By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, December 11, 2012 - 0 Comments
Mitchel Raphael celebrates the season with the Opposition
The NDP held their annual holiday party in the Hall of Honour. Great lighting, booze bars, an oyster bar and food stations were spread over the Hall and and adjoining meeting rooms. It was one of the best parties held on the Hill.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 8:05 AM - 0 Comments
NDP MPs, staffers and friends gathered for Halloween at the NDP watering hole Brixton’s….
NDP MPs, staffers and friends gathered for Halloween at the NDP watering hole Brixton’s. Outfits included Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women,” Bev Oda sipping $16 OJ (albeit from a plastic container) and NDP MP Niki Ashton as Big Bird.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 5:48 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. The House had managed just half a dozen rounds this afternoon before the Speaker was first compelled to admonish those in attendance for the noise. Two more questions after that, he was calling for order again.
It should have been obvious then that we would not get through these 45 minutes without someone being accused of McCarthyism.
About halfway through Question Period, the NDP’s Mylene Freeman stood to state her disappointment with a Conservative MP’s recent choice of committee witnesses.*
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney stood and identified the parliamentary secretary in question—Chungsen Leung—as an immigrant from Taiwan, who received a suggestion from one of his constituents, but who demanded, upon learning of the “totally inappropriate” comments of the potential witnesses, that they be removed from the witness list. Mr. Kenney also declared the current Conservative caucus to be the most ethnically diverse in history and reported that immigration levels have been kept at their highest.
It should not surprise you that the matter was not then dropped.
“Mr. Speaker, voting to take away women’s rights an hour after inviting racists to a parliamentary committee is a new low even for Conservatives,” declared the NDP’s Jinny Sims.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 0 Comments
Courtesy of YouTube, a selection of opposition speeches in response to the budget bill.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:09 AM - 0 Comments
It’s easy to remain neutral when you don’t know who you are voting for
New leader, old pic
The photo of newly elected NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair that appeared on the NDP leadership convention screens and the flyer for his after-party is the same one he’s been using since his 2007 by-election win. One Mulcair campaign worker said the new leader actually hates the picture and is tired of seeing it. Mulcair hired Kumpa’nia, a drumming band from Montreal, for the convention. The group drummed him in with the Cuban song Comparsa, chosen “because it’s groovy,” said one drummer. To help kill time between votes, Mulcair supporters used several of his signs to build a model of 24 Sussex Dr., much to his delight. One young Brian Topp supporter built a Topp restaurant out of the candidate’s materials, with a walk-up window but no drive-through.
The button factor
Some people did not make up their minds until the first day of the convention. MP Mylène Freeman said, “It’s easy to remain neutral when you don’t know who you are voting for.” Before the final vote, Freeman had a Mulcair button, which pleased her boyfriend, David DesBaillets, a volunteer on Muclair’s campaign. One delegate, Rob Shostak, quipped that he had a few specific criteria in terms of swaying his vote: candidates had to be bilingual, which he says eliminated Paul Dewar, and they had to have a button at the convention, which eliminated Niki Ashton. Bonus points went to Peggy Nash for having the biggest button.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM - 0 Comments
The Globe finds six NDP MPs who were elected on the cheap.
Another one of the NDP no-spenders is Philip Toone, a lawyer and a first-time MP for Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine. “I had me and my orange tie,” Mr. Toone remembered, saying he relied on word-of-mouth to spread news of his campaign. “Miracles are rare.”
Mr. Toone didn’t put up lawn signs or billboards and recorded no campaign expenses – though he did make note of $12.50 in auditing work that was marked as received in August, four months after the election.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 10:59 AM - 3 Comments
In the current print edition there are a couple thousands words on four of the youngest NDP MPs: Matthew Dube, Charmaine Borg, Mylene Freeman and Lauren Liu. (The video above seems to have been recorded by a CBC interviewer the day after Ms. Borg was elected.)
At one point in the process I had a bracketed note that I ended up deleting which ventured that it was nice to hear more laughter (easy and at no one else’s expense) on the Hill because this place could use more joy. That’s maybe a bit too earnest for print, but I’d probably stand by the general idea if asked now.
Here, for the sake of comparison, is how a reporter from the McGill Daily saw it when he came to visit.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 8:00 AM - 4 Comments
A new crop of young NDP MPs are out to show they can deliver for their constituents
At ten to eight on a Wednesday morning, he is aboard one of Parliament Hill’s small green buses, on his way to the first meeting of the day, the weekly gathering of the NDP’s Quebec MPs. He is wearing a suit and he’s carrying a coffee and a Danish. Around him there are other men. Men in suits on the way to meetings of their own. Only they are all twice his age.
After this meeting there’s another meeting—the weekly gathering of the ofﬁcial Opposition caucus. Then a walk back to his office, down the Hill to the Justice Building beside the Supreme Court. Then back up the Hill for lunch with a reporter in Centre Block’s ornate restaurant. Then a meeting of the all-party arts caucus. Then question period. Then a meeting of the standing committee on public accounts to hear testimony from the interim auditor general. Then dinner at the NDP’s weekly pub night. Then a meeting of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association. Then back to the pub, where he won’t look particularly out of place among the hordes of young staff who quietly keep Ottawa running.