Politics

Meet the Power & Politics power panelists

Want to learn more about the people who appear on CBC News Network's Power & Politics Power Panel? Biographies and photographs for each panelist are just a click away.

Scroll down the page to learn more about our panelists

Watch videos of past Power Panel segments (to 2019) here. 

(CBC)

Amanda Alvaro 

Current Position: Founder and president of Toronto-based public relations agency Pomp & Circumstance.

Experience:  Amanda was a senior communications adviser to both Justin Trudeau's Liberal leadership bid and his party's election campaign. At the provincial level, Amanda worked as a communications and issues adviser to the Ontario Liberals through successive election campaigns. Amanda is also the founder of Artbound, a Canadian charity responsible for building arts schools and programs in developing countries.


Françoise Boivin

Current Position: Labour law commentator at 104.7 FM, strategic adviser and media relations coach, political commentator on RDI's Mordus de politique

Experience: Françoise is a labour lawyer who has practised more than 30 years in the Outaouais region of western Quebec. In 2004, she was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal MP. Elected president of the NDP's Quebec wing in 2008, she worked with Jack Layton to help make the party the Official Opposition in the 2011 election and became the NDP MP for the riding of Gatineau, serving as justice critic. Francoise hosted her own radio show on CJRC-1150 for several years, in addition to serving as a political and legal commentator for several radio and television programs.


(CBC)

Piya Chattopadhyay

Current Position: Piya Chattopadhyay is the host of CBC Radio's "The Sunday Magazine", a weekly show airing at 9 a.m. Sunday mornings (930 in NFLD and parts of Labrador) which focuses on the issues of our time with in-depth interviews.

Experience: Piya has been a journalist since 1997, working in both radio and television. She has covered all kinds of stories as both a reporter and host, from domestic to international events and issues, to politics, to the lived experiences of Canadians and people around the world. Her career has largely been at the CBC but she also worked for three years as Fox News Radio's Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem, as well as summer and fill-in host of TVO's flagship current affairs program "The Agenda". For many years, Piya hosted many of CBC Radio's most popular programs, including The Current, Q and Metro Morning. Before hosting "The Sunday Magazine", Piya created the CBC Radio show "Out in the Open" and hosted it for four years.


Supriya Dwivedi

Current Position: Political Commentator

Experience:  During law school, Supriya started writing political opinion pieces for the Montreal Gazette and the Globe and Mail, while hosting her own show on CJAD 800. Supriya moved to Toronto and went on to work for Crestview Strategy in government relations and strategic communications. Supriya is known as a national commentator and has worked as a political adviser as well. She is fluently trilingual in English, French and Hindi, so that means she can give you her (unsolicited) opinion in all three languages.


(CBC)

Charelle Evelyn

Current Position: Managing editor of The Hill Times

Experience:  Charelle began her professional journalism career in Ottawa after graduating from Carleton University in 2008 before heading back to her home province of British Columbia to work for the Prince George Citizen. She returned to the National Capital Region in 2016 to join Hill Times Publishing. Her previous roles there included reporter and associate editor of The Wire Report and deputy editor of The Hill Times. Charelle also worked as a field reporter for CPAC's Ridings to Watch series during the 2019 election.


(CBC)

Brian Gallant 

Current Position: CEO of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation, senior adviser at Navigator and special advisor to the president of Ryerson University.

Experience:  Brian served as premier of New Brunswick, leader of the Liberal Party of New Brunswick from 2012-2019, and chair of the Council of the Federation. In addition, he served as the attorney general and the minister responsible for women's equality. He has university degrees in business and law as well as a Master of Laws from McGill University. Brian is a member of the board of directors for the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Urban Institute, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame and the Beausejour Family Crisis Resource Centre. He is also as an advisory board member at the Pearson Centre for Progressive Policy.


Chris Hall

Current Position: CBC's national affairs editor and host of CBC Radio's The House.

Experience: Chris is based in the CBC's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. He began his reporting career with the Ottawa Citizen before moving on to CBC Radio in 1992. Chris worked as a national radio reporter in Toronto, Halifax and St. John's before returning to Ottawa and Parliament Hill in 1998.


