By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 0 Comments
In his letter to the elections commissioner last Friday about whether Mike Duffy had claimed Senate expenses while campaigning for the Conservatives in the last election, NDP MP Craig Scott named several other senators whose expenses might be scrutinized.
As noted, Liberal Senator Grant Mitchell told me on Friday that he claimed no expenses during the writ period. Today, Liberal Senator David Smith called me to say he had not claimed expenses during the last election and the office of Conservative Senator Nancy Greene Raine emailed me with a statement from the senator.
“I was very careful during the writ period not to claim any expenses connected with campaigning on my Senate budget.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM - 0 Comments
MPs helped packed the ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier for a reception put…
MPs helped packed the ballroom of the Fairmont Château Laurier for a reception put on by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 9:25 PM - 21 Comments
Liberal MP Hedy Fry squeezed in a fundraiser to help with the debt she…
Liberal MP Hedy Fry squeezed in a fundraiser to help with the debt she incurred from her leadership run in 2006. The event was held at Ottawa’s hot new gay bar Flamingo. Below, Fry and Bob Rae do a tribute to Sonny and Cher.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, September 24, 2010 at 11:35 AM - 0 Comments
This week saw the big showdown over the long-gun registry. MPs voted 153-151 in…
This week saw the big showdown over the long-gun registry. MPs voted 153-151 in favour of a Liberal motion that kills Conservative MP Candice Hoeppner’s private member’s bill to get rid of the registry. Just before the vote, a small group of young protesters stood in front of the Peace Tower demanding the registry be scrapped.
Bruce Hyer after the vote. He was one of the few NDP MPs who voted to keep the registry.
The Liberals held a victory party at D’Arcy McGee’s pub after the vote.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 1:40 PM - 0 Comments
Minister says Spider-Man is out, No one warned Trudeau, Iggy or Chrétien about the snow, and Garage sales on the Hill
Minister says Spider-Man is out
MPs are not back in the House until Sept. 20, but many have been busy getting their kids ready to go back to school. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt says this year her two sons, J.C. Raitt, 9, and Billy Raitt, 6, wanted backpacks with wheels because their books are getting heavier and heavier. But those kinds of backpacks are plainer. No more Spider-Man or Transformers logos if the kids insist on wheels, notes the minister. On the first day of school, Raitt’s tradition is to have a picture taken with her kids on the front steps of their house. She jokes that the photos mostly show how, over the years, “my weight has fluctuated and my hair colour has changed.”
Vancouver NDP MP Don Davies says when it comes to his youngest daughter, 15, and school supplies, “We have to have a lot of pink.” Davies has been officially relieved of his duties for back-to-school clothing purchases—his wife is in charge. But he is inevitably called to the mall because, he quips, “My daughter knows I will get more expensive things.”
Meanwhile, at 24 Sussex, back-to-school preparations are pretty lacklustre for Ben Harper and Rachel Harper. “We go to Staples and fight the crowds like everyone else,” notes Laureen Harper.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:15 AM - 7 Comments
The final All-Party Party organized by NDP MP Peter Stoffer packed 200 West Block….
The final All-Party Party organized by NDP MP Peter Stoffer packed 200 West Block. The building is scheduled for major maintenance and will be closed for years. Below, Liberal Senator David Smith (left) and Tory Senator Nancy Ruth take to the dance floor.
Liberal MP Siobhan Coady.
By Andrew Coyne - Friday, November 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM - 127 Comments
Why Canada needs the monarchy (even if it’s these two)
In 1963, the historian W. L. Morton published a splendid one-volume history of Canada. The title still has the power to thrill, and to shock: The Kingdom of Canada.
At the back there is a list of all the kings and queens “sovereign over Canada.” There are 18 of them, nine French and nine English, from Francis I, who ruled at the time of Jacques Cartier’s first landing in 1534, all the way to Elizabeth II. Prince Charles will one day be the 19th King of Canada, and Prince William the 20th. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 28, 2009 at 12:26 PM - 5 Comments
Three days ago, Blair Robertson posted a video to YouTube with his predictions for the next few months of political events in Canada. Among his prognostications: that a fall election would be disastrous for the Liberals and that the number two would somehow factor into the fortunes of Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper, possibly in the form of floor-crossing MPs.
What’s happened since then? Well, the Liberals dispatched Senator David Smith to cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that his party would force a fall election. And two Conservative MPs broke with the government’s position on asbestos mining, putting themselves in line with Mr. Ignatieff’s stated position.
My bold prediction: by end of business today, Blair Robertson will be the newest member of the Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau or Evan Soloman’s first hire for CBC’s new evening politics show.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, August 24, 2009 at 11:40 AM - 61 Comments
The economy’s looking up, and so is the PM’s approval rating
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, summoning all the passion this was due, “I am pleased to formally announce today the creation of the Federal Economic Development Agency for southern Ontario.” He held for applause. “Or,” Stephen Harper continued, “as it will be known by its short title, FedDev Ontario.”
After a few more sentences on this bureaucratic achievement—of the sort that must feel unnatural to a man once so suspicious of government intervention—he reached for meaning with the aplomb of an inspirational office poster. “As Winston Churchill once noted,” the Prime Minister said, “ ‘Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.’ ” Continue…
By Michael Petrou - Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:01 AM - 9 Comments
An organization in Ottawa’s bad books wined and dined Canadian politicians
Eight current and former Canadian parliamentarians attended a conference and rally in Paris last summer that was organized by the political wing of an Iranian opposition group that Canada and the United States have designated as a terrorist organization. At least four had some of their expenses covered by supporters of the banned group. The visit shows how difficult it can be for Western politicians to navigate the confusing waters of Iranian politics, where even those opposed to the theocracy in Tehran can be tainted by accusations of violence and human rights abuses.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran staged a massive rally in Paris last June to support its now-disarmed military wing, the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or simply the People’s Mujahedeen. The group invited hundreds of politicians from around the world, and Maryam Rajavi, “president-elect” of the NCRI, met with many of them at her home outside Paris. Canadian politicians who attended included: Liberal MPs Carolyn Bennett, Yasmin Ratansi and Raymonde Folco; Bloc Québécois MP Meili Faille; Andrew Telegdi and Tom Wappel, who were Liberal MPs at the time but are no longer; and Liberal Senator David Smith. David Kilgour, who sat as both a Progressive Conservative and Liberal MP before leaving politics as an Independent in 2006, was also there. Bennett and Telegdi were given a little less than $2,000 each toward transportation, accommodation, and meals. Wappel’s bill for the same totalled $3,780. Smith says he was put up free of charge in a hotel.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, December 1, 2008 at 7:37 PM - 54 Comments
Prime Minister Dion had a question. “Does the Prime Minister,” he asked, “still believe that he enjoys the confidence of this House?”
Prime Minister Harper would not tolerate such a tone in this place. “When the honourable gentleman speaks about playing politics,” he said. “I think he is about to play the biggest political game in Canadian history.”
The Conservative leader sounded envious. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 2:57 AM - 0 Comments
In the print edition this week there are two pages under this byline on the enigmatic Peter Van Loan, thus marking the 376th time I’ve referred to the government House leader in print in my short time with this magazine. This time though there’s further commentary from Ralph Goodale, Michael Ignatieff, historian Ned Franks (who confesses he can’t watch QP anymore) and Senator David Smith.
It is perhaps an under-reported fact that Mr. Van Loan and the Senator, the party stalwart presently charged with running the next Liberal campaign, go back a ways and remain good friends—Senator Smith is quite sure he was the only Liberal at the House leader’s wedding not so long ago.
That there isn’t yet a wild-eyed conspiracy theory about the close association between the Prime Minister’s right-hand man and one of Mr. Dion’s primary election advisors is, suffice it to say, somewhat disappointing. Surely some enterprising blogger should have connected the dots by now. For shame. Continue…