The House

Talking Paris in Hamburg

This week on The House, Canada tries to sell the Paris climate goals at the G20 summit - but the U.S. isn't buying. What does that mean for global climate action? Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is here.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the official welcoming ceremony at the G20 summit Friday, July 7, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Bridging the gap at the G20

Justin Trudeau — and 18 other world leaders gathering in Hamburg at the G20 summit — have an unenviable task ahead of them. How to get the United States on board when it comes to climate action?

"These conversations are very difficult, it's a negotiation. These things are hard," Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said on The House.

Donald Trump has made it clear — the U.S. is out of the Paris climate agreement. But that doesn't mean the global fight against climate change is stalled, said McKenna.

That's where Canada has an important role to play, she added.

"I think [the Prime Minister] will try and bridge the gap with the United States," she said. "So getting recognition of the Paris agreement, and the importance of climate action, by maybe 19 out of the 20 countries, but at the same time recognizing the U.S. position and hopefully bringing all countries together in saying, 'we're going to move forward on climate action.'"

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna discusses Canada's climate goals - and tricky balancing act - at the G20 summit. 8:08

But, she warned, "there's going to be have to be some recognition that the U.S. is not part of the Paris agreement. That creates a huge challenge."

Trudeau, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be pushing for other leaders to sign onto an energy action plan put forward by Merkel as part of her G20 presidency year.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna says climate talks at the G20 summit will be "very difficult" now that the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris agreement. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

For McKenna, getting 19 of the G20 leaders to sign the document would make the summit a success.

"You want the leaders to say that climate change is real, and we need to act, and the Paris agreement is a really important mechanism to do that," she said. 

"I think we need a strong statement on that [coming out of the summit]."

Celine Bak, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, hasn't lost hope that Trump may still get on board with climate action.

"The very best-case scenario would be for President Trump to sign onto [Merkel's] energy action plan. Perhaps that's not in the cards, in which case the agreement of 19 of the world's leaders would [still] be a very important accomplishment," she said.

Celine Bak, CIGI senior fellow, looks ahead to what she's hoping comes out of the G20 summit talks on climate action. 7:35


A chapter closes in the Khadr controversy

Omar Khadr appears at Edmonton's courthouse on Sept. 11, 2015. (Terry Reith/CBC)

The federal government announced a settlement with Omar Khadr Friday, which CBC News has learned includes a $10.5 million payout and a formal apology to the former Gauntanamo Bay prisoner.

The deal has been criticized by the Conservatives, with Conservative leader Andrew Scheer saying at a press conference Friday that the Harper government's decision to repatriate Khadr in 2012 was a sufficient response to the Supreme Court's ruling that Khadr's rights were violated.

Conservative MP and former Harper cabinet minister Erin O'Toole said there's a legal argument against reaching a settlement with Khadr.

"The challenge here is that when someone is questioned in prison, they're there as a result of their conduct," said Erin O'Toole. "[Khadr] doesn't come to this process with clean hands, and generally in tort law, the civil action he's brought, you don't find a reward when you come from an illegal or immoral act."

"I don't think it's justifiable for a government to compensate someone for a process that began with his illegal activities."

The Conservative MP reacts to news of the government's settlement with Omar Khadr. 6:45

Does the MMIWG inquiry need a reset?

Terry Ladue breaks down while speaking to commissioners at the first public hearings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Whitehorse. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The head of the Ontario Native Women's Association is worried about whether the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will be prepared when they start the next round of hearings in Thunder Bay this fall.

On Thursday the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls announced the schedule for the inquiry, which has been plagued by controversy since it was announced in August last year.

"We're cautiously optimistic and really concerned," said the Dawn Lavell-Harvard, the former president of the Native Women's Association of Canada, a group that was instrumental in pushing for the launch of the inquiry.

"Has the inquiry, have the commissioners, done the ground work to prepare the families, to prepare the community for the impact that these kinds of hearings are going to have?" she said.

Lavell-Harvard said the spring hearing in Whitehorse ripped open old wounds for the communities. 

"We know that the communities already don't have the mental health support," she said.

"People have to recognize that this isn't just about the city of Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is the hub for all of those remote, fly-in communities...This really is going to have a much wider reach than we expected, or than the commissioners potentially even realize." 

Does the MMIGW inquiry need a reset? Dawn Lavell-Harvard of the Ontario Native Women's Association weighs in. 7:17


The Dominion carillonneur becomes a Canadian 

Dr. Andrea McCrady, Dominion Carillonneur of Canada since 2008, will become a Canadian citizen on July 1 - after she plays O Canada on the Peace Tower carillon for Canada 150 celebrations. (House of Commons)

Andrea McCrady realized a dream of hers on July 1, when she became a Canadian citizen on her new country's 150th birthday.

But McCrady already had a special connection to Canada — she's been the Dominion Carillonneur since 2008, and plays the Peace Tower Carillon every weekday in Ottawa, and on request to serve parliamentarians.

"This is such a thrill and an honour and a privilege to be the Dominion carillonneur, I should become a Canadian to fulfill the position," said McCrady of her thought process in pursuing citizenship.

Eight and a half years later, that dream came true.

And although McCrady plays the national anthem every day in her job, the July 1 recording of O Canada for 2017 will always feel different.

"I listened to my particular recording of that now, and of course I play it every day, and somehow, this time when I listen to it, I can tell I was really putting my soul into it," she said.

Andrea McCrady plays O Canada every day from the top of the Peace Tower. This Canada Day, the American became a Canadian citizen. 2:03

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