David Herle

Current Position: Principal partner at The Gandalf Group, a research and strategic communications consultancy firm, and host of the public affairs podcast The Herle Burly

Experience: David served as Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's campaign co-chair in 2014 and 2018 and as the national campaign co-chair for the Liberal Party in 2004 and 2006. He has participated in many other campaigns at the national and provincial level. David has been a polling expert and communications strategist for over 30 years. With his dual expertise in strategy and research, David excels in helping organizations with brand image and reputation management.


David Heurtel

Current Position: Counsel at Fasken, public administration scholar in residence at Concordia University, political analyst at CJAD 800 AM Montreal and 98,5FM Montréal.

Experience: David was a member of the National Assembly representing the Quebec provincial riding of Viau from 2013 to 2018. He served in Québec's Liberal government as minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change from 2014 to 2017 and as minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness from 2017 to 2018. Before entering politics, David was CEO of Montreal's Olympic Park from 2011 to 2013.


Yolande James

Current Position: Political analyst

Experience: Yolande is a former member of Quebec's National Assembly and a former Québec minister of immigration, cultural communities and family. She received a bachelor's degree in civil law from Université de Montréal and a bachelor's degree in common law from Queen's University. She was first elected to the National Assembly in 2004 and was re-elected in 2007. Yolande is the first black female MNA in Quebec history and the youngest, as well as the first black cabinet minister. She is an active volunteer in palliative care as a foundation board member with the West Island Palliative Care Residence in Montreal.


Brad Lavigne​

Current Position: Principal and vice president, Western Canada, Counsel Public Affairs 

Experience: Brad is an experienced political operative who served in a number of capacities with the New Democratic Party, including as campaign manager of the NDP's historic 2011 federal campaign. He is also the former principal secretary to the late Jack Layton and former director of communications for the federal NDP. Brad also worked as an adviser in the B.C. Premier's Office and as chief of staff to the B.C. minister of finance.


Kathleen Monk

Current Position: Principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group

Experience: Kathleen Monk is a senior communications and campaign strategist with over 15 years experience in media, politics and the not-for-profit sector. A principal at Earnscliffe, Kathleen previously served as director of communications for NDP leader Jack Layton and as the campaign spokesperson and media director during the NDP's 2011 federal election campaign. She is also the founding executive director of the Broadbent Institute. Kathleen has worked in newsrooms in Toronto, Ottawa and Washington, D.C. She holds an MSc in politics and communication from the London School of Economics and remains an active volunteer with Equal Voice.


(CBC)

James Moore

Current Position:  Senior adviser at the multinational law firm Dentons, public policy adviser at the global firm Edelman and a corporate director.

Experience: Moore served as Canada's minister of Industry, minister of Canadian Heritage, secretary of state for the Asia Pacific Gateway and minister for the 2010 Olympics over a five-term, 15-year career as a Conservative member of Parliament (2000-2015). He was the senior regional minister for the province of British Columbia and the is the youngest cabinet minister and member of Parliament in B.C.'s history.


Tim Murphy

Current Position:  Managing director of McMillan Vantage, a national public affairs agency, and executive partner at McMillan LLP, a national business law firm.

Experience: Tim served as chief of staff to Paul Martin when he was prime minister and finance minister of Canada. He was elected to the provincial Parliament in Ontario and has run local, provincial and national campaigns. He is a business lawyer and a former litigator. He serves on public, private and charitable boards of directors and has authored two books, including "Public-Private Partnerships in Canada", released this year.


Martin Patriquin

Current Position: Journalist at The Logic

Experience: Martin is a National Magazine Award winner. He has worked for Maclean's, the New York Times, the Globe and Mail and the National Post. He is a frequent contributor to Radio-Canada and the BBC. He has contributed to The Walrus magazine, the Literary Review of Canada and many others. Martin is a graduate of Mount Allison University.


Tim Powers

Current Position:  Vice-Chairman of Summa Strategies and managing director of Abacus Data.

Experience: A columnist and commentator, Tim has worked on numerous Canadian federal political campaigns for Conservatives and conservative parties dating back to the early 1990s. Working as an adviser and political operative, Tim has advised party leaders and cabinet ministers. He has raised funds for federal and provincial parties across the country. Tim is also the current chairman of Rugby Canada.


