The content you will find here is an archive of the 4,000+ posts to the blog known for most its life as “David Akin’s On the Hill.” This blog is no longer active.
The blog contains content that supplements the journalism David Akin did that appeared in newspapers and on television from 2003 until 2015. From 2003 until 2006, Akin was a technology and business reporter and so content archived here from that period is largely about tech or business issues.
In 2006, Akin became a political reporter based on Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital and the content archived here from that period until this blog ceased publication in 2015 is mostly about federal and provincial politics.
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By all accounts, the November, 2013 byelection in the southwestern Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris should never have been as close as it was. And yet, there was a punk rocker who’d spent a good chunk of his life in Toronto leading late in some polls in a riding where the Conservatives had been absolutely dominant for decades. In the end, Conservative Larry Maguire won with 44.16% of the vote compared to Liberal Rolf Dinsdale’s 42.75%.
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.
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
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.
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.