CBC Radio’s The House: May 16, 2020
Canada’s grounded airline industry
Two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s airlines remain largely grounded. Now, Air Canada says the crisis has forced the company to slash its workforce by 50 to 60 per cent.
With few passengers, planes idled and building uncertainty about when border and travel restrictions will be lifted, it’s become clear that the industry faces a precarious future.
But before Canada’s largest airline revealed the news, CBC Radio’s The House spoke to Transport Minister Marc Garneau about what else can be done to get the country’s airlines back in the air — and whether Canadians should be staying put this summer.
A dire time for tourism
The upcoming summer season is also shaping up to be a difficult one for the tourism industry.
The closure of provincial and national borders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on tourism operators from coast to coast.
Host Chris Hall checks in with an innkeeper on British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii, a giftshop owner in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and the property manager of a popular natural attraction on New Brunswick’s Fundy Coast about the summer ahead — and the challenges beyond it.
A new anti-abortion group tries to get an edge
Abortion was decriminalized in Canada in 1988, but it was still a live issue in last year’s federal election. And in late February, Saskatchewan Conservative MP Cathay Wagantall introduced a private member’s bill that would ban so-called “sex-selective” abortions.
That’s something Scott Hayward would like to see more of. He’s the co-founder of a group called RightNow, focused on nominating and electing politicians who support legal restrictions on abortion.
House producer Kristin Nelson spoke with Hayward and advocates on the other side of the debate to gauge the state of anti-abortion and pro-choice movements in Canada — and the increasingly sophisticated efforts by those advocating legal restrictions on abortion.
Keeping a close eye on Canada’s southern neighbours
All signs are pointing to an extension on the Canada-U.S. deal that shut down the world’s longest undefended border to non-essential travel. But as the U.S. presidential race heats up for the fall election, what priority will be given south of the border to Canadian concerns about trade and travel?
CBC Washington correspondent Alex Panetta joins The House to paint a clearer picture of the relationship between the two countries amid a worldwide pandemic.
Does Canada need to worry about its growing federal deficit?
Earlier this week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer acknowledged two things: one, that it’s “not unthinkable” that the federal debt could reach $1 trillion this fiscal year; and two, that the late-April estimate of a $252-billion budgetary deficit was likely a low-ball estimate.
How concerned should the government be when it comes to these increasing figures? And should it be a priority, given that so many Canadian families and businesses still need economic support?
To debate these questions, host Chris Hall is joined by Armine Yalnizyan, an economist and Atkinson Fellow On The Future Of Workers, and Philip Cross, a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and former chief economic analyst at Statistics Canada.
www.cbc.ca 2020-05-16 08:00:00