By Aaron Wherry - Friday, March 30, 2012 - 0 Comments
The signature promise of Jim Flaherty’s latest budget was proposed four years ago by the NDP’s Pat Martin.
“There is no business case for continuing to produce the penny. Making cents in fact makes no sense at all,” Martin said.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM - 0 Comments
Bob Rae and Ralph Goodale weren’t impressed with the NDP’s approach to QP yesterday. The NDP’s Pat Martin and Jean Crowder weren’t impressed with Messrs Rae and Goodale.
Bob Rae Took the NDP half an hour to ask about 2500 workers losing their jobs – I guess that what a “move to the centre” is all about.
Ralph Goodale Cons glib answers abt AirCda+Aveos killing jobs are shameful. Only thing worse – NDP ignored the issue til 15th question in QP.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM - 0 Comments
This morning, the Prime Minister’s press secretary tweeted a response.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 5:56 PM - 0 Comments
Last week, she recounted, Mr. Harper had said that only the Liberal party had been involved with American firms to facilitate its telephone campaigning. Alas, she explained, it turned out the Conservative party—or at least some of its candidates—had done likewise. Would the Prime Minister admit that he was wrong? she wondered. And, furthermore, would he admit that the Conservative party had made fraudulent calls?
The Prime Minister was unmoved. “Mr. Speaker, I gave clear answers regarding the activities of the Conservative party of Canada,” he professed. “All this information has been available to Elections Canada since the beginning. Now is the time for the opposition, which has spent millions of dollars to make hundreds of thousands of phone calls, to give all its information to Elections Canada.”
Ms. Turmel tried again. Mr. Harper, switching to English, repeated himself.
“Of course,” he assured, “I answered questions very clearly about the activities of the Conservative party of Canada. Those calls are all very well documented. All that documentation is available to Elections Canada, and has been available since the beginning. What is not available is all of the information that is coming from the opposition, the NDP in particular. There is a complete lack of transparency on the hundreds of thousands of calls that they made. They should give that information to Elections Canada.”
If the government’s implication was not obvious as yet, the Prime Minister’s dutiful parliamentary secretary made matters clear a moment later. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 6:32 PM - 0 Comments
“Mr. Speaker, yesterday on CBC, the Prime Minister’s parliamentary secretary said the Conservative party was investigating the allegations of election fraud. An hour later, on Sun TV, he said the Conservatives were not conducting an investigation,” the interim leader of the opposition recounted. “Could the Prime Minister tell us which it is? Are the Conservatives investigating, yes or no?”
Could the Prime Minister? Theoretically speaking, yes. Would he? Practically speaking, no.
“Mr. Speaker, the Conservative party has made available, from the beginning, all information to Elections Canada,” Mr. Harper said. “The Conservative party can say absolutely, definitively, it has no role in any of this.”
On what basis can the government say this? It is difficult to say.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, February 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM - 0 Comments
“Canadians demand answers. They deserve better than another five-year runaround by the Prime Minister before their next inevitable guilty plea. The Prime Minister has it within his power to get to the bottom of this today, to identify the guilty parties and to ensure that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” he ventured, “or the Prime Minister will have proven that in no time at all he has become exactly that which he used to loathe.”
He stretched the vowel sound of this last word for the sake of indignation. Seated across the way, making a rare Monday appearance, the Prime Minister noticeably bounced in his spot with a guffaw. He chuckled again a moment later when Nycole Turmel suggested special by-elections might soon be in order.
The opposition members, their outrage pent up after four days of allegation and accusation, could not contain themselves. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM - 0 Comments
Here is some of Pat Martin’s opening statement to reporters this afternoon on the subject of fraudulent calls made during the last federal campaign.
Voter suppression techniques are commonplace in the United States with high-priced consulting firms specializing in sabotaging elections. But I don’t think anybody really expected a Canadian political party to stoop so low that we didn’t take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from it.
