By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 7 Comments
Speaker Peter Milliken’s held his 10th annual Robbie Burns dinner. Below, Defense Minister Peter…
Speaker Peter Milliken’s held his 10th annual Robbie Burns dinner. Below, Defense Minister Peter Mackay (left) and NDP MP Pat Martin bring in the haggis.
Ontario Conservative MP Ed Holder
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, October 8, 2010 at 10:09 AM - 0 Comments
A remembrance night was held last week for Liberal communications director Mario Lagüe, who…
A remembrance night was held last week for Liberal communications director Mario Lagüe, who died in a motorcycle accident in August.
Liberal MP Stéphane Dion.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, August 20, 2010 at 10:07 AM - 0 Comments
Michael Ignatieff is on his Liberal Express tour across Canada. In Toronto, he stopped…
Michael Ignatieff is on his Liberal Express tour across Canada. In Toronto, he stopped at a BBQ in Thornhill just north of the city and then a restaurant downtown in Chinatown.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 31, 2010 at 12:12 PM - 13 Comments
Michael Chong’s motion on Question Period reform is seconded by no less than 20 MPs. Those seconders include 14 Conservatives (Mike Allen, Dona Cadman, Maxime Bernier, Larry Miller, Gord Brown, Nina Grewal, James Rajotte, John Cummins, Peter Braid, Rick Casson, Greg Thompson, Merv Tweed, Brian Storseth and Bruce Stanton), four Liberals (Frank Valeriote, Martha Hall Findlay, Glen Pearson and Siobhan Coady) and two New Democrats (Denise Savoie and Brian Masse).
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM - 22 Comments
Liberals Siobhan Coady and Martha Hall Findlay and New Democrat Peter Stoffer say the auditor general should be invited to review MP expenses—joining Gilles Duceppe and the aforementioned Michelle Simson on that side of the debate.
Independent Andre Arthur, harbouring some general mistrust of accountants, says all details should simply be made public.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 9 Comments
All parties were united by wearing blue to show their support for NDP leader…
All parties were united by wearing blue to show their support for NDP leader Jack Layton in his battle with prostate cancer. The men were given ties and the women were given scarves by Prostate Cancer Canada. Below, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 5, 2010 at 12:48 PM - 49 Comments
Hannah Cooper considers the lack of women in our politics.
It’s difficult for me to imagine that 51 per cent of any population would be so homogeneous about their choice of issues and interests. As a young professional woman I am naturally concerned about taxation and economic matters. Unbalanced budgets make me nervous. Though affordable daycare may be of concern to me in the future, for now I’d rather focus on the economy.
This brings me to my second point: perhaps the reason that women aren’t interested in politics is that there are no women in politics. Though this seems like an overstatement, Canada currently ranks 49th of all countries worldwide in the percentage of women in the lower or single House of Representatives. We’re behind Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Argentina, New Zealand, Germany, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates to name a few.
An extended discussion ensues, including a cameo from Martha Hall Findlay.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, January 29, 2010 at 11:56 AM - 8 Comments
Folks from all parties packed the Hill Helps Haiti fundraiser organized by the government…
Folks from all parties packed the Hill Helps Haiti fundraiser organized by the government relations firm Summa Strategies. The event raised over $32,000. Below, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (left) and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea.
Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay.
Green leader Elizabeth May.
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 3:54 PM - 145 Comments
The Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Toronto protest saw thousands gather in Dundas Square. Below,…
The Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament Toronto protest saw thousands gather in Dundas Square. Below, Toronto Liberal MP Rob Oliphant is with the Spartans.
Toronto NDP MP Olivia Chow.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, January 14, 2010 at 12:40 PM - 18 Comments
This weeks gossip
Battle of the IQs
In late January, politicians from different levels of government will appear on CBC’s Test the Nation, including Liberal MPs Justin Trudeau and Martha Hall Findlay. The two had to fill out forms for the show; Hall Findlay had hers returned because she had neglected to provide her IQ. She asked the organizers if Trudeau provided his, and they said yes. So in the IQ box she noted “five per cent higher than Justin Trudeau.”
