By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 25, 2013 - 0 Comments
The NDP leader talks to the CBC host about the oil sands, the Senate, Quebec secession, the Liberals and his beard.
Colin Horgan thinks Mr. Mulcair needs to define himself.
Where the Conservatives and Stephen Harper have “jobs, growth and the economy,” and Layton had a “better lives for working class families,” theme, Mulcair has yet to successfully link his policy positions with his own personal brand. The emptiness begs to be filled, and all that talk of building better lives for middle class Canadian families wafting over recently from a front-running Liberal camp should not only be very familiar to Mulcair, but also potentially quite dangerous.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at 8:05 AM - 0 Comments
How I would phrase it is that fiscal discipline and growth are not only both necessary, they are both essential. If you take those two phrases and say by fiscal discipline you mean cutting, and by growth you mean spending, then yes they are incompatible. But I don’t think it’s that simple of equation. I do think that all economies need a sense of fiscal discipline especially over the midterm and if you are in the middle of a debt crisis you can’t borrow your way out of a debt crisis. That’s logically impossible. But at the same time you do need, as we are doing in Canada, you need to undertake a range of measures, not just fiscal discipline, to ensure growth. We have an ambitious trade agenda, we are revamping our science and technology policies to get better results, as you know we’re doing labor market reforms, were doing regulatory reforms. These are all things that need to be done to increase the growth capacity of our economy. Where I occasionally get troubled is when I hear some leaders who are in the midst of, let’s face it – very, very difficult fiscal and public opinion situations, things that are nowhere close to the kind of situation we experience, when I hear some leaders talking that way, and they say growth, it sounds like they are looking for some easy way to deal with the problem when in fact the changes you have to make in terms of growth policies are often politically very challenging as well.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 9:30 AM - 0 Comments
CBC has posted Peter Mansbridge’s complete interview with the Prime Minister. In addition to his concerns about “certain people in the United States” who “would like to see Canada be one giant national park,” Mr. Harper is also worried about Iran.
Military action has been discussed, Mr. Harper added. “President [Barack] Obama’s said all options are on the table and I can certainly tell you that, when we talk about these issues, we talk about the full range of questions around these issues.
“But there is certainly no consensus on, you know, ultimately how to deal with this matter.” Canada’s position on dealing with Iran is that allies should work together, Mr. Harper said. “I’ve raised the alarm as much as I can, but obviously I don’t advocate particular actions publicly. I work with our allies to see if we get consensus on actions,” he said.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
“I told him that things are in order,” she said. “He wrote something to say that he has no fear, because he knows that he can trust me. That his soul is his spirit. That when he passes on in his next journey that I will be with him. That was really touching. He wrote it on his iPad a week before.”
And Chow, who has represented the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina since 2006 and sat with Layton on Toronto city council, described her husband as fearless to the end. ”The last hours were, ah, just peaceful, as he was taking the last breath. And knowing that he had no fear, knowing that he had a good life, he did what he can, and watching [daughter] Sarah being pregnant again with another baby. It’s the cycle of life — death and life and let’s just keep moving forward and doing our work. That’s what he wants us to do.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM - 167 Comments
Peter Mansbridge interviewed Stephen Harper today—on a hockey rink no less—and, as expected, the conversation turned to the spectre of opposition parties uniting in some way to defeat the sitting government and form a new government.
Here is the exchange that follows Mr. Harper’s insistence that, short of a Conservative majority, the “other guys” would try to form government. Continue…
By John Geddes - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 6:54 PM - 442 Comments
I suppose it was a tactical error for Michael Ignatieff to describe the way the parliamentary system works in his interview today with CBC’s Peter Mansbridge.
You might imagine it wouldn’t be all that risky to display a rudimentary understanding of the conventions of the House of Commons, as inherited by Canada from Britain. But there you’d be wrong. This will be treated as big campaign news, and the Conservatives are naturally all over it.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM - 27 Comments
The NDP leader talks to the CBC host.
Layton said “there’s no question” Harper’s goal in 2004 talks with his party and the Bloc Quebecois was to become prime minister. Harper has also denied that he was trying to topple the Martin government and seize power in 2004.
