Politics on TV: Howard Sapers, wireless spectrum, and the Ring of Fire

The three things you need to see

Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers
  2. Christian Paradis on wireless spectrum
  3. Tony Clement handling the Ring of Fire

Howard Sapers’ report:

Power Play spoke with Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers, whose report says that under every measure, Aboriginal offenders fare worse than non-Aboriginal offenders, and that this is a sustained difference. Sapers spoke about the legislative mandate for alternative sentencing for Aboriginals and ways in which the communities should be allowed to participate in planning for parole, however the programmes are not implemented, even though funds were earmarked for them. On Power & Politics, AFN Regional Chief for Alberta Cameron Alexis noted that out of 19000 employees at Corrections Canada, only 12 are Aboriginals working on programming, and that the problems in their communities have to do with a lack of adequate funds for education, health and child welfare.

Wireless spectrum:

Power & Politics spoke with Industry Minister Christian Paradis, who said that the new wireless spectrum will hopefully increase competition among wireless carriers, which will in turn lead to better rates for consumers. Paradis said that they are also extending the obligations for tower sharing and roaming indefinitely, and tightening the rules around arbitration and good faith negotiation between players, and that their policies to date have been a work in progress. Paradis called the government’s approach to date to be “balanced” and “less intrusive,” but said that they would intervene more if necessary.

Ring of Fire:

Don Martin spoke to Treasury Board president Tony Clement, who has been appointed to oversee the development of the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario. Clement said that with 15 departments involved and an estimated $120 billion in economic activity to be developed, a single minister was needed to coordinate the various issues, especially as there will need to be a focal point when it comes to discussions with First Nations partners in the area. Clement listed some of the challenges for the region as including things like environmental assessments, transportation of raw minerals to processing plants in Sudbury, electricity, and other infrastructure concerns.

Worth Noting:

  • Senator Romeo Dallaire recalled the time when he played his cassette of Stompin’ Tom Connors at full blast while the Canadian compound in Rwanda was being shelled, and that everyone started to sing along, helping to keep everyone focused.

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