National Newswatch
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Canada-EU summit reception costs keep rising – to $162K

Jan 29 2015 — Terry Milewski

It was a grand affair — which is just as well. For $162,863, you want more than cheese dip and some dried-up carrots. But then, the plan called for “royal” treatment of the visitors. The Prime Minister’s Office had insisted on that when Herman Van Rompuy, then president of the European Council, and José Manuel […]

Jan 29 2015 — Daniel Leblanc

A majority of Canadians are ready to give new powers to the government to combat security threats, including blocking websites that promote the proliferation of terrorism, a new poll suggests. Over all, the Nanos Research survey found the federal government has strong support to introduce legislation that would limit Charter rights such as freedom of […]

Jan 29 2015 — Lucas Powers

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said last weekend that new anti-terror legislation to be introduced on Friday will, among other things, “criminalize the promotion of terrorism.” Such a move, however, could have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Canada and would not necessarily contribute to effectively fighting domestic extremism, according to legal experts. The […]

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Government had warning about foreign workers and youth unemployment

Jan 29 2015 — Alex Boutilier

The Conservative government knew the temporary foreign worker program was causing pressures on youth employment almost a year before reforming the program, documents show. In an August 2013 briefing note for Employment Minister Jason Kenney, department officials warned that industries which commonly employ young Canadians are also among the highest employers of temporary foreign workers. […]

Lisa Raitt

No more pro sports tickets for Via Rail, Canada Post employees: Raitt

Jan 29 2015 — Glen McGregor

Canada’s two largest government-owned corporations will no longer give employees or clients free tickets to professional sporting events. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who is responsible for both Via Rail and Canada Post, told the House of Commons Wednesday that both Crown corporations will stop buying tickets to National Hockey League games and other sporting events. […]

Jan 29 2015 — Lee Berthiaume

The Mike Duffy affair resurfaced on Parliament Hill Thursday, as the NDP asked the Speaker of the House of Commons to determine whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper intentionally misled MPs about Canada’s war in Iraq. In strongly worded language, NDP defence critic Jack Harris accused the prime minister of hiding plans to put Canadian soldiers […]

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Jan 29 2015 — Ian MacLeod

Was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau a terrorist or not? Canadians still don’t really know. In the three months since the attack on the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill, government leaders have repeatedly declared Zehaf-Bibeau to be a violent jihadist. Prime Minister Stephen Harper mentioned it again during a campaign-style speech in Orléans on Sunday. “Jihadist terrorism […]

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Jan 29 2015 —

A new online dictionary is seeking to demystify obscure Canadian parliamentary terms and phrases for the average civilian — or should we say the “Tim Horton’s voter?” If you’ve ever wanted to know who “premier dad” is, or what the name of a popular orange carbonated beverage has to do with Canadian politics, look no […]

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Featured Ink

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As election looms, Tom Mulcair’s NDP walks a fine line

Jan 29 2015 — Tom Walkom

Tom Mulcair is walking a careful line. The New Democratic Party leader wants to continue the work that his predecessor, Jack Layton, did in attracting new voters. But he’s also trying to hang on to the NDP’s traditional left-of-centre base. As the tribulations faced by Andrea Horwath’s Ontario NDP demonstrated last year, this is not […]

Bob Hepburn

Is Stephen Harper friend or foe of democracy?

Jan 29 2015 — Bob Hepburn

Back in 2006, Stephen Harper rode to electoral victory by promising the most sweeping package of democratic and parliamentary reforms the country had ever seen. Harper made the campaign pledge in the wake of a controversial series of political scandals and democratic abuses under successive Liberal governments. While his critics may have doubted his commitment, […]

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Quebec corruption inquiry struggling for relevance

Jan 29 2015 — Chantal Hébert

There were high hopes at the time of its creation that a public inquiry into collusion and corruption in the province’s construction industry would provide Quebecers with a comprehensive picture of the situation. Three-and-a-half years later, those hopes have mostly given way to curiosity as to how the commission presided by Justice France Charbonneau will […]

Matthew Fisher

Allow Canadian special forces privacy to do necessary task in Iraq

Jan 29 2015 — Matthew Fisher

Unlike our allies who have kept a tight lid on the operational activities of their special forces in Iraq, the Harper government and the Canadian military made an uncharacteristic decision to permit details to be released about what Canada’s special forces are doing there. Hence the storm of criticism led by the opposition and the […]

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Vancouver’s high housing costs mean less cash on hand to pay more taxes

Jan 29 2015 — Barbara Yaffe

Vancouver-area politicians still do not get it. Due to crushing housing costs, Lower Mainlanders have far less discretionary income than other Canadians. In such circumstances, it is not reasonable to ask them to finance additional fees and taxes — including more PST for transportation initiatives — no matter how urgent. Vancouver’s affordability crisis was underscored […]

Entertainment Plus

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Colleen McCullough, The Thorn Birds author, dies at 77

Jan 29 2015 —

Australian author Colleen McCullough, whose best-selling novel The Thorn Birds became a hit TV series, has died at the age of 77. The best-selling writer died in hospital on Norfolk Island on Thursday afternoon, publisher HarperCollins Australia confirmed. McCullough had suffered poor health in recent years, losing her sight and suffering crippling arthritis.

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