Layton told Mansbridge that Harper is “fabricating things here.” Layton said the Conservative leader, who was then the Leader of the Official Opposition, was the driving force for the “arrangement” with other opposition parties at the time. ”We were called together by Stephen Harper to send a letter to the governor general to make it clear that if Paul Martin was defeated by the speech from the throne, she should turn to the other parties to govern,” Layton told the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge on board his campaign bus near Charlottetown. ”There was no question about it that the ultimate goal here was for Stephen Harper to become prime minister.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM - 3 Comments
At this year’s Politics & the Pen gala, Anna Porter took home the $25…
At this year’s Politics & the Pen gala, Anna Porter took home the $25 000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing for her book The Ghosts of Europe: Journeys Through Central Europe’s Troubled Past and Uncertain Future. Below, Porter with House Leader John Baird.
Belinda Stronach and Peter Mansbridge.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 11:55 AM - 115 Comments
The Conservative government has pitched the purchase of 65 new F-35s as a job creation program, as a military recruitment tool, as our best defence against a Russian invasion, as a necessary escort for planes carrying potentially dangerous cargo and as part of staking our claim to the Arctic. But when Mr. Harper was asked this week by Peter Mansbridge to explain why the country needs these 65 state-of-the-art fighter jets, the Prime Minister responded without invoking any of those reasons.
Will we need them? Look, I know this. We’ve heard these arguments before whenever budgets are tight: “Does the military really need them? We don’t need them today.” Did we know we would be in Afghanistan ten years ago, twelve years ago? Did we know we would be in the Balkans? Did we know we were going to have the Gulf Wars? Did we see the end of the Cold War? We don’t know these things, Peter.
What we do know is that the international situation will evolve. We don’t know what the risks and the threats will be in the future, but we know there will be some. And we know the men and women in the Canadian Forces, air, land and sea, will be called upon to respond. And when they are, we want to make sure they have a range of good, flexible equipment so they can respond safely and do their jobs effectively. And if you look at the level of military spending we’re maintaining in this country, if anything we may remain below where most of our allies are.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 8:55 AM - 39 Comments
Last night, the CBC aired the second part of Peter Mansbridge’s interview with the Prime Minister, including the following assessment from Mr. Harper of his government’s standing with Canadians.
My own sense is Canadians have gotten comfortable with this government. That doesn’t mean all Canadians agree with this government. Certainly many don’t. But I think most Canadians understand that we’re a government that is – whether they agree with us or not – reasonably confident, focused on real issues, on trying to make the country better, not trying to enrich or glorify ourselves.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 10:22 AM - 57 Comments
The CBC has posted the first half of Peter Mansbridge’s interview with the Prime Minister, including this assessment from Mr. Harper.
I’m not going to say we’ve run a perfect government by any means, but there have been no corruption scandals or anything resembling that under this government.
By Scott Feschuk - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM - 4 Comments
CBC tackles the big questions of 2011 with an exclusive panel made up of my relatives
Who needs polling and pundits? To see what Canadians really think, just turn over CBC’s popular At Issue panel to my relatives during a big family dinner.
Peter Mansbridge With MPs away from Ottawa, we have time to look back and look ahead. Joining us to do so: our panel. Uncle Frank. Mike, the new boyfriend of cousin Audrey who we’re all meeting for the first time. And Grandma.
Grandma Thanks Peter, and I just want to say: is the roast chicken supposed to be this dry? Not that I’m criticizing.
Peter Talk about what 2010 meant for Stephen Harper.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 12:10 PM - 1 Comment
The government side returns fire.
Helena Guergis lied in her interview with CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge when she told him she did not know the allegations that led to her abrupt departure from cabinet and removal from caucus, according to a series of Conservative talking points circulated to a select group of supporters and MPs…
“Ms. Guergis wasn’t telling the truth about not knowing the allegations,” their memo says. “She was told the specific allegations by the party lawyer. Remember, she issued a statement after being dumped from cabinet saying she denied ‘all of the allegations.’ How could she deny allegations she knew nothing about?”
