National Newswatch
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‘Shocking’ poll signals PCs and Wildrose in dead heat

Mar 31 2015 — Darcy Henton

A startling poll suggests voter outrage over the Jim Prentice budget has thrown the Wildrose and Tories into a dead heat provincially and has the NDP poised to sweep Edmonton. The Mainstreet Technologies survey of more than 3,000 Albertans shows the governing Progressive Conservatives tied with the Wildrose at 30 per cent support of decided […]

Mar 31 2015 —

A new report says families who pay to put young children in daycare won’t benefit as much from the Conservative government’s proposed family tax-and-benefit package as families with older kids or those who don’t need child care. The parliamentary budget officer says that in 2015-16, families with children under 13 who pay for child care […]

Mar 31 2015 —

The Harper government has issued a long-awaited call for tenders to replace Canada’s aging fixed-wing search planes, more than a decade after the project was first proposed. The Public Works secretariat overseeing the program is asking the defence industry not only for aircraft, but also a capability-based solution, which means would-be contractors can propose details […]

Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada, speaks in Ottawa on May 31, 2012. A federal watchdog says the Access to Information Act should be extended to all branches of government -- including the offices that support Parliament and the courts. In her report on modernization of the law, information commissioner Suzanne Legault also calls for tighter timelines in the processing of access requests and changes to ensure exceptions in the law protect only what is strictly necessary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Bring all branches of government under information law, watchdog urges

Mar 31 2015 —

A federal watchdog says the Access to Information Act should be extended to all branches of government — including the offices that support Parliament and the courts. In her report on modernization of the law, information commissioner Suzanne Legault also calls for tighter timelines in the processing of access requests and changes to ensure exceptions […]

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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 […]

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Bill C-51 amendments seem unconnected to committee process

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, […]

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 […]

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Mar 31 2015 — Kelsey Johnson

Two days before an April 1st deadline imposed under changes to the government’s temporary foreign worker program, some foreign workers who have to go back to their home countries are doing so with empty pockets because of unscrupulous immigration consultants, iPolitics has learned. iPolitics has confirmed nine cases in Alberta and Southwestern Ontario in which […]

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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 […]

Rick Smith

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

Richard Gwyn

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 […]

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