Blog Posts by Andy Radia

  • Psychic offers his predictions for Canadian politics in 2015

    Richardson says he expects to see Trudeau face some challenges in 2015. (CP)Richardson says he expects to see Trudeau face some challenges in 2015. (CP)

    As the year draws to a close, Canada’s political pundits and pollsters once again prognosticate about the New Year.

    If history is any indication, you might not want to make any wagers based on their predictions: Over the past couple of years, they haven't been very good at forecasting political outcomes.

    With that in mind, we thought we’d thought we would leave the predicting business to the professionals — the psychics. (After all, they can’t do any worse, can they?)

    We contacted psychic medium Blair Robertson – an accomplished psychic whose past predictions have been featured by news outlets across North America – for his thoughts on the big political events of 2015.

    Robertson told Yahoo Canada News that he likens his political predictions to those of a weatherman: What he predicts isn't necessarily what he wants to see happen.

    Here’s what he sees happening over the next 12 months.

    Prediction 1: The Mike Duffy Trial

    Senator Mike Duffy speaks while in his vehicle outside a pet kennel in Kensington, P.E.I. (Reuters)Senator Mike Duffy speaks while in his vehicle outside a pet kennel in Kensington, P.E.I. (Reuters)

    Background: From April to June 2015, an Ontario court will

    Read More »from Psychic offers his predictions for Canadian politics in 2015
  • 2015 Politics preview: Harper and Duffy and Peladeau, oh my!

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (The Canadian Press)Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (The Canadian Press)

    Federal Election

    In late February or early March the Harper government will table its 2015/16 budget.

    For all intents and purposes, that will be the beginning of the federal election campaign.

    The Tories will use the surplus budget to tout their economic prowess; they’ll contend that they are the only party with the experience and ability to steward Canada through challenging economic times.

    The Liberals will try to portray the Harper Conservatives as a tired, old and arrogant government that needs to be ousted and replaced by ‘new solutions, new ideas and a new way of doing politics.’

    And the New Democrats will push the narrative that they are only party “ready” to replace the Tories.

    It may be a nasty campaign. The Conservatives have a significant financial advantage in terms of money raised, and, as we’ve seen in the past, aren’t afraid to use their resources to attack other party leaders. The Liberals have vowed to fight back.

    The election is scheduled for Oct. 19.

    Suspended Senator Mike Duffy. (CBC)Suspended Senator Mike Duffy. (CBC)

    Mike

    Read More »from 2015 Politics preview: Harper and Duffy and Peladeau, oh my!
  • Sheila White leads a group of students in a lesson about litter. (Courtesy Sheila White)Sheila White leads a group of students in a lesson about litter. (Courtesy Sheila White)

    Canada is falling behind other countries when it comes to litter prevention, according to Toronto-based anti-litter advocate Sheila White.

    White – once a senior aide to former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman – is once again sounding alarms about the lack of federal, provincial and corporate leadership when it comes to an issue that often gets tossed aside in favour of the sexier environmental topics such as climate change or pipelines.

    In 2012, White called on the Ontario provincial government to put in place a provincial litter strategy. They said no, arguing that litter is a municipal responsibility.

    But in an interview with Yahoo Canada News, White argues that municipalities need some stewardship – that two years later the piecemeal approach is not effective.

    “I’d be happy with any government ministry, agency or politician to step up and say that they’d be willing to look at it,” she said.

    “I believe there should be a custodian of the file and a person to draw all the players

    Read More »from Time to clean up our act: Anti-litter advocate fights for Ontario-wide garbage strategy
  • Photo: TwitterPhoto: Twitter
    When it comes to veterans issues, the Harper government is badly losing the battle of public opinion. 

    For months we’ve heard stories about “angry veterans”  frustrated over a lack of support and services   who are vowing to do whatever they can to defeat the Harper government in 2015.

    Some have said they’ll stop doing photo-ops with Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino; some have gone as far as to launch an “Anyone But Conservative” campaign. 

    There’s at least one veteran, however, who is going against what seems to be the new anti-Conservative norm. 

    Tim Laidler, who served in Afghanistan in 2008 before leaving the military, still believes that the Conservatives are the best ally of veterans.

    He’s actually putting his hat into the ring and is now the Tory candidate — for the 2015 election — in the suburban Vancouver riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

    So  given all the recent strife  why is a veteran choosing to run for the Conservatives of all parties? 

    "My choice really

    Read More »from Afghanistan veteran remains loyal to Conservatives amid protests for support
  • Harper should follow Obama's lead on illegal immigrants: lawyer

    REFILE - CORRECTING NAME OF WOMAN ON RIGHT Lorella Praeli, Chela Praeli and Ligia Jimenez (L-R) listen to U.S. President Barack Obama speak about immigration reform during a visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada November 21, 2014. Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION EDUCATION)REFILE - CORRECTING NAME OF WOMAN ON RIGHT Lorella Praeli, Chela Praeli and Ligia Jimenez (L-R) listen to U.S. President Barack Obama speak about immigration reform during a visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada November 21, 2014. Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION EDUCATION)
    On Thursday evening, U.S. President Barack Obama made a historic announcement which allows millions of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. 

    Under Obama’s plan, those who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and that are parents of citizens or legal permanent residents would be eligible to apply and avoid deportation.  

    But what about Canada’s illegal immigrant problem? Should the Harper government be taking similar action?

    According to a 2009 House of Commons immigration committee report, the number of illegal immigrants in Canada is hard to nail down: Estimates have ranged anywhere from 80,000 to 500,000. 

    The report, however, notes that Canada’s illegal immigrant population is a little different than the United States in that most illegal immigrants in this country have come over to Canada with some sort of status — as a visitor or as a temporary worker. In the U.S., many of the 11.2 million migrants have sneaked-in over their southern border. 