Olivia lightens Jack’s load
NDP MP Olivia Chow bought her husband, NDP Leader Jack Layton, a Kindle for Christmas. Chow was inspired when she saw the device being used by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. Layton was lugging piles of books around with him so Chow thought this would be a great way to lighten his load. Chow, meanwhile, has no plans to get one herself. She prefers to read books the old-fashioned way. Also on the technology front, Toronto Liberal MP Rob Oliphant got his very first iPod from his husband, Marco Fiola. The MP, who as a United Church minister spent 24 Christmases at the pulpit, is happy he now gets to go home for the holidays to his parents’ place in Sault Ste. Marie.
May feels bad about the epiphany party
This Christmas was the first time Green Leader Elizabeth May wasn’t home. She decided after attending the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen that she would stay in Europe for a holiday with her daughter. The trip started off with a buzz: May says the plane she took from London to Copenhagen also had Jane Goodall aboard. May saw many friends in Copenhagen, “but it was like a family reunion on the Titanic.” The conference was a nightmare in terms of waiting. In one line she found herself next to former MP Bill Blaikie, now Manitoba’s minister of conservation, whose duties include dealing with climate change and recycling. She said the Danish army took pity on them and handed them coffee and tea through the fence because it was so cold. May spoke at a University of Toronto event in Copenhagen to launch sustainability books. She was joined by the Assembly of First Nations National Chief Atleo and Bianca Jagger, who is a force behind the 350.org climate-change movement. May got accreditation to the conference through the European Green Party but so many people were accredited that few could even get into the main building. Back home, another disappointment for May: she wouldn’t be able to host her famous annual Epiphany party on Jan. 6. She told Capital Diary she hoped anybody who used to show up for the event at her Ottawa home and wouldn’t know she no longer lives there would have seen the “for sale” sign (yup, the house is still for sale) and realize the party wasn’t on. May was unable to organize the party in her new B.C. home because she was told she would have to be in court that day. She and the Green party are being sued by John Shavluk, who was dropped as a Green candidate after comments that could be construed as anti-Semitic came to light.
Liberal MP Glen Pearson is in Sudan this month for groundbreaking ceremonies for two high schools for which he helped raise funds. Part of the money came from former PM Paul Martin, who gave Pearson a personal cheque for $100,000. The schools will take three months to build. Pearson will bring Martin and his wife, Sheila Martin, to an official opening in January 2011 when the temperatures are more temperate. Pearson has three children who were adopted from the Sudan and for Christmas the final two received their Canadian citizenship cards.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 11:53 AM - 11 Comments
(Left to right) MPs Navdeep Bains, Mark Holland, Martha Hall Findlay, Mario Silva, Gerard…
(Left to right) MPs Navdeep Bains, Mark Holland, Martha Hall Findlay, Mario Silva, Gerard Kennedy and former MP Omar Alghabra.
MP Mario Silva (centre) with Navdeep Bains (right).
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 8:00 AM - 34 Comments
On the 11th day of the 11th month, statements of remembrance from Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Glen Pearson, Ujjal Dosanjh, James Bezan, Ruby Dhalla, Hedy Fry, Martha Hall Findlay, Peter Stoffer and Mark Holland.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
And who flirted with Rosemary Thompson
To Martha, from Stephen
After Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay made a fuss about “partisan” images of the Prime Minister all over government websites, the pictures suddenly disappeared. Later, in the House, wanting to make a point of the Conservatives suddenly trying to mask the blatant advertising, she asked why “someone” had “removed dozens of photos of the Prime Minister from the website for the economic action plan.” The response came from Transport Minister John Baird: “While the Liberal party is trolling the Internet looking for pictures of the Prime Minister, it is this Conservative government that is working hard to create jobs to inspire more hope.” The next day Baird came over to Hall Findlay with a signed picture of Stephen Harper. The PM had inscribed it: “To Martha, I heard you’re looking for a photo!” Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, November 3, 2009 at 7:00 AM - 11 Comments
Sustainable Development Technology Canada put on a fierce reception in 200 West Block. Finally,…
Sustainable Development Technology Canada put on a fierce reception in 200 West Block. Finally, someone had the smarts to bring along a DJ and serve good food. Below, Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt (centre).
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 26, 2009 at 6:25 PM - 40 Comments
“Mr. Speaker, survey after survey about the H1N1 vaccine show a dangerous trend. Only half of Canadians are planning to get vaccinated. That is down from two-thirds in July. Too many people do not think it is safe, do not think it is necessary. That is a communications failure that could put lives at risk,” Mr. Goodale posited. “How does the Prime Minister justify an advertising tsunami of $100 million for partisan Conservative propaganda, but only a pittance for crucial information about vaccinations?”
