• 'I'm happy today and very much pleased by getting this Canadian citizenship certificate. You cannot imagine, I had to work hard for it, but finally I got it''I'm happy today and very much pleased by getting this Canadian citizenship certificate. You cannot imagine, I had to work hard for it, but finally I got it'

    The Conservative electioneering around the niqab is getting more and more ridiculous, says the head of a Muslim-Canadian women’s organization after news this week that a ban is being considered for federal public servants and visitors to Parliament Hill.

    But Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, says her organization is getting huge amounts of support in the face of “racist, anti-Muslim prejudice.”

    “If it wasn’t so serious it would be silly,” Hogben tells Yahoo Canada News. “I’m dumbfounded.”

    The Ottawa Citizen reports that a joint House of Commons and Senate committee reviewing security following a gunman’s attack on Parliament a year ago is considering whether Muslim women wearing the face covering will have to unveil for a security check.

    “If after review, policies/protocols are amended to require identification verification of all visitors, that would also mean removal of face coverings for comparison against the ID being presented,” Jacqui

    Read More »from Niqab rule being considered for visitors to Parliament Hill
  • Editorial cartoon by Aislin (supplied by Aislin)Editorial cartoon by Aislin (supplied by Aislin)

    This long federal election campaign is rife with opinion polls that may or may not predict who will come out on top on Oct. 19, the only poll that counts.

    Every major news organization seems to be tracking the electorate’s every burp and fart trying to detect the pivotal shift that could swing the vote.

    Yahoo Canada didn’t want to be left out but decided to take a different approach, by conducting a very small, completely unscientific poll of well-informed, politically engaged Canadians – editorial cartoonists.

    We asked one question: From the standpoint of a professional needler, which leader would you most like to see win the election? Who offers potentially the deepest vein of cartooning gold if he becomes prime minister, incumbent Conservative Stephen Harper, Liberal Justin Trudeau, or New Democrat Thomas Mulcair?

    Yes, we know we should include the Greens’ Elizabeth May and maybe Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois, but neither of them will move into 24 Sussex Drive.

    “This is an

    Read More »from Who’d make the best prime minister – if you’re an editorial cartoonist?
  • Dogs and cats may not have the vote, but if they did Humane Voters Canada has made it easier for them to pick the right candidate.

    The project of Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund endorsed eight candidates in the federal election based on their history with animal-rights issues.

    “Humane Voters Canada is proud to support politicians from all stripes who show a firm commitment to advancing animals’ interests in Parliament,” Jerry Simonelli, director of Humane Voters Canada, said in a statement. “Polling consistently shows Canadians want to vote for politicians who take animal issues seriously. Having a strong, cross-partisan caucus of MPs is key to improving life for animals in Canada.”

    The endorsed candidates come from all of the major political parties, including past members of Parliament and newcomers to federal politics. The endorsement decisions were based in part on a survey Humane Voters Canada sent to the election candidates, as well as the past histories and future plans

    Read More »from 8 candidates get the pawprint stamp of approval
  • Memorial held in Vancouver for Alan Kurdi, 3, buried in SyriaMemorial held in Vancouver for Alan Kurdi, 3, buried in Syria

    Some refugee advocates are demanding independent oversight after revelations that the Prime Minister’s Office interfered earlier this year with the processing of Syrian refugees.

    Faisal Alazem, spokesman for the Syrian Canadian Council, says the Canadian government seems to want to choose certain kinds of refugees — the ones who are not Muslim.

    “That bomb, when it’s falling on a house, it’s not distinguishing between religions,” Alazem tells Yahoo Canada News.

    “You treat people based on their needs and their vulnerability. You don’t treat them based on what you prefer ideologically.”

    The Globe and Mail reports that the PMO directed Canadian immigration officials to stop processing one of the most vulnerable classes of refugees for an undisclosed period of time last spring. The newspaper says the office also directed that all UN-referred refugees would require approval from Prime Minister Stephen Harper while an audit was conducted into all Syrian refugees referred by the United

    Read More »from PMO’s interference in Syrian refugee process a problem: advocates
  • Tory candidates continue to be hard to reach on the campaign trails, including at riding debates.

    Some debates in Calgary’s 10 federal ridings have been cancelled or delayed because of attendance refusals or lack of attendance from Conservative candidates, Brian Lee of the Calgary Leadership Forum told the Calgary Herald.

    “All of the political parties have been very keen on participating except for one,” said Lee, a former Progressive Conservative MLA in Alberta, told the Herald. “I’ll let you guess. It starts with a ‘C.’”

    Lee wasn’t immediately available for comment with Yahoo Canada News.

    Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt did attend a Calgary event on Wednesday to increase voter turnout, CBC News reported, along with Liberal, NDP and Green candidates.

