By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 0 Comments
Tim Powers considers the importance of Peter Penashue and the Labrador by-election.
But there are other things at play here for Team Harper. This is also a caucus strengthening exercise. Many MPs will, if they haven’t already, take notice of how the Prime Minister has stood by his man Penashue in tough circumstances. That breeds loyalty and that matters when times get tough. Eventually they will for this Prime Minister and backing a vulnerable team member buys him some insurance when the worm turns on him.
Given the 2011 result and the NDP’s burgeoning strength in the province, it’s a by-election that three parties will think they can win—see Alice Funke’s analysis for more insight.
By Julie Smyth - Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:25 AM - 0 Comments
Young MPs challenge attitudes about relationships between politicians and staffers
It has always been taboo for MPs to date staff, but the orange wave that brought a slate of young female politicians to Ottawa has changed the dating dynamic on Parliament Hill.
Rosane Doré Lefebvre, a 28-year-old Quebec NDP MP, is expecting a baby with her partner, George Soule, 32, a press secretary in the Opposition leader’s office. They kept the relationship quiet for a while, then got the party’s blessing for their continued romance—even though there are no specific rules mandating political staff or MPs seek approval to date within the NDP, or any other party for that matter. “Initially it was, ‘Okay, this thing happened,’ and then it became more serious. I spoke to the chief of staff. We wanted this to be more than just something that we hid and I didn’t want to do anything that would be a problem for the party,” Soule said during an interview in Doré Lefebvre’s office. “I think at the beginning I was a little bit nervous just in general about even dating an MP and what that would mean.”
Such relationships have been discouraged in the past because Parliament Hill has traditionally been dominated by older male MPs and young female staff members. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, September 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM - 0 Comments
Tim Powers suggests Rona Ambrose’s mistake is in not explaining herself.
Ms. Ambrose made a mistake around the vote on M312. For me, the mistake wasn’t the supportive position she took, though as someone who is pro-choice I wouldn’t have voted for M312 if presented the opportunity. The mistake was her lack of full public communication as to why she decided to take the position she did. Her single vote-related tweet noting her view that she opposed sex-selective abortions wasn’t enough.
As I said earlier on Twitter, I’m not sure there was anything inherently wrong with her vote—as some seem to be arguing—but I think she should be willing to explain that vote, just as any politician should be willing to explain themselves. (To my reading, her tweet actually only begs for more explanation: if no law is needed, why vote in favour of a motion that might have resulted in changing the law?)
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 5 Comments
Jonathan McLeod notes Jack Layton’s use of the word “love.”
It is unfortunate that it requires the death of a man, and the words of a political leader, for the country to embrace an outlook of love over anger, but how glorious, should that be the legacy he leaves to us. Love is transcendant. Love is transformative. It appears Jack Layton understood this. We are fortunate to have such men among us, if only too briefly.
Mr. Layton used the l-word in his first statement last month announcing his new cancer diagnosis. It reminded me, at the time, of something Bill Siksay, citing Svend Robinson, said upon departing Parliament this spring—Mr. Siksay’s remarks had stood out to me as something I’d never heard before. Talking to Anne McGrath for this piece, she reminded of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians and mentioned former German chancellor Willy Brandt as a leader who had spoken about love and politics. Love was also, to cite perhaps the most celebrated example, at the heart of Martin Luther King’s rhetoric and philosophy.
More thoughts from Brian Topp, Tim Powers, Ralph Goodale, Niki Ashton, Glen Pearson, Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Kady O’Malley and Dan Arnold. From Torontoist, a panoramic image of the chalk tributes outside city hall in Toronto and another picture capturing the extent of the messages, a display that prompted this note last night from Mr. Layton’s son, Mike.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 6:55 AM - 3 Comments
Rugby Canada and the New Zealand High Commission held a special fundraising Legends of…
Rugby Canada and the New Zealand High Commission held a special fundraising Legends of Rugby dinner at the Museum of Nature. Defence Minister Peter MacKay (right) with Liberal MP Massimo Pacetti.
MacKay with rugby star Rod Snow.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 11:27 PM - 0 Comments
Ottawa tonight mourns the passing of a lovely giant of a man. Condolences and reflections on the passing of Mr. Lague from Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, Glen Pearson, Ralph Goodale, Tim Powers, Paul Wells and Susan Delacourt.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 86 Comments
With more than 1,000 people arrested, the G20 is seemingly the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. The Toronto police are happy to showcase the seized weapons and condiments, but now concede the “secret” “new” “law” never really existed. The mayor is displeased. The Star gets a look at the infamous detention facility. Two Post photographers talk about their time there. A Globe reporter writes about her experience at Queen & Spadina. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association says police action was, at times, “disproportionate, arbitrary and excessive.” Amnesty International wants an independent review. Mark Holland demands answers. The NDP has questions too.
By Mitchel Raphael - Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 7:00 AM - 6 Comments
Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) held a reception on the Hill to highlight the…
Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) held a reception on the Hill to highlight the work they are doing in Africa. Below, Susan Smith of Bluesky Strategy Group and Tim Powers of Summa Strategies.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 1:28 PM - 22 Comments
Tim Powers says Rahim Jaffer owes us all an explanation. Adam Radwanski says Jaffer owes us nothing of the kind. And now Vic Toews is quoting William Randolph Hearst. Make what you will of their submissions.
