By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 0 Comments
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks…
Nestlé Canada held a special reception at The Westin Ottawa for MPs and folks on the Hill. The night highlighted some of their products. “You make Häagen-Dazs” was a popular line when people found out Nestlé Canada had the rights to produce it in this country.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 10:56 PM - 0 Comments
The Canadian Gas Association held their second annual Now We’re Cooking with Gas reception…
The Canadian Gas Association held their second annual Now We’re Cooking with Gas reception at the National Arts Centre.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 7 Comments
But despite the ambitious proposals, there are no signs Ottawa wants to have a debate. “We have no plans to propose any reforms to this area of the law,” Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said. And the opposition echoed that reluctance: “We don’t want to go down that road,” NDP MP Jack Harris said.
Of the 57 MPs who supported Francine Lalonde’s motion last year, most, owing to the Bloc’s collapse, were defeated this spring. In all, by my count, 10 members who voted for C-384 at second reading remain in the House: Mauril Belanger, Olivia Chow, Denis Coderre, Jean Crowder, Libby Davies, Megan Leslie, John McCallum, Maria Mourani, Massimo Pacetti and Louis Plamondon.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 1:30 PM - 19 Comments
After Question Period yesterday, the House proceeded to the traditional messages on the occasion of Remembrance Day (the House is due to be on break next week). Veteran Affairs Minister Steven Blaney spoke for the government, Peter Stoffer for the NDP and Sean Casey for the Liberals.
Louis Plamondon then rose to offer remarks on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, but was denied the unanimous consent of the House he needed to do so as the member of a party that does not have the sufficient number of MPs to be recognized in the House as an official party. Bob Rae suggested it was the Conservatives who had objected. Conservative backbencher Stephen Woodworth stood to object to Mr. Rae’s version of events. Government whip Gordon O’Connor then stood to explain.
Mr. Speaker, the Standing Orders say, in response to a minister’s statement, that only members of recognized parties can make statements. The Bloc is not a recognized party.
Thus were the Bloc Quebecois and Elizabeth May prevented from offering remarks.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, September 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM - 0 Comments
Jack Layton’s chair to go to his family…
MPs arriving back on the Hill
Jack Layton’s chair to go to his family
MPs arriving back on the Hill for the first day of Parliament were greeted by black coffins covered in cut-out, pastel-coloured butterflies on which were written the names of murdered and missing Aboriginal women. It was part of an awareness campaign coordinated by Walk4Justice. That morning, there were tributes for Jack Layton, and his green House of Commons chair was left empty for the day. NDP MP Peter Stoffer says his caucus is buying the chair Layton sat in for $950 and presenting to the late leader’s family. MPs wore orange ribbons in honour of Layton, though at question period it was mostly NDP, Liberal and Bloc parliamentarians wearing them. That included both interim Liberal leader Bob Rae and interim Bloc leader Louis Plamondon. On the Hill for the tribute was former NDP leader Alexa McDonough. The day before, she had helped with the orientation sessions for new MPs from all parties, covering issues ranging from office management to how to avoid temptations like the endless supply of booze at Hill functions. Question period started with interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel reading her questions from her papers, which lessened the impact. She was followed by NDP finance critic Peggy Nash, whose voice boomed out. “I’m used to speaking at rallies,” quipped Nash, who is seen as a strong potential NDP leader candidate.
MPs call it splits
Liberal MPs Mark Eyking and Rodger Cuzner were both elected in 2000 and until Parliament resumed on Monday they were also roommates. “It’s a messy breakup,” jokes Cuzner. “Eyking wants visitation rights for the clock radio.” In reality, two of Eyking’s sons have moved to the capital. One sells real estate and the other is at university. That means Eyking’s wife is in the capital more often too. Cuzner jokes he was “tripping over” Eykings at their place. So he moved out and is now living with his nephew.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM - 3 Comments
The House of Commons is presently toasting the memory of Jack Layton, with speeches so far from Stephen Harper, Bob Rae, Louis Plamondon and Elizabeth May.
According to the new seating plan released just now, the seat normally reserved for the leader of the opposition will be left vacant. Nycole Turmel, who will become the second woman to face the House as the leader of Her Majesty’s official opposition, will occupy the front row seat to the left.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 12:16 PM - 103 Comments
This post last updated at 5:30pm.
The Globe and Mail discovers that Nycole Turmel was a member of the Bloc Quebecois.
According to information obtained by The Globe and Mail, the 68-year-old became a member of the Bloc Québécois in December, 2006, the year she retired as president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. She sent back her membership card to the Bloc on Jan. 19 of this year in a signed letter to then-Bloc MP Carole Lavallée. “Enclosed is my Bloc Québécois membership card, which I wish to cancel. I wish to state that my request has nothing to do with the party’s policies, I am doing this for personal reasons,” Ms. Turmel wrote. She then wished “good luck” to Ms. Lavallée, who went on to be defeated by an NDP candidate in the May 2 general election. In addition to her membership in the Bloc, Ms. Turmel made four donations totalling $235 to the party between 2006 and 2011, according to party records. The donations, which ranged from $35 to $100, were not made public because they are under the $200 threshold for disclosure by political parties.
12:41pm… The Globe reports that Conservative MPs and supporters were briefed on Ms. Turmel’s ties to separatists in a memo distributed late last week. The Star notes that some of these issues were raised in April during the election campaign. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 at 11:05 AM - 0 Comments
Over the weekend, Jeffrey Simpson lamented for the lifers he sees as presently dominating federal politics. He defined a lifer as one who has been involved for a long period of time at any level of politics, not just as a candidate or elected representative. In this way, for instance, Mr. Harper is a lifer because he has been involved in politics since the mid-80s.
The academic research in this regard—though Simpson’s definition complicates a direct comparison and his focus on party leaders is relevant—has generally raised the alarm about the exact opposite concern: that our MPs have too little experience and are too prone to turnover. To wit. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 26, 2009 at 4:59 PM - 7 Comments
With the Throne Speech through, MPs returned to the House to lounge about before business began. Speaker Peter Milliken fiddled with the morning paper’s Sudoku. Veteran Affairs Minister Greg Thomson flipped through the New Yorker. The Prime Minister scrutinized a copy of the new seating chart, periodically looking up to see precisely where his least favourite members of the Liberal side were now seated.
Eventually it was decided that perhaps they should get on with the business of rescuing the nation from economic apocalypse, so Milliken put away his Sudoku and called the proceedings to order. The Prime Minister rose to a standing ovation and commenced with the procedural formalities.
When it came time to begin debate, Mr. Harper turned to Tilly O’Neill-Gordon, the retired elementary school teacher from Miramichi who sits in the back row and speaks in exactly the tone of voice one would expect from a retired elementary school teacher. Here, one imagined, was the mild voice of consensus we had been promised.
She spoke of our “unprecedented time” and its “unprecedented challenge.”
“What,” she asked, “are we going to do about it?” Continue…