Jim Flaherty State Funeral





  • 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
  • Monday marks Justin Trudeau's first anniversary as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

    While there's been some bumps along the way, I think even his critics have to admit that, by almost any measure, it's been a remarkable year.

    Trudeau has been able to create a persona that's almost Obama-like.

    Liberal strategists have painted him as a charismatic, engaging and positive figure who is markedly different from other politicians in Canada.

    So far the strategy is paying dividends.

    Shortly after the leadership convention in Ottawa, Trudeau helped buoy his party to a victory over the Conservatives in a byelection in Labrador. As explained by Sun News' David Akin, that was the first byelection, out of 20 byelections since 2006, where the Tories lost a seat that they had previously held.

    There were other byelection victories in Toronto Centre and Bourassa and impressive showings in Tory strongholds like Calgary-Centre, Provencher and Brandon-Souris.

    Moreover, membership sales and fund-raising

    Read More »from Justin Trudeau’s first year as Liberal leader a good one
  • A food bankI think most people accept the fact that individuals have different political ideologies.

    We understand that there are people on the extreme left, in the centre and the extreme right of the political spectrum.

    But I don't think I've ever heard any politician in Canada — no matter what political stripe — dismiss the concept of child poverty as Liberal MLA Marc Dalton did in the B.C. legislature earlier this week.

    In his comments, the MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission seems to suggest British Columbia's child poverty isn't really as bad as it sounds.

    To put Dalton's comments into context, here's his preamble where he does acknowledge that there are some people in his constituency who are having trouble making ends meet.

    "I will say that British Columbia has seen a reduction of child poverty by about 43 percent over the past decade or so. Right now we have the lowest level of child poverty in decades. I believe it's about 30 years. So we've come a long way. There's certainly a lot more to do, but

    Read More »from B.C. MLA Marc Dalton makes odd, dismissive comments about province’s child poverty
  • Canada's most famous landmark — the CN Tower — will go green on Friday evening in honour of former finance minister Jim Flaherty.

    A CN Tower spokeswoman told City News that the lights will be turned on at sunset — roughly 7:55 p.m tonight — in a salute to Flaherty, who died Thursday afternoon of an apparent heart attack.

    Flaherty — with his Irish heritage — was very fond of the colour and often wore green ties in the House of Commons.

    [ Related: Four great things Jim Flaherty did for Canada ]

    The CN Tower has paid tribute to other political figures in the past. In 2011, the tower was lit up in Orange on the eve of NDP leader Jack Layton's funeral.

    More recently, the coulors of the South African flag were proudly displayed to honour Nelson Mandela after his death late last year.

    Flaherty's death has caused shock waves throughout the country and especially in Ottawa. On Thursday, in an unprecedented move, Parliament was suspended while MPs of all political stripes consoled one another.

    The

    Read More »from CN Tower to go green in tribute to Jim Flaherty
  • Patrick Brazeau is getting help.

    The 39-year old suspended senator was arrested early Thursday morning at a private residence in Gatineau following a domestic disturbance call. He was officially charged with two charges of assault, possession of cocaine, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and breaching previous release conditions.

    He pleaded not guilty to all charges but, according to reports, was detained in custody overnight and appeared in court on Friday.

    The Canadian Press is reporting that he has now been granted $5,000 bail on condition that he undergo treatment at a rehabilitation facility in Quebec.

    "He has to go to Maison Mélaric for treatment to deal with an alcohol and drug problem," Crown prosecutor Stéphanie Robitaille told reporters, according to the Globe and Mail.

    The reports note that Brazeau has three days to report to facility and while there, or at home, must adhere to a strict curfew of between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    [ Related: Arrest for suspended

    Read More »from Suspended senator Patrick Brazeau released on bail, must go to rehab
  • Jim Flaherty in the House of CommonsFormer finance minister Jim Flaherty died Thursday afternoon of an apparent heart attack, less than a month after his resignation from cabinet.

    As media outlets are apt to do, many are reflecting on his legacy: What did he do for Canada? What will he be remembered for?

    In kind, we've compiled our own list of what we call Jim Flaherty's legacy moments.

    The Registered Disability Savings Plan:

    One of the nice stories being shared today is of Flaherty's commitment to families living with disabilities.

    Likely bourne from a personal situation — one of his triplet boys is disabled — Flaherty initiated several programs to aid Canada's 3.8 million disabled people.

    His flagship program, if you will, was the Registered Disability Savings Plan, a tax-assisted savings plan — introduced by the Tories in 2007 — that was designed specifically to provide long-term financial security for disabled individuals.

    Here it is as explained by the Globe and Mail:

    "The parent of a 15-year-old who puts $200 a
    Read More »from Four great things Jim Flaherty did for Canada

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