By The Canadian Press - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – A Conservative MP says anti-abortion activists need to support political candidates who…
OTTAWA – A Conservative MP says anti-abortion activists need to support political candidates who share their views if they want abortion laws changed.
Rob Anders, a self-described pro-life Tory, says members of Parliament who have taken stands against abortion will face an uphill battle to retain party nominations going into the next general election in 2015.
And he told a March for Life rally in Ottawa today that activists should recruit people to get involved in nomination meetings.
The call comes as organizers of the protest march accuse Prime Minister Stephen Harper of shutting down any debate on abortion. Continue…
By Charlie Gillis - Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM - 0 Comments
Jenna Talackova failed to win the Miss Universe crown, but she inspired many
Fairest of the fair
Jenna Talackova may have failed to win the Miss Universe crown, but she inspired transgendered people with her battle to compete. The Vancouverite, who had sex-change surgery at 19, was disqualified because she was not a “naturally born” woman, as per pageant rules. She threatened to sue before contest owner Donald Trump intervened on the basis that she was a legally recognized female in Canada (surely Trump’s most sensible public statement all year). Talackova went on to win Miss Congeniality.
Watch in 2013 for the erasure of Bo Xilai from the official history of the Chinese Communist Party. The former party chief in Chongqing was seen as a potential president before his wife, Gu Kailai, was implicated last spring in the murder of a British businessman and the family’s corrupt dealings were exposed for all in China to see. Now, with Gu convicted, Bo facing bribery charges and with public anger over corruption on the rise in China, the party is denying he had much influence to begin with.
Conservative MP Rob Anders, a reliable contender for space on this page in past years, outdid himself in 2012 by claiming that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair “helped hasten” Jack Layton’s death. The Calgary MP, known for sleeping in the Commons and for dismissing Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, told a reporter that Mulcair implicitly pressured the cancer-stricken Layton to relinquish the NDP leadership in the run-up to the 2011 election—a theory the Prime Minister’s Office quickly disavowed. Anders wound up grovelling to Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow. But his apologies weren’t enough for some. One Calgary man started an online petition to have Anders removed from the Tory caucus. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, November 5, 2012 at 8:43 PM - 0 Comments
A tribute dinner was held to honour Conservative Senator Doug Finley at the War…
A tribute dinner was held to honour Conservative Senator Doug Finley at the War Museum. Proceeds went to the Scottish Society of Ottawa.
By Charlie Gillis and Scaachi Koul - Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
Sept 27-Oct 4, 2012: Anne Hathaway gets hitched, the Supreme Court adds one to the bench, and a new Oscar host
All eyes at this year’s Academy Awards will be on Seth MacFarlane, named this week as host of the extravaganza in what can only be described as an off-the-chart choice. MacFarlane is best known as the brains behind the raunchy animated satire Family Guy—a hit among college-aged males and not exactly a brand of humour associated with the air-kissed pomp of Oscar night. Critics accused the Academy of pandering to younger viewers. But it turns out MacFarlane is an accomplished singer and a sought-after talk-show guest. He’s also showing a sense of occasion. “The challenge will be to keep it funny, keep it lively and stay true to what it is I do,” he said, “but at the same time adapt to the tone of this event.”
Speaking from experience
Stephen Barton, a survivor of last summer’s mass shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colo., is starring in a compelling new ad asking both presidential candidates to come up with a plan for gun control. In it, Barton sits in an empty theatre and talks about surviving gunshots to the face and neck. “Forty-eight thousand Americans won’t be so lucky,” he continues, “because they’ll be murdered with guns in the next president’s term.” The ad is airing on local television in Colorado, and Washington, D.C., and on national cable as part of a campaign funded by United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group appears to be getting traction: more than 250,000 have signed its petition for legislative action.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 1:46 PM - 0 Comments
Rob Anders is circulating a petition that suggests Bill C-279, which deals with extending human rights protection to transgendered individuals, is “intended to give transgendered men access to women’s public washroom facilities.” This argument has been raised by opponents of the bill before—here is Conservative MP Dean Allison raising it during debate on a previous version of the legislation.
