National Newswatch
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Alberta’s political earthquake has Tories, NDP considering federal fallout

Dec 18 2014 —

Federal Conservatives say they’re gobsmacked over the political tectonic shifts in Alberta this week, but they don’t have to reach too far into their own history to see parallels with the political pragmatism that’s at play. Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith crossed the floor this week with eight MLAs to join the majority Progressive Conservative […]

Dec 18 2014 —

The Ontario Liberal caucus paid the spouse of a top aide to Dalton McGuinty $10,000 to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office, police alleged in court documents released Thursday. The information used by Ontario Provincial Police to obtain a search warrant that was executed in November at a provincial government cyber security office […]

Dec 18 2014 —

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says an emissary from the Wildrose approached his team a month ago to pitch a group floor crossing. Prentice says he was surprised by the offer and let his whip handle negotiations until they progressed to the point for him to meet face-to-face with the Wildrose leader a week ago. Danielle […]

Dec 18 2014 — Laura Payton

Canadians and their federal government would save money by raising tenfold the amount consumers can spend on cross-border purchases before having to pay taxes and tariffs, a new report says. The report by the Conference Board of Canada looked at the de minimis threshold, the level at which Canadians have to pay taxes and tariffs […]

Dec 18 2014 — Laura Stone

For Mark Eyking, living with fellow Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner has its perks – especially when your back goes out. “He helped me with the chores,” Eyking recalled recently of Cuzner, who also hails from Cape Breton, N.S. “I couldn’t get my socks on.” Then there are the downsides: Cuzner’s constant forgetting of the keys, […]

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Top aboriginal chief urges Harper to reconsider stance on inquiry

Dec 18 2014 — Mark Kennedy

Canada’s top aboriginal chief is urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reconsider his opposition to an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. In an interview with the Citizen Thursday, Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said he was “very disappointed” by comments made by Harper earlier this week about calls for […]

Dec 18 2014 —

Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz is again ruling out running for the federal Liberals in next year’s election. Ghiz says he has three young children and needs a break from politics after 12 years as either premier or Liberal leader. He told reporters in Quebec City today he could reconsider his position in four […]

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Dec 18 2014 — Dean Beeby

The security guards known as commissionaires, usually Canadian Forces veterans, who protect the lobbies of federal buildings are better paid than other guards in the private sector – but those good wages may not be going to the right people. That’s one of the conclusions from an internal study that suggests the commissionaires program could […]

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Dec 18 2014 — Rosemary Barton

Glenn Thibeault’s announcement that he was leaving the federal NDP happened to coincide with his Sudbury riding association’s Christmas party. His bombshell decision to leave the New Democrats and move to the Ontario Liberals prompted this response on Facebook from Sharon Murdock, president of the riding association: “I feel as if I have been slapped […]

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Dec 18 2014 —

The federal government has announced new details about its plans to auction off wireless spectrum as it attempts to entice new mobile carriers to enter the market and bring down prices for cellular phone users. Industry Canada plans to auction off AWS-3 spectrum in March, and the government has previously announced that more than half […]

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Dec 18 2014 —

An organization that was formally branded a terrorist organization last spring has been denied permission by Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney to raise money to fight the move. The Canadian branch of the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy is asking the Federal Court of Canada to set aside Blaney’s decision and affirm […]

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Featured Ink

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The Wildrose Nine sell out

Dec 18 2014 — Tasha Kheiriddin

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Or, more cynically, if you don’t feel like toiling on the opposition benches for the rest of your career, dump your party and waltz across the aisle. The view is better, the perks bigger, and the future brighter — if you ever get over being tarred a floor-crosser, […]

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How could Smith do that to her party?

Dec 18 2014 — Don Braid

What a thing Danielle Smith did. It takes the breath away. It tests the gag reflex. Not only did she abandon her party to join the government, taking eight Wildrose MLAs with her; not only did she praise the very premier her byelection campaigns vilified only weeks ago. No, along with all that, she wants […]

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Wildrose, NDP defections good news for Harper, but not Mulcair

Dec 18 2014 — Tom Walkom

As Glenn Thibeault and Danielle Smith know, politics is a fluid business. Thibeault is the MP from Sudbury who left the federal New Democrats in the hope of becoming a provincial Liberal politician. Smith is the Alberta Wildrose leader who is defecting from her own party. She wants to bring much of her caucus into […]

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Once again, Alberta’s without opposition

Dec 18 2014 — Tom Flanagan

Opposition Leader Danielle Smith, House Leader Rob Anderson and other Wildrose MLAs are crossing the floor to join Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives after having failed to persuade the rest of the Wildrose MLAs to go with them. It’s a profoundly cynical act of political opportunism to make such a move without consulting the Wildrose executive and […]

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Smith’s defection from Wildrose party a blow to democracy

Dec 18 2014 — Graham Thomson

It is being called a takeover, a capitulation, a travesty, and the greatest betrayal in Canadian political history. It is all of those things. Most of all, perhaps, it is a sad day for democracy. The leader of Alberta’s official Opposition — who vociferously condemned the Progressive Conservative government for five years — has abandoned […]

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Wildrose death knell near

Dec 18 2014 — Lorne Gunter

As the great political philosopher Bill Parcells once said, “You are what your record says you are.” Of course, Parcells isn’t a modern day Machiavelli. He’s a Hall of Fame football coach. Still, his famous quote about teams and their win-loss records is applicable to Alberta’s current political drama. Loyal Wildrosers — both MLAs and […]

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How the carbon tax tore a rift in Canadian conservatism

Dec 18 2014 — David McLaughlin

Conservatives in Canada have been much maligned over their environmental policies and positions. Climate change, in particular, has acquired Velcro-like characteristics in fastening itself to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. He cannot detach himself from the charge his government cares little about the issue and does even less.

Entertainment Plus

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Steve Carell’s North Korea movie scrapped by Fox after Sony hack

Dec 18 2014 —

New Regency has reportedly pulled the plug on a Steve Carell movie set in North Korea after the unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures that a U.S. official has linked to the secretive state. Carell was set to star in the thriller based on the graphic novel Pyongyang, by Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle​. The story centres […]