The Legislature

CPAC. (1977-2019). Question Period. CPAC. This link provides many archived clips of Question Period sessions in Parliament.      

  • Based on any of these Question Period sessions, do you feel that the practice of oral questions during a parliamentary session is democratic?
  • Do you find that the Question Period is more of a practice that favours the opposition than the governing party?

Foglia, M. (2008). After the Ballot. National Film Board of Canada. This historical video provides an insightful look into the daily lives of two Members of the Quebec National Assembly and the challenges they face after elections. It questions the authority of the representatives elected by the people, and the disconnect felt between elected representatives and constituents.

  • Describe the responsibilities of a Quebec MNA.
  • How did the leadership race pose challenges to the MNAs?

TVO. (2015). Brent Rathgeber: Irresponsible Government. TVO. This video features a discussion with Brent Rathgeber on his bookThe Irresponsible Government which discusses the problems associated with the practice of responsible government and the overstated control and power of the Prime Minister’s Office. 

  • What is responsible government?
  • Why does the author think the Parliamentary system is failing?

The Agenda with Steve Paikin.(2014). Alison Loat: Canada's Failing Democracy.YouTube. Similar to the previous video, this is a discussion on Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan’s bookTragedy of the Commons.The authors conducted exit interviews on 80 MPs about their personal experience working in Parliament.

  • According to the authors, why is democracy failing in Canada?
  • What were some of the negative connotations associated with the nomination process, as discussed by the authors?

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2013). Stuck with the Senate.YouTube. This video provides another discussion on the need to abolish the Canadian Senate following the scandal during Prime Minister Harper’s tenure, which sparked more questions than solutions. Bruce Hicks, a political scientist from Carleton University, discusses the continued challenges that the government faces with regards to the issue of Senate abolishment.

  • What are some of the specific challenges that the government will face in abolishing the Canadian Senate altogether?

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2019). Elections 2019: A Complex Liberal Minority Win. YouTube. Fresh off the most recent elections, this video discusses some of the complexities and challenges that the new minority liberal government will face in the next few years.  It also provides information on how the Liberal party went from a majority government in 2015 to a minority government with 20 seats less in 2019.

  • What are some of the challenges that Prime Minister Trudeau will likely face in the years ahead as a leader of a minority government?
  • Why did the Liberal government fail to hold another majority government?

CBC News. (2019). Trudeau takes questions after adviser resigns amid SNC Lavalin Scandal. YouTube. The SNC Lavalin scandal plagued the Liberal government for most of 2018/19 and this video is a special coverage that focusses on Prime Minister Trudeau himself, as he answers questions about his involvement in the scandal.

  • What was the SNC Lavalin scandal about? Who were the key players involved?
  • What does this scandal say about the overall transparency displayed by the federal government?

CBC News. (2019). Federal Budget Speech 2019.YouTube. In this video, finance minister Bill Morneau delivers that last federal budget speech before the 2019 elections.

  • How does accountability affect the budget situation?
  • What are some of the key changes to programs and policies that are reflected in the last federal budget?

The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2017).The Senate Reboot.  In this video, Steve Paikin talks to various experts and senators on their perspective on Prime Minister’s Trudeau’s senate selecting changes and reforms.

  • How important is partisanship in the Senate?
  • Do you think that the Senate selection process is democratic and/or constitutional?
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