By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 0 Comments
Some MP hotspots
While MPs can plug their laptops into an Internet connection at…
Some MP hotspots
While MPs can plug their laptops into an Internet connection at their House of Commons desks, there is no WiFi so they employ a patchwork of solutions. NDP MP Glenn Thibeault uses his BlackBerry to create a WiFi hotspot so he can use his iPad. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt keeps her speeches and all her question period notes on an iPad with 3G capabilities. Heritage Minister James Moore uses his iPhone to create a WiFi hotspot; he still uses paper for QP. Tech-savvy Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board, does a paperless QP with his iPad. When his Treasury Board meets, they all work off iPads specially outfitted for security. Security is the big WiFi holdup for MPs. Heather Bradley, director of communications in Speaker Andrew Scheer’s office, notes: “There is a project, in the very early stages, to securely introduce WiFi technology within key areas where MPs conduct business on the Hill. There is no specific timeline available at the moment.” Perhaps one day the rest of the Hill can catch up to that vanguard of cutting-edge technology—the Senate. Currently the only WiFi on the Hill is in the Red Chamber.
Why the Peace Tower went white
Last week the Peace Tower went white for a day. “It’s very rare,” says Marjory LeBreton, leader of the government in the Senate, who has been on the Hill since the ’60s when she worked with John Diefenbaker. She said that because the parts of the Peace Tower exposed to the outside are not heated, an extreme shift in temperature can turn the stone white. Last week’s jump from freezing to 11.6˚ C set everything in motion. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 1:52 PM - 8 Comments
When Jack Layton’s casket leaves Parliament Hill momentarily, the Peace Tower carillon will ring O Canada, Imagine (by John Lennon) and the Dominion March. The Dominion March was composed in 1898 by Phillip Layton, Mr. Layton’s grandfather. Phillip is noted in this piece by John Geddes and this entry from the Canadian Encyclopedia.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 12:41 PM - 31 Comments
Shortly after the bells chimed to signal three-quarters past nine—after the Prime Minister had gone to Rideau Hall and after the Governor General had formally dropped the writs—Michael Ignatieff walked out from under the Peace Tower and stepped into the sun.
He wore a bright red scarf atop a long black coat. A dozen Liberal MPs walked alongside him. It was cold, but bright. A row of television cameras and television characters awaited. “We’re here today, a beautiful spring day, a little chilly, but you can feel spring is coming,” Mr. Ignatieff said after arriving at his appointed podium. “The Harper winter will soon be over.”
His retinue chuckled.
“We’re here in front of a symbol of our democracy. And we’re here to start our campaign. And it started because yesterday, in this place behind us, for the first time in our history, a Prime Minister was found guilty by the House of Commons of contempt for our parliamentary institutions. And that’s why we’re having an election,” Mr. Ignatieff clarified. “So this election is not just an exercise in democracy, it’s about democracy.”
Indeed, an hour earlier, Mr. Ignatieff had released a statement entitled “Rules of Democracy.”
“We will be asking Canadians to choose between a Prime Minister that shows scant respect for our institutions,” Mr. Ignatieff continued, “and a Liberal team that believes profoundly that the first thing you expect of a government is respect for democratic principle.”
And on that call to a minimum standard of acceptable behaviour does the 2011 election campaign thus begin.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM - 1 Comment
One of the indisputably finer experiences in Ottawa is to walk out of Centre Block’s main doors on a Friday at noon, having perhaps sat through that morning’s session of Question Period, to hear the Peace Tower Carillon ringing an end to another week with, say, Estudios, Op. 31, nos. 2, 3, 4, by Fernando Sor.
And so one of indisputably brilliant moments of Canada Day next month will apparently be when the carillon—as part of a CBC Radio 2 project—plays a CanRock classic of the nation’s choosing.