I think it’s just an alarmist argument from people who do not support extending human rights coverage to a very marginalized group and a group that suffers discrimination in our society. There’s nothing in the bill that will legalize assault, sexual assault, exhibitionism, voyeurism, harassment – any of those kinds of things. What’s inappropriate and illegal in a women’s washroom or a gendered space remains illegal and inappropriate. There’s nothing in this bill that would contemplate changing that …
The reality now is that transsexual people – people who have gone through the sex change process – we already share washrooms with, and we already share washrooms with transgendered people, and most of us aren’t doing a gender check on everybody who’s in the bathroom. If the bathroom is being used appropriately, it’s not an issue. The other reality is that I know of no jurisdiction that has changed the law to establish full human rights for transgendered and transsexual people that has seen change in what happens in bathrooms in terms of criminal behaviour I can’t find any evidence that that happens. If someone can show me some, fine, but I’ve never found any, and no one who has raised this issue has ever been able to point out that those kinds of things happening.
C-279 passed at second reading in June with 14 Conservative MPs voting in favour.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 3:48 PM - 0 Comments
“If I was Mr. Harper, he would be gone, out of the Conservative Party in a heartbeat. That kind of attitude, that kind of comment, that’s insane. That is a disgrace to not only Mr. Mulcair but to the legacy of Mr. Layton. Think about how Olivia Chow must feel. That is just absolutely cold-hearted … I could say it stronger than that, but what a complete dickhead. He should be removed from Parliament altogether,” Stoffer said.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM - 0 Comments
Olivia Chow’s statement to reporters, delivered just before Question Period.
I appreciate Mr. Anders’ concern of Jack’s health and his death. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to make Jack live longer. So to all conspiracy theorists, cancer is unpredictable, is vicious and it kills. Let’s put aside the theories and let’s work for a cure of cancer.
Unity and loyalty are in the DNA of the New Democrats. Like all the other NDP members of parliament, Tom Mulcair loved Jack. We’d rather put all our energy in fighting for a better world, a better Canada, and not stab each other in the back.
I do accept Rob Anders’ apology.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 1, 2012 at 10:07 AM - 0 Comments
In an interview with iPolitics, the Conservative MP decides he is both an NDP insider and a doctor.
“I actually think one of the great stories that was missed by journalists was that Mr. Mulcair, with his arm twisted behind the scenes, helped to hasten Jack Layton’s death,” he said. “It was very clear to me watching the two of those gentlemen in the front benches, that Jack Layton was ill and that Mr. Mulcair was making it quite obvious that if Jack wasn’t well enough to fight the campaign and fight the election that he should step aside, and that because of that, Mr. Layton put his life at risk to go into the national election, and fight it, and did obviously an amazing job considering his state of health, and that he did that partly because of the arm-twisting behind the scenes by Mulcair and then subsequently died.”
Question: So you think that if that hadn’t existed, Layton would have taken a back seat, rested in some way? “He would have taken more heed of his health. He might not have rushed into that election campaign with somebody with a knife in his back.”
Unless Mr. Anders knows something we don’t, the known timeline is as follows: Jack Layton was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2010. He underwent hip surgery to repair a small fracture on March 4, 2011. Three weeks later, in the lead-up to the 2011 election, he pronounced himself fit for a campaign and said his PSA level was “virtually at an undetectable level.” He proceeded with that campaign and seemed to improve as it went on. The vote was held on May 2. In late June 2011, he began to feel sore and stiff (see this story for details). On July 20, 2011, he was diagnosed with a new form of cancer.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman says Mr. Anders’ comments do not reflect the opinion of the Prime Minister or the Harper government.
