By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, November 5, 2012 - 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 Aaron Wherry - Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 1:37 PM - 0 Comments
And John Geddes looks at how the Navigable Waters Protection Act relates to the environment.
Here’s perhaps the key point Saxe walked me through: four provisions in the Navigable Waters Protection Act automatically required an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Among them is the key federal power to approve building on navigable waters—structures like bridges, booms, dams and causeways. So approving or rejecting any of these sorts of projects required an environmental assessment under the CEAA regulations.
Or, at least, such assessments were required under the old CEAA. The Tories replaced that law earlier this year with a much-revised statute, which will mean fewer federal assessments in a more limited range of circumstances. But under the previous CEAA— passed in 1992 and in force until its repeal last summer—theNavigable Waters Protection Act was named in regulations as a law that triggered assessments. (You can search here for those regulations.) To claim then, as Fletcher did, that the act was only about navigation and never the environment, is, in Saxe’s words, “just wrong.”
By John Geddes - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 5:21 PM - 0 Comments
Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for transport, couldn’t have been more emphatic earlier this week when he asserted in the House that the Navigable Waters Protection Act “has always been and remains about navigation and navigation only.” What the act isn’t about, and has never been about, Fletcher insisted, is “environmental protection.”
He was responding with exasperation to a question on Monday from the NDP’s Peggy Nash about why the government is amending the act in a way that means tens of thousands of lakes and rivers will no longer be covered by it. In Nash’s view, that means weakening environmental protection for those bodies of water. Fletcher suggested she just doesn’t get what the law is about.
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 - Monday, January 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Steven Fletcher, the Minister of State for Transport, is stepping away from his duties to deal with a health issue.
“I will shortly be undergoing medical treatment that will require some substantial recovery time, during which I will be unable to perform all of my duties as Minister of State (Transport). I am pleased with my medical team and appreciate the support and good wishes of friends, colleagues, and constituents.”
After some speculation that he might have to step aside, the office of Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan confirmed last week that he’d recently been hospitalized as a result of a heart problem, but was fully recovered and fully engaged with his file.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM - 8 Comments
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to move the cyclists-pedestrian protection act that would help prevent senseless deaths by being pulled under the back wheels of large trucks. The bill calls for the mandatory installation of side guards on trucks. It is a safety measure used in many other nations.
The bill is too late for Jenna Morrison, a pregnant mom who was tragically killed while riding her bicycle in Toronto last week, but it is not too late for the ones she left behind. It is not too late for Lucas, her five-year-old son.
Asked by Ms. Chow during Question Period this week, Steven Fletcher, the Minister of State for Transport, was not entirely dismissive of the proposal.
Edward Keenan notes how long this idea has been discussed without any action.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, October 21, 2011 at 10:00 AM - 17 Comments
Steven Fletcher, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I reject the premise of the member’s question.
John Baird, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to my friend from northern Ontario that I do not agree with the premise of his question.
Ed Fast, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of that question.
Stephen Harper, Oct. 19. Mr. Speaker, I completely disagree with the premise of that question.
Denis Lebel, Oct. 18. Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the premise of that question.
John Baird, Oct. 17. Mr. Speaker, it will not come as any surprise to that member or to the House that I categorically reject the premise of the member’s question.
Brent Rathgeber, Oct. 17. Mr. Speaker, I absolutely disagree with the premise of that question.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 12:23 AM - 11 Comments
Winnipeg Conservative MP Steven Fletcher, with the help of his three-year-old niece, Evelyn Sieman,…
Winnipeg Conservative MP Steven Fletcher, with the help of his three-year-old niece, Evelyn Sieman, hit the Manitoba Eastern Star Chalet seniors’ apartment complex to campaign.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 2:36 PM - 3 Comments
At this year’s Politics & the Pen gala, Anna Porter took home the $25…
At this year’s Politics & the Pen gala, Anna Porter took home the $25 000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing for her book The Ghosts of Europe: Journeys Through Central Europe’s Troubled Past and Uncertain Future. Below, Porter with House Leader John Baird.
Belinda Stronach and Peter Mansbridge.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 11:44 AM - 21 Comments
Francine Lalonde’s private member’s bill on assisted suicide—previously discussed here—received its final hour of debate Tuesday evening and was then defeated last night by a count of 230-57. Lalonde was basically asking, at this point, for her bill to be sent to committee for further study and amendment.
Steven Fletcher, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, who has written about his feelings on this issue and Lalonde’s bill, abstained. She did though draw the support of two cabinet ministers—Lawrence Cannon and Josee Verner—and several Liberal and NDP members.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM - 45 Comments
After withdrawing an earlier attempt to adjust the House seating arrangement, the Conservatives are apparently prepared to go forward with legislation to increase the number of federal ridings.