    "Different people react

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  • Bulletproof desk-maker targets new audience: Politicians in Ottawa

    Screengrab from LifeGuard Structures promotional video.Screengrab from LifeGuard Structures promotional video.

    You’ve got to admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Stephen Noon. 

    Noon is the proprietor of Paratus Emergency Preparedness Ltd., a Vancouver based-company that markets a bulletproof safe-room and earthquake shelter built right inside your desk. 

    His customer base for the bulletproof cubby  which includes a sliding door  had been used in the retail industry. 

    Following the recent terrorist Ottawa, he now has a new target market:  He wants to sell these desks to Parliamentarians so they have a place to be secure in case there’s another unfortunate attack that forces them into a lock-down.  

    "We didn’t think that bulletproof desks in Canada was really something worth pushing until the events in Ottawa on [October 22nd]," he told Yahoo Canada News in a telephone interview.

    "It really changed our thinking to suddenly, instead of pursuing earthquake desks in British Columbia, we’re primarily now [focused] on these."

    Noon has taken out an ad in the Hill Times touting these 800 pound,

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  • Senator Larry Campbell (right) is seen here August 21, 2006 in Vancouver (CP/Rafal Gerszak/Globe and Mail)Senator Larry Campbell (right) is seen here August 21, 2006 in Vancouver (CP/Rafal Gerszak/Globe and Mail)

    It’s just not fair.

    That’s the message Liberal senator Larry Campbell is spreading with regard to the “serious personal misconduct” allegations leveled against Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews. 

    Last week, in an interview with the Hill Times, Campbell  a former mayor of Vancouver and ex-RCMP officer  said that the two NDP MP accusers should identify themselves publicly. 

    "I feel bad that they weren’t identified. I think everybody should be identified. Why should they [Liberal MPs] get smeared and [the NDP MPs are not even identified]?" he said.

    "To me, it’s just totally unfair."

    I think when you’re accused of something in our justice system, you should be able to address the accuser. It’s almost better to be charged criminally because at least then you have a chance to clear your name in a public place.
    —Liberal Senator Larry Campbell

    The misconduct allegations were brought to light earlier this month, when Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suspended Andrews and

    Read More »from Senator Larry Campbell says NDP accusing Liberal MPs of misconduct should come forward
  • Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith addresses party faithful at their annual meeting Nov. 14, 2014. (CP)Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith addresses party faithful at their annual meeting Nov. 14, 2014. (CP)

    "Wildrose Party set for sweeping majority"

    That was one of many newspaper headline, created in the days before the 2012 Alberta general election, predicting that Danielle Smith’s party would form government and that she would be premier.

    Smith didn’t win that election, the Progressive Conservatives did, and that sort of talk now feels like a lifetime ago. 

    After rebounding  in the opinion polls, at least  during the Alison Redford spending scandal, there are now questions about the Wildrose Party’s future.

    The party’s latest misfortunes can be attributed to several factors, one of which is the election of former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice as PC leader and premier. 

    "I would say that the situation is pretty tough for Wildrose," Mario Canseco, Vice President of Alberta-based polling company Insight’s West, told Yahoo Canada News.

    "I think they had a wonderful issue they exploited brilliantly this year, when the government announced their license plate changes," he said, 

    Read More »from Wildrose Party's future in jeopardy as countdown begins to Danielle Smith's departure
  • Canada increases funding to fight forced child marriages abroad

    Young Palestinian groom Ahmed Soboh, 15 and his bride Tala, 14, stand inside Tala's house.Young Palestinian groom Ahmed Soboh, 15 and his bride Tala, 14, stand inside Tala's house.

    The Harper government has announced an additional $10 million in funding to combat the practice of child marriages in the developing world.

    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the announcement in Ottawa on Tuesday as part of the fourth-annual John Diefenbaker Award Ceremony  a ceremony to honour those who show “exceptional courage and leadership in defending human rights.”

    This year’s award went to an international organization called Girls Not Brides.

    "In all parts of the world, Girls Not Brides gives a voice to those who are silenced by child marriage. They do this by calling for new laws, sharing best practices and engaging with communities," Baird said, calling child marriage “one of the most pressing development challenges of our time.”

    "Currently, 700 million girls and women alive today were married as children.This isn’t a cultural nuance or a women’s issue — the impact on health and freedom of so many young girls adds up to a human tragedy. Global efforts to reduce the

    Read More »from Canada increases funding to fight forced child marriages abroad
  • Tories slammed for latest Economic Action Plan ad's campaign-style tone

    It appears the election campaign ads are slowly but surely starting to roll out (Cartoon by Graeme MacKay)It appears the election campaign ads are slowly but surely starting to roll out (Cartoon by Graeme MacKay)

    We may have had our first glimpse at a federal election ad for the 2015 election. 

    No, this one isn’t brought to you by the Conservative Party or the NDP — it’s paid for by the taxpayers of Canada. 

    The Harper government has launched its latest Economic Action Plan ad promoting their suite of childcare tax credits. 

    Over the past several years, the Tories have spent millions of dollars on these ads that are supposed to promote government programs.  

    Critics, however, argue that they reek of political partisanship promoting nothing but the Conservative Party of Canada.  

    Last week, Canadians for Tax Fairness — a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization advocating for fair and progressive tax policies put out a press release suggesting that the radio counterpart to the television ad is “thinly disguised electioneering.”

    “These..ads push the limits on informing Canadians about government programs,” Dennis Howlett, executive director of the organization said in a press release noting

    Read More »from Tories slammed for latest Economic Action Plan ad's campaign-style tone

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