By Scott Feschuk - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 7:18 AM - 20 Comments
1. It probably doesn’t help Helena Guergis’s case that whenever I hear her voice I think of the little Poltergeist lady. Now clear your minds. It knows what scares you. IT HAS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!
(This isn’t a joke. I am deeply unnerved by her Soft Voice. At points during last night’s interview, it was as though she was trying to tuck Peter Mansbridge into bed. “I guess I could be naïve, Peter. Yeah. <softer> Yeah. <softer> And then the baby unicorn and the fairy princess were bestest friends for all time. The end.”)
1.5 When Guergis made reference to watching her career implode on “the news hour at 11 o’clock,” I admired Peter Mansbridge’s restraint in not tearing off his microphone and hollering, “Why don’t you go cry to your best friend Lloyd Robertson then?”
2. Allowing Mansbridge to view the videotape of her alleged meltdown at the Charlottetown airport was smart – no boot throwing? WHAAA?? –because it allowed her to begin the interview with a demonstration of credibility. Two obvious questions: Why didn’t she do this sooner? And more important, can we all go Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 10, 2010 at 10:17 PM - 3 Comments
As Peter Mansbridge as our witness, there are apparently no “diva-like moments” to be seen on the videotape of Helena Guergis passing through security at the Charlottetown airport. Ms. Guergis admits she had a less-than-pleasant conversation with the ticket agent and that she uttered the phrases “happy f—ing birthday” and “hellhole,” but insists the latter was reference only to the airport she found herself in—she’s apparently not too keen on airports—and not reference to the city of Charlottetown or the province of Prince Edward Island.
This was merely the beginning of the CBC’s exclusive time with Ms. Guergis, as aired on The National just now (starting at the 14:15 mark of that link). After Mr. Mansbridge and Ms. Guergis had visited the offices of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to view the tape, they sat down in a dimly lit room to chat.
Wearing braces—I don’t recall those being there when last we saw her—and speaking in her small voice, she managed then to raise approximately as many questions as she answered. Continue…
By Brian D. Johnson - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 6 Comments
For Peter Mansbridge, it was tough working for the network that wasn’t allowed to cover anything
For Peter Mansbridge, it seemed so out of character. It was the second night of the Olympics and he was walking the streets of Whistler looking adrift, like the kid not invited to the party. He was on camera, reporting for The National about how it feels to cover the Games without official access. For the first time in 16 years, the public network didn’t have the Olympic broadcast rights, and Mansbridge was feeling it. “Friday night,” he recalled, “I’m miles away from the opening ceremonies, hanging out on the balcony of a bar where inside the crowd is having a ball watching it all on TV—not our channel. Ah, the perils of broadcast rights. When you’ve got ’em you’re the cock of the walk. When you don’t, you’re working real hard just trying to ﬁnd somewhere, anywhere, you’re allowed to go to tell the story.”
So Mansbridge made that the story, drumming up an odd mix of protest and pathos in a bit of verité confession that played like a YouTube blog. “Look up there,” he marvelled, with disingenuous awe. “That’s the fancy CTV Whistler location, home base for their skiing and luge coverage. It’s very impressive, and we joined the tourists who were checking it out. Even this nice CTV fellow agreed to snap a picture of us.” Then, with an uncharacteristic note of sarcasm, Mansbridge added: “A wonderful gesture on the part of CTV to have our picture taken.”
More than once, Peter insisted he was not complaining. But he was. That was the conceit behind this weird digression into confessional journalism. And his frustration was palpable. Here was a blockbuster Olympic narrative like nothing Canada had seen, the proudest showcase of national sentiment since Expo ’67. And the private sector had blithely outbid the public broadcaster, with an unholy alliance of CTV and Rogers Communications (which owns Maclean’s) forking over a record US$90 million for the rights to the Games. Veteran Olympic host Brian Williams, once the CBC’s man, followed the money. Adding insult to injury, the ubiquitous Donald Sutherland emerged as the unofficial guru of the Games, exhorting us to believe and voicing commercials for Bell, joined at the corporate hip with CTV. In the year of Own the Podium, Mansbridge could not own the medium.
