Blog Posts by Andy Radia

  • Premier Redford’s departure could cost Alberta taxpayers $1 million

    One of the primary reasons Alberta Premier Alison Redford was forced to resign, earlier this week, was because of her $45,000 bill for a trip to South Africa.

    Opposition parties and residents of Alberta felt that the expense was symbolic of the way the premier handled the public purse.

    She repaid the $45,000 to the taxpayers of Alberta. But, somewhat ironically, its going to cost Albertans more money to get rid of her.

    A lot more money.

    According to a story in the National Post, several of the premier's staffers have been or will likely be released in the coming days as interim leader David Hancock takes over the reigns on Sunday. That, of course, means gold-plated severance payments for the exiting staffers that could potentially add up to over $1 million.

    The Post story identified at least two staffers who have been released: Redford's communications director Stefan Baranski and chief of staff Farouk Adatia. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation told the Post that Baranski will receive a

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  • Heed this Putin: The governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are considering a ban on Russian liquor sales in protest to Moscow's heavy-handedness in Ukraine.

    Talk of such measures were sparked in Manitoba on Wednesday, when that province's Progressive Conservatives released this statement:

    We will be judged by our actions more than our words. While governments around the world talk about the Russian insurgence into Ukraine we are asking the NDP to take action.

    “We are asking the NDP to take action to show the Russians that Manitoba is serious about its condemnation of Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” said Culture Heritage, MLCC Critic Ron Schuler. “When good men and women stay silent, those with evil intentions win."

    We were pleased to stand with the NDP and independent members last week to express our support of the people of Ukraine. We now believe it is time to take action and are calling on the minister to remove Russian-made products from MLCC store shelves until this international
    Read More »from Saskatchewan and Manitoba governments consider bans on Russian booze, Ontario will leave sanctions to feds
  • Jim Flaherty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper enter the House of Commons on budget day 2014.

    Sports fans often talk about athletes who know when it's time to retire versus those who hang around for too long.

    The Detroit Red Wings' Niklas Lidstrom, for example, could have played another two or three years but chose to retire in 2012, whereas Mark Messier — who was a ineffective shell of his Edmonton Oiler self by the end of his career — probably should have retired three or four years before his career ended.

    In politics, the Mark Messiers of the world are usually pushed out (ie: voted out) by a disgruntled caucus and/or electorate.

    There are fewer Lidstroms: those politicos that have the wherewithal to leave at the 'right time', keeping their dignity and respect intact while not hurting their political party's fortunes.

    Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced her resignation Wednesday.While Flaherty and Redford resigned under very different circumstances, I think both of them are more Lidstrom than Messier: In other words, they resigned at the right time.

    After delivering ten federal budgets, Flaherty had earned the accolades of

    Read More »from Knowing when to call it quits: Flaherty, Redford resigned at the right time
  • Is Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi interested in replacing Alison Redford?

    Alberta Premier Alison Redford announces her resignation in Edmonton, Alberta on Wednesday March 19, 2014

    Alison Redford pulled the plug on her political career Wednesday, announcing that she will step down as Alberta's premier effective Sunday.

    The embattled Progressive Conservative party premier has been under fire in recent weeks for her questionable travel expenses, her budget woes and alleged crusty workplace manner; she's also had to face a caucus revolt, of sorts, with MLAs openly questioning her leadership while two of them — Len Webber and Donna Kennedy Glans — altogether defected choosing to sit as independents.

    [ Related: Alberta Premier Alison Redford resigns following expenses scandal ]

    On Thursday, the PCs chose deputy premier Dave Hancock as their interim leader and premier.

    The next question inevitably becomes: who will run to permanently replace Redford?

    Earlier this week, prior to Redford's resignation, political scientist Duane Bratt suggested that current cabinet ministers, Thomas Lukaszuk and Doug Horner, are two likely front-runners. Out of the two, he believes

    Read More »from Is Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi interested in replacing Alison Redford?
  • Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigns, may be replaced by Joe Oliver

    Update: According to CBC reports, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is expected to replace Jim Flaherty as Canada's minister of finance.

    [ Related: CBC says Canada's energy minister to become new finance minister ]

    After 10 federal budgets, Jim Flaherty is calling it quits.

    Citing a desire to get back to the public sector, the Harper government's only finance minister made the announcement with a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

    "Yesterday, I informed the Prime Minister that I am resigning from Cabinet. This was a decision I made with my family earlier this year, as I will be returning to the private sector," Flaherty, a former lawyer and ex-Ontario MPP wrote.

    "I am grateful to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for providing me with the opportunity and responsibility to serve Canadians as their Minister of Finance since 2006, one of the longest serving Finance Ministers in Canadian history. As a government, we achieved great things for Canada and I could never have accomplished what I

    Read More »from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty resigns, may be replaced by Joe Oliver
  • Quebec Liberal leader Philippe Couillard's party is sitting at 39 per cent according to a new poll.If momentum means anything in politics, Quebec's Liberals should be a little happier today.

