Political Blind Date, the TVO Original documentary series that was the talk of Canada’s political world last year, returns for a fresh second season February 14 at 9 pm ET on TVO and tvo.org/politicalblinddate. Produced in association with Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, the six-part series brings politicians with different points-of-view together on a “date” to bring to life different perspectives on important Canadian issues that affect Ontarians.
Each weekly half-hour installment of the series explores a different issue by first inviting two politicians to plan a platonic date for one another. Each person introduces the other to interesting situations that best illustrate a point of view on the issue. Both elected officials quickly move beyond the headlines and encourage each other to find common ground.
“The first season of Political Blind Date resonated with both audiences and critics because it created a unique opportunity for politicians to debate ideas and issues that matter to people in this province and country,” says John Ferri, Vice-President of Current Affairs and Documentaries at TVO. “The second season is equally energizing. No sound bites, no partisan bickering, just real people having honest, candid conversations.”
The second season of Political Blind Date features politicians from across Canada who explore issues that may play key roles in this year’s federal election:
- Guns in Canada – February 14 – Marco Mendicino, Liberal MP and former Crown Prosecutor from Toronto, squares off with Glen Motz, Conservative MP and former Police Inspector from Medicine Hat, Alberta, about Canada’s relationship with guns. Does Bill-C71 infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and will it stop the use of illegal guns?
- The urban-rural divide – February 21 – Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario and former Liberal MP, sets out with Andrew Scheer, Conservative Party Leader, from Regina-Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, to see who should receive more government attention and support, populous cities or the rural communities that feed them?
- Taxes – February 28 – Lisa Raitt, Conservative MP and Deputy Party Leader, Milton, Ontario and Wayne Easter, Liberal MP and Chair of the Finance Committee, from Malpeque, Prince Edward Island, pair together to debate whether the Liberal Government taxation policy is working. Is it true Liberals spend while Conservatives make budget cuts?
- Improving Indigenous communities – March 7 – Romeo Saganash, a Cree NDP MP from Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou (Quebec) and Don Rusnak, an Ojibway Liberal MP from Thunder Bay-Rainy River, Ontario, uncover differing approaches on how best to improve Indigenous communities in Canada. Is the Liberal Government living up to its promises about a new partnership with Indigenous Peoples?
- Opportunities for newcomers – March 14 – Jenny Kwan, NDP MP, Vancouver East, British Columbia, (and immigrant to Canada at the age of 9), and Gary Anandasangaree, Liberal MP, Scarborough-Rouge Park, Toronto, (and Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka), explore whether the promise of acceptance and opportunity are equitable for everyone who arrives in Canada, no matter their status or origin.
- Asylum seekers – March 21 – Pierre Paul-Hus, Conservative MP from Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, Quebec City, and Rob Oliphant, Liberal MP and Chair of the Immigration Committee, from Don Valley West, Toronto, travel to the U.S. border to see how irregular immigrants are welcomed into Canada.
“We believe that we made a difference to political discourse last year and we hope to make a similar difference this season,” stated Tom Powers, Series Creator and Executive Producer and Mark Johnston, Series Writer, Director and Executive Producer. “Not only do our politicians get to explore serious issues facing the country, but they accomplish this through shared environments that speak to the viewer in fun and entertaining ways. We can’t wait for audiences to watch season 2 of the series and join the watercooler discussions.”
Political Blind Date is produced by Open Door and Nomad Films Inc, in association with TVO, and is written and directed by Mark Johnston. The Toronto Star is the Series Media Partner.