The Prime Minister, alas, was not present. In his place, Tony Clement took a turn.
“Mr. Speaker,” he said, “the honourable Minister of Health is doing an excellent job in communicating to Canadians about the H1N1 flu situation.
“She has said that the vaccine would be available to every Canadian who needs and wants one,” Mr. Clement reported on behalf of Leona Aglukkaq, seated perhaps 20 feet to his right. “Not only is the Minister of Health urging Canadians to get the vaccine but the Chief Public Health Officer is doing so as well. This is the best way to protect our health and the health of our loved ones. Despite the fearmongering on the other side, we are focused on protecting the health and safety of every Canadian.”
To better convey this fearmongering, the Industry Minister wiggled his fingers in the general direction of the opposition side. Continue…
By Andrew Potter - Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 9:20 AM - 10 Comments
The Liberals have benefited hugely from the confusion of the ‘Liberal’ and ‘Canada’ brands, both proudly red and white
The craziest thing I learned from the coverage last month of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China was that the People’s Liberation Army still belongs to the Communist party. Six decades after Mao’s victory in Beijing, the army is still under the command of the party, not the state, and the Ministry of National Defence exercises no authority over it.
That’s as sure a sign as any, I figure, that China has a long way to go before it joins the civilized world. After all, here in the multi-party democracy that is Canada, we make a clear distinction between the private interests of a political party and the public interests of the state, especially when a party happens to find itself temporarily in power. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM - 33 Comments
The Scene. We are—as a people, as a political class, as a town quite bored with itself—easily impressed. So it is that the Prime Minister’s overt display this weekend of something approaching personality is being roundly hailed as something approaching significance. Mr. Harper played the piano and sang. In public. And such is the state of things that, were you to judge only the reaction, you might assume he’d personally negotiated the surrender of the Taliban, or at least convinced Gary Bettman to move a hockey team to Hamilton.
By those same standards, similar huzzahs are almost certainly due to the leader of the opposition, who, let the record show, stood in the House this day and asked a question that was almost not entirely rhetorical.
This was, mere months ago, his trademark: an insistence that Question Period be something other than an exchange of slanders. Alas, since returning this fall, with a new mandate of opposition to justify, he’s been less reason and inquiry and more piss and vinegar. Take, for instance, the first of his questions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 28, 2009 at 8:37 PM - 38 Comments
The Scene. You’ll forgive the Prime Minister if he’s a bit shy, if he’s just not that interested in the traditional trappings of leading your very own G8 nation.
So it was last week, with the best and worst of the international community gathering in New York, that Stephen Harper could stomach but one highfalutin dinner before jetting back home for a Tim Hortons run. And so it was today, with the business of Parliament resuming beneath the stained glass and chandeliers of the House of Commons, that Mr. Harper jetted off to furthest New Brunswick, where, as luck would have it, a lectern had been set up in front of an idle locomotive and a representative sample of Canadian blue collars.
There the Prime Minister found a crowd eager to hear him explain how well he was handling this economic unpleasantness and applaud his assurances thereof. Now, sure, here you may argue that the Prime Minister needn’t go to New Brunswick to find individuals willing to applaud his pronouncements on cue. Indeed, you might point out, the Canadian public pays something in the order of $157,000 to each of 142 individuals whose job it is to stand every so often in the House of Commons and do exactly that.
But then you would be ignoring the fact that those 142 individuals do not constitute even a majority of members of that august chamber. And the rest constitute an unruly collection of scoundrels and skeptics, many on the record as not entirely believing in the Prime Minister’s propensity for fulsomeness.
“The government reports to the people of Canada,” the Prime Minister’s press secretary observed over the weekend. And let it never again be said that the individuals who constitute this place in any way represent such Canadians. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 25, 2009 at 10:31 AM - 47 Comments
Kady is live-blogging the Liberal press conference this morning. Judging from this recently arrived press release, the main point is thus:
To prevent these abuses, the Liberal Opposition committed to ban all taxpayer-funded politicized government advertising under a future Liberal government and close loopholes in the existing federal Communications Policy. The Liberals would also assign an independent body to ensure all government advertising is free of political content.