By Sharon Dunn - Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 1:03 PM - 15 Comments
On two major U.S. networks, women now anchor the evening news. CBC might want to think about that.
It was 1976, and I had just been hired as a television news anchor and staff announcer at CBC’s Halifax station. Only 22 years old, I had been put through a complicated audition process beforehand—anchoring both the six and 11 o’clock news, including at-the-board weather and interviews, then turning around the very next day to host early-morning radio at 6 a.m., and the afternoon show at 4 p.m., before racing back to the TV studio to anchor the six and 11 o’clock newscasts all over again. Over a 24-hour period, I was a one-woman band—all a test to see if a woman could keep up to the “rigours of the job,” as management put it, something I suspect a male announcer had never been asked to do. It seemed to be a set-up to ensure I’d fail, but when I refused to be reduced to a withering heap on the floor, the bewildered CBC bosses reluctantly confirmed my position on staff, and my trial period was over. I had made it—the first-ever female CBC staff announcer in the Atlantic provinces. (By that time, Jan Tennant had held the distinction in Toronto for five years.)
I was a pioneer, and pioneering was not to be easy. Criticism abounded from within the ranks: male announcers were aghast, managers were still leery, even some female employees expressed their displeasure (“women shouldn’t be reading the news”; “they aren’t credible”; “their voices are too shrill”). This was a time when the only shows women hosted were afternoon-tea-type programs about flowers and food and arts and crafts—shows I abhorred. The most widely held belief, even among those who begrudgingly accepted my appointment, was that my time in TV would definitely be short-lived—women anchors would surely be out of a job as they aged, well before they reached 40.
Four years later, when I moved to Toronto to anchor CBC’s flagship 6 o’clock TV news, I realized things weren’t much better when one Toronto manager told me that women shouldn’t be anchors because “men become credible as they age and women just get old.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 3:53 PM - 4 Comments
Rock Plaza Central, critically acclaimed for their songs about robot horses, make a protest video (sort of featuring our own Andrew Coyne).
Lead singer Chris Eaton explains.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, January 25, 2010 at 9:10 AM - 5 Comments
“A Taste of the Arctic,” held at the National Gallery of Canada, kicked
“A Taste of the Arctic,” held at the National Gallery of Canada, kicked
off 2010 as the Year of the Inuit. Below, Laureen Harper (left) and Inuit
leader Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami.
Mrs. Harper and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (left).
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 4:25 PM - 42 Comments
CBC News’s swirly, shiny and frenetic new identity: how’s that working out?
Little-known fact: when Peter Mansbridge first started subbing as CBC’s National news anchor back in the early 1980s, he had a nightly house audience. In the cramped confines of the public broadcaster’s old Toronto headquarters, the flagship newscast shared a studio with the iconic children’s show The Friendly Giant. So hanging on the faux castle wall on the other side of the room, Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe bore mute witness to the great events of the era.
Sitting in his glass-walled office at the CBC’s current and far more spacious digs—the grandly named and appointed Canadian Broadcast Centre—the 62-year-old journalist shares the story to make a point. The network’s recent high-tech makeover of its news programs is hardly the only change he’s lived through in four-plus decades at the Mother Corp. Revamps are a big part of the TV business. And unlike past budget-driven exercises, this one at least sees the news division bumping up coverage, not cutting it back. “It’s a radical departure in look, not in substance,” says Mansbridge. “People are still looking for serious news. They just want it in a different fashion.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM - 96 Comments
The text of Peter Mansbridge’s questions and the Prime Minister’s responses on the matter of Afghan detainees and what, if anything, that matter had to do with the proroguing of Parliament.
Mansbridge. What do you say to those, outside of the political process, who look at what’s happened here, second time in a year, different circumstances in both cases, but the argument being made by many, I mean, you know you can’t pick up a story on this issue, without somebody referring to the Afghan detainee issue, saying that that’s really the reason, you and your government wanted to stop the investigative work of the committee.
Harper. I think polls have been pretty clear, Peter, that that’s not on the top of the radar of most Canadians.
Mansbridge. No, but that’s not the question.