This could mean the end of the age of innocence in Canadian electoral campaigns. Elections Canada stated that these phoney phone calls deliberately disrupted the voting process. How is this different from a bunch of goons with clubs blocking the door to a voter station as we’ve seen in Third World countries or the deep south of the United States? Because the net effect is the same: you are sabotaging the ability of people to exercise their democratic right to cast their ballot in a federal election. In my view there can be no more serious crime, nor a more heinous affront to democracy.
Too many brave Canadians died fighting for the right to have fair and clean and free elections in this country to let this go unchallenged at the highest possible order. My father didn’t go to war to fight for democracy only to have some sleazy punk in an American-style black ops department run roughshod over it and undermine its integrity.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 10:33 AM - 0 Comments
Add the ‘in and out’ scheme of defrauding spending limits to the phoney phone calls in 18 or more ridings, and you might question CPC’s 39%
When the Con’s said they’d be different from the Libs, some people thought they meant they’d be MORE ethical, not less.
I for one, wish the Conservatives would fix Health care, not elections. These are seriously bad people
Yup. Fix Health Care Not Elections. That’s my new bumper sticker. In fact replace ‘Health Care’ with your choice…’Pensions?’
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Last week, the NDP criticized Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu after Mr. Boisvenu suggested convicted murders be given rope and allowed to decide for themselves whether they wanted to live. Pat Martin referred to the Senator using a bad word.
On Monday, Conservative MP Greg Rickford rose before Question Period and reported those events to the House as follows.
The NDP wants to silence victims, urging a well-known victims’ advocate to stop speaking out about Canada’s justice system.
Mr. Martin has now apologized for his curse.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 3:50 PM - 67 Comments
The Federal Court has ruled that the government’s attempt to reform the Canadian Wheat Board violates the legislation that governs the board.
In a ruling today, Federal Court Judge Douglas Campbell said the government violated the Canadian Wheat Board Act by not holding a vote among farmers before introducing legislation eliminating the Wheat Board’s monopoly position. Judge Campbell admonished the government for not consulting with farmers and “simply pushing ahead” with plans to essentially abolish the board. “Had a meaningful consultative process been engaged to find a solution which meets the concerns of the majority, the present legal action might not have been necessary,” the judge ruled. He added that the government had to be “held accountable for [its] disregard for the rule of law.”
During QP this afternoon, the NDP’s Pat Martin suggested that perhaps the Goldring precedent—removing oneself from caucus on the allegation that one broke the law—should apply here.
By Mitchel Raphael - Friday, November 25, 2011 at 3:11 PM - 0 Comments
Maclean’s 5th annual Parliamentarians of the Year Awards ceremony at the Fairmont Château Laurier. …
Maclean’s 5th annual Parliamentarians of the Year Awards ceremony at the Fairmont Château Laurier. See winners here.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 3:42 PM - 0 Comments
The government’s investments weren’t as advertised, but the future looks expensive. Supply management was put on the table and duly debated. The Royal Society asked us to think about euthanasia, but no one wanted to talk about it. The Conservative party has some reimbursements it might return. The NDP got set to debate itself as the contenders peddled their thoughts. The Liberals offered to realign the House at no extra expense. And a multi-party committee came together to consider matters of life and death. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 18, 2011 at 4:03 PM - 21 Comments
Speaking with reporters after QP this morning, Pat Martin claims a kind of victory.
I think it’s great that Canadians are engaged in a subject like the integrity of their Parliamentary democracy. I’ve never seen so many people talking about the value of Parliament since the Charlottetown Accord … I think it’s great that Canadians are engaged in a subject like the integrity of their Parliamentary democracy. I’ve never seen so many people talking about the value of Parliament since the Charlottetown Accord…
It’s a very fragile balance. The whole institution of Parliament is a very fragile construct. Both players have to stipulate themselves to a set of rules to make it work. The Conservatives have to cooperate and consult and to accommodate the legitimate concerns of Opposition or it’s going to go up like a tinderbox. We have to keep a lid on it because it is worth fighting for. Sometimes civility is sacrificed but today this is a very heated debate. We’re dealing with closure yet again in the Canadian Wheat Board. Emotions are going to rise unless the Conservatives back off and cooperate a little bit.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, November 18, 2011 at 12:54 PM - 61 Comments
Via Twitter, Conservative backbencher Stephen Woodworth is profoundly saddened by Pat Martin.
