By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 30, 2012 - 0 Comments
I’m told a vote on C-290 might not come until January, but third reading debate in the Senate began yesterday with a speech from Conservative Senator Bob Runciman, the sponsor of the bill in the red chamber.
Make no mistake: If you vote against this bill, you are not voting to put a stop to single-event sports gambling, but you are voting to ensure it remains in the shadows, with the money going offshore and to organized crime.
No one knows for sure how much money is bet on single sporting events by Canadians, but we know it is in the billions, perhaps the tens of billions of dollars. Voting against this bill will not change it one bit. The testimony from experts at committee was clear: Single-event sports betting is readily available and widely practised by Canadians.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 9, 2012 at 8:21 AM - 0 Comments
“There’s certainly a real effort to defeat the bill,” said Conservative Senator Bob Runciman, who is sponsoring the legislation in the Senate but describes himself as an “unenthusiastic” supporter. “A number of senators in the Conservative caucus are adamantly opposed to the bill.”
The former Ontario cabinet minister said there are several reasons why senators oppose the bill – including personal feelings about gambling and concern about the lack of debate the bill received in the House. But Mr. Runciman suggested there are other factors motivating the resistance. “Some people see this as an opportunity to send a message that we’re alive and well,” he said. “It’s going to be an interesting period of time dealing with this bill.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 12, 2010 at 9:24 AM - 27 Comments
Conservative Senators are quietly using taxpayer-funded literature to target opposition ridings with a partisan crime message as the party gears up for the next election, the Toronto Star has learned. And at least one of the Senators sent the mailers out at the direction of the Conservative Party of Canada’s national campaign office…
By using the Senators to send out this kind of literature, the Conservative Party gets around the prohibition on MPs using tax dollars to send partisan messages to other ridings, which the House of Commons agreed must stop.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 9, 2010 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Two of Stephen Harper’s senators are now openly quibbling with the idea of a fully elected Senate—another three apparently reluctant to say where they stand.
Boisvenu told QMI Agency he believes Canadians are more in favour of an elected Senate but he believes the chamber should be mixed, with 50% appointed and 50% elected. “If you look currently at who is in office, I’m not sure we always elect the best people,” Boisvenu said. “The danger of going with a fully elected Senate is that you risk getting people who are more interested in politics than ideas.”
… While a handful, like staunch Ontario Conservatives Bob Runciman and Doug Finley pledged full support for an elected Senate, senators Mike Duffy, Irving Gerstein and Glen Patterson refused to say whether they still support the government’s legislation.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, January 29, 2010 at 5:04 PM - 47 Comments
The new senator, speaking to reporters this morning. “And what is worse, are politicians who say one thing while the cameras are running but do another when they think no one is paying attention … Michael Ignatieff wants you to believe that he is tough on crime, but when push came to shove, Canadians couldn’t count on him to protect their safety. After months of Liberal stalling and delays, Ignatieff’s Liberals gutted this important piece of legislation. Canadians are fed up with unelected Liberal senators doing Ignatieff’s dirty work and standing in the way of action to protect victims and get tough on dangerous criminals. Michael Ignatieff needs to explain to Canadian why his own unelected Liberal senators gutted this special measure and he needs to tell his Liberal senators to support it when it is reintroduced and Canadians expect nothing less.”
Conservative Party, Dec. 10, 2009. “When the cameras are rolling, Ignatieff wants you to believe that he is tough on crime. But when push comes to shove, Canadians can’t count on him to protect their safety. After months of Liberal stalling and delays, Ignatieff’s Liberals have gutted our Conservative Bill and put children’s safety at risk. Canadians are fed up with unelected Liberal Senators doing Ignatieff’s dirty work and standing in the way of action to protect victims and get tough on dangerous criminals. Michael Ignatieff needs to explain to Canadians why his own unelected, Liberal Senators gutted this important piece of anti-crime legislation and instruct the unelected Liberal Senators to reverse these changes – Canadians expect nothing less.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, January 29, 2010 at 9:22 AM - 14 Comments
In 1985, opposition leader Bob Runciman was part of Frank Miller’s minority government. He recalls Rae was instrumental in engineering the Tories’ downfall. Miller was in a weaker position than Stephen Harper, because the Liberals had won slightly more of the popular vote and Miller’s margin of victory was only four seats. The NDP — with Rae as leader — held the balance of power…
As last week’s parliamentary shenanigans unfolded, Runciman got in touch with his Conservative colleagues on Parliament Hill to give them the benefit of his experience. ”I immediately sent my friends at the federal level my encouragement to prorogue the House, because one of the mistakes we made was not resisting,” he said.