My ultimate nerd dream has come true: I’ll be permanently taking over the host chair on The West Block, our Sunday morning political affairs show, this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.
Politics is in my blood, I swear. My parents met at a political convention and our Friday night dinners (my dad worked late every other day of the week) could easily be characterized by my parents venting about the politicians of the day. Our house was not one where you kept your opinions to yourself or you could get away without forming one. Three papers were delivered to the door every day, and four on Sunday. I still sit down whenever I’m home and watch all the Sunday political shows – Canadian and American – with my dad.
That love for all things political manifested itself in what I studied and I ended up with a degree in South American politics. I was drawn to the continent because apathy isn’t an option for people who live there. The government’s decisions affect every aspect of their lives and livelihoods and so they’re passionate – to say the least – about politics.
Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to cover politics in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and now, Ottawa. I have loved every single second of it. And the seconds count when all you have is a two-minute story every night. Now, I have 23 of those minutes and I plan to use every one of them to the best of my ability.
From my perspective, our show aims to take a deeper and more analytical look at the issues you may have heard about during the week, but want to know more about by Sunday. I don’t think you need to hear politicians yelling at each other over your morning coffee, so expect to see fewer panels and more in depth one-on-one interviews. And not always with politicians – every story has a lot of important voices and we want a variety of them on the show.
But politicians are an important part of the mix too, and accountability will be a big part of our show. It’s important that we ask questions of the government on behalf of our viewers, and point out where there are no answers or incomplete ones. The format of our show also means you’ll hear directly from politicians at length, not in 10-second sound bites and I appreciate when they take the time to sit down with us.
And finally, I hope I can bring a bit of a different perspective to what you see. I’m nearly 36 years old, a daughter, an older sister and I’ve lost the best person I’ve ever known, my mom, to cancer. I know that a lot of what happens on the Hill, the decisions that are made, actually do affect what happens in our lives – even if it isn’t obvious. I want to make the connection clear.
At the end of the day, I hope you can walk away from our show every week learning something new, better informed and eager to see what happens next – I know I am. See you Sunday!
WATCH ABOVE: Watch the full broadcast of The West Block from Sunday, April 9, 2017. Hosted by Vassy Kapelos.
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