By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 0 Comments
Postmedia says Conservative MPs Nina Grewal, Colin Mayes and Mark Strahl will vote in favour of Motion 312, while Dan Albas will vote against.
Cathy McLeod, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo since 2008, said this week she’ll stick to her election campaign vow to oppose reopening the abortion debate. That position was echoed Tuesday by rookie MP Dan Albas (Okanagan-Coquihalla), who said he shared Harper’s position when abortion was raised at all-candidates debates in the 2011 campaign.
“I have my own personal convictions but I think when an elected official makes a commitment as part of an overall series of commitments during an election I think the public expects people to keep their word, and that’s what I intend to do,” Albas said in explaining why he’ll vote against Woodworth’s motion.
Liberal MP Ted Hsu says he’ll vote against. Conservative MP Patricia Davidson is “probably” going to vote yes. If so, Ms. Davidson would join, at the very least, Conservative MPs Dean Del Mastro, Leon Benoit, Maurice Vellacott, Brent Rathgeber, Harold Albrecht, Jason Kenney, David Anderson, Stella Ambler, Mark Warawa and LaVar Payne in supporting Stephen Woodworth’s motion. Liberal MP John McKay is the only known opposition vote at this point. (For reference, see here, here, here, here and here.)
Here, again, is Mr. Woodworth’s announcement upon introducing his motion. Here is my interview with Brad Trost. Here is Gordon O’Connor’s speech outlining his opposition to the motion. Here is the first hour of debate on the motion and here is the second hour.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 1 Comment
This evening the House of Commons will vote on the following NDP motion.
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) ban the use and export of asbestos; (b) support international efforts to add chrysotile asbestos to the list of hazardous chemical products under the Rotterdam Convention; (c) assist affected workers by developing a Just Transition Plan with measures to accommodate their re-entry into the workforce; (d) introduce measures dedicated to affected older workers, through the employment insurance program, to assure them of a decent standard of living until retirement; and (e) support communities and municipalities in asbestos producing regions through an investment fund for regional economic diversification.
The government whip’s office won’t say whether this will be considered a free vote for Conservatives.
Conservative MP Patricia Davidson has lobbied the government to reconsider its position on asbestos in the past and restated her opposition to exports two months ago. Former cabinet minister Chuck Strahl, father of current Conservative MP Mark Strahl, has recommended that Canada support the addition of asbestos to the Rotterdam Convention.
Full archive of asbestos coverage here.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 3:48 PM - 1 Comment
Conservative MP Mark Strahl recalls a fleeting moment with Jack Layton.
I only had the opportunity to speak with Jack once during the spring session of Parliament, before his revelation that he would need to step aside to deal with cancer once again. I happened to be leaving the House of Commons at the same time as he was after some late night votes. He was at the members’ entrance-with his signature cane and signature moustache- and I took the opportunity to introduce myself. Even at that time it was clear that he wasn’t feeling too well, but he flashed his signature smile, gave me a strong handshake and welcomed me as a new MP. He shared with me his fondness for my dad, wished me the best and asked me to pass along his regards to Chuck. I said that I would, wished him well and we parted ways. It was a short, but meaningful personal encounter and I think that’s what made Jack successful as a politician. He no doubt had many meaningful, personal encounters with hundreds of thousands of Canadians from coast to coast, and like me, they probably were left with a positive impression.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, July 4, 2011 at 9:10 AM - 5 Comments
Security, the royals and the parade
The Canadian tour of Prince William and Kate…
Security, the royals and the parade
The Canadian tour of Prince William and Kate includes a stop at the Calgary Stampede. One MP said local officials hoped the couple would actually be in the Stampede parade, but that doesn’t look like a possibility because the security costs would be too high with so many tall buildings along the route. Ever since Stephen Harper became PM, Conservatives have been hoping to get him into the parade. But, according to the MP, the security costs for that to happen were estimated a few years ago at $300,000. The Windsors would likely cost a lot more. So instead crowds will see the royal couple do the route in reverse (a 20-minute car trip as opposed to the hours-long parade), ending up at Bow Valley College, where they will officially start the parade.
MacKay knows if you have served
At Party Under the Stars, a fundraiser to help purchase electronic and other recreational equipment for troops in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the crowd that whenever anyone sees a member of the Canadian Forces they should go up and thank them. When Capital Diary asked MacKay’s aide if the minister practises what he preaches, the aide confirmed that he did and added that his boss can spot armed forces personnel even when they are out of uniform, by looking for certain bags or signs. One time in Frankfurt’s airport he went up to an out-of-uniform Canadian soldier and thanked him. The shocked soldier asked, “How did you know I was in the military?” MacKay just smiled.
By Erica Alini - Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 1:08 PM - 6 Comments
Former Conservative MP Chuck Strahl sends his boy, newly elected Conservative MP Mark Strahl, off to his first day of Parliament.
Almost always, charting the path forward during those moments means convincing others – or being convinced – that the team needs to “speak with one voice.” Hard work to be sure, but remember that the caucus and the cabinet are in the political fray with you, and they need to know you have their back – and they, yours. The team isn’t the be-all and end-all, but it’s important. And you will hang together or you will hang separately.
By Nancy Macdonald - Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 5:50 PM - 2 Comments
Mark Strahl is poised to take over his dad’s seat—amid cries of cronyism. He’s not the only one with an edge.
Nepotism, cronyism, coronations—B.C. Conservatives, long used to attacking the Liberals with these charges, now find themselves in the curious position of attacking their own the same way.
The issue has cropped up in the old Reform heartland, where MPs like Chuck Strahl and Stockwell Day used to make hay tackling the patronage and privilege infecting Ottawa. On March 12, Transport Minister Strahl announced his retirement from politics. Barely a week later, his son Mark snagged the nomination in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, his dad’s Bible belt riding, hardly hurting for fresh Tory blood. Yet Strahl faced a single opponent. “A number of very prominent, very interesting people” were keen to run, says Chilliwack deputy mayor Sue Attrill. But the abbreviated process barred “80 per cent” of them, says Casey Langbroek, an accountant who served for 16 years on council. Langbroek, who was stranded in Ontario on business when he learned of the race, calls the process a “gross injustice.”
It’s the same story in the riding next door, long held by Treasury Board President Stockwell Day, who announced his retirement the same day as Strahl. In Okanagan-Coquihalla, only three candidates, all associates of Day’s—his former parliamentary secretary and two members of his constituency board—were able to get their nomination papers in on time.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 6, 2011 at 9:23 PM - 48 Comments
The Liberal candidate in Manicougan has been dismissed over offensive remarks about Aboriginals. London West incumbent Ed Holder doesn’t want to debate health care. Calgary East incumbent Deepak Obhrai doesn’t want to debate his opponents at all. There is journalism drama in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and sign drama in South Shore-St. Margaret’s. The candidates explain what matters most in Oakville and the candidates in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon meet the Rotarians.
Conservative candidate Mark Strahl was asked about his “tainted” nomination and his apparent lack of “real world” business experience. Liberal candidate Diane Janzen was asked how she could be “truly a Liberal” with her Christian faith and her small-c conservatism. New Democratic candidate Gwen O’Mahony was asked about her party’s opposition to the purchase of fighter jets when Canadians are sending their sons and daughters “into harm’s way” overseas.