(CBC)

Niigaan Sinclair

Current Position: Associate professor in the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Experience: Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair is Anishinaabe (St. Peter's/Little Peguis) and an award-winning writer, editor and activist who was named to Monocle Magazine's list of "Canada's Top 20 Most Influential People." He won the 2018 Canadian columnist of the year at the National Newspaper Awards for his bi-weekly columns in The Winnipeg Free Press. In 2019, he was named Peace Educator of the Year by the Peace and Justice Studies Association at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. for his work as an international media commentator on outlets such as CBC, APTN and Al-Jazeera America.


(CBC)

Laura Stone

Current Position:  Queen's Park reporter, Globe and Mail.

Experience: Laura covers Ontario politics for the Globe but still dabbles in the federal scene. She joined the Globe in February 2016, reporting in the Ottawa Parliamentary bureau until she started at Queen's Park in October 2018. Laura was the first recipient of the Michelle Lang award at the Calgary Herald, where she wrote a national series about women's prisons. In 2015, she won the Canadian Journalism Foundation's Greg Clark Award, which allowed her inside the RCMP's Senate investigation. Laura likes to profile politicians over lunch. She always picks up her own tab.


(CBC)

John Paul (J.P.) Tasker

Current Position: Senior writer, CBC News

Experience:  J.P. is a senior writer in the CBC's parliamentary bureau. A proud graduate of McGill and Carleton universities, J.P. covers the Conservative Party, the Senate, finance, energy policy and Indigenous relations, among other beats. An award-winning reporter, J.P. writes for CBCNews.ca and files for radio and TV programs. Before joining the public broadcaster in 2013, J.P. worked for the Kingston Whig-Standard.


(CBC)

Kory Teneycke

Current Position: Founding partner of Rubicon Strategy

Experience:  Kory has worked on dozens of political campaigns at the national and provincial level over the past thirty years. He served as communications director to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was the founder of Sun News Network, a Canadian cable news channel, and currently serves as campaign manager to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.


Andrew Thomson

Current Position: Chief of government relations for the University of Toronto

Experience: Andrew was first elected to the Saskatchewan legislature in 1995 and spent 12 years as an MLA. He served in the NDP cabinet as minister for finance, education, public safety and energy. After leaving politics he worked overseas in the tech sector, returning to Canada in 2015. Andrew now serves on the Board of Family Services Toronto and the CD Howe Institute's Human Capital Policy Council.


Marie Vastel​

Current Position: Ottawa parliamentary correspondent for Le Devoir

Experience: Marie is a frequent political analyst for CBC Radio, CBC News Network and Radio-Canada. She previously worked for The Canadian Press. Marie has covered Parliament Hill since 2009, reporting on everything from defence procurement to democratic reform to social issues and the Senate.


(CBC)

Zain Velji

Current Position:  Partner at Northweather — a marketing and strategy firm for charities, non-profits and cause-based businesses — and host of Strategists Podcast.

Experience:  Campaign manager for Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, campaign adviser and head of digital strategy for former Alberta premier Rachel Notley. He worked on campaigns for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. President Barack Obama. Zain was named one of Calgary's Top 40 under 40 by Avenue and was awarded the Horizon Award for alumni contributions by the University of Alberta. He serves on the board of YMCA Calgary and chairs the board of the Canadian Children's Book Centre. Zain has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Alberta.


Paul Wells

Current Position: Senior writer, Maclean's.

Experience:  Paul was political editor of Maclean's magazine before working as national affairs columnist at the Toronto Star in 2016-17. Over 13 years at Maclean's the first time around, Paul won three gold National Magazine Awards and moderated Maclean's 2015 national leaders' debate, which drew more viewers than the two other English debates combined. His book "The Longer I'm Prime Minister" won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, the John W. Dafoe Book Prize and the Ottawa Book Award. Paul returned to Maclean's as senior writer in 2017.


Aaron Wherry

Current Position: Senior writer for CBC's Parliamentary bureau 

Experience: Aaron has covered Parliament Hill since 2007, first as associate editor for Maclean's magazine and since 2016 for CBCnews.ca. Before moving to Ottawa, Aaron wrote about arts, culture and sports for the National Post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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