National Newswatch
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Tax bill hiked for civil servants sent to war zones

Mar 31 2015 — Janyce McGregor

Civil servants representing Canada in the world’s most dangerous places are being hit by a personal income tax hike, a possibly unintended consequence of the 2012 budget that senior government officials are struggling to reverse.​ Changes that took hold in 2013 began treating group sickness or accident insurance plans — including accidental death and dismemberment […]

Mar 31 2015 — Kady O'Malley

Barring a last-minute scheduling change later this morning, the House public safety committee will kick off — and, most likely, wrap up — clause-by-clause review of the government’s anti-terror bill. And barring a last-minute legislative strategy change, Conservative committee members will arrive at that meeting with a handful of small, but not insignificant, proposed amendments, […]

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Conservative group risks bringing big-money U.S. style politics to Canada: critics

Mar 31 2015 — Elizabeth Thompson

A new organization soliciting money from corporations to promote the benefits of a “strong, stable Conservative government” risks bring big-money American-style super PAC politics to Canada, critics are charging. The way Conservative Voice has been set up legally bypasses the usual financing limits faced by political parties. While it was incorporated by Dan Hilton, former […]

Mar 31 2015 — Ian MacLeod

The Conservatives’ tone on C-51, the anti-terror bill, shifted noticeably Monday, with the minister in charge now saying he welcomes amendments to the disparaged legislation. Speaking to reporters after testifying on the bill before a Senate committee Monday evening, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney alluded to four mostly minor amendments that government members are expected […]

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Mar 30 2015 — Glen McGregor

Former foreign minister John Baird says he was given the “green light” by the federal ethics commissioner to take two high-paying positions in the private sector, even though he had dealings with both companies when he served in the Conservative government’s cabinet. Last week, Barrick Gold Corp. revealed in securities filings that Baird would join […]

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Mar 30 2015 — David Pugliese

Last week Defence Minister Jason Kenney claimed that Canada was needed in the Syrian bombing campaign because it and the U.S. are the only members of the coalition who have precision guided munitions. “There are only five coalition partners doing airstrikes against ISIL terror targets in eastern Syria,” Kenney explained to CTV. “The United States […]

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Mar 30 2015 — Jordan Press

The Speaker of the Senate, reflecting the concerns some senators have over the auditor general’s investigation of the upper chamber, appealed to Michael Ferguson in a recent letter to agree on what, exactly, is in a senator’s job description. Senate sources say Ferguson responded with a short, courteous acknowledgement of the concerns numerous senators have […]

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Featured Ink

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The gun lobby appears to have Harper in a corner

Mar 31 2015 — Tasha Kheiriddin

The mystery deepens. Why did the National Firearms Association pull out of hearings last Monday on the Conservatives’ anti-terrorism bill, C-51? NFA president Sheldon Clare had criticized C-51 as “being a sort of creeping police state bill”. But when he was given the chance to express these views to a Commons committee, he desisted at […]

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Danielle Smith just a victim of the old bait and switch

Mar 31 2015 — Andrew Coyne

I think we have all been guilty of misjudging Danielle Smith. At the time, so many lifetimes ago, when the former Wildrose party leader deserted not only her former party but also her own former leadership of it, many people accused her and the eight other apostates who went with her of a cynical act […]

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The lessons of Danielle Smith’s political self-destruction

Mar 31 2015 — Brian Topp

It isn’t always true that political careers end in tears. But that is often true, as former Alberta Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith demonstrated this past weekend. In the process, Smith has provided us with a case study on how not to conduct inter-party negotiations — one that merits a careful look. So what happened to […]

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Chinese investors turn attention to Vancouver’s commercial real estate

Mar 31 2015 — Barbara Yaffe

Asian buyers have for some time been putting pressure on Vancouver’s stock of detached homes. Now China’s development industry is showing interest in the region’s commercial properties. It is part of a cross-Canada trend, says Colliers International in a report issued earlier this month: “Canadian property owners have traditionally been the incumbent buyers of real […]

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The fight for “progress”

Mar 31 2015 — Rick Smith

Over the past weekend, nearly 900 people descended on the national capital to participate in this year’s installment of the Broadbent Institute’s Progress Summit, now the largest progressive politics conference in the country.  Demand for tickets was astonishing, with the event selling out nearly two weeks early and the hotel full to bursting. As delighted […]

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Broadbent most partisan think-tank

Mar 31 2015 — Anthony Furey

It’s time Canadians took a closer look at the Broadbent Institute. The left-wing think-tank has kept a low profile since its 2011 creation. But with an election around the corner they’re kicking it into high gear. This past weekend’s second annual Progress Summit held in Ottawa shows that they’re the most partisan think-tank in the […]

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Canada’s foreign policy invites retaliation

Mar 31 2015 —

Charles Taylor issued a warning on the weekend, cautioning that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s anti-niqab rhetoric helps terrorist recruiters. Mr. Taylor, the well-known philosopher who headed up a Quebec commission on cultural and religious minorities, suggested that the federal Conservatives are surfing on Islamophobic sentiment, which makes alienated Muslim

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Why don’t Canadians want to talk politics?

Mar 31 2015 — Richard Gwyn

For the last several years, it’s been a well-established fact that Canadians have lost interest in politics. That voter turnout is way down is now taken for granted. Far more unsettling is the report by Samara, an institute that promotes democracy and citizen engagement, that two in every five Canadians (39 per cent) had not […]

Entertainment Plus

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The 10 best jokes from the ‘Roast of Justin Bieber’

Mar 31 2015 —

Justin couldn’t belieb his ears. A host of comedians and celebrities on Monday night ruthlessly unloaded on perhaps the most unlikable subject ever to appear in Comedy Central‘s popular, long-running roast series: Justin Bieber. Sir Swaggy himself was brutally assaulted with vicious barbs from Kevin Hart, Pete Davidson, Jeffrey Ross, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg and […]

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