Update 12:35pm. And here is the apology.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM - 0 Comments
In celebrating Norman Bethune, Tony Clement at least has company in the likes of Chuck Strahl, Michael Chong, Lawrence Cannon and Gary Goodyear. Last year, the Canadian Mint released a commemorative coin to mark the 75th anniversary of Dr. Bethune’s invention of the blood transfusion vehicle. In 2007, the Harper government created the Norman Bethune Health Research Scholarships Program that allows for Chinese students to pursue PhDs in Canada.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 12:11 PM - 1 Comment
Charlie Angus brought attention to Attawapiskat. Justin Trudeau quizzed Peter Kent, who spoke of treachery and dismissed himself. Rob Anders napped. Bob Rae was named parliamentarian of the year. Rob Merrifield and John Weston were dutiful partisans. Two New Democrats tried to sing along. Patrick Brown allowed that all MPs love Canada. Rick Dykstra segued. The NDP turned up new emails in the G8 Legacy Fund affair and Tony Clement pleaded his innocence. Jason Kenney brought props. And MPs debated disturbances in the House.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM - 18 Comments
That dozens of uninvolved MPs are made to sit through Question Period each afternoon solely for the purposes of clapping and filling out the cameraframe regularly strikes me as a terrible waste of their valuable time. Time that could, for instance, be put to use for the purposes of catching up on sleep.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM - 1 Comment
In an effort to correct a historical oversight, the portrait of the ninth Prime…
In an effort to correct a historical oversight, the portrait of the ninth Prime Minister, Arthur Meighen, was officially hung. While the portrait has been up in Centre Block for decades, Meighen never got an official dedication ceremony, an oversight discovered by historian Arthur Milnes, while he was working on a revised book of Meighen speeches, Unrevised and Unrepented II. Below, former PM Joe Clark (left) and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon in front of the portrait.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 10:51 AM - 51 Comments
Rob Anders explains why he signed a greeting card to Canadian soldiers with the inscription, “When in doubt, pull the trigger.”
In an interview, Anders conceded he left the message on the card, arguing “it’s a common military expression” that isn’t meant to alarm anyone. ”It’s just another way of saying keep safe and defend yourself,” he told the Calgary Herald, believing the issue is being overblown.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 9:21 AM - 46 Comments
Jim Prentice says there’s no need to have the auditor general review MP expenses. Jack Layton’s spokesman says it doesn’t make sense to have the auditor general review expenses. Pat Martin says it is time to open the books. Rob Anders says it’s inevitable. Shawn Murphy says it’s time for MPs to talk it over with the AG and decide the parameters of an audit.
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 Nicholas Köhler - Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM - 0 Comments
He was an immigrant success, a political star. What happened?
Last week, an email began making the rounds of the Tory BlackBerry circuit. Titled “Laugh of the day,” it consisted of two sentences pulled from an Edmonton Journal story detailing the arrest, on Sept. 11, of former Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, whom police have charged with drunk driving and cocaine possession: “Edmonton MLA Thomas Lukaszuk knew Jaffer well and said he never saw him intoxicated in any way,” ran the excerpt. “ ‘I knew him to be a religious person,’ Lukaszuk said.”
The email’s recipients considered the quote droll because Jaffer, though almost universally loved among parliamentarians of all political stripes, is known to enjoy a drink. “He’s very hard not to like, although everyone acknowledges his shortcomings,” says another. “I think many people would say Rahim was the life of the party,” says Calgary Tory MP Rob Anders, a long-time colleague. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, March 27, 2009 at 1:53 PM - 26 Comments
Don Martin is not a fan of Rob Anders.
“Canada’s worst MP will fight for his political life again this weekend. His dubious stature is obviously a personal judgment call on my behalf, but Calgary West MP Rob Anders is an outsider even inside his own party. Raise his name with Conservative MPs and they wrinkle their nose like they’ve just taken a big whiff of the stuff spring uncovers in an off-leash dog-walking area.”
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 11:01 AM - 11 Comments
Towards the end of the Tories’ first caucus meeting following the holiday break, staffers…
Towards the end of the Tories’ first caucus meeting following the holiday break, staffers were seen bringing hot pizzas into the room as journalists outside the door salivated.
Earlier, a cart with All Bran bars and peanut-free chocolate chip Chewy bars was seen going in.
Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, shows off his environmentally friendly shopping bag.
