CBC Radio's The House: July 4, 2020

On this week’s show: Education officials and an infectious disease specialist discuss resuming school in September, while Families, Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen talks support for parents. Then, MPs weigh in on the Liberal government and the WE Charity parting ways — and next week’s fiscal snapshot. Plus, the CBC’s David Thurton dives into the Green Party's leadership race to replace Elizabeth May, and The House talks to two experts about a Canada-U.S. relationship that remains divided by a restricted border.

Here is what’s on this week’s episode of The House

Diversity, Inclusion and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger revealed Friday that the government would end its partnership with WE Charity, whose co-founders — Craig, far left, and Marc Kielburger, far right — are tied to Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire. The Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is investigating the matter. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

School's out for summer, but how will it come back?

Families, Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen says while he understands the months-long burden working parents are carrying after pandemic-induced school closures, Ottawa's ability to help provinces fully reopen schools this fall is limited.

Hussen told guest host Karina Roman that because education falls under provincial jurisdiction, the federal government can only play a supporting role in helping parents and kids weather the closures.

But a growing number of voices indicate Canadian parents aren't satisfied with that answer.

Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick's education minister, Russell Copeman, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association, and Anna Banerji, a pediatric infectious disease specialist join CBC Radio's The House to discuss efforts to return Canada's kids to school.

Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick’s education minister; Russell Copeman, executive director of the Quebec English School Boards Association; and Anna Banerji, a pediatric infectious disease specialist talk about how Canada’s kids can return to school in the fall. Plus, Families, Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen addresses whether Ottawa can help the provinces tackle that challenge.

Opposition parties weigh in on Canada's fiscal future

The Liberal government and the WE Charity parted ways Friday over a plan to dole out more than $900 million in grants for student work this summer —a move that was met initially with controversy due to the organization's ties to the Trudeau family.

The federal Conservatives were highly critical of the announcement, as well as the Liberals' plan to release an economic and fiscal snapshot next week.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is set to release an economic and fiscal snapshot July 8. The minister said a more complete update will come when Canada's economy is more stable. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The update is expected to provide a clearer picture of the government's finances during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a glimpse of the months ahead. But the snapshot won't be as robust as a federal budget, which was shelved in March as spread of the novel coronavirus escalated.

To discuss financial accountability during a crisis, host Karina Roman speaks to Conservative and NDP finance critics Pierre Poilievre and Peter Julian, and is joined by Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

A panel of MPs discuss the Liberal government and WE Charity parting ways over a controversial contract. Plus, a discussion of what opposition parties hope to see in next week’s fiscal snapshot.

Can the Green Party survive Elizabeth May's departure?

For more than a decade, many Canadians have seen the Greens as a party of one issue — the environment — and one person — Elizabeth May. But after serving as the party's leader since 2006, Elizabeth May stepped down last year, triggering a race to replace her.

Outgoing Green Party leader Elizabeth May stepped down from the party's top job in November, triggering a 10-candidate leadership race to replace her. (Chris Corday/CBC)

CBC senior reporter David Thurton examines where the Green Party is going by taking a close look at where it's been. He finds a political organization that has been driven and represented by a single person for almost 15 years, leaving a potential vulnerability for whoever fills her shoes.

But conversations with those looking to leap to the top of the Green hierarchy reveal an effort to foster a more collective, diverse and inclusive leadership to lead the party into its next phase.

The ongoing leadership race for the Green Party’s top job is new territory for a party that has been led by Elizabeth May for almost 15 years. But it’s also seen by some as a chance to build a better party. The CBC’s David Thurton delivers a special report.

The state of Canada-U.S. relations

As citizens in both Canada and the United States celebrate holidays this week, the border between them remains restricted to non-essential travel. That closure has been extended several times as the two countries' approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to diverge.

To find out how the pandemic response and border restrictions fit into Canada's relationship with the U.S., host Karina Roman sits down with Sarah Goldfeder, a former State Department official who worked with American ambassadors in Ottawa, and Christopher Sands, the head of the Canada Institute at the Wilson Center think-tank.

Two experts on Canada-U.S. ties discuss where they see the bilateral relationship going amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and what the upcoming U.S. presidential election means for the two countries.

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