The House

A tale of two conventions

This week on The House, we take the pulse of the Liberal and Conservative conventions with MP, and potential leadership candidate, Jason Kenney and the president of the Liberal party, Anna Gainey. We also discuss the future of the assisted dying legislation with Senators Mobina Jaffer, Jim Cowan and André Pratte.

Jason Kenney: King or Kingmaker in Tory leadership race?

5 years ago
As Conservatives meet in Vancouver for the party's convention today, delegates will be looking for the next Tory to enter the party's leadership race with Jason Kenney a key name to watch. 1:44

He's the person holding the key to the Conservative leadership race.

MP Jason Kenney says he will decide this summer whether he'll aim to become the party's second permanent leader after Stephen Harper.

"I feel that if I did decide to run, I would have a very broad and deep support in the party, but this still doesn't make this an automatic decision for me," Jason Kenney told The House.

"There's an awful lot to reflect on and that's what I'm taking time to do," he said.

Speaking from the convention floor in Vancouver where the Conservatives are currently meeting, Kenney said he'll make up his mind on whether or not to run for the party leadership by the end of the summer.

The Conservatives are set to vote for a new leader next spring.

Jason Kenney says he will decide this summer whether he'll aim to become the party's second permanent leader after Stephen Harper. 12:45

Kenney has had plenty of time to reflect on how best to reach out to those very Canadians he hopes will vote Conservative in the next election.

"Where we went wrong as a government was typically on tone and communications," he said.

"We didn't seek to persuade, we too often sought to kind of dictate our message... and too often seemed to go out of our way to create enemies rather than friends."

'We're already looking to 2019,' says Liberal party president

Delegates wait for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention in Winnipeg on Thursday, May 26, 2016. (John Woods/Canadian Press)

The mood is obviously quite different at the Liberal convention in Winnipeg.

But there's still a bit of controversy, courtesy of the proposed new party constitution.

Anna Gainey, the National President of the Liberal party, told The House that the proposed changes, including eliminating membership fees, are geared towards getting ready for the next election.

Anna Gainey, the National President of the Liberal party, joins us to discuss her party's convention in Winnipeg. 6:36

"It opens our party to more participation, more members, more volunteers, and perhaps even more donors," she said. "I feel that this will expand our grassroots and our network."

If the new constitution — which has been endorsed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — passes, anyone would be eligible to participate in policy development, the nomination of candidates, party conventions and the selection of future leaders.

Some detractors have said the move would allow organized interest groups — such as pro-life campaigners — to infiltrate the party's ranks and turf sitting MPs.

Liberal delegates to vote on free party membership

5 years ago
Liberal party members will vote on a new party constitution at their Winnipeg conference that, if passed, would eliminate fees for those wishing to join the party. 1:01

Senators planning changes to assisted dying bill

The federal government's assisted dying legislation is headed to the Senate. How will Senators want to amend the controversial bill? (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

The Liberal government's medically-assisted dying legislation will face strong resistance in the Red Chamber, not only from the Tories, but from the very senators expected to help usher the bill through the Senate.

Liberal Senators Jim Cowan, Mobina Jaffer and Independent Senator André Pratte all signaled Friday that they will not support bill C-14 in its current form, saying its too much of a departure from the Supreme Court's decision in the Carter case.

"I believe that if this bill just followed the Carter case, I would support it," Jaffer said in an interview with Chris Hall on The House.

"The bill as it's written now tries to restrict the Supreme Court ruling and ... tries to limit doctor assisted death to people who suffer from terminal illness, and that's not what the court said," Pratte added.

We discuss the future of the government's assisted dying legislation with Senators Mobina Jaffer, Jim Cowan and André Pratte. 14:29

"The wording in Carter is very clear ... there is nothing in there about it being a terminal illness, nothing about age," Cowan said.

"Any attempt by Parliament to take away rights that have been granted and confirmed by the Supreme Court is out of order and I think the bill falls short."

In House panel on location!

Former prime minister Stephen Harper pauses for a moment as he addresses the Conservative Party of Canada convention in Vancouver, Thursday, May 26, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Our In House panelists are on the road this week.

Susan Delacourt is covering the Liberal convention and Joël-Denis Bellavance is in Vancouver for the Conservative gathering.

Susan Delacourt joins us from the Liberal convention in Winnipeg and JD Bellavance does the same from the Conservative gathering in Vancouver. 8:41