By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 0 Comments
To the previous tallies of Conservative MPs who say they won’t be using their office budgets to distribute the Conservative mailout attacking Justin Trudeau, you can add Scott Armstrong, Ron Cannan, Patricia Davidson, Joe Preston, Ed Holder, Susan Truppe, Gerald Keddy, Peter MacKay and Greg Kerr.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM - 0 Comments
After two proposed amendments were passed and one defeated, C-377 passed the House last night by a vote of 147-135. Five Conservatives voted against: Brent Rathgeber, Mike Allen, Patricia Davidson, Ben Lobb and Rodney Weston.
Russ Hiebert, the bill’s sponsor, insists the bill is constitutional, but the privacy commissioner still has concerns.
We believe that the amendments to the bill are a step in the right direction for privacy. However, we continue to have privacy concerns about the proposed legislation. For example, even with the amendments, the names and exact salaries of union officials earning more than $100,000 a year would be publicly disclosed. This is less privacy protective than the public disclosure requirements for registered charities in Canada, which Commissioner Stoddart has highlighted as model for balancing transparency objectives with protection of privacy.
The commissioner’s office also passes along her statement to the finance committee and a follow-up letter to the committee from the commissioner. The full transcript of the commissioner’s appearance is here.
The NDP’s Alexandre Boulerice, meanwhile, is generally unimpressed. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM - 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 - Monday, September 17, 2012 at 10:30 AM - 0 Comments
The Canadian Press rounds up Conservative MPs who have been dealing with concerns about budget cuts.
Across Canada, other MPs have been dealing with staffing and service reductions at Via Rail stations. Some stations now go unstaffed, raising complaints from disabled passengers who say they can’t get on the train without assistance. The budget announced $41.2 million in cuts to Via over three years.
Sarnia-Lambton MP Patricia Davidson took the issue up with Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for transport, two weeks ago. ”We’re trying to see if we cannot get this changed around,” Davidson told the Sarnia Observer. “All the VIA changes are pretty upsetting to the community and to all of us.”
See previously: The quiet cuts
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM - 0 Comments
As the Member of Parliament for a community that has been dealing with the impacts of asbestos for many years now, I am pleased with the actions of the Government of Canada to transition the Asbestos region of Quebec away from asbestos production and to allow the placing of this product on the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.
Furthermore, I wish to congratulate Minister of Industry Christian Paradis for taking a bold and decisive step in reversing a 4-decade old policy held by the Government of Canada that was supported by various governing parties. I have no doubt that this announcement will be supported in Sarnia-Lambton and in fact across Canada by all Canadians, who will feel this decision is the right and responsible choice to make.
Via Twitter, Les Perreaux points out that, despite what the Harper government is saying today, the Parti Quebecois hasn’t promised to “prohibit” the asbestos industry, it has said it would cancel a government loan for the Jeffrey Mine. I’ve corrected my post below.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 5:31 PM - 0 Comments
Add Patricia Davidson to those Conservative MPs calling for a moratorium on wind turbines in Ontario.
“We know that there’s a tremendous amount of concern in the community,” Davidson said. That’s why MPs in southwestern and eastern Ontario pushed Health Canada for a study, she said. “In the meantime, I think that it makes perfect sense for all of us to just sit back and wait and see what the results are.”
Suncor Energy is proposing to build the Cedar Point Wind Power Project, which could see as many as 62 wind turbines placed in Plympton-Wyoming, Lambton Shores and Warwick Township as early as 2013. More turbines are proposed for other projects in Lambton Shores and neighbouring Middlesex and Huron county’s. “If all of these turbines go ahead and we find that there are health issues,” Davidson said, “then that’s really putting the horse before the cart. I think we need to have the results first.”
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 - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM - 0 Comments
The local NDP campaign reports phone calls with incorrect voting information in Windsor West.
Kieran McKenzie, one of Masse’s campaign managers, said at the time, he didn’t know what to make of all the people complaining about late night calls from his team or calls with inaccurate information about polling stations. When the larger scandal hit the news, he said he started connecting the dots.
The Observer and Conservative MP Patricia Davidson report calls in Sarnia-Lambton.
“We did have some calls reported to us that (voters) were (directed) to a place that wasn’t even an address,” she said Monday. “It wasn’t coming from us. I don’t know who were doing the calls. We reported them to Elections Canada.” The Observer was aware of one misleading call made during the 2011 election. A St. Clements, Ont. resident contacted the newspaper after tracing back to a Sarnia-Lambton number an automated message that provided a wrong polling station. The voice mail identified the number as belonging to the Conservative Party.
And the NDP points to a report in Prince George-Peace River.
The NDP noted that a radio station in Dawson Creek, CJDC, reported on election day last year that voters “may have received a call yesterday advising them their polling station changed. Elections Canada wants to advise voters these calls are not from them and they do not know who is calling voters.”
Ms. Davidson becomes the first Conservative MP to report calls with incorrect polling station information.
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 - Friday, June 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM - 3 Comments
The Conservative backbencher pushed her government to reconsider its support of the asbestos industry.
“The myopic policy of supporting the asbestos industry without fail must be viewed rationally and scientifically, and from both viewpoints the current policy our government supports falls well short,” she told Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis on March 25, 2010…
“In my view, this is not a partisan political issue, nor is it an issue where electoral politics should trump human health concerns that are truly at issue with the policy,” she stated.