    A new CROP/La Presse poll says that Philippe Couillard's party now sits at 39 per cent support compared to the Parti Quebecois at 36 per cent. The new figures give the Liberals their first lead since the election campaign began almost two weeks ago.

    "While the Liberals still trail the PQ when it comes to support from Francophone voters, the PQ support with French speaking electors dropped by ten points compared with last months survey," notes the Montreal Gazette.

    "Based on these numbers, pollsters now suspect the outcome of the April 7 election is far from certain.

    "PQ support appears to have stalled particularly when it comes to public support for the controversial charter of values. Meanwhile, it appears the arrival of Quebec media magnate Pierre Karl Péladeau has pushed left-wing support to Quebec Solidaire which now stands at 10 per cent in the polls, an increase of three points compared

    Read More »from Values charter, Peladeau and controversial candidates hurt the PQ in opinion poll
  • TVO host Steve Paikin and his son, Zach. (Facebook)Monday was an eventful day for the Paikin family.

    First, 22-year old Zach Paikin, son of TV Ontario host Steve Paikin, made headlines for announcing that he's dropping out of a Liberal nomination race because Justin Trudeau allegedly broke his promise about holding open nominations.

    [ Related: Trudeau ‘broke his promise, so I’m withdrawing my candidacy’ says Zach Paikin ]

    Later in the day it was Steve Paikin who was at the centre of a Twitter storm.

    Paikin's 'transgression' was a blog post he published on Sunday about having trouble finding female guests for his popular political panel talk show, The Agenda.

    Here's an excerpt from his blog:

    Why can't we get more female guests? I don't think it's the case that we're not trying hard enough.

    In that "Binders Full of Women" program we did [in 2012], we learned some of the reasons why it's so hard to find female guests. For example, if we're doing a debate on economics, 90% of economists are men. So already you're fishing in a lake where

    Read More »from TVO host Steve Paikin called sexist over blog post bemoaning lack of female guests
  • Ontario is financially much worse off than California: report

    Premier Kathleen Wynne has been accused of lying about the state of Ontario's finances. CP/Frank GunnCalifornia has become synonymous with financial dire straits.

    In recent years, when discussing the most indebted jurisdictions in the western world, some politicians included California in the same conversation as Greece and Spain.

    While that might have been a bit of a stretch, things were pretty gloomy.

    Well, surprisingly — or maybe not — a new study by the Fraser Institute suggests that Canada's most populous province is actually worse off than America's most populous state.

    The study, released on Tuesday, notes that by any measure, Ontario's debt level trumps California's.

    "To many in the United States and Canada, California represents the epitome of irresponsible government spending coupled with poor cash management," notes the study titled Comparing the Debt Burdens of Ontario and California.

    "In this context, discovering that Ontario’s financial position is far more precarious should serve as a wake-up call to Ontario policy makers and citizens alike."

    [ Related: Are Canadian

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  • A teenaged Zach Paikin meets Justin Trudeau.

    Since becoming leader, Justin Trudeau has has to face a flurry of attacks from the Conservative Party and the NDP — by most accounts, he's handled it well.

    Let's see how he deals with an attack from within his own party.

    On Monday, a young but high-profile Liberal nomination candidate announced that he's dropping out of the race because of Justin Trudeau going back on his word.

    22-year old Zach Paikin, son of TVO's Steve Paikin, announced his 'resignation' on Facebook.

    "Last week, Justin Trudeau broke a key promise to hold open nominations in every riding by blocking the candidacy of Christine Innes in downtown Toronto," Paikin, who was aiming to be a federal Liberal candidate in a Hamilton area riding, wrote.

    "I cannot, in good conscience, campaign to be a part of a team of candidates if others seeking to join that team are prevented from doing so if their ideas or ambitions run contrary to the party leader's interest. Therefore, after spending the weekend consulting with friends

    Read More »from Justin Trudeau ‘broke his promise, so I’m withdrawing my candidacy’ says Zach Paikin
  • Crimea: What’s the next move for the international community, Russia?

    The international community is circling the wagons, so to speak, following the weekend referendum in Crimea which predictably resulted in a virtual consensus to secede from Ukraine.

    While legislators in Crimea and Russia — buoyed by a 97 per cent vote — move quickly to unite, Canada and its G7 brethren continue to denounce the action.

    "The so-called referendum held today was conducted with Crimea under illegal military occupation. Its results are a reflection of nothing more than Russian military control," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement on Sunday.

    "This 'referendum' is illegitimate, it has no legal effect, and we do not recognize its outcome. As a result of Russia's refusal to seek a path of de-escalation, we are working with our G7 partners and other allies to coordinate additional sanctions against those responsible.

    "Any solution to this crisis must respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the constitution of Ukraine.

    Read More »from Crimea: What’s the next move for the international community, Russia?


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