Blog Posts by Andy Radia

  • Trudeau, debt targeted with conservative conference swag

    Let's face it: the best thing about conventions and tradeshows is the swag — the promotional materials handed out by exhibitors that we all get to take home.

    Political conferences are no different in that matter.

    As you might imagine, most of the swag at the sixth annual Manning Networking Conference — organized by the Manning Centre — is, well, ideological.

    [ Related: Canadians comfortable at the centre of the political spectrum: poll ]

    Here are some our favourites from this weekend's event at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

    The Rob Ford button: (Designed by MPrinthouse)

    Rob Ford - Justin Trudeau

    The size matters button: (Designed by MPrinthouse)

    Size matters

    What's a conservative convention in Canada without Sun News' Ezra Levant?

    Ezra

    The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation took aim at some of the not-so fiscally conservative provincial governments.

    Ontario Liberals

    Alison Redford

    There are also T-shirts for sale:

    T-shirts

    And some delicious cookies from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers:

    Cookies

    Are you a politics junkie?
    Follow @politicalpoints on Twitter!

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  • Canadians comfortable at the centre of the political spectrum: poll

    Preston Manning (CP file photo)

    It wasn't too long ago that right-leaning politicos were proclaiming that Canada is becoming more conservative.

    A new poll, presented at the right-leaning Manning Centre's annual conference, suggests otherwise.

    In fact, it looks like Canadians are reverting towards the centre of the political spectrum.

    For the past five years, pollster Andre Turcotte has been asking Canadians the following question: "People often talk about a left and right in politics. Using a 1 to 7 scale where 1 is extreme left, 4 is centre and 7 is extreme right, where do you position yourself on this political ideology scale?"

    Here are the response rates for the past two years:

      2014 2013
    1 2% 2%
    2 4% 3%
    3 14% 12%
    Centre - 4 52% 47%
    5 13% 12%
    6 3% 5%
    7 1% 1%
    Mean score: 3.9  

    Turcotte notes that this isn't a new trend: He told convention delegates that, since 2012, the ideological mean score has been shifting downward (ie: to the left).

    "There hasn't been a lot of movement on this but unfortunately all the

    Read More »from Canadians comfortable at the centre of the political spectrum: poll
  • Most Canadians don’t understand importance of Fair Elections Act: poll

    Minister of State Pierre Poilievre speaks in Ottawa.

    If you've been watching Question Period in the House of Commons or any of the political talk shows out of Ottawa, you might think that the Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23) is the biggest issue facing the country since the NAFTA.

    Interestingly, according to a new Angus Reid survey, most Canadians aren't even familiar with the proposed Conservative government legislation that would overhaul our federal election rules.

    The survey, released Friday, notes that only 20 per cent of Canadians are "very" or "fairly" familiar with the bill introduced earlier this month. Conversely, 42 per cent of those surveyed said that they were "not very familiar but heard of it" while 38 per cent hadn't heard about the bill at all.

    Of those familiar with the bill, 56 per cent oppose it and 44 per cent support it.

    [ Related: Conservatives to take electoral reform act hearings on the road ]

    The Fair Elections Act will, among other things, raise the limits on political donations, impose tougher penalties on

    Read More »from Most Canadians don’t understand importance of Fair Elections Act: poll
  • Right-leaning Canadians at odds over state of conservatism in Canada

    Manning Centre speakersThings are going well for conservative Canadians.

    Right-leaning political parties are ruling in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and, of course, in Ottawa.

    But can the good times continue?

    That's a question that conservatives from across the country will be asking themselves at the sixth annual Manning Networking Conference — organized by the Manning Centre — which gets underway on Thursday evening at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

    "We constantly monitor [the conservative movement] — where the strengths are," the centre's namesake, Preston Manning, told Yahoo Canada News during a telephone interview on Wednesday.

    "I think a strength of the conservatives...is on the economic front. But I think a worry there is that some of the polling shows that while Canadians hold these conservative economic values — the values of balance budgets, keeping taxes moderate, expanding trade — they don't necessarily translate to support for Conservative parties or

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  • Quebec language watchdog’s latest target – Facebook

    Photo from FacebookQuebec's language watchdog is at it again.

    A boutique clothing store in Chelsea, Quebec has been threatened with fines for having their Facebook page in English.

    If you didn't know that social media was under the scrutiny of the language watchdog, don't worry — neither did the store's owner.

    "Ultimately, to me, Facebook has nothing to do with Quebec," Eva Cooper, purveyor of Delilah in the Parc, told the Toronto Star.

    "I’m happy to mix it up, but I’m not going to do every post half in French, half in English. I think that that defeats the whole purpose of Facebook.

    "Would I be able to do my text in English on (Pinterest or) Twitter?"

    According to an Internet lawyer in Quebec, however, Cooper may have to give in to the wishes of provincial authorities.

    "It is well-settled law that Quebec company websites must be in French (they can be in another language as well, but must be in French), because they are considered advertising," Allen Mendelsohn told Yahoo Canada News in an email

    Read More »from Quebec language watchdog’s latest target – Facebook
  • Senator Colin Kenny faces allegations of harassment, abuse of power

    Canada's senators have struggled in their efforts to shed their damaged reputations after the expense scandal of 2013.

