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?
For the plum job of Canada’s Ambassador to Ireland, the Harper government tapped former Conservative MP (and all around nice guy) Loyala Hearn. To represent Canada at UNESCO in Paris, former Conservative cabinet minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn could console himself that his defeat at the polls opened the door to that post. Lawrence Cannon was also among the most senior members of Harper’s cabinet — until the voters in his riding of Pontiac decided they’d rather be represented by New Democrat Mathieu Ravignat. And so Cannon was consoled with the job of Ambassador to France. Continue reading From the diplomats' union, a highly qualified welcome to Canada's new envoy to Israel
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
On the eve of a widely expected cabinet shuffle, some trivia on Stephen Harper and his cabinet history: Continue reading Stephen Harper's cabinet trivia: From Flaherty to MacKay to Baird and back again
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and U.S. Secretary State John Kerry bet a case of beer on the World Women’s Hockey Championship. Baird had a case of Molson Canadian on the line; Kerry had a case of Sam Adams. Well, the U.S. beat Canada earlier this week and while Baird is sending a case of Canadian to Kerry, he’s also sending a case of Beau’s beer to the U.S. embassy staff in Ottawa. Beau’s is a Continue reading Baird pays off hockey bet with case of cool Ottawa microbrewery beer
The House of Commons on Thursday takes a two-week Easter break. And when it resumes on April 15, there will be new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. On Wednesday, the fellow who has been the interim Liberal Leader had his last day in Question Period in that position. That fellow, of course, is Bob Rae, the member for Toronto Centre and a politician who, I think it is safe to say, has the respect of just about everyone — journalists, partisans, NGOs, you name it — on Parliament Hill. He certainly had mine.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in Question Period, praised Rae’s “tenacity, patriotism and intellect” as he answered a question from the interim leader.
After Question Period, there were some tributes in the House to Rae. I quite liked this one, Continue reading On Bob Rae's last day, much admiration and respect — even from John Baird
You may have seen posts here about my “win”, such as it is, with the Information Commissioner when it comes to DFAIT. Here’s the resulting column that went across our chain today …
Only in the odd, upside-down, un-reality world in which government bureaucrats live could the idea flourish that they are doing a better job by not doing their job at all. Continue reading Common sense? From bureaucrats?
Hot off the presses: A letter from the Information Commissioner of Canada, Suzanne Legault, informing me that she agrees with me on a complaint I made three years ago about the way the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was handling Access to Information (ATI) requests to that department. Read the letter below. Bottom line: I won but Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is ignoring Legault’s recommendations. Continue reading Foreign Affairs Minister ignores Information Commissioner's recommendations
Even as monitoring teams from the Arab League arrived on the ground in Syria, security forces continue to attack and kill protestors. Foreign Affairs Minister John Just issued the following statement: Continue reading Canada condemns violence in Syria