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  • New Democrats will form the next government in Alberta: CBC projects
  • Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against Bill C-51, the Canadian federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation in Vancouver, British Columbia April 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ben NelmsProtesters hold signs during a demonstration against Bill C-51, the Canadian federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation in Vancouver, British Columbia April 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

    The House of Commons took a walk down memory lane in the final hours of debate on the government’s controversial anti-terror bill, just hours before MPs are set to vote on the legislation Tuesday evening.

    It was an exercise in review and reiteration, with opposition members detailing concerns they have of the bill, which they’ve spoken out about over the past few months.

    Issues with the controversial Bill C-51 have been many and varied — and trumpeted mostly by New Democrats inside and outside the House of Commons.

    NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison outlined his main issues, which include the broadness of the bill’s measures on information sharing, granting new disruptive powers to CSIS and creating a new criminal offence targeting people who support terrorism.

    He called C-51 one of the most significant pieces of legislation to come before the House of Commons while he’s been a member of parliament and said the NDP has had a principled stance against the bill, even when it

    Read More »from House of Commons counts down final hours of debate on Bill C-51
  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a policy announcement during an event at a restaurant, Monday, May 4, 2015 in Aylmer, Que.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a policy announcement during an event at a restaurant, Monday, May 4, 2015 in Aylmer, Que.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

     

    Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s announcement Monday to tax the rich more heavily and tax the middle class less, and to enhance child benefits offered to families, is at first blush economically viable and sound — but there are caveats.

    The Liberal plan, says one economist, is doable and is, essentially, making the tax and transfer system more progressive.

    But Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said it creates a rhetoric that in order to beat the Conservatives in the next federal election, parties have to offer tax cuts.

    “It’s the first foray of the Liberals in the wake of the extremely popular Harper budget,” Yalnizyan told Yahoo Canada News. It’s taking what’s in the Conservative’s budget, tabled in the House of Commons in April, and responding to it, she suggested.

    Trudeau made his announcement at a family diner in Aylmer, Quebec, just outside of Ottawa, with a backdrop of parents and kids who, one would assume, will be the

    Read More »from Trudeau's tax plan ‘doable’ policy: economist
  • Alberta Conservative leader Jim Prentice speaks with media after meeting with supporters on a visit to the Italian Centre during a campaign stop in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, May 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason FransonAlberta Conservative leader Jim Prentice speaks with media after meeting with supporters on a visit to the Italian Centre during a campaign stop in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, May 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson


    The Alberta election on May 5 is looking to be historic, with the Progressive Conservative dynasty under new leader Jim Prentice predicted to collapse. The province could for the first time in over 40 years have a new government — and an NDP government no less. So what’s going on? 

    1. A win for the NDP would be about the Progressive Conservatives  

    Although NDP leader Rachel Notley has run a solid campaign and seems like a sound party leader, the results of the election on May 5 won’t be about her, or her party.

    “It’s a political cliche but it’s a cliche because it’s true, that governments aren’t elected, governments are defeated,” said Duane Bratt, a professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

    There are a number of factors that have gone into the NDP surge and the Progressive Conservative deflation — a stagnating economy and dissatisfaction with an aged political dynasty included.

    “If in fact they are defeated it will be because they deserve to be defeated, and there’s a lot of

    Read More »from 5 things you need to know about the Alberta election
  • Universal Child Care Benefit deadline extended.Universal Child Care Benefit deadline extended.


    Employment and Social Development Minister Pierre Poilievre needs your help, again.

    The May 1 deadline to register for the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit has come and gone, but Poilievre doesn’t seem satisfied with the results of his push to get more families registered to receive benefits from the expanded program.

    Poilievre announced Friday that the government is extending the deadline for two weeks, in an effort to entice more Canadians to take advantage of the benefit.

    And, like he did weeks ago when the government’s campaign to get more registrants signed up for the UCCB took off, he’s asking for help from media and the public to get the word out.

    Poilievre took to Twitter to push the announcement and said — pointing to Manitoba in particular — that 7600 families in that province won’t get UCCB benefits in July unless they register by May 15.

    Read More »from Ottawa extends deadline to apply for expanded child care benefits
  • Ask anyone in Alberta, or any keen politics watcher, whether they’d ever think the Progressive Conservatives would seriously be at risk of losing an election to the New Democrats, and it’s quite possible the response would have been one of hearty laughter.

    But the over 40 year reign of the PCs in Alberta could come to an end on May 5, if recent polls are any indication. The NDP, under new leader Rachel Notley, are putting in a real challenge to Premier Jim Prentice.

    The latest poll from EKOS Research, which randomly sampled 721 Albertans between April 25 and 29 and released on April 30, suggests the NDP could sweep the province.

    In a dramatic change from the results of the last Alberta provincial election in 2012, when the Wildrose Party offered the biggest challenge to the PCs, about 42 per cent of Albertans intend to vote for the NDP, according to the EKOS poll.

    Twenty-three per cent of voters intend to cast a ballot for the PCs and 21 per cent for the Wildrose.