    The problem with media and public access to Conservative candidates in the federal election goes beyond Calgary. The party didn’t send a representative to speak about issues affecting Ottawa at a Monday debate organized by the

    Read More »from Tory candidates absent from debates across country
  • The Federal Court of Appeal continues to hear a challenge to the government's approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline this week, and Statistics Canada releases data on international trade, jobs and housing prices.The Federal Court of Appeal continues to hear a challenge to the government's approval of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline this week, and Statistics Canada releases data on international trade, jobs and housing prices.

    Former science teacher and Conservative candidate Sabrina Zuniga says oil spills from pipelines are no problem because oil is a natural substance.

    The Tory contender in the Toronto riding of Spadina-Fort York made the comments in a recent interview with CPAC.

    “We have the technology … to keep the pipeline safe, to cut off if anything is going to spill,” she said. “Oil is a natural substance. So spilling into the environment, the land will absorb it because that’s what oil is. It’s just when there is too much at once, that’s when the difficulty comes in.”

    It’s true: oil is a natural substance. So are cyanide and sulphuric acid.

    And yes, the land does absorb oil, which then contaminates the ground and the groundwater. Crude oil contains hundreds of components, some of them highly toxic and harmful to humans, like mercury, toluene and xylene, some of them known carcinogens like benzene and chromium.

    Study after study after study has found long-term damage to agriculture and drinking

    Read More »from Tory candidate says pipeline oil spills aren’t a problem because ‘land will absorb it’
  • Newfoundland comedian Mary Walsh is throwing her hat into the “Anybody But Conservative” ring. A new video and fundraising campaign featuring her “22 Minutes” character Marg Delahunty asking Canadians to vote against “Stevil” on Oct. 19.

    Walsh-as-Delahunty paid a visit to historic Quidi Vidi Village in St. John’s to satirically show her support for Stephen Harper, whom she also refers to as “Stasi Steve” and “Herr Harper.”

    “Give the poor Crime Minister the chance he so desperately needs to stop all his relentless, exhausting fear mongering and panic pushing and terrifying the Canadian citizenry into a frenzy of dread about the terror threat,” she says in the video, “even though it’s already been proven that more Canadians are in danger of being struck by a moose than are ever in danger of being struck by a terrorist.”

    On her website Marg Brings Change, visitors can click the virtual penny to donate towards charitable causes for Syrian refugees. Walsh herself will add to the donations.

    Read More »from Marg Princess Warrior asks voters to ‘bring change’ in election
  • A pop-up polling station at the University of Guelph. PHOTO COURTESY: Yvonne SuA pop-up polling station at the University of Guelph. PHOTO COURTESY: Yvonne Su

    In an effort to make it easier for young people and aboriginal Canadians to vote, more than 70 Elections Canada pop-up polling stations are open across the country until Thursday.

    The stations can be found in every province and territory, on post-secondary campuses and at youth and aboriginal centres, and voters can use any pop-up station regardless of where their home riding is. Voters don’t have to pre-register as long as they bring the correct ID for voting, and the sites use special ballots that require them to write in their candidate’s name instead of marking an X in a circle.

    The aim is to increase voter turnout in both First Nations and the youngest voters, who increasingly aren’t coming to the polls during federal elections. Adding up the campuses and community centres served by the pop-up polling locations indicates that about one million voters could be served by them, says Grace Kennedy, executive director of Be The Vote.

    The Elections Canada pilot project is paying off

    Read More »from Pop-up polling stations target students, aboriginals
  • Can Canada sign onto TPP deal mid-campaign?

    It is the largest and most ambitious trade deal in Canadian history.

    Signed by 12 nations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will leave its mark on everything from the cost of a quart of milk to the price of prescriptions. On an international scale, it will affect an estimated 40 per cent of the global economy.

    And it was signed in the midst of a federal election campaign, when Parliament was dissolved, sparking what will likely be an ongoing debate over whether inking the pact is even constitutional.

    “My objection is not to the deal; it’s to the process,” says Bruce Hicks, a fellow at the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs at York University.

    “We’re not in a situation where there is a government right now. We’re in an election and people should have the right to say this is what we want or this is what we don’t want.”

    If the final deal could not have been postponed until the election concluded, the incumbent government should have consulted opposition parties to

    Read More »from Can Canada sign onto TPP deal mid-campaign?
  • The Green Party candidate in Berthier-Maskinongé, Que., is not being welcomed warmly by the mayor of the riding where she is running.

    Considering Victoria Cate May Burton, daughter of Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, doesn’t reside there and has never visited, certainly doesn’t help her cause either.

    “It’s like an insult and I don’t want to see her here,” Louiseville Mayor Yvon Deshaies told Yahoo Canada News through a translator. “It’s like a big battle and she doesn’t want to be here for the people. I’m upset and enraged about it. It’s a real joke.”

    May Burton, who wasn’t immediately available for comment, was quoted by French media as saying that there was “no one particular reason” she chose to run in the riding and that she did not know much about the district.

    She also said she wouldn’t be campaigning in the riding since she is busy supporting her mother during the federal election and would be with her during the entire campaign. There is no trace of her candidacy online and a

    Read More »from Paper candidacy of Elizabeth May’s daughter angers Quebec mayor


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