Isn’t the real question whether Pat Martin’s foul language was momentary lack of self-control or reflecting ordinary quality of thought?
Is whether one responds to frustration and defeat constructively or destructively an indicator of character?
Whatever happened to “My friends, love is better than anger”(or hopes to that effect).Perhaps PMartin didn’t get that memo
Perhaps politicians who don’t tweet & act consistently with “love is better than anger” should apologize to the memory of JLayton
This is the not the first time a Conservative has invoked Mr. Layton’s final words to scold a New Democrat.
By macleans.ca - Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM - 7 Comments
NDP member dropped F-bombs on Tories
Winnipeg MP Pat Martin, one of the NDP’s most prominent members in the Commons, refused to apologize on Thursday for a slur he tweeted against the Harper government on Wednesday, after the Tories shut down debate on a budget bill, the Globe and Mail reports. “This is a f–ing disgrace… closure again. And on the Budget! There’s not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot s–,” read the tweet. Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel appeared to stand by Martin’s Twitter utterings, noting in a statement that, “his language was not appropriate and could have been offensive to some,” but also that “the Conservatives’ actions are not appropriate in a democracy and offensive to all Canadians.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:30 PM - 22 Comments
“What I say to my private universe is an expression of what I am really feeling and I don’t apologize for that. I don’t retract it. It is a f—ing disgrace, what they’re doing. They’re running roughshod over everything that is good and decent about our parliamentary democracy and Canadians should be outraged and their elected representatives on their behalf should be outraged.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 8:59 PM - 78 Comments
Via Twitter, the NDP MP reacts to the government’s latest move to limit debate in the House.
This is a fucking disgrace…closure again. And on the Budget! There’s not a democracy in the world that would tolerate this jackboot shit
For gods sake. In these uncertain economic times, don’t you think our parliament should be debating our federal budget? Some due diligence?
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 7:39 PM - 28 Comments
The Scene. Tony Clement, his suit tightly buttoned up, arrived at precisely 3:30pm in the appointed room where the public accounts committee was scheduled to demand some kind of public accountability of him. The next hour and 45 minutes would mostly be spent trying to explain why there was little reason to be there.
He did not sit at the far end of the table alone. Beside him sat John Baird, the Foreign Affairs Minister who now officially splits his time between representing this country on the world stage and speaking on Mr. Clement’s behalf in the House of Commons. Around the two cabinet ministers sat a total of four previously anonymous bureaucrats. To the left of this group sat no less than eight Conservative MPs, here as members of the committee (or rather, as would soon become clear, loyal representatives of the Conservative Party of Canada). Behind these Conservative MPs sat their dutiful aides. And in the area reserved for the spectators appeared to be still more professional supporters, including at least one young man from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Opposite the Conservative brigade sat four New Democrats, one Liberal, their own dutiful aides and, for whatever reason, Pat Martin. Later, Elizabeth May stopped by, though her attempt to ask a question was foiled after the debate about whether she was allowed to ran so long that there was no time left for her to actually do so.
“It is indeed a pleasure to be here,” Mr. Clement said by way of opening. The rest was smiles and laughs and sighing. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 6:39 PM - 0 Comments
Martin Singh touted himself as the pro-business candidate. Thomas Mulcair touted himself as Stephen Harper’s nightmare and a man who can say no to organized labour. Paul Dewar unveiled his urban agenda and worked the room in Toronto. And Peggy Nash joined the race with two objectives.
