Just tabled today in the House of Commons:
Just tabled today in the House of Commons:
Former prime minister Jean Chrétien and his wife Aline today endorsed Glenn Thibeault, running for the Ontario Liberals in the provincial byelection in Sudbury. Thibeault deserted Thomas Mulcair’s NDP caucus to run for Wynne’s Liberals. Chrétien provided the endorsement even though it was Thibeault who knocked off former Chrétien cabinet minister Diane Marleau in the 2008 general election, becoming the first New Democrat to win in Sudbury since 1968.
Meanwhile, the United Steelworkers are running a radio ad in Sudbury, endorsing the NDP and taking direct aim at the “dirty politics” of Thibeault.
Here’s the release from the Ontario Liberals about the Chrétien endorsement: Continue reading Chrétien endorses former NDP MP now running for Wynne's Liberals in Sudbury
During Question Period in the House of Commons on Sept. 30, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair wanted some precision from Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the extent of the mission of Canadian Forces Special Operations Forces (CF SOF) who would be on the ground in northern Iraq.
Speaking in French, Mulcair asked: ” Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the rules of engagement are to advise and assist the Iraqis, but the question is, assist them how? For instance, are Canadian soldiers currently going on patrols with Iraqis or Kurds?” (This English translation I’m using here is the one that is published in Hansard, FYI)
The Prime Minister began his reply in French — “Mr. Speaker, I said ‘advise and assist the Iraqis’ ” — but then he switched to his first language, English, to finish the answer. The emphasis here is mine: “If I could just use the terminology in English, it is quite precise. It is to advise and to assist. It is not to accompany. I think that was laid out before the parliamentary committee.” Continue reading Harper versus Nicholson: Advise, assist — and accompany — in Iraq
Here’s the text of the speech Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered in Orleans, Ont. this afternoon, in front of about 500 people.
This is the text as supplied by the PMO communications team. Was largely delivered as written:
Thank you for that tremendous welcome. Continue reading For the record: Text of PM rally speech in Orleans
Shawn Maxwell Rehn (above) is believe to have gunned down two RCMP officers in Edmonton over the weekend. Both were wounded. One is not expected to survive his injuries, the RCMP said Sunday. Rehn is believed to have killed himself after the shootings.
There are now lots of questions — including some from the RCMP — why Rehn was not behind bars given his very, very, very long record of convictions and the very serious nature of the charges he was facing even before the weekend shootings.
My Edmonton-based colleague Joshua Skurnik has just obtained Rehn’s criminal record and a list of the charges that were already outstanding against him.
The federal Liberal caucus arrives today in London, Ont. for its two-day winter caucus retreat. As Jane Sims notes in today’s London Free Press, this part of Ontario was been a “Grit barren land” in the last general election. The electoral map, above, from J.P. Kirby’s excellent Election Atlas, illustrates that point pretty clearly. This is what happend in the 2011 general election. In fact, so far as southern Ontario goes, the Liberals now have precisely five seats west of Yonge Street, and four of those are in Toronto. The lone Liberal island otherwise in Guelph where incumbent Frank Valeriote will pass the torch this fall to a yet-to-be-nominated Liberal candidate.
But look at the same electoral map after the 2004 election, (below) Continue reading Battleground Southwestern Ontario: Electoral Maps Compared
Last week, I got a request to help an Ottawa-based charitable organization by being one of several ‘celebrity ambassadors’ for an event they’ll have in the spring. The event is a 10K run. The organizers asked me to raise awareness about the event through my Twitter account, Facebook page, and this blog. There was no “ask” to mention the event in any newspaper copy or on my television program. The event’s sponsors include a national sporting goods retailer and a sporting goods manufacturer. Event Ambassadors are offered the chance to get a new pair of running shoes, a new pair shorts and socks, and a shirt from this manufacturer. There was no request to endorse either the retailer or the manufacturer.
So, given Leslie Roberts, Amanda Lang, etc. I asked my Facebook followers if they would think worse of me as a journalist if I accepted the job of “celebrity ambassador” and took the shoes, shorts, and shirt.
I was floored at the number and quality of responses.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Richard Fadden as his new National Security Advisor, a job which, you might have guessed, is both important and influential in that you end up talking to the prime minister of a G8 country likely every day, if not more often, about, well, national security.
On Wednesday, of course, terrorists killed 12 journalists and policemen in Paris.
Later this year, we will have an election where national security and our collective response to the world’s terrorists may be an issue. I try to connect all three of those dots in a column offered up for publication in our newspapers tomorrow. [You can read it now here].
That column draws heavily on a speech Fadden — whose bio is worth reviewing — gave in 2009 just after he was appointed head of CSIS. Newspaper will only give me 625 words worth of space so I was only able to impart a small bit of what Fadden said back then. I encourage you to read all of what he said in 2009 and can report that, in my discussions with current and former Harper insiders, Fadden’s 2009 thinking would be very much in keeping with the prime minister’s thinking right now in 2015.
I’m told, though I am unlikely to be able to confirm this with Fadden himself, that he pretty much wrote this himself and rather than offer it to PCO higher-ups where the “good bits” would likely be gutted, he just went and gave the speech. The source for these remarks is here [PDF]: Continue reading Harper's new national security advisor on the threat of terrorism
With the elevation Monday of MP Erin O’Toole into Stephen Harper’s cabinet, where O’Toole will serve as the minister for veterans affairs, the size of Harper’s current ministry is now at 40 members. A “ministry” is made up of all of those MPs who are, to use the Parliamentary language, styled as Ministers or as Ministers of State. Each of these individuals gets a significant salary boost, a car, a driver, and some extra political staff.
A ministry of 40 is pretty big. Some would say you could cut the size in half and no one would notice. Some complain about such a bloated cabinet. In fact, for a time yesterday, I thought that Harper — the leader of what some have been sold as the “Small-government Government” — had actually set the all-time record for the size of a ministry.
Why did I (and some others) come to that conclusion? Well, we did what we usually do when we need some numbers for historical perspective looked it up at the Parliamentary Web Site — parl.gc.ca — where you can find a page that lists “Size of Ministries”, a page compiled by the smart folks at the Library of Parliament, that goes all the way back to Macdonald.
If you look at that page, you’ll see that both Brian Mulroney and Paul Martin had ministries of 39 individuals. With Harper hitting 40 ministers, it was easy enough to say Harper was now the proud owner of the biggest minister of all time.
Not so fast, a friend e-mailed me. Continue reading Who has the most ministers? Harper or Mulroney?
Carrie Dawson, (left)an English professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, was watching and reading how Jason Kenney talked about the problem of failed refugee claimants who land on our shores while he was minister of citizenship and immigration. She has a few issues with the language Kenney and other Conservative government ministers used over the last several years on this topic. Dawson has a piece in the current issue of the University of Toronto Quarterly with the title “Refugee Hotels: The Discourse of Hospitality and the Rise of Immigration Detention in Canada.” I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by cutting straight to her conclusion: