By John Geddes, Paul Wells, Jonathon Gatehouse, Julie Smyth, Aaron Wherry and Michael Petrou - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 0 Comments
The Maclean’s 2012 power list
Ask around about the attributes of influence in the federal government during Stephen Harper’s rule. The answers will vary widely depending on who’s doing the talking, but certain elements will pop up with intriguing regularity. Just about everyone, for instance, agrees that power these days tilts westward. And, sure enough, the top three on our list—the Prime Minister himself, inevitably, followed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the governor of the Bank of Canada—all hail from Alberta.
Yet Harper had little to do with the rise of Beverley McLachlin and Mark Carney. So is this top-of-the-list cluster of Albertans mere happenstance, or a true sign of a pattern of power? One thing it isn’t, we promise, is a contrivance. Maclean’s writers and editors compiled this admittedly subjective list based on our own combined experience covering Ottawa’s most important people, tested against the sage insights of political strategists, veterans of the public service and lobbyists who make it their business to size up the city’s elite.
What makes one partisan or public servant, public figure or private power broker seem to matter more than another can be mysterious. In some cases, managerial style lifted a figure into our sights, like McLachlin’s subtle touch with the nine egos on the top court, or the way top bureaucrat Wayne Wouters boosts the morale of a public service whose pinnacle he commands. Often power flows in well-worn channels, as through the offices of the finance or foreign minister. Sometimes, though, someone cracks the institutional edifice, and influence streams in unexpectedly. Look at what Kevin Page has done as the first parliamentary budget officer. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, February 25, 2011 at 9:38 AM - 32 Comments
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM - 145 Comments
An anonymous Conservative official tells the CBC, Postmedia, CTV and the Star, that four party officials have been charged by Elections Canada in connection with in-and-out campaign financing: Doug Finley, Irving Gerstein, Michael Donison and Susan Kehoe.
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 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 8:25 PM - 38 Comments
Full column for today is below, but an update of sorts.
The Liberals sent out a press release this afternoon that says changes to employment insurance come into effect on April 1. Asked to respond, Jim Flaherty’s press secretary, Chisholm Pothier, sent over a statement that says changes to employment insurance can become active before April 1 and the Liberals are “playing politics with the lives of Canadians.”
The Conservative party has also now sent out a letter to supporters that takes personal aim at Michael Ignatieff, talks of a possible election and asks for donations of $100 or $200 to help fight Liberal “obstruction.” The letter is signed by Conservative senator Irving Gerstein.
Meantime, I spoke to Marc Roy, an aide in the office of Liberal senate leader James Cowan.
I’ll reprint Roy’s version of events and Pothier’s statement here for the record.