The House would be adjusted so that the three fastest-growing provinces in Canada would have the number of seats that their numbers warrant. Depending on the formula, the House could grow by 30 seats or more from its current level of 308. Quebec, which is now properly represented in the House, might also be given more seats, to ensure that reapportionment did not leave it underrepresented. The influence of the Atlantic provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba would diminish in relative terms.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM - 22 Comments
The Scene. On Monday, a minister of state in Stephen Harper’s government addressed the House of Commons and stated for the record that a member of Parliament’s ability to send paper flyers into another member of Parliament’s riding was a matter of free speech. This, he said, was about the “rights of Canadians for a public discourse.” The Liberal party, he suggested, in wanting to ban these mailouts, was threatening to “censor” what Canadians were allowed to see. These mailouts, he asserted, did no less than “improve our democracy.” “The Conservative Party,” he concluded, “is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free.”
Two days later, Stephen Harper’s spokesman stated that the government would support a ban on these out-of-riding flyers. And so it was this afternoon that the Prime Minister stood in the House, pronounced his government “delighted” to do away with these mailings and then challenged the leader of the NDP, a party that had voted in favour of the Liberal-proposed ban, to follow the Conservative side and do likewise.
So much for our glorious freedom. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:30 PM - 67 Comments
Steven Fletcher, minister of state for democratic reform, Monday. “On the issue of the ten percenters, I do not know what the party opposite has against freedom of speech. I do not know what the party opposite has against the rights of Canadians for a public discourse. Canadians have the good sense to know what information they can find valuable. They do not need the Liberal Party of Canada to censor what they see. Canadians can judge for themselves what is relevant to their lives, to tell what information is valuable to them, and also it is an opportunity to see what other parties stand for. Everyone has equal privileges to these ten percenters. It is a way of ensuring that Canadians are informed. It improves public discourse and it is a way to improve our democracy. We live in the best country in the world and the best time in human history to be alive. The Conservative Party is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free.”
The Prime Minister’s Office, tonight. “We support getting rid of out-of-riding 10 percenters so long as the restriction applies to all parties.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM - 53 Comments
Buried in a Liberal motion yesterday was a proposal that the House direct “its Board of Internal Economy to take all necessary steps to end immediately the wasteful practice of Members sending mass mailings, known as ‘ten-percenters,’ into ridings other than their own, which could represent another saving to taxpayers of more than $10 million.”
The resulting debate starts here and, later, resumes here. The gist would seem to be that the government side opposes the motion on an assertion of free speech, while the NDP would like the program to continue with some kind of rule against negative content.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 4:58 PM - 179 Comments
“If there’s a silver lining to the dark cloud of this political crisis in Ottawa, it’s an amazing, spontaneous degree of citizen engagement,” he said. “In a way, this manufactured crisis has woken Canadians up out of their so-called apathy.”
That was, to be fair, some 13 months ago and Jason Kenney, the immigration minister, had just witnessed 3,000 people gather in downtown Calgary to protest the possibility of a coalition government. “I don’t recall anything on such short notice with such a large crowd in this city,” Mr. Kenney gushed. One assumes the sentiment roughly holds for today’s events too.
Then John Baird was proudly declaring the government’s intent to “go over the heads” of the Members of Parliament and the Governor General, and go “right to the Canadian people.” Then it was Steven Fletcher, minister of state for democratic reform, encouraging all his fellow Manitobans to rally for no less than the nation we all hold dear.
Thirteen months later, a new political crisis. Then, the government side yelled “traitor!” Now, the other side yells “dictator!” Once more, our civic engagement runneth over.
Perhaps we should make political crisis an annual event.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, November 2, 2009 at 11:38 AM - 10 Comments
Conservative MP Steven Fletcher says Francine Lalonde’s bill on euthanasia is flawed, but the idea needs to be properly considered.
I want to be empowered to make the best decisions for myself; and if I am unable, I want the people who love me to do what they think is in my best interest. I do not want to be forced to live in a hell because the law does not take into account my “unique” circumstances or because someone imposed their values on the meaning of life on me. Given the choice of existence without living or death, I would rather choose the latter and take my chances on the other side.
In sum, what I believe is this: I support the right of an individual to choose to die with dignity. However, for that choice to be genuinely free, and for society to have confidence in that choice, we must know that we are giving the severely injured and ill the support needed to prevent them from losing hope– through the health-care system, social workers, therapy, spiritual counselling, proper insurance coverage (including automobile, and workers compensation) and the like.
