Brief Remarks: the Canada 2020 Podcast
Susan Delacourt reveals the behind the scenes world of federal politics in Canada. Fun, fast and largely factual, Susan speaks with the people who make decisions and the ones who influence the decision makers. This is not a news program. It’s more like a guidebook to our democracy as it unfolds, and this podcast is your compass.
Brief Remarks is brought to you by Interac.
Episode 21: Let’s Talk Pot (LIVE)
Brief Remarks goes LIVE again in the Canada 2020 Studio to talk pot – or, as we were corrected, cannabis – with the Hon. Anne McLellan and Dr. Mark Ware. Based on their report to Health Canada about the legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada, Anne and Mark gave our audience a detailed portrait of where Canada stands with legislating cannabis nationwide, what bottlenecks we face in that process, and what cautious steps the government can take in the years to come. Recorded in our Studio in Ottawa on May 19th, Susan also helped moderate a fantastic audience Q&A session which touched on everything from the medicinal use of cannabis, marketing restrictions, worker’s safety, concerns from the first nations community and more.
Episode 20: LIVE with Cornell Belcher
Brief Remarks goes LIVE in the Canada 2020 Studio with author, pollster and political strategist Cornell Belcher to talk about his powerful new book “A Black Man in the White House: Barack Obama and the Triggering of America’s Racial-Aversion Crisis.” Recorded on May 10 in Ottawa, Susan speaks with Cornell about race in America before, during and after Barack Obama’s time in office, and how Canada may not be as “post-racial” as we think. A warning: strong, unfiltered language in this episode.
Episode 19: Commanding the Political Brand
Susan speaks with Alex Marland, whose his book ‘Brand Command: Canadian Politics and Democracy in the Age of Message Control’ has been nominated for the Donner Prize. Delacourt and Marland talk about branding, marketing and the central control of messaging in the Harper and Trudeau governments. There’s no turning back now, Marland says.
Episode 18: Let’s do Lunch
Is the business of the political lunch in Ottawa changing? Susan heads out to lunch to talk to Craig Stevenson, GM of the Shore Club and former Manager of Hy’s about ‘the martini hour’ of the past. But there’s still lots of work to be done at the lunch table – and the benefits are more than good eats, say Earnscliffe Strategy Group’s Geoff Norquay and Yaroslav Baran.
Episode 17: The Jetsons, Terminator & The Future of Work in Canada
A week after the federal government announced an investment in artificial intelligence in its budget, host Susan Delacourt speaks to Australian author and academic Tim Dunlop about why we need to embrace robots in the future of work. (Sign up for Dunlop’s future of work email here). Frank Graves of EKOS talks about employment trends, automation and the impact on the middle class in Canada.
Episode 16: The PM and the Big Picture
Susan Delacourt speaks to Adam Scotti, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official photographer, and his father, Bill McCarthy, who was the official photographer for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. From film to digital, posed grip and grins to selfies – there have been some drastic changes about the job, and some parts are familiar to this father and son.
Episode 15: More than mean Tweets
On International Women’s Day, host Susan Delacourt invites Jennifer Robson, Carleton Professor and friend of the Pod, into the studio to talk about her new research on female politicians and how they are treated on social media. Susan and Jennifer then talk to Rebecca McKenzie, Director of Communications for Premier Kathleen Wynne on the hateful, homophobic, misogynist posts she and her team have to deal with on a daily basis.
Episode 14: I have the PM on the line
Susan speaks to two people who got a phone call from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after writing him a letter. She then speaks to the PMO’s Dan Arnold, who heads the correspondence unit, about dealing with thousands of letters a week, and adding a few more phone calls to the schedule.
Episode 13: Trump North
Susan speaks about a recent anti-Islam rally in Toronto to Zach Ruiter and Sarah Hagi. Ruiter shot video of the Toronto rally for the Torontoist, while Hagi, a Vice reporter, wore her hijab to the rally. Allan Thompson, journalism professor at Carleton University, compares the event to his experiences at a Trump rally last summer, and talks about campaigning in rural Ontario in the last federal election.
Episode 12: Can Canada be better after this?
Susan speaks with MPs Joel Lightbound and Omar Alghabra about the importance of the words we say… and the words we don’t. The mosque where six people were fatally shot and 19 others were injured is located in Joel Lightbound’s Quebec riding of Louis-Hebert. Lightbound’s speech in the House of Commons following the attack brought fellow MP Omar Alghabra to tears. The two speak candidly and openly to Susan about the impact the mosque attack had on them personally. They also reflect on the ways language can support or weaken democracy.
