National Newswatch
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PEI senator rescued after accident in Norway

Sep 30 2014 — Jordan Press

A senator on a committee research trip was “almost lost” during an incident in Norwegian waters last week. Senate Liberal Elizabeth Hubley suffered a broken arm when she fell into the water between a salmon pen and a Zodiac boat, a rigid inflatable craft. She had to be pulled from the waves by two of […]

Sep 30 2014 —

Doug Ford is calling out John Tory’s political record and his proposed transit plan in a pair of new radio ads. Both ads begin with the words “What’s the story, Mr. Tory?” as a bouncy melody plays in the background. One ad highlights Tory’s prior electoral losses as a mayoral candidate back in 2003, and […]

Sep 30 2014 —

The Conservative government says it is overturning an RCMP decision to doff their muskrat hats in favour of more animal-friendly tuques. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq tells the House of Commons that the public safety minister is directing the Mounties to reverse the move. The RCMP recently wrote to an animal-rights group to say it had […]

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CF-18s fighter jets to get life-extension upgrades to keep flying until 2025

Sep 30 2014 —

The Harper government says it will extend the life of its fleet of CF-18 fighters. A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says the jets are an important component of the country’s defence and will be updated to keep them flying until 2025. Johanna Quinney says the air force needs a fighter strike capability, but […]

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Climate change affecting Canada’s northern forests ‘faster than the global average,’ says government report

Sep 30 2014 — Tim Naumetz

One day after a world conference on climate change in New York City last week that Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to attend, his Cabinet minister for natural resources quietly tabled a report providing detailed background on the effect climate change is wreaking on Canada’s forest, and fingering the oil and gas industry as the […]

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Washington hears of Plan B for exporting oil: an ‘Arctic Gateway’

Sep 30 2014 —

With pipeline plans facing opposition in the West, the East, and the South, a Canadian premier is in the U.S. this week promoting an alternate route for exporting oil: the North. The premier of the Northwest Territories is in Washington, D.C., this week promoting an “Arctic Gateway” to carry oil through his region to international […]

Sep 30 2014 —

In elections, it’s more than just the candidates or the issues that can influence a voter’s decision. There is a lot of evidence that underlying factors can play a big part, including two outside of a voter’s control: their current age and the year they were born. In an effort to explore how this might […]

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Sep 30 2014 —

As the federal cabinet considers sending fighter jets to Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggests Canada and other countries could be in for a long mission. Baird predicts that battling extremists in Iraq and elsewhere will take time and says Canada is in uncharted territory when it comes to directly engaging terrorist elements. “Terrorism, […]

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Sep 30 2014 —

The New Democrats are making a last-minute plea to Conservative MPs to support their motion on reforming question period. NDP House leader Peter Julian has written to the entire government caucus, saying the effort to get better answers out of question period is a modest, non-partisan step towards improving the daily give-and-take. The NDP introduced […]

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Sep 30 2014 — Jordan Press

The New Democratic Party is going to try a little help from their international friends after flying overseas last week to meet with their counterparts in the U.K. NDP president Rebecca Blaikie and national director Anne McGrath were part of the more than 20,000 British and international visitors to the four-day U.K. Labour party conference […]

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Featured Ink

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Chilly media relations are a fact of life in politics, but beware the ban

Sep 30 2014 — Andrew MacDougall

It was apparently the word “slut” that broke the camel’s back and triggered the Liberal ban of Sun News. Having been badgered for years by Sun — over honour killings, the gun registry, marijuana, abortion and the citizenship status of Canadians involved in terrorism — Justin Trudeau’s team had largely been ignoring Canada’s largest newspaper […]

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Some advice for Canada’s sorry political apologizers

Sep 30 2014 — Tim Harper

The art of the apology, political or otherwise, requires a number of elements to work. It must be quick, it must be authentic and it cannot be delivered by anyone other than the offender. It cannot contain an escape clause, appear coerced, or morph into a pity party for the person who is apologizing. Deep […]

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Harper’s election timing? Expect the unexpected

Sep 30 2014 —

A federal election this fall? Don’t rule it out. Top Liberal Party strategist Gerald Butts says his party is preparing for that scenario, among others. While most speculation has centred on the possibility of Prime Minister Stephen Harper moving up the election date from next fall to next spring, the Liberals believe it’s even possible […]

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Question period and the healing power of humiliation

Sep 30 2014 —

Tears, I tell my five-year-old daughter, are for serious things. Tears are for when you scrape your knee really badly, when someone you love falls ill, or when your pet fish dies. Tears are not for stupid non-answers in the House of Commons, shed by a grown man who appeared to thoroughly enjoy delivering said […]

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Man up and stop the Question Period farce, Mr. Speaker

Sep 30 2014 — John Ivison

The Prime Minister wasn’t in the House of Commons but a full complement of his front bench was present, including the Minister of Fudging the Numbers and the Minister for Concealing Errors. The NDP had introduced a motion to give the Speaker of the House authority to cut off government members who insult the intelligence […]

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MPs too timid to take a stand

Sep 30 2014 — Warren Kinsella

What’s that old line? That “the better part of valour is discretion”? Something like that. The author of said line was William Shakespeare, naturally; Falstaff uttered it after pretending to be dead on the battlefield in Henry IV. It reminds us that Bill remains, hands down, the originator of all the best political truisms. It […]

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Polls highlight PQ’s referendum conundrum

Sep 29 2014 — Chantal Hébert

Scotland’s recent independence referendum undeniably struck a chord in Quebec but based on the first two polls to be published on the post-vote state of play it has not acted as a game changer on the political dynamics of the province. CROP, whose poll was published last week in La Presse and Le Soleil, covered […]

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Pierre Karl Péladeau increases his lead for the PQ leadership

Sep 30 2014 — Don Macpherson

It’s PKP-mania, the kind of enthusiasm for a politician that Quebecers have usually reserved for the ones who walk with a cane. Even among supporters of the left-wing Québec solidaire party, right-wing businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau is the first choice for the Parti Québécois leadership in the latest poll on the subject by the Léger […]

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Crown and defence will battle over Luka Magnotta’s state of mind

Sep 30 2014 — Rosie DiManno

Due to the nature of the trial, this column contains graphic content. MONTREAL—Somewhere somebody is thanking his lucky stars, his guardian angel and a mystifying twist of fate. A man who walked in — and walked out again alive — of the apartment where Luka Rocca Magnotta murdered and dismembered 33-year-old Concordia computer engineering student […]

Sep 30 2014 — Neil MacDonald

Back in July, Barack Obama signed an executive order punishing anyone responsible for some of the hideous excesses of the Congolese civil war. Hardly anyone noticed Obama’s order. But for the record, the people it targets have reportedly committed: mass rape (of men and women, by rebels and government soldiers) often in front of communities […]

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Sep 30 2014 — Barbara Yaffe

Vancouver is a recognized urban-design leader in North America but recent city planning decisions suggest “a feeling of having lost our way.” Patrick Condon, chairman of the urban-design program at the University of B.C., expresses concern about the city’s recent approval of large-scale housing developments beyond the downtown core. And his thoughtful perspective deserves attention. […]

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Entertainment Plus

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Olympian Michael Phelps arrested on DUI charge

Sep 30 2014 —

Police arrested Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps on a DUI charge early Tuesday, and officials say he was speeding and failed field sobriety tests when officers pulled him over. Phelps, 29, was charged with driving under the influence, excessive speed and crossing double lane lines in the Fort McHenry Tunnel on Interstate 95 in Baltimore, according […]

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