National Newswatch

EI maternity leave unpopular among self-employed, 5 years on

May 28 2015 — Janyce McGregor

Only a fraction of self-employed Canadians are taking advantage of the Harper government’s 2010 offer of employment insurance benefits, according to figures published this spring by Employment and Social Development Canada. EI’s special benefits, including maternity leave, were previously only available to salaried employees. In 2009, then Human Resources Minister Diane Finley predicted between 300,000-500,000 […]

May 28 2015 — Don Pittis

If as many suggest, the government’s latest plan to expand the Canada Pension Plan is pure politics, perhaps the details don’t matter. But based on the little we know so far, you should not expect the new scheme to solve what many worry is a coming Canadian pension crisis. At first glance, the plan is […]

May 28 2015 — Richard J. Brennan

Foreign military personnel are entitled to half-price booze at the LCBO, the Star has learned. It’s the latest revelation on the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s little-known discount programs. According to LCBO records, some 181 officers and enlisted men and women from other countries on official duty in Canada can walk into specific locations and […]

May 28 2015 —

The mood was upbeat and the room packed as Bill Blair launched his campaign for the federal Liberal party nomination in Scarborough Southwest on May 12. Liberals past and present from across the city showed up to lend their support. Those who hold Blair responsible for the worst police abuses during his tenure – rampant […]

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May 28 2015 —

The controversy over the New Democratic Party’s steadfast refusal to pay back more than $2.5 million in parliamentary funding associated with the now-shuttered satellite office and mail-outs may well come up at the Commons procedure committee, which will get a briefing on the state of the parliamentary books from House Speaker Andrew Scheer later this […]

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Featured Ink


Scrutiny of expense accounts should be extended to MPs

May 28 2015 — Stephen Maher

Next week, auditor general Michael Ferguson will deliver an audit to the Senate in which he will recommend that nine senators be referred to the RCMP for criminal investigations and 21 others be made to pay back money they ought not have received. This will hit the chamber of sober second thought like a mortar […]


Whether voluntary or mandatory, there is no need to expand the CPP

May 28 2015 — Andrew Coyne

If you’re just joining us, the Conservatives are now, as of this Tuesday, formally in favour of a voluntary expansion of the Canada Pension Plan, having earlier been opposed. The Liberals are now in favour of a mandatory expansion of the CPP and against a voluntary expansion, having earlier been in favour of the latter […]


How to create a 21st-century leaders’ debate

May 28 2015 — Robin V. Sears

The visiting Canadian political hacks sat demurely in the Washington campaign director’s office waiting for him to get off the phone. They stared carefully at their shoes as they listened to his expletive-laden attack on someone on the other end. It went something like, “Well, lady, you can tell your girlfriends there that there is […]


Harper on defence spending: ‘Canada a major contributor’

May 28 2015 — David Akin

There’s a trade show for military and defence contractors this week in Ottawa that is the largest of its kind in the country. More than 350 companies will display their wares for 11,000 military personnel, government bureaucrats and industry types as they all hope to get a piece of Canada’s $20-billion defence spending pie. That’s […]


Hating Stephen Harper like reverse Beatlemania

May 28 2015 — Les MacPherson

Hating Stephen Harper is a little like reverse Beatlemania. It is more about social status than politics. With Beatlemania, otherwise sensible teenage girls were reduced to screaming, weeping and swooning just by beholding the Beatles, even on television. They did this not to impress the Beatles, because there was no chance of anything going on […]


Oilsands not the dirtiest

May 28 2015 — Lorrie Goldstein

Today I am going to explain why you, as a Canadian citizen, are not an energy-consuming glutton who is helping to burn up the planet by greedily consuming fossil fuels. In fact, as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions linked to climate change go, Canada is small potatoes. According to the World Research Institute, 2011, China is […]


Rejected ideas new again for Conservatives

May 27 2015 — Chantal Hébert

In the dying days of a third mandate, federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver is about to spend the last summer before the October election consulting the provinces on a public pension reform that all governments including his own dismissed as unworkable five years ago. When the idea of allowing Canadians to make supplementary voluntary contributions […]

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