Personally, I’m not terribly interested in any of it, unless, I suppose, you want to get into a discussion of what should and shouldn’t be worth discussing in the House—at which point I would probably argue that yesterday’s hullabaloo didn’t cross the line because the line was long ago spat upon, mocked and ultimately erased by group effort. So there.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 10:00 AM - 1 Comment
And the biker movie party
Which MPs are getting the swine flu shot?
When it comes to the H1N1 vaccine, some MPs are weighing their options. Trade Minister Stockwell Day says he will talk to his doctor; he never gets even the regular flu shots. Justin Trudeau has also never had a regular flu shot, but is considering getting the H1N1 vaccine since he is now a father. NDP Leader Jack Layton and his MP wife, Olivia Chow, always get their flu shots and will get the H1N1 vaccine when it is widely available. Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla, who is also a chiropractor, will get it too. She also always gets her flu shots. Because of his asthma, Stephen Harper would be considered in the high-risk category, but he plans to wait a while. (Eventually the PM and his family will all be vaccinated against H1N1.) Should the PM become incapacitated for any reason, not just swine flu, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has been chosen by Harper to take over, since the Tories have no deputy PM. Continue…
By Mitchel Raphael - Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 10:00 AM - 1 Comment
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) held a reception to persuade MPs to create…
The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) held a reception to persuade MPs to create a federal Aquaculture Act. Gail Shea (left), Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, with the executive director of CAIA, Ruth Salmon. Yes, her last name really is Salmon.
Conservative commentator and Summa Strategies VP Tim Powers and Liberal MP Judy Foote.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM - 14 Comments
Once more, to Twitter.
Will update as events sort of warrant.
By Mitchel Raphael - Monday, July 6, 2009 at 6:00 AM - 33 Comments
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea hosted a packed reception at the Westin…
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea hosted a packed reception at the Westin Ottawa for PEI Seafood Processors Association, in an effort to bring awareness to current low-price challenges facing the lobster industry.
Shea and Alberta Tory MP Ted Menzies.
Defence minister Peter MacKay.
Montreal Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:23 PM - 2 Comments
Sad news from Saskatchewan.
“The family of Dave Batters is grieving the sudden loss of their beloved husband, son and brother, who sadly chose to take his own life at home in Regina on Monday, June 29. Last fall, Dave courageously made public his battle with depression and anxiety when he chose not to run for re-election as the Member of Parliament for Palliser. He entered treatment and his family and friends hoped he would overcome his illness. Tragically, this was not to be.
“Dave and Denise’s family greatly appreciates the support of their friends during this extremely difficult time and requests that the media respect their privacy. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.”
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 15, 2009 at 9:46 PM - 3 Comments
Tim Powers predicts as much, though perhaps merely in an attempt to seem more conciliatory than Mr. Silver. On a side note, we should stop describing our version of democracy in terms that imply some sort of painful burden. Iranian readers may find that unseemly.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 10:30 AM - 5 Comments
A charity rugby game on the lawn of Parliament Hill pitted the Ottawa Irish…
A charity rugby game on the lawn of Parliament Hill pitted the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club against Forces Rugby, a special one-time team for the event. Forces Rugby included over 20 military personal and Defence Minister Peter MacKay (below with rugby star Morgan Williams), who broke his arm after being tackled by rugby legend Al Charron. The charity match raised $25,000 for the Military Families Fund which was set up Gen. Rick Hillier.
The event’s organizer Tim Powers of Summa Strategies, a Conservative commentator and member of Ottawa Irish.
Up and coming rugby star Galen Flaherty, son of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Young Flaherty is captain of the Bigside Rugby Team at Trinity College School in Ontario and was recently given the MVP Trophy for Rugby.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM - 6 Comments
The first shot in the coming Tory war to define their opponent
In the coded language of official Ottawa, they are known as SO31s. It’s a reference to Standing Order 31 of Parliament, which allows that 15 minutes be set aside before question period each day for MPs to stand in the House and make brief remarks about a subject of their choosing. For the most part, members use the time to salute constituents, celebrate charitable causes, mourn sad occasions or pontificate on matters of national or international importance.
When they still had Stéphane Dion to kick around, the Conservative government took great pleasure in mocking the former Liberal leader before he rose to ask another awkwardly worded question of the Prime Minister. And though they waited a few days before doing likewise with Dion’s successor, a steady succession of Conservative backbenchers has been sent up to denigrate Michael Ignatieff or his party since he took the leader’s chair. Indeed, despite an attempt recently by the Speaker to limit personal attacks during this time, government MPs have used more than 100 of these statements to needle the Liberal side in the 12 weeks since Parliament returned in January—a concerted campaign that reached a particular low when Ron Cannan rose on the afternoon of April 20 and attempted to segue from a preceding statement of condolence by Liberal Maurizio Bevilacqua about the deadly Italian earthquake.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM - 2 Comments
Adam Chambers, the aide constantly at Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s side has gone back…
Adam Chambers, the aide constantly at Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s side has gone back to school at the University of Western Ontario. Chambers held a packed goodbye bash at the Métropolitain Brasserie & Restaurant.
Below (left to right) are Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, Flaherty, Chambers and Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda.
Aliya Mohamed and Aaron Campbell from the PMO.
Conservative staffer Kyle Vis.