Episode 11: The Ultimate U.S. Insider in Ottawa Speaks Out
Susan calls up her old friend Bruce Anderson to find out what she should ask former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman. The two Bruce’s were good friends in Ottawa. Bruce Heyman opens up about his time as President Obama’s Ottawa insider. He shares stories of his time getting to know Canada, how he first met President Obama and his last dinner at the White House. He also shares his concerns about the new administration is Washington and he offers advice to the new President and whoever becomes the next Ambassador to Canada.
Episode 10: Lessons for the White House Press Corps from the Harper years
Susan Delacourt returns to the podcast to speak with Jen and Rob about the strained relationship between the White House press corps and the incoming President. They discuss the growing disconnect between political reportering and the public in Canada and the US. And Susan reflects on a time in Canada when the parliamentary press gallery tried to present a unified front against a Prime Minister who wanted more control over who asked questions. Oh, and Susan also has some big news to share!
Episode 9: The Anti-Prediction Show
Jennifer and Rob help you steel yourself against the inevitable flood of predictions for 2017. They speak with Dan Gardner, author of Risk and Future Babble and co-author of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction about how decision makers should approach the good, the bad and the unreliable predictions we are likely to hear over the coming weeks.
Jennifer and Rob speak with Prime Minister Trudeau’s Director of Operations, John Zerucelli, about what it takes to organize a foreign trip for the PM. (Hint: it takes a lot.) What’s fascinating about this chat with John is the effort that goes into ensuring visits aren’t just pomp and circumstance but also opportunities for world leaders to form personal connections. Bonus: John gives his recommendations for great non-fiction reading over the holiday.
Rob and Jennifer speak with Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns about the lessons and the outstanding questions for political strategists coming out of the 2016 presidential election campaign, where he was embedded with the Trump team. Bonus: Sasha gives his not so light-hearted picks for great non-fiction reading.
Rob and Jennifer speak with the Hon. Patty Hajdu about the shift from leadership on the front lines of community service to leadership in the federal government as the Minister for the Status of Women. She shares a moving experience while gathering insight on gender based violence in Canada. Also, we begin our series on the best non-fiction reads for the holiday break with a conversation with Kim Pittaway, Executive Director, Creative Non-Fiction at King’s College.
This week’s podcast tackles two topics that have been in the headlines over the past couple of weeks, but as Jennifer says, we do it Brief Remarks style. First up, a conversation with Howard Anglin on fundraising. Howard made sure ministers and MPs followed the ethics rules when he worked at the PMO in Stephen Harper’s government. He gives us his inside perspective on the rules, the challenges of following the rules and the potential for corruption. (Hint: he thinks our system is very clean) And, following on the sexist comments directed at MLA Sandra Jansen, we speak with Memorial University Associate Professor Amanda Bittner about the latest research into the challenges women, and in particular mothers, face when they enter politics.
Transition of government is big news south of the border, leading all newscasts and filling cable news programs. Here in Canada transitions tend to be quieter affairs, garnering little attention. But just because it is quiet doesn’t mean it’s always smooth. Co-hosts Jennifer Robson and Rob Silver speak to Ian Brodie and David Zussman two people with first hand experience managing the handover of power in Canada.
Episode 3: More Than Slap Hitters
Jennifer and Rob speak with Mike Moffat and Hannah Rasmussen about ways to make Canada a country where innovators swing for the fences rather than settle for a base hit. Their discussion paper takes a refreshing new approach to the topic of innovation: concrete ideas with specific criteria. You can read their 10 Big Ideas on Innovation and much more at the Canada 2020 Innovation Project website
Episode 2: Post-U.S. Election & Prime Minister Trudeau’s Speechwriters
Rob and Jennifer give their thoughts on the election of Donald Trump and what it could mean for politics and government in Canada. Also, the end of the Obama era marks the end of a golden age for speeches. We speak to two of Prime Minister Trudeau’s speechwriters about the craft of making a great political speech.
Episode 1: Susan Delacourt and Andrew Leach
The first full episode of Canada 2020’s Brief Remarks podcast. We’re getting used to mics and construction outside our studio, but that didn’t stop us from putting together a great show, we think. Podcast hosts Jennifer Robson and Rob Silver speak with Susan Delacourt on journalism and government, and Andrew Leach gives us a ‘splainer on Carbon Tax versus Cap and Trade
Listen to the trailer here:
Brief Remarks is produced by Canada 2020 in partnership with Neil Morrison at Podcraft Productions.