Conservatives almost never use the mic set up on the Hill after caucus meetings. This time Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, used it to talk to the media. He was even on crutches.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 6:52 PM - 8,479 Comments
The Government of Canada appeals directly to your most juvenile impulses
The Scene. Question Period had begun and Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh was asking the government to account for the unwieldy matter of Julie Couillard and the upright citizens brigade in the Conservative back row was displeased.
“No one cares!” lamented Dean Del Mastro.
“Let’s talk about policy!” pleaded Ed Fast.
Just moments earlier, their seatmate, the reliably obedient Rick Dykstra, had tried to do just that. Here, from his member statement, was his take on environmental taxation, the politics and practicalities of distributing wealth across civil and economic lines and how best the federal government can balance short-term necessities with long-term social sustainability.
“There is an old saying that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” Dykstra reported, “but if the leader of the opposition formed government, if he imposed a carbon tax, our country would face a wall of darkness.”
By selley - Friday, April 25, 2008 at 12:12 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: …Colby Cosh and Rosie DiManno on Robert Baltovich; John Ibbitson on the Democratic
Rob Anders ain’t so bad
Not compared to Bob Rae, anyhow, or—shudder—Pierre Trudeau…
“To its credit,” Jeffrey Simpson writes in The Globe and Mail, “the national NDP was ahead some years ago in identifying climate change as a key issue.” The problem is what happened in the “some years” since. At the federal level, the Dippers “don’t want to touch a carbon tax … lest they be called tax-and-spenders” and lose support among carbon-belching unionized workers. And in British Columbia, the provincial NDP is busy opposing Gordon Campbell’s policies—which themselves “are so obvious and politically inoffensive as to be, well, yesterday’s”—in hopes of attracting votes in the “slow-growth or no-growth parts of the province.” It’s a losing strategy, Simpson assures us—but then, it wouldn’t be an NDP strategy if it wasn’t.
By selley - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 6:20 PM - 0 Comments
Must-reads: Andrew Cohen on anti-intellectualism in American politics; …James Travers on the in-and-out; Greg
Must-reads: Andrew Cohen on anti-intellectualism in American politics; James Travers on the in-and-out; Greg Weston on immigration myths; Don Martin on Rob Anders on China; Margaret Wente on the “wannabe Mountie.”
All eyes on the Keystone State
Pennsylvania’s gun nuts, God nuts and cheesesteak aficionados choose their Democratic presidential candidate tonight.
“If money were all that mattered in politics,” John Ibbitson writes in The Globe and Mail, “Mr. Obama would have sewn up this race months ago.” We’re sure Ibbitson’s told us on multiple occasions that Obama does have it sewn up, but that’s part of the irony, he suggests. “In Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, he has the money; [Hillary Clinton] has the machine.” Inner-city Philadelphia will almost certainly go for Obama, while rural Pennsylvania will almost certainly go for Clinton. The primary will really be decided in Philadelphia’s bedroom communities full of “Reagan Democrats,” Ibbitson predicts, whom Clinton is counting on. “And if they need a ride to the polls, [Pennsylvania Governor] Ed Rendell’s machine is happy to offer a lift.”
Andrew Cohen, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, bemoans the descent of the once high-toned Democratic race into old-fashioned class warfare. Obama “can’t bowl worth a damn and doesn’t seem to like Philly cheesesteaks,” he writes. “So, he’s an elitist. John McCain thinks so and he should know. He comes from military royalty … and is married to an heiress.” Clinton, a “graduate of Wellesley and Yale Law School who was named one of the 100 leading lawyers in America” and who’s worth $109 million (US), thinks so too. The irony of this obsession with anti-intellectualism, Cohen suggests, is that presidents of plutocratic stock tend to be “kinder to the poor than to the rich,” while “the soothing Ronald Reagan and the brush-clearing Mr. Bush cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans.”
The Toronto Sun‘s Peter Worthington, who’s been writing some terrific stuff lately, phones in a snoozy preview of tonight’s Pennsylvania primary. He does provide some comic relief, however, by mentioning “the influential Zolgy poll” that shows Obama narrowing Clinton’s lead. (It’s Zogby. Yeesh!)
