National Newswatch

Conservative MP Trost almost expelled from party over alleged membership leak, says campaign manager

Jun 19 2017 — Abbas Rana — A key individual in Brad Trost’s leadership campaign says some “rogue elements” in the Conservative Party Leadership Election Organizing Committee “don’t like” the Saskatchewan MP or social conservatives, and considered throwing him out of the Conservative Party for allegedly leaking the party membership list to a gun-advocacy group—an allegation his camp denies. In the end, […]

Top Conservatives brief caucus on Scheer’s leadership vote numbers, MPs say they’re now satisfied, Bernier didn’t ask any questions

Jun 12 2017 — Abbas Rana — Conservative MPs say last week’s potentially explosive controversy around newly elected leader Andrew Scheer’s leadership vote numbers is no longer a problem after two top Conservatives briefed the national Conservative caucus on June 7. Conservative MPs also say Dustin Van Vugt, executive director of the Conservative Party, and Derek Vanstone, deputy chief returning officer for […]

Change is going to come: Independent Senators Group wants 40 per cent of Senate committee chair, vice-chair positions by fall

Jun 5 2017 — Abbas Rana — The 35-member Independent Senators Group, the second largest Senate caucus that holds no chair positions in the Senate’s 18 committees, is expecting to receive 40 per cent of the chair and vice-chair positions by this fall. In an interview with The Hill Times, Alberta Ind. Sen. Elaine McCoy said the leadership of all Senate caucuses […]

Senators question Internal Economy Committee’s $108,000, ‘sole-source’ media relations contract

May 29 2017 — Abbas Rana — The Senate’s Internal Economy Committee has put out a “sole-source” contract worth $108,000 for a communications consultant to do media relations for the committee, and several Senators are asking why a contractor is needed when there are about two dozen people already in the Senate’s communications directorate. New Brunswick Ind. Sen. Pierrette Ringuette led the […]

Conservatives say leadership ‘wide open’ and ‘excited’ about party renewal, first leadership convention in 13 years

May 22 2017 — Abbas Rana — Conservative Party stalwarts say the 14-month leadership race—the party’s first in 13 years, which comes to an end in Toronto this weekend—has “renewed” the party and the new leader will have no difficulty keeping it united. “It’s exciting,” said John Reynolds, former Conservative MP and co-chairman of Maxime Bernier’s (Beauce, Que.) leadership campaign. “It’s good […]

Sen. Greene says he was ‘ambushed’ by Conservative Senate leader Larry Smith, kicked out of Conservative Senate caucus over tonight’s dinner with PM

May 16 2017 — Abbas Rana — Nova Scotia Conservative Senator Stephen Greene is the first casualty of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s so-called “charm offensive” with Senators to get the government’s legislative agenda moving through the Upper Chamber. Sen. Greene announced today that he will now sit as an Independent Reform Senator after he was “ambushed and was delivered with an ultimatum […]

‘We need a surgical tool to cure this particular breach of ethics code,’ says McCoy as Senate poised to eject Meredith

May 8 2017 — Abbas Rana — The Senator who leads 35 Independent Senators in the Upper Chamber says it “grieves” her to eject a fellow Senator, but GTA Ind. Sen. Don Meredith’s breach of the Senate’s ethics and conflict of interest code was so serious it will need a “surgical tool to cure it.” “I’m grieving. It hurts,” said Alberta Independent […]

Conservatives’ rank and file ‘pissed off’ O’Leary quit, wondering, ‘what the hell are we left with?’

May 1 2017 — Abbas Rana — With Kevin O’Leary gone from the Conservative leadership race, there are concerns within the party about the level of star power left and the chances any of the remaining candidates have of winning the next federal election, say insiders. There is still resentment toward heavyweights from the former Stephen Harper cabinet, such as Peter MacKay, […]

Conservative leadership race enters ‘horse-trading phase’ and candidates are making deals

Apr 17 2017 — Abbas Rana — With the Conservative leadership campaign in the home stretch, candidates and their top strategists are now reaching out to Parliamentarians, rival leadership candidates’ campaign officials and supporters, and building alliances for second-, third-, and subsequent-ballot support as none of the 14 candidates is likely to win on the first ballot in this close contest. “The […]

Conservative leadership results to indicate level of MPs’ influence in ridings, say Tory MPs

Apr 10 2017 — Abbas Rana — Conservative MPs who have endorsed any of the 14 leadership candidates are working aggressively to deliver their ridings to their preferred candidates in next month’s leadership vote because the riding-by-riding leadership election results will be seen as a measure of MPs’ influence in their ridings, say Conservative MPs. As well, if an MP’s chosen candidate […]

Conservative MP Tilson tells O’Leary ‘to his face’ he won’t vacate his House seat

Apr 10 2017 — Abbas Rana — Five-term Conservative MP David Tilson informed Conservative Party leadership front-runner Kevin O’Leary at a private meeting last week that he would not vacate his seat for him if the businessman and reality-TV star won the party’s top job next month in Toronto. In an interview with The Hill Times, Mr. Tilson (Dufferin-Caledon, Ont.)—who is supporting […]