National Newswatch
Aug 1 2014 —

The federal Liberal party appears to have lost some of its fundraising momentum while the New Democrats are gaining ground. Newly released fundraising numbers, called “scary” by the Liberals’ fundraising director, show the party raked in more than $2.8 million in the second quarter of this year. But that’s roughly $100,000 less than what the […]

Aug 1 2014 — James Fitz-Morris

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt says the government will “look after the best interests of taxpayers,” if band councils of First Nations don’t. Valcourt made the comment in response to revelations the chief of a community with only 81 registered members made nearly $1 million last year in salary and bonuses.

Aug 1 2014 — Glen McGregor

Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer has launched an investigation into potentially defamatory changes to an MP’s Wikipedia entry made from someone on the Parliament Hill computer network. Scheer is currently looking into a complaint about the edits from independent MP Dean Del Mastro, according to the Speaker’s office. “This matter is being […]

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John Williamson says he ‘spoke in error’ on being misquoted

Aug 1 2014 —

The Conservative MP for New Brunswick Southwest has admitted he was wrong to claim that he was misquoted in a federal government press release dealing with business subsidies. John Williamson made the claim on Thursday while denouncing what he calls “corporate welfare” — grants, loans and other subsidies going to some of New Brunswick’s most […]

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Peter MacKay skipping Canadian Bar Association’s annual conference

Aug 1 2014 — Catherine Cullen

For as long as anyone at the Canadian Bar Association can remember, Canada’s justice minister has attended the group’s annual legal conference. Not this year. In a year when the government has faced off with the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and current and former heads of the CBA have called the prime minister’s […]

Aug 1 2014 —

People looking for an elected member of the Alberta government to comment on former premier Alison Redford’s use of government planes will be waiting until at least next week. Premier Dave Hancock is on vacation in Italy and unavailable. Finance Minister Doug Horner, whose department is responsible for the fleet, is in Alberta but also […]

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Aug 1 2014 —

A Via Rail train that left Ottawa Friday afternoon crashed into a derailed CN train near Gananoque, Ont. No one on the train was injured, according to Via Rail. The train is still upright but has been immobilized by the crash. A Via Rail spokesperson said a “contingency plan” to get passengers to their destinations […]

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Aug 1 2014 —

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is blaming Hamas for bringing a disappointing quick end to a 72-hour ceasefire, saying the group has “lost all credibility.” Fighting broke out less than two hours after a cease-fire announced by the U.S. and the United Nations took effect at 8:00 a.m. Friday.

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Aug 1 2014 — Bruce Campion-Smith

The controversy over Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s Mother’s Day and Father’s Day messages sent department officials scrambling as they insisted that “everyone and his brother” had okayed their content, new documents reveal. Internal justice department emails obtained by the Star show that MacKay’s messages — which came under fire for their different tone — were […]

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Aug 1 2014 — Glen McGregor

The Ottawa Hospital has fired an employee for publicly disclosing information about suspended senator Mike Duffy’s medical treatment at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Mike Crowder, an eight-year hospital employee who supervised a cleaning crew, was placed on administrative leave last week and then fired on Monday for breaching the hospital’s rules on patient […]

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Featured Ink

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Harper’s sitting pretty despite talk about exit

Aug 1 2014 — Deveryn Ross

During the past several weeks, there has been a great deal of speculation among pundits that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not lead his Conservatives into the next federal election. Some argue Harper is losing interest in the job he has held since 2006 and the Tories are mired in scandals that will only worsen […]

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Cameras haven’t improved the Commons

Aug 1 2014 — Brian Lee Crowley

The news that the Senate is going to experiment with televising its proceedings reminded me that progress isn’t always synonymous with improvement. The House of Commons began televising its work in 1977. That will seem like ancient history to many, but 1976-77 was the year I first came to Ottawa as a parliamentary intern. I […]

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Let Parliament write the CBC’s script

Aug 1 2014 — Jeffrey Simpson

The future of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp./Radio-Canada is backward, in more ways than one. Technologies change; the mission of the CBC does not. As the Broadcasting Act says, the CBC exists to inform, enlighten and entertain in that order. What the act says in lay person’s language is “aim high.” Consider the audience as adults. […]

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Foreign policy wins points, not votes

Aug 1 2014 — Warren Kinsella

Capricious, unstructured and even dangerous: That’s what American political thinker Walter Lippmann once wrote about the public’s views on foreign policy. “The unhappy truth,” he wrote in 1955, “is that the prevailing public opinion has been destructively wrong at critical junctures. [The people] have compelled governments to be too late with too little, too long […]

rick salutin

The strange case of the Greens and Gaza

Aug 1 2014 — Rick Salutin

The case of the Green party president and Gaza is intriguing. Paul Estrin, who’s Jewish from Quebec City, posted a piece on the party site; it’s rambling, passionate and fiercely defends Israel against critics. Many members responded angrily, some cancelled memberships. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May straddled awhile, then distanced herself from his piece. It […]

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Ontario gives with one hand, takes with the other

Aug 1 2014 — Carol Goar

Single parents who depend on social assistance are in for a jolt. Their basic needs allowance will drop by $8 this month. The reduction, effective Aug. 1, applies to both Ontario Works (commonly known as welfare) and the Ontario Disability Support program. Together they provide financial assistance to approximately 170,000 families. There was no mention […]

Rick Smith

Stephen Harper: The environment’s best friend

Aug 1 2014 — Rick Smith

Bear with me: I want to tell you about an odd thought I had the other day that may induce minor whiplash. I confess that it tests the bounds of believability. But I actually think it’s true: Stephen Harper is the best thing to happen to the environmental issue in Canada. Ever. I know, I […]

Entertainment Plus

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Vice President Biden loves to skinny dip, says tell-all book

Aug 1 2014 —

It’s the Joe Biden you didn’t know — and might not want to see. Secret Service agents dread being assigned to protect the vice president, in part because Biden’s a big fan of skinny dipping, according to a new tell-all book. In “The First Family Detail,” author Robert Kessler quotes unnamed Secret Service agents dishing […]

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