• Ex-prime ministers, former premiers and ousted party leaders are notorious for not showing up for work.

    Those politicians — who in many cases are embarrassed out of their chiefly roles — become diffident about coming to their respective parliaments or legislatures to do their duty and represent the views of their constituents.

    Such is the case of former Alberta premier Alison Redford.

    About a month ago, amid questions about her travel expenses, dwindling poll numbers and a pseudo-caucus mutiny, Redford resigned as premier. She didn't resign as an MLA and continues to earn a whopping annual salary of $134,000.

    But, as explained by the National Post, she's been MIA.

    "With the exception of a few Twitter comments and one meeting during which she took no questions from media, the former premier has been AWOL for her continuing job as a member of the Legislative Assembly, representing the residents of Calgary-Elbow," the Post notes.

    "As of Wednesday afternoon, she had skipped seven

    Read More »from Should we cut former Alberta premier Alison Redford some slack for poor attendance?
  • Canada's SenateThe media often uses the term 'historic' too loosely.

    But in this case, it seems to be appropriate.

    Next Friday — April 25 — the Supreme Court of Canada will offer a 'historic' opinion to the Harper government's reference about what it would take to reform or abolish the Senate.

    Canada's highest court is expected to answer the following questions put to it by the Harper government in a legal 'factum' filed last year:

    - Can Parliament enact term limits on senators so they serve eight or nine years rather than having a job for life?

    - Can Parliament set in place a democratic vote to recommend names to the prime minister for the Senate?

    - Can the provinces hold a democratic vote of their own to recommend names to the prime minister for the Senate.

    - Can the Parliament remove antiquated property ownership requirements for Senators?

    - Can the Parliament abolish the Senate without the unanimous consent of the provinces?

    The so-called reference was heard in November, where the Harper

    Read More »from Ruling from Supreme Court on Senate reform (or abolishment) coming next week
  • We may soon have word about the future of Mike Duffy.

    Multiple media outlets are reporting that the RCMP are in the final stages of their investigation regarding the suspended Senator's alleged false expense claims and his acceptance of a $90,000 gift from Nigel Wright, the prime minister's former chief of staff.

    Both Global News and the Toronto Star are reporting that a decision on whether or not to lay charges could come within the next month.

    [ Related: RCMP drop investigation into Nigel Wright’s $90,000 gift to Mike Duffy ]

    The reports come just days after RCMP decided not to lay charges against Wright.

    "In June 2013, the RCMPs National Division initially launched an investigation of Nigel Wright with respect to his gifting of $90,000 to Senator Mike Duffy," the Mounties noted in a statement on Tuesday.

    "When the RCMP initiated the investigation there were sufficient grounds to pursue the matter with regards to the offences of breach of trust, bribery, frauds on the government, as

    Read More »from Duffy's fate should be decided in the coming weeks
  • Colleagues, friends and family of Jim Flaherty gathered in Toronto on Wednesday to bid a final farewell to the former finance minister who died of an apparent heart attack last Thursday.

    The state funeral — held at the hallowed St. James Cathedral — included tributes from Flaherty's widow, Christine Elliot, Flaherty's sons, his sister Norah Flaherty, and federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch.

    One of the most moving speeches, however came from the Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a eulogy he chose to write himself.

    Much has been written about the exceptional professional relationship of Harper and Flaherty: Flaherty was Harper's right hand man in cabinet for eight years. Together they formed the duo that steered the country through the global economic crisis — the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

    Harper spoke a little about that and, at times, got political praising "Jim" for instituting one of the the world's larger stimulus packages, engineering the money out the

    Read More »from Stephen Harper delivers moving eulogy for his friend Jim Flaherty
  • For weeks, the international community has talked tough against Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

    On Wednesday, NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen upped the ante promising to increase its military footprint in Eastern Europe amid growing concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin's intentions in the region.

    "Today, we agreed on a package of further military measures to reinforce our collective defence and demonstrate the strength of Allied solidarity," Rasmussen said in a statement.

    "We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land.

    "For example, air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region. Allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required. Military staff from Allied nations will deploy to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises. Our defence plans will be reviewed and reinforced."

    [ Related: Combat vehicles in east Ukraine city fly Russian flags ]

    Read More »from As NATO increases its military presence in Eastern Europe, Canada considers its role
  • Former Harper chief of Staff Nigel WrightNigel Wright -- the Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff -- is no longer being investigated by police with regard to his role in the Senate expense scandal that rocked the Conservative government for the better part of last year.

