2023
Canada and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A month ago, we weren’t talking about the Israelis-Palestinian conflict. The world’s attention was elsewhere, on Ukraine and Russia, on China. But on October 7, all that changed. Hamas’ brutality — the hunting of young adults at a music festival, the burning of homes, shooting of grandmothers, allegations of rape of women and girls, and the kidnapping of more than 200 Israelis and foreigners — placed the question of Israel and the occupied territories back on the front burner. And there are many questions. How should Israel respond to an event that shocked the nation’s psyche? Can it pursue Hamas without triggering a wider conflict in the region? Is it justifiable to kill so many civilians in an attempt to neutralize a terrorism threat? This week on ‘It’s Political,’ we take a look at the war between Israel and Hamas through a Canadian lens. First, we’ll review how we got to the current conflict with the aid of Canada’s former representative in the West Bank, Douglas Scott Proudfoot. Then, we’ll hear from two families, a Israeli-Canadian man from Toronto and a Palestinian-Canadian couple from Ottawa, whose families have been deeply affected by Hamas’ attack and Israel’s bombing in response. This is a political show, and we’ll sit down with two Liberal MPs from two different communities — Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather and Scarborough Centre MP Salma Zahid — to discuss what they want to hear from their government and what their constituents want to hear from them. Finally, we’ll have a fascinating conversation with two Middle East experts, Carleton University Political Science Professor Mira Sucharov and University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs Associate Professor Thomas Juneau, about Canada’s policy in the Middle East, how it’s changed over time, what impedes Canada from playing a larger role, and how diaspora politics guide Canadian foreign policy. 4:37 - Douglas Scott Proudfoot 22:36 - Aharon Brodutch 31:12 - Israa Alsaafin and Ahmed Alsaafin 42:05 - Salma Zahid and Anthony Housefather 56:07 - Mira Sucharov and Thomas Juneau Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, Global News, CTV, Al Jazeera, Fox News, the BBC, CBS, the United Nations, the History Channel, France 24, CBC, CNN, Reuters, and Atlas Aware. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
The NDP gears up for a fight
13-10-2023
The NDP gears up for a fight
In this episode: Timmins—James Bay NDP MP Charlie Angus, South Okanagan—West Kootenay NDP MP Richard Cannings, Skeena—Bulkley Valley NDP MP Taylor Bachrach, Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, Traxxion Strategies President Karl Bélanger, Canadian Strategy Group senior manager of public affairs Sally Housser, University of Saskatchewan Political Studies Professor David McGrane,, St-John’s East riding association president Amanda Will, Jason Arnold, of the United Steelworkers Local 7619 at the Highland Valley Copper Mine, and longtime New Democrat and socialist caucus co-chair Barry Weisleder. Hosted by Althia Raj. This weekend as federal New Democrats gather in Hamilton for the party’s first in-person convention in five years, we’ll take stock of the NDP’s current challenges and review the leadership of Jagmeet Singh.  Six years ago, when Singh took over the party, many hoped he’d be able to stop the bleeding of NDP votes to the Liberal party. But instead of growing the party’s caucus, Singh lost 20 seats in his first election and was only able to gain one more seat in his last campaign. Now, the NDP’s leader faces another leadership review. One that’s being held in the context of the party’s supply and confidence agreement with the Liberal party. Will New Democrats throw their support behind their leader, or will cracks emerge this weekend as some members fear a closer alignment with an unpopular federal government? But before we tackle that question, we’ll first hear from three NDP MPs, whose ridings are high on Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre’s target list, on why the Official Opposition leader sees opportunity in their communities and how they intend to fight back. Then we’ll sit down with Abacus Data CEO David Coletto for a look at the numbers and what they reveal about the party’s support and the popularity of the NDP pact with the Liberals. And discuss it all with Karl Bélanger, the party’s former national director and principal secretary to former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Sally Housser, a former NDP strategist in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ottawa, and David McGrane, a political studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan and the author of the book “The New NDP: Moderation, Modernization and Political Marketing.” We’ll also hear from three NDP convention delegates: St-John’s East riding association president Amanda Will, United Steelworker local executive Jason Arnold, and the co-chair of the party’s socialist caucus Barry Weisleder. Some of the clips this week were sourced from The House of Commons, CPAC, CTV, CBC, Charlie Angus’ YouTube page, Pierre Poilievre’s YouTube page, Pierre Poilievre’s Twitter account, CFTK-TV in Terrace, B.C., The Curse of Politics podcast. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel. Althia Raj is an Ottawa-based national politics columnist for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @althiaraj
Salvaging Bill C-18: Will the Liberals' gamble pay off?
29-09-2023
Salvaging Bill C-18: Will the Liberals' gamble pay off?
In this episode: Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge, Toronto Star Publisher Jordan Bitove, Ottawa University law professor Michael Geist, Toronto Star reporter Raisa Patel, Meta’s head of public policy Rachel Curran, Google Canada’s Richard Gingras, News Media Canada President Paul Deegan, Village Media CEO Jeff Elgie. La Presse President Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, Yellowknife evacuee Kelsey Worth, Conservative MP Kevin Waugh, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre. Hosted by Althia Raj. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized to the world and House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota resigned after MPs honoured a man in Parliament who’d fought with a Nazi unit. This isn’t the only story that rocked Canadian politics recently. Last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford reversed course on the development of Greenbelt land and Trudeau announced the government of India is more than likely involved in the shooting death of a Canadian citizen. These controversies may not have come to light if it wasn’t for the work of journalists. But journalism, in Canada, is facing a crisis. Declining advertising revenues have led to the shedding of thousands of jobs and the closures of hundreds of local publications. Meanwhile, Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, are reaping billions of ad dollars worldwide. This week on “It’s Political,” we dig into the federal government’s response to a crisis decades in the making. The Online News Act, which became law this summer, has prompted Meta to block news links on its platforms. Is Google ready to follow suit? Is the government shooting itself in the foot or has it found the path to sustainability for newspapers and local broadcasters? Ottawa University law professor Michael Geist, the Canada research chair in internet and e-commerce law, joins Toronto Star reporter Raisa Patel in helping us break down the law, formerly known as Bill C-18. We’ll also hear from Meta, Google, and publishers affected by the bill, including Toronto Star owner Jordan Bitove. Then, we’ll sit down with Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge.