    These developing stories about Senator Colin Kenny isn't going to help.

    Late Tuesday, CTV News reported that an investigation into the affairs of the former Liberal Senator has revealed allegations that he inappropriately used a taxpayer-funded staff member for non-Senate work.

    The list of allegations — included in a preliminary report sparked by a staffer complaint last Fall — includes Kenny asking his employee to arrange for the tailoring of his clothes and picking up his prescription pills for erectile dysfunction.

    Kenny is not commenting on the current report but has denied previous allegations of abuse of power.

    [ Related: Ex-Liberal senators’ expense disclosures come up short, watchdog says ]

    Another report — this one by CBC Newsis even more troubling.

    The public broadcaster is reporting that there are five more women alleging Kenny harassed them.

    "Five more women

    Read More »from Senator Colin Kenny faces allegations of harassment, abuse of power
  • Sen. Colin Kenny faces allegations of harassment, abuse of power

    Canada's senators have struggled in their efforts to shed their damaged reputations after the expense scandal of 2013.

    This developing story about Senator Colin Kenny isn't going to help.

    Late Tuesday, CTV News reported that an investigation into the affairs of the former Liberal Senator has revealed allegations that he inappropriately used a taxpayer-funded staff member for non-Senate work.

    The list of allegations — included in a preliminary report sparked by a staffer complaint last Fall — includes Kenny asking his employee to arrange for the tailoring of his clothes and picking up his prescription pills for erectile dysfunction.

    Kenny is not commenting on the current report but has denied previous allegations of abuse of power.

    [ Related: Ex-Liberal senators’ expense disclosures come up short, taxpayer watchdog says ]

    Another report — this one by CBC Newsis even more troubling.

    The public broadcaster is reporting that there are five more women alleging Kenny harassed them.

    Read More »from Sen. Colin Kenny faces allegations of harassment, abuse of power
  • Are Canada’s mayors crying poor or crying wolf?

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford poses for pictures before the Big City's Mayors' meeting

    Canada's big city mayors emerged from their meeting in Ottawa on Wednesday with a common theme' — 'Feds, we need more money.'

    "The [Big City Mayor's Caucus] is calling for Canada to take practical steps to build stronger cities and a stronger economy.

    First, federal and provincial governments must guarantee a lion's share of the New Building Canada Fund for municipal projects, including public transit. Second, the federal government must take action to avert a housing disaster by developing a long-term housing plan for next year's budget that will make life more affordable for Canadians and reverse the withdrawal of existing federal social housing investments worth $1.7 billion per year.

    The mayors also objected to proposed new federal funding rules that would make it more difficult to meet local needson in aress such as roads, sports and recreation."

    The mayors also want Canada Post to stop its plan to eliminate door-to-delivery "until municipal concerns have been fully addressed

    Read More »from Are Canada’s mayors crying poor or crying wolf?
  • A man mourns at the site where anti-Yanukovich protesters were killed during clashes in Kiev.

    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be leading a Canadian delegation to Ukraine later today in the midst of growing anxiety in the east European nation.

    In an interview with CBC News, Conservative MP Ted Opitz, who will be travelling with Baird, said the purpose of the trip is to show support and to provide guidance to the new transitional government.

    "The fact that Canada is acting to send a high level delegation led by the Honourable John Baird, to the Ukraine, I think says a great deal about our commitment to Ukraine, our commitment to the people of Ukraine," he said.

    "What we're going to do is talk to the transitional government about their goals and how they intend to strengthen their democratic institutions."

    Opitz was coy about what tangible support Canada may offer.

    [ Related: Justin Trudeau apologizes for his quip about Ukraine ]

    In a media scrum, on Wednesday, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said no Liberals were invited to join Baird and Opitz in Ukraine.

    "I worry that

    Read More »from Canadian delegation heading to Ukraine amid growing tensions, concerns over Russian intervention
  • Job training ads, Pan Am Games among CTF's top taxpayer-funded losers

    Porky the Waste Hater (CTF file photo)It's sort of like the Oscars for us 'political geeks' except that it's kind of depressing.

    The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its Teddy Waste Awards black tie ceremony on Parliament Hill on Wednesday morning.

    The annual gala event involves CTF Director Gregory Thomas and mascot Porky the Waste Hater handing out pig shaped awards for the worst in government mistakes.

    Here are this year's winners — or should we call them losers?

    The federal Teddy — $2.5 million dollars on ads for a program that doesn't exist:

    The federal Teddy goes to Employment and Social Development Canada for spending $2.5 million on ads for a job training program that didn't exist.

    You'll recall the job grant program commercials during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. They were well-done, but promoted a program that wasn't finalized and needed approval from the provinces to proceed.

    The Tories eventually dropped the ads after complaints were lodged to Canada's advertising regulator from individuals

    Read More »from Job training ads, Pan Am Games among CTF's top taxpayer-funded losers

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