By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 0 Comments
A statement from Marjory LeBreton, leader of the government in the Senate.
“Senator Duffy has informed me that he has resigned from caucus to sit as an independent senator.”
And a statement from Mr. Duffy.
“It is clear the public controversy surrounding me and the repayment of my Senate expenses has become a significant distraction to my caucus colleagues, and to the government. Given that my presence within the Conservative caucus only contributes to that distraction, I have decided to step outside of the caucus and sit as an independent Senator pending resolution of these questions.
“Throughout this entire situation I have sought only to do the right thing. I look forward to all relevant facts being made clear in due course, at which point I am hopeful I will be able to rejoin the Conservative caucus.
“This has been a difficult time for me and my family, and we are going to take some time away from the public. I ask the media to respect our privacy while these questions are resolved through the appropriate processes.”
A government source says “there are a growing number of questions about Mr. Duffy’s conduct that don’t have answers” and that reports that Senator Duffy had taken out a loan—as CTV first reported last night—came as a “complete surprise.”
Update 10:07pm. CTV is now reporting that Mr. Duffy “attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision involving the right-leaning Sun News Network.”
A well-placed source told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that Duffy approached a Conservative insider with connections to the CRTC three weeks ago to discuss Sun Media, which is asking the federal regulator to grant its news channel “mandatory carriage,” or guaranteed placement on basic cable and satellite packages. The move would boost Sun News Network’s profile and revenues.
“You know people at the CRTC,” the insider quoted Duffy as saying. “This is an important decision on Sun Media. They have to play with the team and support Sun Media’s request.”
Update 11:39pm. The Canadian Press reports that Senator Duffy was facing a revolt.
Conservative sources said the vast majority of his Senate colleagues had signed a petition calling for his ouster from caucus and they were prepared to confront Duffy with that petition at a meeting next Tuesday evening.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM - 0 Comments
Boulerice offered no defence of his comments, but he did shoot back at Blaney on Wednesday. “I think Mr. Blaney yesterday, it was the last day to engage in partisan politics and to try and score points like that, with old stories,” said Boulerice in Montreal. “He is the minister who is making the largest cuts in support programs for disabled veterans.”
Conservative MP Erin O’Toole is profoundly saddened.
So perhaps Mr. Boulerice and Mr. O’Toole are in agreement that this shouldn’t have been brought up this week?
Meanwhile, Sun reporter Brigitte Pellerin says Mr. Boulerice didn’t insult soldiers and John Geddes explores the political history of World War I. If this discussion is to continue, it should at least include a debate about the Conscription Crisis.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM - 0 Comments
The Scene. Seated almost directly across the aisle from his opposition critic, Jason Kenney shook his head as the NDP’s Don Davies read the indictment.
“Mr. Speaker, just last month the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism told Canadians how solemn he thought our citizenship ceremonies are, and they are indeed serious occasions,” Mr. Davies recalled. “Now, however, we learn that his office is fine just faking it. It was his office that arranged to have employees pose as fake new citizens in a made-up ceremony for a misleading news conference. Can the minister explain why he forced government employees to pose as fake new citizens and mislead Canadians?”
However fake the display, Mr. Kenney was quite sure his responsibility had been overstated here.
“Mr. Speaker, that is completely untrue. The only misleading going on is coming from that member,” the Immigration Minister scolded. “Every year CIC officials do a good job organizing special citizenship and reaffirmation ceremonies across the country including sometimes in studio televised ceremonies to raise the profile of citizenship. Today, I became aware that one small reaffirmation ceremony last year had logistical problems that were poorly dealt with—”
The opposition side descended into laughter and even a little desk thumping (it being hard, one supposes, to slap one’s knee when seated at a desk). Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM - 0 Comments
Canadian Press reports that a few weeks before citizenship week celebrations last fall, Jason Kenney’s office asked his department to organize a ceremony at the Sun News studio in Toronto.
The goal was to find people who had recently taken the real oath. ”I have also just confirmed … that all the clients that are calling back are declining the request as they have to attend work and are not able to take the time off to participate in this reaffirmation ceremony,” wrote one civil servant.
Four days before the ceremony, a bureaucrat in downtown Toronto again pleaded whether Sun News could instead go to an already planned event. ”Please advise if the alternative would be acceptable since we do not have the resources to call over 3,000 clients to hopefully get 10 clients for this proposed event.”
In the end, only three of the 10 people the department had lined up to appear at the Sun’s studios actually showed up. But the show went on — featuring at least six federal bureaucrats. Three of those who took the oath wore identical T-shirts with a citizenship logo on it.
