Inside Politics

Margo McDiarmid Bio

Margo McDiarmid

Margo McDiarmid has been working for the CBC on and off since the 1980's. She started reporting for CBC Radio after landing in Inuvik, NWT on the longest day of the year. She stayed for eight years, covering everything from aboriginal land claims to energy to the environment - an interest she still has today. Margo has worked for CBC Radio and Television across Canada, and freelanced for anyone who would hire her in London, England. These days Margo covers Parliament from the Ottawa bureau, occasionally sneaking off to cover an environmental story or two when her boss isn't looking.

Environmental Round Table ready to give up ... the table

When do you really know it's over for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy?

When the Round Table is selling its table.

In fact, that's actually happening.

Click the link to read the full story....

ANALYSIS: Been there, heard that environment speech before

Peter Kent says he's tired of his government being accused of having no plan for the environment.

Unfortunately, Kent has left himself open to being accused of that very thing again.

Kent gave his first speech as Environment Minister to the Economic Club in Toronto Friday.

I have followed all the first speeches of the four environment Minister since 2006 and I can tell you I was wondering what he'd say. Would he channel author Ezra Levant and talk about "ethical oil" again... or would he actually give us some details about what he will do as Environment Minister?

He didn't do either.

Some notes for the new environment minister

The new environment minister will have a list of difficult issues to handle over the next few years. And it will start almost right away.

1. The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline decision: The new minister may or may not keep this portfolio. Jim Prentice kept it through three different portfolios because of his interest in the project. But it's not a guaranteed the new guy will keep it. It could get shuffled back to Natural Resources or Industry.

The final decision by cabinet on this massive project expected by cabinet very soon. Remember that the National Energy Board approved the $16-billion project just before Christmas, and all it needs is political approval. Although that still won't guarantee it will go ahead, due to problems caused by soaring costs and soft gas markets.

Liberals take 'Open Mike,' gun registry message to Outremont

UPDATE: The date of the Outremont town hall is being changed over a scheduling conflict. New date to be announced soon.


The Liberals are holding their first Ignatieff town hall "Open Mike" series next week, the day after the vote on the gun registry.

It's being held in Montreal's Outremont on Sept. 23. That's Thursday, time and location TBA.

They see it as a grand opportunity to stick it to NDP MP Thomas Mulcair, who they say is "bleeding"  over the gun registry issue.

Having tea beside the fake lake while waiting for G20 to start...


A new take on thank-you gifts

Liberals at their three-day "thinkers" conference in Montreal are putting their money where their mouths are - literally.

The conference invited more than 50 speakers to talk about everything from jobs and innovation to Canada's place in the world to the environment.

It's part of the Liberal attempt to come up with new ideas for the future. Instead of giving each speaker an appreciation gift, organizers are donating money on their behalf.

Allo? Allo? Searching for a signal at the 'hooked in' Lib thinkfest

The Liberal conference in Montreal is being promoted as fully hooked in with social media.

More than 2,000 people have signed up to listen to the proceedings by webcam across the country and there's a bank of a dozen people on one side of the room dedicated to taking questions and posting the proceedings on Facebook and Twitter. 

But for all these efforts, there's really nothing they can do about the fact the Hyatt Regency hotel that's hosting the event is a concrete bunker.

Reporters like me find themselves outside the conference area hanging over the balcony in the attached shopping mall trying desperately to tweet or make a phone call.

Prentice on emissions targets: take 2

Before we get all excited about Environment Minister Jim Prentice's announcement on Saturday that he's changed Canada's greenhouse gas emissions targets to match those of the U.S., keep in mind that Prentice has said it all before.
CBC first tweeted the news on December 2, when Prentice announced it during Question Period.
The only news now is that Prentice did this past weekend what he said he was going to do in December.

Haiti's patient PM keeps focus where it belongs -- on Haiti


It was a surprisingly low-key and accessible Haitian prime minister who took part in the International conference on Haiti in Montreal.

Jean-Max Bellerive arrived in Montreal Sunday night and met with Haitians face to face, patiently answering many questions about aid to earthquake victims.  

But the most surprising thing was his appearance on the media floor at the conference early Monday morning.

Bellerive made the rounds of the many networks both French and English, doing countless live interviews and numerous scrums in two languages.

He had low profile security, and few harried handlers.

How's the climate in Copenhagen in December?

A spokesman for the prime minister says that Stephen Harper now may go to the international climate change convention in Copenhagen.
U.S. President Barack Obama has just announced he'll attend the crucial meeting on Dec. 9. The meeting runs from Dec. 7 to 18.
Now PMO spokesman Dmitri Soudas says Harper could go, too, IF "all major leaders attend and there is a leaders summit."