Blog Posts by Andy Radia

  • Olivia Chow (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)Some grumblings have emerged on Twitter over whether NDP MP Olivia Chow is using her parliamentary budget to help buoy her chances in the upcoming Toronto mayoral election.

    It's no secret that Chow — a former Toronto City Councillor — is eyeing Rob Ford's chair.

    While she hasn't announced her candidacy, some suspect that she made the decision to run months ago but is waiting for the opportune time to throw her hat into the ring. As early as last summer, for example, the Toronto Star reported that Chow had asked election veterans John Laschinger and Joe Cressy to manage her campaign.

    Since then, Chow has — while earning her MP salary — consistently chided Ford, released and heavily promoted her autobiography and has used her position as the MP for Trinity-Spadina to promote Toronto issues.

    While none of that is out of line, some of her critics, opponents and reporters are now taking to Twitter to question her MP mailouts paid for by Canadian taxpayers.

    Read More »from Critics question Olivia Chow's taxpayer-funded mailers ahead of possible mayoral bid
  • U.S. President Barack Obama has proved to be a man of his word — at least when it comes to his sporting wagers.

    As has become somewhat of a tradition between the two countries, Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper bet on the outcomes of the men's and women's Olympic hockey tournaments.

    Canada, of course, was victorious in both.

    On Monday, Obama paid up.

    Harper — from a trade mission in South Korea — acknowledged receipt.

    This is the second time that the President has had to hand over beer. He also did so in 2010. But, according to Harper, four years ago, he didn't keep the booze.

    "He's lost bets to me before," Harper quipped on TSN

    Read More »from Obama delivers on promise, sends Stephen Harper beer after losing Olympic hockey bet
  • The aftershocks of Pierre Karl Péladeau's entry into the Quebec election continue to rumble.

    One day after the billionaire media baron — whose company, Quebecor, operates TVA, Journal de Montréal, Journal de Québec and Sun News — announced his candidacy for the Parti Quebecois, there are questions about his overarching influence over journalists and their coverage of the campaign.

    Before entering the race, Péladeau relinquished his duties as CEO of his family's empire but hasn't given up any of his interest in the company.

    According to the Montreal Gazette, Péladeau owns 28 per cent the media conglomerate. His "multiple voting shares" however, give him 73 per cent of the votes at any Quebecor shareholders’ meeting, essentially giving him all decision-making power.

    Moreover, he says that should he be elected to the National Assembly, he'll put his interest in the company into a blind trust but won't sell even if Quebec's ethics commissioner asks him to.

    "I have no intention of selling

    Read More »from Questions arise over PQ candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau’s influence over Quebec media
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrives in Seoul, South Korea on Monday.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper is leading a trade delegation in South Korea this week.

    Perhaps as early as Tuesday, he is expected to announce the inking of a free trade deal with Korea — a deal that has been in the works for almost a decade.

    The prime minister is touting the imminent deal as an "important step forward." Reports suggest that it could significantly boost Canadian exports to the Asia Pacific region, especially to our agriculture sector.

    Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians, however, isn't buying the Harper hype.

    In a statement posted on the citizens' watchdog's website, Trew says that he expects that the deal will only widen Canada's trade deficit with Korea.

    "If things go the same way as they did for the U.S. in the U.S.-Korea FTA, Canada can expect zero export growth and an increased trade deficit," Trew is quoted as saying.

    "Considering how similar U.S. and Canadian exports are, I think it's the most likely situation."

    Trew is likely alluding to a 2013 report by

    Read More »from Citing the U.S. example, citizens’ watchdog warns against free trade with Korea
  • Is Pierre Karl Péladeau the next Lucien Bouchard?

    We all remember Lucien Bouchard.

    He was, of course, the former Mulroney cabinet minister-turned founder and leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois and was the inspirational leader of the 1995 referendum.

    Well, there are some suggesting that the Parti Quebcois' latest star candidate is sort of a second political coming of Bouchard.

    On, Sunday, Pierre Karl Péladeau — a 52-year-old billionaire media baron who was one the head of Quebecor — announced his candidacy for Pauline Marois' party.

    "My devotion to the Parti Québécois is a devotion that rises from my most intimate values — that is to say: To make Quebec a country," he said, according to the Toronto Star.

    [ Related: Pierre Karl Peladeau to run for Parti Quebecois in Quebec election ]

    The Globe and Mail's Konrad Yakabuski described the announcement as a "seismic shock" to both Quebec and Canadian politics.

    "Pierre Karl could be the Lucien Bouchard of the next Quebec referendum,” explained a leading Quebec federalist who worries

    Read More »from Is Pierre Karl Péladeau the next Lucien Bouchard?
  • Gilles Duceppe eyes future sovereignty vote in Quebec

    Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles DuceppeIt might be counter to the common refrain, but a former Quebec politician suggests that the sovereignty movement is, in many ways, in better shape now than it was in 1995 the year of the last referendum.