    In 2012, the PCs won

    Read More »from Polls suggest NDP set to make historic sweep in Alberta
  • Who needs birthday presents when you collect gifts all year long? Since becoming prime minister in 2006, Stephen Harper has given and received plenty of gifts, both when foreign dignitaries come to visit, and when he travels abroad, not to mention visiting the various regions of Canada.

    Harper isn’t allowed to keep all of the gifts he’s sent, though. In 2006, the Conservative government passed the Conflict of Interest Act, which led to the creation of a public registry for all gifts, that someone in public office receives, CBC reported.

    All gifts over $200 are required to be declared to the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner. And all presents over $1,000 can’t be kept by public office holders at all.

    Because it’s now a matter of public record, anyone can check out what gifts Stephen Harper has received through the public registry at the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner website. This is just a sampling of some of the things Harper has received in his

    Read More »from Forget his birthday, Stephen Harper gets plenty of gifts all year
  • Photos of birthday card for Stephen Harper via Tumblr user richardlazarusisgo.Photos of birthday card for Stephen Harper via Tumblr user richardlazarusisgo.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper is celebrating his 56th birthday today, April 30, and he'll be receiving well-wishes from many of his party supporters thanks to his wife, Laureen.

    Members of the Conservative Party of Canada received a letter last week from Laureen Harper, asking for donations ahead of the October 19 election. The mailout also included a card for the prime minister's birthday, which was shared on Tumblr. It reads, "Happy Birthday, Prime Minister! Wishing you another Happy Birthday on April 30th... and another Conservative Majority victory for Canada this October!"

    Stephen Harper birthday card, via richardlazarusisgo/TumblrStephen Harper birthday card, via richardlazarusisgo/Tumblr

    The Tumblr post showing the card was reblogged hundreds of times, and was spotted by leftist political news site Press Progress, who didn't think much of the gesture:

    "While it's not uncommon for political parties to use the birthdays of leaders as an opportunity to collect information from supporters, in this case, it's hard not to wonder if the Conservatives are worried no one will wish the Prime Minister

    Read More »from Stephen Harper celebrates birthday with cards sent to, mailed back from party supporters
  • Despite a drop in support in one Atlantic province, the Liberal Party — both federally and in the Maritimes as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador — looks set to dominate the eastern part of the country.

    A poll commissioned by the Guardian newspaper in Prince Edward Island and carried out by Corporate Research Associates (CRA) put premier Wade MacLauchlan’s Liberals in the lead, again, but with a 14 point drop in support since the most recent survey.

    The Liberals are at 44 per cent in support, according to CRA, with the Progressive Conservatives following with 35 per cent.

    It’s unlikely the Conservatives will manage to swing a victory when the province heads to the polls on May 4, suggested CRA chairman and CEO Don Mills, although their support across the province has gone up by nine points since a February poll.

    The shift in support will likely make things, at the very least, more interesting than expected.

    “We thought in February that it was going to be a cakewalk for the

    Read More »from Liberals drop in P.E.I. polls, but Maritimes remain a Grit stronghold
  • REUTERS/Chris WattieREUTERS/Chris Wattie
    The entry of former Toronto police chief Bill Blair into the federal political world is heralded by some as smart politics on the part of his chosen party, the Liberals, but not everyone lauds its tendency to court and attract star candidates.

    Blair announced his intentions Sunday to seek the Liberal nomination in Scarborough Southwest, a riding currently represented by New Democrat Dan Harris.

    Liberal leader Justin Trudeau held a news conference Monday in Ottawa with Blair, signalling his preference for the candidate, and promising public safety officer compensation under a future Liberal government for those killed or injured.

    Nelson Wiseman, a professor at the University of Toronto, said bringing Blair into the Liberal fold was a smart, well-calculated move and that the Liberal party likely sought him out.

    “Polls indicate that people trust the police much more than they trust politicians or reporters, or people in most occupations,” Wiseman said. “Parties are always interested in

    Read More »from Bill Blair steps into the political ring to mixed reactions
  • A screengrab from the latest NDP ads, slamming the Conservatives and Liberals on spending.A screengrab from the latest NDP ads, slamming the Conservatives and Liberals on spending.

    The Liberal Party’s recent TV ad on the Conservative government’s use of taxpayer’s money for “partisan” advertising has raised the eyebrows of at least a few higher ups in the NDP, who’re retaliating with an ad of their own.

    The NDP ad uses the same music and visuals as the Liberal party’s effort, but points to both the Conservatives and Liberals as wasteful spenders, even doubling down on the LPC.

    The Canadian Press reported earlier this week that the Conservatives are dishing out $13.5 million from government coffers to advertise its “Economic Action Plan” — also known as the federal budget — on both TV and radio.

    The Liberals are trying to make the point that the Conservative government is using taxpayer-funded advertising to promote itself and its recently tabled budget. Alongside the ad, the party also used its opposition day motion on Monday to debate the government’s “wasteful spending on partisan ads.”

    Liberal MP David McGuinty’s private member’s bill, which would see

    Read More »from NDP spoof Liberal ad on wasteful government spending

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