The House

In House Panel & Peter Mansbridge

Week One reviews are in! In House panelists Susan Delacourt and Joel-Denis Bellavance discuss Parliament's return. Plus, Peter Mansbridge gives us a preview of "Face to Face with the Prime Minister."
The House is back after the winter break on Monday, Jan. 25. What issues are our panelists following in the first weeks back? Emmanuelle Latraverse and Joel-Denis Bellavance discuss. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

How did MPs behave during their first week of sitting in 2016? In House panelists Susan Delacourt and Joel-Denis Bellavance join us with their take.

Tragedies like La Loche put additional pressure on the government to deliver on an ambitious agenda when it comes to relations with indigenous Canadians. What do you expect to see on that front in the near future?

Joel-Denis Bellavance: My sense is that when [Trudeau's] government tables the first budget, he will have a full chapter of investment into services for indigenous peoples. You might even see the Kelowna Accord from Paul Martin resuscitated in this budget.

Susan Delacourt: The federal government has to stop talking about money, and start talking about what aboriginal people need. 

How did the government handle the heated national conversation on pipelines this week?

SD: Instead of pouring oil into a pipeline, we've poured all our national unity grievances. You've got everything — Western alienation, indigenous issues, Quebec separatism, the tension between provinces and municipalities, East and West. It's all in there. The federal government is trying to return it to a sterile, anodyne discussion of rules. But when it's already acquired symbolism like that, it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

JB: What struck me was that the government will make a decision on Energy East now in the fall of 2018. What will happen in 2018? The Quebec [provincial] election. I think the federal government does not want to have that political hot potato landing in the middle of Quebec elections, where separatists could say they're trying to push the pipeline down our throats. My sense is that this government will not be able to say no to Energy East. They can't afford to. If [Trudeau] does reject the project, it may be seen as repetition of what his father did.

What stories may have gone under-reported this week?

SD: The whole issue of heckling in the House. I went to Question Period on Monday and I thought, this doesn't sound much different. I don't know what they do to fix it, but certainly I think we're reaching a critical mass on the issue of heckling and tone in the House.

JB: We're hoping in the next few days to hear a position from the defence minister on what kind of contributions Canada will make in the effort to annihilate ISIS. This is going to be a big one we're going to be following.

Following our conversation with our panelists, we also talk to CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge.

On Sunday, Mansbridge and his team will attempt something new: they will show what happened behind closed doors when ten Canadians sat down one by one with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Here's a preview:

Our chief correspondent, Peter Mansbridge discusses a new project set to air on Sunday on CBC.

You can watch Face to Face with the Prime Minister at 8 pm ET on CBC News Network, also available to stream on at 8 pm ET or watch it on CBC TV at 9 pm local time.