Today, the Liberal Party of Canada has announced a council of “non-partisan” experts to provide advice and be a sounding board for leader Justin Trudeau on international affairs issues, from military procurement to international aid to global security threats. The professional qualifications and accomplishments of the members of this council are impressive but it cannot be accurate to brand this group as “non-partisan”.
Indeed, this council is made up of 14 individuals, 11 of whom are Liberals MPs, current or former Liberal candidates, or Liberal donors. No one should be confused: This council does not believe that the way Stephen Harper has positioned Canada on the world stage is a good thing. And eight of them – the current or hope-to-be Liberal MPs — would have voted with their leader against the current combat mission against ISIL in Iraq. Nothing wrong with that. But let’s avoid the marketing sheen of “non-partisan.” Continue reading Justin Trudeau's partisan brain trust on foreign affairs
Late last week, a recording was forwarded through a third party to the Ottawa Sun and and to my newsroom in Sun Media’s parliamentary bureau. The recording, about five minutes long, contained a conversation from Aug. 19 between Lt. Gen (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie and, at the time we received it, an unidentified woman. In the process of verifying that circumstances and content of this conversation we contacted Leslie and the office of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Leslie also made a recording of this same conversation and, on Tuesday, provided us with his transcript of conversation. His transcript matches the transcript we made from the first recording we received. The Liberals also identified the woman having the conversation with Leslie as the Parliament Hill assistant to Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders, Alexandra Constantinidis. Attempts to reach Constantinidis Tuesday to confirm she is the other participant in this conversation were unsuccessful. (Constantinidis’ Facebook page indicates she is a student at Mount Royal University and may well have returned to Calgary to start classes this fall there.)
A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Continue reading Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?
On the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first-ever visit to Israel, Canada has named a new ambassador to that country whose appointment is sure to please Harper’s hosts.
The new ambassador to Israel, Toronto lawyer Vivian Bercovici (above), has had a monthly column in The Toronto Star that would please most small-c conservatives anywhere when it comes to her positions on Israel and the Middle East.
“My interest in Israel and the region goes back a long way,” Bercovici told reporters. Bercovici, who is Jewish, studied at York University and at the University of Toronto but she also spent two years at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in the early 1980s. “Now is a very important time in the region, as important as ever and I’m very honoured to be appointed to take on this role. I know that this government’s principled stands on various fronts is warmly welcomed and appreciated by both the Israeli government and the Israeli people. ” Continue reading Canada names partisan as new Israel ambassador
Stephen Harper had hardly every stepped outside of his native Canada when, in the first few months as Canada’s prime minister, he found himself flying to St. Petersburg for his first G8 summit. This week, Harper will return to St. Petersburg for the annual summit of G20 leaders.
The text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech to be delivered at 1200 GMT in the Robing Room at the Palace of Westminster to members of the UK Parliament (pardon the formatting hiccups. That’s my fault, not anyone else’s, as I rushed to get this online) . The speech is 3,320 words long:
Lord Speaker, Mr. Speaker, Monsieur le premier ministre, Prime Minister, Lords and Members of the House of Commons: For anyone who fully understands and truly cherishes the free and democratic nature of our institutions and the long history upon which they rest
there is no honour to compare with an invitation to stand here at the very cradle of our political system and to address the Members of the Parliament of Westminster. Continue reading Prime Minister Stephen Harper's speech to the UK Parliament