    In an interview with Yahoo Canada News last week, former separatist Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe said that he thinks the Parti Quebecois will win the election (either as a minority or majority), that the campaign will focus primarily on jobs and the economy while the issue of Quebec identity will hover in the background.

    [ Related: Red and blue all over, again ]

    And despite the latest poll suggesting only one-third of Quebecers want an "independent country," Duceppe says he's not deterred.

    "I think [Liberal Leader] Philippe Couillard said [Quebec identity and sovereignty] are not really issues. I've never seen so many people discussing about a non-issue," Duceppe quipped.

    "I do remember that in 1995, the middle of September, they were asking people the priorities in the coming

    Read More »from Gilles Duceppe eyes future sovereignty vote in Quebec
  • Dozens call for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women during an vigil for Loretta Saunders

    A highly anticipated all-party Parliamentary committee report has raised the ire of opposition parties and First Nations groups across the country.

    The report on curbing rates of violence against Aboriginal women released Friday makes 16 recommendations. Suggested measures include creating a public awareness campaign, strengthening the public justice system, maintaining the government's commitment to develop the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, implementing a national DNA missing persons index and providing more support for on-reserve Aboriginals.

    To the chagrin of many, however, the Tory-dominated committee does not recommend a national inquiry.

    The Native Women's Association of Canada has documented more than 580 occurrences of missing or murdered Aboriginal girls and women. They — along with all the opposition parties, each of the provincial premiers, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the Assembly of First Nations — has called for a national inquiry.

    Liberal MP Carolyn

    Read More »from Outcry ensues as Tory-dominated committee nixes inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women
  • Newspaper apologizes for cartoon comparing Harper government to Nazis

    A cartoon of the Parliament building flying a Nazi swastika appeared in the Pictou Advocate.

    A community newspaper in Nova Scotia has issued an apology for publishing an editorial cartoon this week which included a Nazi flag flying over Parliament Hill.

    After national media attention and a public outcry The Pictou Advocate posted this explanation on their website late Thursday evening:

    If our editorial cartoon in the March 5 edition of The Advocate has offended anyone, we sincerely apologize. It was certainly not our intention to offend our readers. The cartoon was simply meant as a satire, or exaggeration, on Harper’s Economic Action Plan and its implications for some segments of the community.

    We regret that the cartoon was not received in the spirit with which it was intended.

    The views of the editorial cartoon are those of the contributor, and not necessarily the views of The Advocate, as are all other views by contributors to The Advocate.

    From our editorial cartoonist is the following explanation:

    “I certainly didn’t mean to offend anybody. The use of the swastika was

    Read More »from Newspaper apologizes for cartoon comparing Harper government to Nazis
  • Federal byelection candidate gets online buzz with libertarian memes

    If elections were won based on creativity, then this guy would be the next MP for Fort McMurray - Athabasca.

    Libertarian candidate Tim Moen — who is running in a federal byelection which has yet to be called — is getting a lot of attention for his social media memes which explain libertarianism.

    Here's a sampling of some of them.

    The memes have now been featured on CNN, the Huffington Post and on Reason.com.

    [ More Politics: Pauline Marois refuses to take part in English-language debate ]

    In an interview with Yahoo Canada News on Thursday, Moen talked about his platform.

    "A libertarian is someone who espouses the philosophies of classical liberalism -- the idea that a person owns himself and is a product of his or her labour and that people ought not initiate force against other people to try and get their way," he said.

    He continued, explaining how a libertarian government might tackle taxes.

    "We see taxes as an initiation of force because the end-product of not paying your taxes

    Read More »from Federal byelection candidate gets online buzz with libertarian memes
  • Pauline Marois refuses to take part in English-language debate

    That was fast.

    It's the first full day of the Quebec election campaign and we already have our first language controversy.

    While three of the major party leaders are open to the idea, CBC News is reporting that Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois is refusing to take part in a English-language debate.

    "It's a no," Marois said, according to CBC when asked about the 90-minute televised debate being proposed by a media consortium in Quebec.

    "I am able to speak in English and I think I improved my English, but I don’t think I will be very comfortable in a debate for explaining my specific point of view and I don’t think that will serve the Anglo Quebecers."

    [ Related: PQ, Liberals in tight race as Quebec election campaign gets underway ]

    Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe says that Marois made the right decision.

    "We've never had an English debate in Quebec," Duceppe, who is now a political analyst in Quebec, told Yahoo Canada News.

    "I mean the common language in Quebec is

    Read More »from Pauline Marois refuses to take part in English-language debate

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