    The RCMP released this statement on Tuesday afternoon:

    "In June 2013, the RCMPs National Division initially launched an investigation of Nigel Wright with respect to his gifting of $90,000 to Senator Mike Duffy.

    "When the RCMP initiated the investigation there were sufficient grounds to pursue the matter with regards to the offences of breach of trust, bribery, frauds on the government, as well as receiving prohibited compensation contrary to the Parliament of Canada Act.

    "Upon completion of the investigation, we have concluded that the evidence gathered does not support criminal charges against Mr. Wright."

    Wright was let go by the Conservatives last May when it was learned that he did indeed write a cheque to Duffy.

    While Harper initially

    Read More »from RCMP drop investigation into Nigel Wright’s $90,000 gift to Mike Duffy
  • There are a countless number of songs, poems and books about how great it is to be young.

    Middle and senior-aged Canadians across the country often yearn for the good old days.

    "How great would it be to be 21 again," you might hear one say.

    Well, maybe being young isn't such a good thing anymore.

    A new analysis — by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives — adds to the growing number of recent surveys, studies and reports highlighting how difficult life is for 18- to 30-year-olds.

    This one is about university tuition rates.

    According to the report released on Tuesday, the average annual undergraduate tuition fee in Canada has skyrocketed from $551 in 1975 to $5,772 in 2013.

    A more telling statistic, however, is the number of hours necessary for a student to work, at minimum wage, in order to pay for their own schooling.

    As explained by CBC News, a student in 1975 only needed to work 230 minimum-wage hours to pay for their post-secondary education. Today, students need to work at

    Read More »from High tuition, high debt, high unemployment: Being a young adult is tougher than it used to be
  • Anecdotally, it seems that we're a lot closer to gender equality than we were in the 70s, 80s and even the 90s.

    After all, we see more women in prominent positions in the business world, in politics and in education.

    But according to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, we still have a long way to go.

    In the report, titled A Growing Concern, the left-leaning think-tank claims that the gender pay gap — the difference between what men and women make in average annual salary — is actually growing.

    "Last year, using average annual earnings of Ontario men and women, we reported that Ontario gender pay gap was 28 per cent — that, on average, women made 72 cents for every man’s dollar," notes the report, released on Tuesday.

    "A year later, we find the gap has grown to 31.5 per cent — on average, women made 68.5 cents for every man’s dollar in 2011.

    "In dollar terms: men’s average annual earnings increased by $200 — from $48,800 in 2010 to $49,000 in 2011 — but women’s

    Read More »from Canada's gender pay gap is getting worse, new report shows
  • Former Alberta premier Alison Redford is shown with her daughter

    She may be gone from the Premier's office, but former Alberta premier Alison Redford continues to be the subject of some controversial headlines.

    Since she stepped down, she's been criticized for allegedly ordering a penthouse suite as premier to be built for her and her daughter in a federal government building in downtown Edmonton.

    She's been scrutinized for her very poor attendance record in the legislature since resigning as premier on March 19.

    And now there's this.

    In a surprising report released Monday, CBC News claims that Redford took her daughter on approximately 50 separate government flights between 2008 and 2014.

    Some of those flights included a friend of Redford's daughter, one included Redford's nanny and two were long-weekend trips to a luxury resort in Jasper.

    "The reason for the [long-weekend] trips provided by Redford on the public flight manifests was listed as 'meetings with government officials.'

    "Interim Premier Dave Hancock’s director of communications, Craig

    Read More »from Former Alberta premier Alison Redford under fire over new spending allegations
  • The Senate chamber on Parliament Hill.

    For those who think Canada's Senate is a rubber-stamping factory that serves no purpose in 2014, this story might just change your mind.

    According to reports, an all-party Senate committee is poised to unanimously recommend changes to the Harper government's Fair Elections Act.

    Earlier this month, said Senate committee heard testimony from experts who criticized the controversial legislation arguing that it would disenfranchise thousands of voters, muzzle Elections Canada and weaken the election watchdog's investigative powers.

    [ Related: Poilievre's statement on Fair Elections Act put to the test ]

    According to the Hill Times, the Senate committee has taken those critiques to heart.

    "The Hill Times obtained a copy of some of the committee’s recommendations in its report on Bill C-23. They include requiring that attestations of name and address be given by authorities such as homeless shelters, student and senior’s residences, and other facilities to those who request them. The

    Read More »from Canada's Senate could turn the table on Tories over Fair Elections Act


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