The House

CBC Radio's The House: After Fiona, is Canada ready for the next disaster?

On this week’s show: Two MPs whose ridings have been struck by natural disasters discuss how to deal with the emotional toll, the immediate cleanup and the long-term rebuild. The House looks into whether Canada should have a dedicated disaster relief force and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino responds to the federal-provincial battle over firearms restrictions. Plus — Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Alika Lafontaine reflects on reconciliation in the health-care sector.

Here is what's on this week's episode

Workers start to clean up the devastation left by the post-tropical storm Fiona in Burnt Island, Newfoundland on Wednesday September 28, 2022. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)
Two MPs whose ridings have been struck by natural disasters discuss how to deal with the emotional toll, the immediate cleanup and the long-term rebuild. The House looks into whether Canada should have a dedicated disaster relief force and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino responds to the federal-provincial battle over firearms restrictions. Plus — Canadian Medical Association president Dr. Alika Lafontaine reflects on reconciliation in the health-care sector.

How do MPs respond in times of crisis?

Fiona is believed to be the strongest storm ever to hit Atlantic Canada. It robbed people of their homes and possessions and left in its wake difficult questions about how to recover and rebuild.

At times of crisis, many community members turn to their MPs for answers. How do those MPs respond? Host Catherine Cullen checks in with Liberal MP Mike Kelloway, who represents Cape Breton-Canso in Nova Scotia, and Conservative MP Brad Vis, whose B.C. riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon experienced massive flooding and wildfires last year.

Nova Scotia Liberal MP Mike Kelloway and B.C. Conservative MP Brad Vis talk about helping constituents cope with the immediate impact of natural disasters and how they are preparing for the future.

Should Canada have a dedicated disaster response force?

As troops continued to clean up the post-Fiona wreckage on the East Coast this week, questions have been raised around the increase in such domestic military deployments — and whether it might be time to establish an entirely different kind of dedicated force.

The House checks in with a few experts for their thoughts, including Peter Kikkert of St. Francis Xavier University and Lt.-Gen. (ret) Guy Thibault, former vice-chief of defence staff and current chair of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.

In the wake of post-tropical storm Fiona, with military members on the ground to help with cleanup, The House speaks with experts about whether Canada needs a dedicated disaster relief force.

The firearms program becomes a federalism fracas

Gun owners have until next fall to give up a range of "assault-style" weapons that were banned by the federal government in 2020. The governments of prairie provinces, however, say they don't think the RCMP should be used to enforce the buyback. They're calling the program a waste of their police resources and arguing it will do nothing to stop gun crime.

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino joins The House to explain his plan for the program and talk about how he'll address the burgeoning conflict with the two Prairie provinces.

Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino joins The House to talk about the growing conflict with prairie provinces over the federal firearms buyback program.

Reconciliation and Canada's health-care system

Canada's health-care system is in crisis. But among the myriad issues — from funding to staffing shortages — there's a pressing priority that often doesn't get as much attention: discrimination.

As the country observes the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and as this week marks two years since Joyce Echaquan's death in a Quebec hospital, what steps do governments and health-care leaders need to take to create a system where everyone has equal access to care?

Host Catherine Cullen sits down with Dr. Alika Lafontaine, president of the Canadian Medical Association and the first Indigenous physician to hold the position.

Dr. Alika Lafontaine, president of the Canadian Medical Association and the first Indigenous physician to hold the position, talks about discrimination in the health-care system and what can be done to advance reconciliation.

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