In all their talk of “renegotiating” NAFTA, the Globe‘s Jeffrey Simpson says Obama and Clinton conveniently forget to mention that all signatories would have to agree to new provisions—and that they would bring their own grievances to the table. This is yet more evidence that both Democratic candidates are simply blowing smoke, Simpson writes, but that doesn’t mean we should sleep easy. “The more a candidate promises something, no matter how foolish, the more that groups that agree with the promise will try to hold the candidate to it if elected.”
Meanwhile, back in our pro-intellectual capital…
Tom Lukiwski got run through the wringer for weeks over his drunken homophobic rant, the Calgary Herald‘s Don Martin notes, while Rob Anders’ latest outburst—comparing China circa 2008 to Nazi Germany circa 1936—merits only a “dismissive shrug.” Lukiwski, like the rest of us, can only marvel at the buffoon’s longevity. And he is clever, no doubt, in holding onto his riding despite “pariah” status both in caucus and among his wealthy constituents. But the Conservatives’ stated reasons to resist legal attempts to oust Anders—that riding nominations are a “private matter”—just don’t wash with us. Clearly the MP for Calgary West has pictures of someone important doing something awful. We implore Don Martin to determine who and what.
Damage control in the wake of the RCMP raid on Tory headquarters will be particularly difficult, the Toronto Star‘s James Travers suggests, because “more Canadians now think they understand Conservatives”—just like they understood the Liberals in 2006. Even if Canada’s lunchbox types are “consumed … with daily life,” Travers argues, “they notice Harper hasn’t explained what was or wasn’t offered to Chuck Cadman,” they know firing nuclear watchdog Linda Keen was pure self-protection, and they know the promised era of openness and accountability in Ottawa has definitely not materialized. And they know, furthermore, Elections Canada’s warrant isn’t just some kind of partisan witch hunt.
Sun Media’s Greg Weston busts a series of myths about Canadian immigration, including at least one that the Tories could probably put to excellent use: “Myth: Professionals and other skilled workers get into Canada faster than any other category of immigrants. Fact: A fully trained foreign doctor will wait an average 68 months to enter Canada, roughly three times longer than a grandmother reuniting with family.”
The National Post‘s Jonathan Kay is intrigued by the trial of Naveed Afzal Hak, who shot six women at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle in 2006, killing one, and is now pleading insanity—a stark contrast to most accused terrorists, he suggests, who “vigorously shun the insanity label as an insult.” But Kay suggests insanity is actually the most logical justification for incarcerating “sworn jihadis.” “By their own admission, [they] believe that mysterious forces beyond human control require God’s servants to engage in indiscriminate slaughter,” he writes. “How is this different from the violent schizoid who gets locked away in an asylum for the rest of his life … for exactly the same reason, minus Allah?”
The Globe‘s Margaret Wente takes a closer look at Ali Tahmourpour, the wannabe Mountie who claims he was racially harassed at RCMP boot camp, and whose claim was recently upheld by a Human Rights Commission adjudicator. In the nine years since his ordeal, Wente notes, Tahmourpour “hasn’t held a job” despite qualifying as a real estate agent and a translator. Indeed, it seems he “has spent most of his adulthood in litigation,” which he claims explains the amount of white space on his C.V. “Mercifully, the adjudicator didn’t swallow that one,” Wente quips. “That’s why she awarded him only half a million dollars.”
On the occasion of Earth Day, the Financial Post‘s Terence Corcoran unpacks his grievances against retailers whose marketing reduces consumers “to being scolded and humiliated as undisciplined squanderers of money and resources.” It’s one thing for the self-righteous likes of Aritzia, Lululemon or Lush to badger their customers with anti-plastic bag campaigns and other eco-guilt trips, he argues, but The Bay is in no position to be pointing its grizzled finger at him. “To be told by a department store to ‘Walk to work’ is like being told by Swiss Chalet Chicken to ‘Eat beef,’” he writes, pointing to the HBC’s many locations in suburban mallscapes.
The Post‘s John Ivison files a quite affecting account of his life as a fan of Queen of the South, the woebegone Scottish soccer club now “emerging from the Wilderness Years (1919-2008)” to take on Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Cup Final next month.