Mike Duffy to the PMO: I'm just telling the truth

On CTV’s national newscast on the evening of May 14, the network’s Ottawa bureau chief Bob Fife had some disturbing news for federal Conservatives and gob-smacking news for the rest of us:

Anchor Lisa Laflamme set it up this way: “CTV News has learned that while auditors were going over Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s living expenses, Harper’s right-hand man, his own chief of staff, was already reaching out with a secret offer, an agreement to help pay off the money Duffy owed taxpayers and make the problem go away.”

Continue reading Mike Duffy to the PMO: I'm just telling the truth

Transcript: PM Harper on talk radio tour says Wright was fired over Duffy cheque

Maritime Morning aired an interview this morning by host Jordi Morgan of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After the interview aired, Morgan explained that the interview took place under “certain conditions”, likely that the PM would come on if he got the chance to talk about the Throne Speech and the big Canada-Europe trade deal. The interview was taped on Friday. The brief interview started there but finished with this exchange on the Senate. (I have bolded the line that raised eyebrows in Ottawa):

MORGAN: … this unholy mess in the Senate. Senators are voting on the expulsion of Senators Wallin, Duffy, and Brazeau, all your appointments. What responsibility for all this lies with your office? Continue reading Transcript: PM Harper on talk radio tour says Wright was fired over Duffy cheque

Our embarrassing health care wait times

If this chart means anything, it means that Canadians in one part of the country do not have the same access to health care as Canadians in other parts of the country. And that surely means we’re failing on living up to notion of “universal health care”:

Wait times graphic

Source: The Fraser Institute’s 2013 wait times report card, published this morning.

Dear Andrea: Why won't you get in Kathleen's grill? Signed, your friend, Tim.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, Northern Ontario Municipal Association p president Ron Nelson, and Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak at a debate in Thunder Bay, ON on Sept. 23, 2011 (IAN THOMPSON/SPECIAL TO QMI AGENCY)

Open letter from Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak to Ontario NDP Andrea Horwath:

October 27, 2013

Andrea Horwath, MPP
NDP Leader
Room 113, Main Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1A2

Dear Ms. Horwath,
I write to you today in hopes that you will agree that it is time to put Ontario on the right track and restore Ontario’s faith in their elected leaders. I concluded some time ago that, given the Liberals’ pattern of self-interest-only decisions, we need to change the team that leads this province.

I remain somewhat astounded, though, that you and your party don’t grasp that continuing to prop up the Wynne government by being at its beck and call is doing Ontario no favours.

Continue reading Dear Andrea: Why won't you get in Kathleen's grill? Signed, your friend, Tim.

Just what was said: Brazeau and the backroom deal

This remarkable exchange just occurred in the Senate. This is my transcription; the official Hansard may be slightly different.

Sen. Patrick Brazeau:  At approximately 10:20 a.m. this morning, I was outside the Chamber in the back. The Leader of the Government in the Senate (Carignan) took me aside. I’ll be very careful about my words here but I was essentially offered a backroom deal and the backroom deal was that if I stood in this chamber, apologized to Canadians and took responsibility for my actions, that my punishment would be lesser than what has been proposed in the Leader of the Government in the Senate’s (Carignan’s) motion. I’m going to try to use Parliamentary language — but I’m very disturbed at this . . .


Sen. Claude Carignan (speaking in French and so this translation to English is via the official Senate translators who are translating in real-time):
“…I spoke to him out of friendship in saying, Senator Brazeau, please suggest something. Apologize. Perhaps a lighter sanction. Something that we can come up with to try to find the right balance. I did that in confidence and frankly I did so in an attempt to help him. I regret that he perceived that as an attack. I’m not sure how I would have reacted in that situation myself were I in his place. Perhaps I had too strong of an urge to help him.

What do you want in the next federal budget?

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance is easily the busiest committee on Parliament Hill mostly cuz it spends a lot of its time considering hundreds of presentations from Canadians who have ideas about what should be in the federal budget the following spring.

That committee held its first meeting of the new parliamentary session today and immediately got down to work on sorting through ideas for next year’s budget. Here’s the release: Continue reading What do you want in the next federal budget?