CP has video here. Justin Trudeau deems this “incredibly stupid.” An official in Mr. Kenney’s office was busy this morning assuring one and all that this was a “well intentioned mistake” made by a civil servant. And Mr. Kenney’s spokeswoman has now apologized to Sun News.
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 6:00 AM - 0 Comments
From the IMF’s first pink ribbon at the top to the new country on the map–a close look at this year’s newcomers
She has yet to utter a single public word, yet ever since her emergence—ahem, from behind—in an Alexander McQueen silk screamer at last summer’s royal do, the duchess of Cambridge’s baby sis has stolen the spotlight. Her slow-mo sashay down the aisle dropped jaws across the globe, launching a million appreciative tweets. And with her sister sequestered on a rainy Welsh island, as tabloids wonder whether—yawn—she’s preggers yet, the 28-year-old London party planner appears on the arms of a stream of tall, dashing, well-heeled suitors.
In hindsight, the hullabaloo over its creation seems wildly out of proportion. Fox News North, this ain’t. On Earth Day, viewers of the Quebecor venture were treated to Ezra Levant attacking a potted plant. The day coincides with Lenin’s birthday, Levant, wielding a chainsaw, shouted over the din, leaving no question which was the bigger tool. Communism and environmentalism aside, shop peeves include arts funding and the CBC, known there as the “state broadcaster.” They still have a long way to go before they rival the ratings of their southern mentor.
By Nicholas Köhler and Ken MacQueen - Friday, June 17, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
A 65-year murder mystery solved, Bieber takes a beating, and Danny Williams has got game
Done in by the velluvial matrix
Grads from the University of Alberta’s faculty of medicine were enjoying an after-dinner speech at their banquet last week when the words of Dr. Philip Baker, dean of the medical school, sounded vaguely familiar. “A couple of students recognized the term ‘velluvial matrix,’ ” class president Brittany Barber told the Edmonton Sun. “They googled it on their phones.” It showed Baker has borrowed heavily from a speech delivered last year at Stanford by Dr. Atul Gawande, a Boston surgeon and a writer for the New Yorker magazine. Accusations of plagiarism prompted an apology from Baker, who said he was inspired by Gawande’s speech, which “resonated with my experiences.” Baker added that he’s since spoken to Gawande, who “was flattered by my use of his text, took no offence and readily accepted my apology.” The university is investigating.
Dementia’s painful toll
It’s only been a few weeks since Ralph Klein and his wife, Colleen, revealed that the former Alberta premier is suffering from progressive dementia. Although the couple is said to be heartened by the good wishes they’ve received from across the country since then, Ralph’s decline, at age 68, has been rapid and devastating. “He’s starting to get a little bit worse,” Colleen told Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid. “I’m not sure he always recognizes me anymore. He never says my name.”
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 10:50 AM - 36 Comments
Three weeks ago, our vice-president for Sun News, Kory Teneycke, was contacted by the former deputy chief of staff to Prime Minister Harper, Patrick Muttart. He claimed to be in possession of a report prepared by a “U.S. source”, outlining the activities and whereabouts of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff in the weeks and months leading to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. The report suggested that rather than being an observer from the sidelines, as he wrote in a New York Times op-ed piece after he entered Canadian politics, Ignatieff was in fact on the front lines and on the ground at a forward operating base in Kuwait, assisting U.S. State Department and American military officials in their strategy sessions. Muttart also provided a compelling electronic image of a man very closely resembling Michael Ignatieff in American military fatigues, brandishing a rifle in a picture purported to have been taken in Kuwait in December 2002.
What Mr. Muttart provided was apparently enough for the Sun papers to run a story that claimed Mr. Ignatieff was “was on the front lines of pre-invasion planning when he worked in the U.S.” Still, Mr. Peladeau believes this was part of an effort to discredit both Mr. Ignatieff and Sun media and that this episode should debunk any notion that the Sun is a tool of the Conservative party of Canada.
By Philippe Gohier - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 3:07 PM - 10 Comments
If there was a recurring theme to Pierre Karl Péladeau and Kory Teneycke’s press…
If there was a recurring theme to Pierre Karl Péladeau and Kory Teneycke’s press conference announcing Sun News, it’s that their new channel would not be anything like the CBC. Said Teneycke:
We’re taking on the mainstream media. We’re taking on smug, condescending, often irrelevant journalism. We’re taking on political correctness. We will not be a state broadcaster offering boring news by bureaucrats, for elites, and paid for by taxpayers.
As it turns out, Quebecor boss Péladeau doesn’t have a problem with taxpayer-subsidized television after all. At least, he didn’t in a June 14 letter to James Moore:
The CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, is threatening to sue the federal government if the heritage minister doesn’t intervene to change the admissibility criteria for the Canada Media Fund to allow shows like the [Quebecor-produced] Star Académie to benefit from it.