What Pierre Poilievre’s surge in the polls means for him and Justin Trudeau
15-09-2023
What Pierre Poilievre’s surge in the polls means for him and Justin Trudeau
In this episode: Abacus Data CEO David Colettto, Toronto Star Reporter Stephanie Levitz, Conservative Party members Kevyn Nightingale, Emilie Matheson, Nancy Bangsboll and Adrian Tarcea, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former executive director of policy and cabinet affairs Marci Surkes, former NDP MP David Christopherson, former spokesman for Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre Anthony Koch, and Toronto Star National Columnist Susan Delacourt. Hosted by Althia Raj. The political ground shifted over the summer. The Conservatives, under leader Pierre Poilievre, have steadily increased their support. Riding high now at 41 per cent in Abacus Data’s latest national survey. Meanwhile, the Grits are bleeding support, down at 26 per cent. What happened? This week on “It’s Political” we will take a look at the factors that led to change with Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, and with help from some keen observers and insiders explore the challenges now facing Poilievre and Trudeau. Toronto Star reporter Stephanie Levitz will join us to discuss the Conservative convention and what to watch for from Poilievre and his team as MPs return to Parliament next week. We’ll hear from convention delegates. And we’ll be joined by the Star’s national columnist Susan Delacourt to discuss the inner turmoil within the Liberal caucus. We’ll also sit down with Trudeau’s former executive director of policy and cabinet affairs Marci Surkes, former NDP MP David Christopherson, and Poilievre’s former spokesman Anthony Koch for their take on both Poilievre’s success and the Liberals’ struggles. Some of the clips this week were sourced from CPAC, CBC, CTV, Global News, ABC, CP24 and Anaida Poilievre’s Twitter account. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Althia Raj and Michal Stein. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
Is Canadian politics getting nastier?
16-06-2023
Is Canadian politics getting nastier?
With Parliament about to break for the summer, exchanges between MPs in the House have gotten tense. But is it just June — when the hours run long and the frustrations high — or has decorum in the chamber taken a nasty slide? This week on “It’s Political,” we survey MPs about the tone in the chamber and what it is leading to outside the House, and we sit down with three insiders, former Liberal MP for Northumberland—Peterborough South Kim Rudd, former NDP national director Karl Bélanger, and former spokesman for Pierre Poilievre, Anthony Koch, to unpack the strategies behind the aggressive, personal, and often vitriolic attacks.   Finally, we’ll look forward to Monday’s byelection and survey the current political landscape with Abacus Data CEO David Coletto. In this episode: Former Liberal MP for Northumberland—Peterborough South Kim Rudd; Traxxion Strategies President Karl Bélanger; AK Strategies’ managing principal Anthony Koch; David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data; Randy Boissonnault, MP for Edmonton Centre; Adam Chambers, MP for Simcoe North; Dan Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface-Saint Vital; Kelly McCauley, MP for Edmonton West; Pierre Paul-Hus, MP for Charlesbourg–Haute-Saint-Charles; Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands; Brendan Hanley, MP for Yukon; Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport; Conservative MP Rick Perkins from South Shore—St. Margarets; and John Aldag, MP for Cloverdale–Langley City. Hosted by Althia Raj. Some of the clips this week were sourced from the House of Commons, CPAC, CBC, CTV, and Global News. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Michal Stein and Althia Raj. Kevin Sexton mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.
What will it take to fix Canada’s housing crisis?
02-06-2023
What will it take to fix Canada’s housing crisis?
Whether you’re trying to buy a house or struggling to find a decent and affordable place to rent, it seems Canadians across this country are experiencing the housing crisis in one form or another. This week on “It’s Political,” we look at this growing problem and what politicians have done to address it. We’ll first look at the problem from different perspectives with the help of several experts, including: Carolyn Whitzman, the expert advisor to the Housing Assessment Resource Tools Project at the University of British Columbia; Adam Vaughan, the former MP for Spadina—Fort York and one of the architects of the Liberal government’s national housing strategy; Mike Moffatt, the senior director at the Smart Prosperity Institute; Rebekah Young, a vice-president and head of Inclusion and Resilience Economics at Scotiabank; Garima Talwar Kapoor, the director of Policy and Research at Maytree; Myriam Mekni, the executive director of the Catholic Centre for Immigrants in Ottawa; Adrian Schut, the director of construction at Habitat for Humanity in greater Ottawa; and Victoria Gibson, the Toronto Star’s affordable housing reporter. Then we’ll let politicians have their say. Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath, Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold and Calgary Coun. Courtney Walcott offer their experiences and perspectives. Then, the opposition critics for housing, Conservative MP Scott Aitchison and NDP MP Jenny Kwan, sit down to offer their solutions. Finally, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser addresses concerns the government’s ambitious immigration targets might deepen the housing crisis, and lead to more polarization.  Clips this week were sourced from the House of Commons, CPAC, CBC, and TVO. This episode of “It’s Political” was produced by Michal Stein and Althia Raj. Kevin Sexton and Katie Jensen mixed the program. Our theme music is by Isaac Joel.