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

Amanda Alvaro (CBC)

Amanda Alvaro 

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

Experience:  Amanda was a senior communications adviser for both Justin Trudeau's leadership bid and his party's election campaign. As a political adviser and spokesperson 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.

Rachel Curran (CBC)

Rachel Curran 

Current Position: Senior Associate, Harper & Associates Consulting

Experience: Rachel is a commercial litigation lawyer by trade who has worked as a senior political operative at both the provincial and federal levels. Rachel was chief of staff to the B.C. minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General from 2005-2007.  She was director of policy under former prime minister Stephen Harper and also served as social policy advisor and director of personnel and administration in the Harper PMO.


Kelly Cryderman (CBC)

Kelly Cryderman​

Current Position: Journalist with the Globe & Mail

Experience: In her 17 years as a print journalist, Globe and Mail reporter Kelly Cryderman has worked at the Ottawa Citizen, the Edmonton Journal and the Calgary Herald.  She has covered everything from Canada's role in Afghanistan to the Alberta legislature to the First Nation communities living next door to oilsands mega-projects. Cryderman has been with the Globe's Calgary bureau, covering the Canada's energy sector and all things Alberta, since January, 2013.


Stockwell Day (CBC)

Stockwell Day

Current Position:  Stockwell Day Connex Ltd./Strategic Advisor for McMillan LLP.

Experience:  Stockwell represented the provincial riding of Red Deer North from 1986 to 2000, serving in Alberta's Progressive Conservative government in several senior roles, including minister of Labour, Treasurer and Government House Leader. In 2000, Stockwell was elected to the House of Commons, serving as the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Canadian Alliance. In 2006, the newly formed Conservative Party of Canada formed government and Stockwell Day was appointed minister of Public Safety. He would go on to serve as minister of Trade and president of the Treasury Board.



Supriya Dwivedi

Current Position: Host of  The Morning Show on AM640 in Toronto.

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.  Supriya is fluently trilingual in English, French and Hindi, so that means she can give you her (unsolicited) opinion in all three languages.


Chris Hall (Chris Hall)

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.



Yolande James

Current Position: Political analyst

Experience: Yolande is a former member of Quebec's National Assembly and former Québec minister of immigration and cultural communities and minister of 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 (CBC)

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 the 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 of 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, serving as the campaign spokesperson and media director during the NDP's 2011 federal election campaign. She is also the founding executive director and catalyst for the Broadbent Institute. Kathleen previously 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.


Martin Patriquin

Current Position: Journalist at iPolitics

Experience: Martin is a National Magazine Award winner. He has previously 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 (CBC)

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 nineties. Working as an adviser and political operative, Tim has advised party leaders and cabinet ministers. He has also fundraised for federal and provincial parties across the country. Tim is also the current chairman of Rugby Canada.


Althia Raj (CBC)

Althia Raj

Current Position: HuffPost Canada's Ottawa bureau chief

Experience:  Althia has worked for Postmedia, Sun Media, CTV and CBC. As HuffPost Canada's Ottawa bureau chief, Althia manages the only bilingual bureau on Parliament Hill. She has been listed as one of the 100 most influential people in Canadian politics by The Hill Times. Her work has been nominated for several national awards, most recently for her coverage of the 2015 election. Prior to joining HuffPost in 2011, Althia worked as a national political reporter for Postmedia News.


Susan Smith (CBC)

Susan Smith

Current Position:  Co-founder of Bluesky Strategy Group.

Experience: Susan has worked in strategic communications, public affairs and media relations advice and training for more than 25 years. She has advised clients ranging from deputy prime ministers, ministers, CEOs and First Nations leaders to heads of industry associations, scientists, film stars and hockey players. Prior to co-founding Bluesky Strategy Group, Susan also served as the communications adviser to Doug Young in his capacity as federal minister of Transport and the minister of Human Resources Development. Susan is also one of the co-founders of Canada 2020, a progressive policy think tank based in Ottawa.


Marie Vastel (CBC)

Marie Vastel​

Current Position: Ottawa parliamentary correspondent for Le Devoir

Experience: Marie is a frequent political analyst on CBC Radio, CBC News Network  and Radio-Canada. She has 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.


Paul Wells (CBC)

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 (CBC)

Aaron Wherry

Current Position: Senior writer for CBC's Parliamentary bureau on

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