There was yet another reason to question the purchase of new F-35s. David Anderson tried to explain the Canadian Wheat Board with a cartoon. More emails meant more questions for Tony Clement, which Deepak Obhrai and Pierre Poilievre promptly threw themselves in front of. Stephen Harper worried about the global economy. And the government pledged to destroy all traces of the long-gun registry, while the Victims Ombudsman defended the registry’s usefulness. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 8:45 PM - 1 Comment
Picking up where the House left off last Wednesday, Gerry Ritz suggested this afternoon, in response to a question from the NDP MP, that Pat Martin had a “lingering case of beaver fever.”
Mr. Martin then suggested that Mr. Ritz probably didn’t know much about beaver fever because he was a “failed ostrich jockey.”
Mr. Ritz then observed that farming ostrich allowed him “the opportunity to get used to working with lesser life forms” much like he sees “sometimes on the floor of the House of Commons.”
The Speaker deemed all of this “unhelpful.”
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 3 Comments
A few weeks ago, the official opposition suggested a difference of opinion on the government side perhaps indicated that the Prime Minister had “lost control of his caucus.”
Yesterday, with a difference of opinion on the opposition side, the government sent up Rob Merrifield to declare the NDP was consequently unfit to govern.
Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on what really matters to Canadians; that is, creating jobs, creating economic growth. Instead of working with us, the NDP caucus members have become so disunited that they are contradicting each other on important issues that are important to Canada, particularly, western Canada.
Yesterday, the NDP leader tried to argue, wrongly, that Parliament could not amend legislation that would give farmers marketing freedom. One of her own colleagues, the member Winnipeg Centre, said that he actually did not buy her argument. Now, I seldom agree with him, but on this one I do. In fact, he recognized that our legislation can give farmers the freedom that they are asking for. Unfortunately, his leader does not agree with him.
This contradictory position from the NDP is just yet another worrying example of how weak and disunited the NDP is and that it is nowhere even close to being fit to govern.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 12 Comments
Speaking with reporters after QP yesterday, Pat Martin explains himself.
Well, you can never go wrong according to Margaret Atwood and she made a presentation in 1987 to a parliamentary committee on the free-trade agreement, where she in fact invoked the legend that a beaver, when threatened, will in fact bite off its own testicles and present them to its tormentor. I now know it isn’t true as I’ve actually trapped beavers in the Yukon territory, helped trappers trap beavers and apparently the story started because beavers are one of the only mammals that carry their genitals – their male genitals within themselves. There’s no exterior presence as it were.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 8:47 PM - 48 Comments
The Scene. Time, once again, to yell about the Canadian Wheat Board.
The first sign that this afternoon would not pass without shouting was the Prime Minister’s right fist, bobbing up and down in front of him as he asserted that “Western Canadian farmers have long been looking for the freedom to market their grain, just like farmers in Quebec and other parts of eastern Canada have, and we are going to give them that freedom.”
This was but the end of his first answer and already he was gesturing forcefully. Usually, at this point, he is all shrugs and up-turned palms. But there would be no conciliatory hand movements this day.
Nycole Turmel stood here and insisted on reading what is written on some piece of paper somewhere. Continue…
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 - Friday, September 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM - 2 Comments
Romeo Saganash is leaving open the possibility of a run for the NDP leadership and Karl Belanger, Jack Layton’s press secretary, is being urged to consider entering the race, but Thomas Mulcair says he’ll stay out if a vote is set for January.
“If what some people seemed to be angling for, which was January, if that ever came to pass, you know, I’d just continue working very hard to do the best we could, but I would never be part of something where there wouldn’t be a level playing field,” he said Friday…
“I have some very strong support for an eventual shot at it from my Quebec colleagues, and I’m honoured and thrilled at that but I’ve also got to build in the rest of Canada,” Mulcair said in an interview Friday. “We’ve got to have time to meet with people, to connect with them, to say who we are, what we do, and that can only be done with a campaign that would be similar to the ’02-03 campaign, which was a 7 1/2-month campaign.”
Mr. Mulcair, along with Pat Martin and Peter Stoffer, also quibbles with setting aside votes for labour unions.