By kadyomalley - Friday, July 17, 2009 at 3:31 PM - 97 Comments
Does this event not strike anyone else as being a bit, well, weird?
The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, will celebrate the third anniversary of the Universal Child Care Benefit, on July 20 in Winnipeg.
Minister of State Fletcher will be available to answer questions from the media following the celebration.
Please note that all details are subject to change. All times are local.
DATE: Monday, July 20, 2009
TIME: 10:00 a.m.
PLACE: YMCA West Portage
St. James Child Care
3550 Portage Avenue
First off, since when do we celebrate legislative anniversaries before the law in question has even hit the magic five year mark? Is this a new trend? Was ITQ left off the invite list for the GST cut birthday party? And why Winnipeg? Why Steven Fletcher? I mean, it’s hard to see how this falls under ‘democratic reform’. It just seems so … random. I guess it’s possible that this is just one of a series of cross-country celebrations, but so far, it’s the only advisory that has shown up on the gallery listserv. I’ll keep y’all posted if it turns out to be a sea-to-sea-to-sea sort of thing.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:22 PM - 41 Comments
Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson wants to extend election spending limits on political advertising to cover at least some of the time between elections. Steven Fletcher, the minister of state for democratic reform is intrigued by the idea and interested in investigating it further unimpressed.
Steven Fletcher, the Conservative minister of state for democratic reform, immediately slammed the bill as an anti-democratic and “un-Canadian” assault on free speech … “It certainly seems like it will severely limit freedom of speech and that’s un-Canadian and hurts our democracy,” Fletcher said in an interview.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 13 Comments
Last year Nova Scotia Liberal Mike Savage was the lone MP who took up…
Last year Nova Scotia Liberal Mike Savage was the lone MP who took up the Canadian Paraplegic Association’s challenge to spend a day in a wheelchair. This year there were several politicians. The day ended with timed wheelchair races.
Justin Trudeau sees Martha Hall Findlay going sleeveless. So he goes sleeveless too.
By Mitchel Raphael - Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 72 Comments
Ezra Levant held the Ottawa launch of his new book, Shakedown: How Our Government…
Ezra Levant held the Ottawa launch of his new book, Shakedown: How Our Government is Undermining Democracy in the Name of Human Rights. Levant is the journalist and Conservative activist who was taken to the Alberta Human Rights Commission when he published the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in the Western Standard.
(Left to right) Ezra Levant, Liberal Senator Jerry Grafstein and Maclean’s columnist/keynote speaker Mark Steyn.
Transport Minister John Baird (right) and Tory staffer Chris Lawton.
Keynote speaker Mark Steyn.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 3:01 AM - 6 Comments
Jim Flaherty’s wife Christine Elliott, who is running for leader of the Ontario Progressive…
Jim Flaherty’s wife Christine Elliott, who is running for leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, held a meet-and-greet at the Elephant & Castle pub and restaurant in Ottawa. Flaherty introduced himself as Mr. Christine Elliott.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, April 27, 2009 at 12:21 PM - 30 Comments
The most entertaining parts of Sheeple, Garth Turner’s awkwardly titled account of his most recent time in politics, are almost definitely the previously undisclosed bits of private conversation and internal discussion Turner claims to have been party to. If only because truly candid, available-for-public-consumption comment from a politician is otherwise so rare.
Herein, a brief collection of Sheeple’s highlights in this regard. Note: some adult language follows. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 23, 2008 at 4:44 PM - 0 Comments
The best, worst and merely laughable of the recently completed Parliamentary session
The Scene. Late last week, at the press conference he’d called to formally reject the Liberal green plan he hadn’t bothered to read, Jason Kenney was asked to account for his government’s tone—the language with which it had chosen to engage the current debate.
“I don’t think that Canadians are so humourless and earnest,” he posited, “that they reject humour in political discourse.”
There are at least two problems with this assessment.
At the outset, it assumes that what Mr. Kenney’s had to say has been particularly funny. This is, by most objective standards, a stretch. His particular line on the Liberal carbon tax relies on the fact that the word “shift” sounds something like a swear. While perhaps uproarious when compared with other discussions around here—so many of them having to do with war and poverty and other sufferings—most of us ceased finding this pun particularly hilarious around the first time we kissed a girl (or boy, as it were).
But, in fairness to Mr. Kenney, let’s pretend his comedic stylings on this front have been the stuff of a night at the Apollo. Even if that were the case, so, er, what? Continue…