Silly question. Would this apply to ye olde fashioned ten-percenters?
Mad Man (and Woman): Liveblogging Michael Ignatieff and Martha Hall Findlay on partisan political advertising
By kadyomalley - Friday, September 25, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 42 Comments
Hey, remember that $34 million in Economic Action! Plan-related ad spending that Canadian Press wrote about earlier this week? Well, the Liberals are finally getting around to holding a press conference to denounce it — like Dirk Gently, five days late but moving fast – and ITQ will be there to liveblog the festivities, starting at 10am, so be sure to check back for full coverage.
Oh, and speaking of possibly partisan advertising, an ITQ mini-challenge to commenters, just to keep y’all busy while waiting for this morning’s antics to get underway: How many ways does the Action! plan website — a Privy Council Office production that was the object of its very own traffic-driving ad campaign, which included over $1 million for the most recent spot, which warns viewers that, although the plan is working, “we’ve got to stay on track” — violate Treasury Board standards for common look and feel?
Post your count in the comments, and ITQ will meet you back here at10am.
Greetings, members of the Whatever Happened To Party of Accountability Club! ITQ is installed in her usual seat in the second row of the Charles Lynch Press Theatre, waiting patiently for what is now being teasered by bright-eyed Liberal research operatives as an announcement. What could it be? ITQ would put her money — her *own* money, not cabinet-approved and signed off on by Treasury Board, for the record — on a proposal to create some sort of gimlet-eyed independent commissioner to monitor all government ad spending for illicit partisan messaging — maybe even a new Officer of Parliament! It could be called — the Federal Accountability Act. (What do you mean, ‘that’s been taken’?)
As the Wall of Cameras angling for the best shot of the Ignatieff/Hall Findlay powerwalk down the hall, the room is filling up with media:CanWest, Sun News, the Toronto Star, Canadian Press, of course – after all, it was Bruce Cheadle who broke the story – a surprisingly good turnout for a Friday morning presser, but then again, it’s not like there’s much else happening on the Hill today.
Two minute warning! Whee!
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 9:09 PM - 9 Comments
Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay held a fundraiser in an old downtown Toronto…
Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay held a fundraiser in an old downtown Toronto bank vault that has been converted into an entertainment space.
Michael Igantieff was the evening’s special guest.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
And Hall Findlay’s canoe project
The only place this MP can relax
Toronto Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay recently turned 50. For her birthday she received a hand-painted canoe paddle from her son Patrick Findlay. Her daughter gave her a framed photo of her canoe at sunset, which she plans to hang in her Ottawa office. Hall Findlay spent two years refurbishing the canoe, which used to belong to her father, stripping it down and doing the repair work herself. She was able to take some time off this summer and paddle the canoe around Georgian Bay, among the Thirty Thousand Islands. It’s the one way she can relax, she told Capital Diary. “I have a terrible time sitting still,” says the Willowdale, Ont., MP. “In the canoe I am forced to do nothing but think.”
The MP, his father and the Italian mountain
For their 10th wedding anniversary, Ontario Liberal MP Glen Pearson and his wife, Jane Roy, went to Italy for two weeks, the first real holiday they have taken alone without children or guests since they were married. The couple often travel to Africa and are usually accompanied by lots of other people. While in Sicily, Pearson and Roy climbed Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano. Pearson really wanted to see it because it was around that site during the Second World War that his father landed with Canadian forces to ﬁght. His father, who was wounded twice in the war, told Pearson he had seen Etna erupt. Pearson says climbing is in his blood because he grew up near the Rockies in Calgary. Etna is over three kilometres high, and it took the couple a full day to go up and down it. He says it was much easier than when he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2005. Pearson also visited the Commonwealth cemetery in the town of Agira where Canadians, including several of his father’s Second World War comrades, are buried. Pearson was so moved by the cemetery, which he discovered by fluke, that he sent a message to Defence Minister Peter MacKay to make sure he knew about it. MacKay, he says, appreciated the gesture. Continue…
By macleans.ca - Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:00 AM - 9 Comments
What do famous Canadians—including Harper, Layton and Crosby—do when it gets hot? They don their shorts and hit the dock.
Click on the images to find out, in their own words, how each of these famous Canadians spent their summer.