06/27/2020 10:59 EDT

‘Follow-Up’ Podcast: Pandemic Politics And 1 A.M. Phone Calls From MPs

Finding efficiency in a pandemic has been no easy task.

CP/Sean Kilpatrick
Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on May 25, 2020.

OTTAWA — The pandemic has distorted everyone’s sense of normalcy, including inside the House of Commons. 

While Canadians tuned into the prime minister’s daily press conference to hear what support would be extended to them, politicians and bureaucrats scrambled behind the scenes to put together the biggest economic program in the country’s history.   

It has partly been up to Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez to negotiate with opposition leaders to get emergency programs out the door, quickly. But finding efficiency in a pandemic has been no easy task. Rodriguez has had to pick up a few 1 a.m. phone calls from colleagues.

Rodriguez sits down with HuffPost Canada’s “Follow-Up” podcast to talk about his 15-hour days — and an insinuation by the Bloc Québécois that the Liberals’ initial congeniality has changed since new polling numbers put the party in majority territory.

“I don’t have a second to think about partisan stuff or an election,” Rodriguez told host Althia Raj. “I love politics. I love electoral campaigns. But at this moment, I don’t think anybody thinks about that.”

Pundits Karl Bélanger, Kate Harrison, and Greg MacEachern also join Raj to share their thoughts about renewed attention on systemic racism in Canada and the twists in the Conservative leadership race. 

Listen to the episode:


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