• Vancouver Island Province

    There's another separatist movement afoot in Canada.

    No, this one has nothing to do with La Belle Province.

    There's actually a group on Canada's west coast that has embarked upon a campaign to begin a public debate into whether or not Vancouver Island should become its own province.

    Certainly, on the surface, it sounds like a hair-brained scheme or even some sort of a prank.

    But Scott Akenhead — one the organizers of the group dubbed Vancouver Island (VI) Province — says that they're dead serious about it.

    "It's not a new idea, by any means," he told Yahoo! Canada News in a Skype interview on Sunday.

    "But nobody has actually taken this on in a practical way.

    "No one is saying that we should rush into this...I'm just saying that it deserves studying. My schedule for this is that's it's going to take at least eight years to work out what are the issues, what are the solutions to the issues, what do people really feel about this? Are we confident that this is the right thing to do?"

    Akenhead's

    Read More »from Will Vancouver Island be Canada’s 11th province?
  • John BairdI think Canada's 'language police' have a little too much time on their hands.

    We've all heard about the never-ending silliness in Quebec — the latest story there was about a 17-year-old entrepreneur who failed in his attempt to launch a business because the name of his company sounded 'too English.'

    [ Related: Quebec teen, Xavier Menard, fights French language law ]

    Well, it seems that's it's also silly season in our nation's capital.

    As reported back in 2011, Foreign Affaris Minister John Baird has chosen to carry around two sets of business cards: one that is bilingual — in English and French — and another in English only.

    According to the Canadian Press, people complained and Graham Fraser — Canada's official-languages commissioner — is now ordering Baird to dispose of his English only cards.

    Fraser issued a preliminary report in April this year, calling on the Foreign Affairs Department to ensure that all communication tools — including business cards — reflect both official languages.

    Read More »from Language commissioner chastises John Baird for unilingual business cards
  • Toronto City Councillor Doug FordThere's a question that Ontario Tories will invariably be asking themselves over the next few days: 'Can we win a general election with Tim Hudak as our leader?'

    If Thursday's byelection results are any indication, the answer should be a resounding no.

    Heading into the vote, all circumstances seemed to favour the Tories. They were up against a 10 year old tired government who has been mired in a gas plant scandal. Some analysts even suggested that the PCs could win four out of the five byelections.

    But it was not to be. The Liberals and New Democrats each won two seats, while Hudak's Tories won just one — in Etobicoke-Lakeshore — on the back of their very popular local candidate, deputy Toronto Mayor Doug Holyday.

    During a press conference on Friday morning, Hudak was accentuating the positive and even suggested that it's time for general election.

    "Look would I have like to have won more ridings? Absolutely," he said.

    "But I'm proud of the gains that we did make. I mean we broke through in

    Read More »from Is Doug Ford making a play for Tim Hudak’s job?
  • Tim HudakTim Hudak is the clear undisputed loser of Thursday's byelections in the province of Ontario.

    Out of the five byelections, the Liberals and New Democrats each won two seats, while Hudak's Tories won just one — in Etobicoke-Lakeshore — on the back of their very popular local candidate, deputy Toronto Mayor Doug Holyday.

    As Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition — the government in waiting, if you will — the Tories were expected to do much better.

    After all, the minority Liberal government has been in power since 2003 and continues to be mired in a gas plant scandal which cost taxpayers over half a billion dollars.

    On Thursday night, Hudak tried to accentuate the positive.

    "It is thrilling to win our first seat in the city of Toronto since 1999," he said at the victory party of Holyday.

    "More (seats) to come for the PCs here in the City of Toronto."

    But really, there's not a lot of positive in Thursday's byelection results and hardly any during Hudak's reign as leader.

    Once again Hudak has proven that

    Read More »from The biggest loser of Ontario’s byelections: PC leader Tim Hudak
  • Sen. Patrick Brazeau talks to media on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Feb.12, 2013.
    It's no wonder public sentiment is starting to lean towards Senate abolition.

    Over the past month, we've learned that the RCMP believe that Senator Mike Duffy had a "pattern of filing fraudulent expense claims."

    We were also provided details about Senator Mac Harb and the RCMP alleging that he claimed an "uninhabitable home" as his primary residence.

    Now it's Senator Patrick Brazeau's turn in the spotlight.

    In an affidavit filed in an Ottawa court on Thursday, the RCMP allege that the former Conservative — now independent — senator inappropriately claimed his father’s home in Maniwaki as his primary residence in order to claim a $22,000 a year taxpayer funded housing allowance.

    According to Senate rules, "senators, whose primary residence is located more than 100 kilometres from the [National Capital Region], are entitled to a reimbursement of travel expenses, and a reimbursement of living expenses, while in the NCR for Senate business."

    The Mounties, however, say Brazeau didn't live in

    Read More »from RCMP alleges Senator Patrick Brazeau committed breach of trust over housing claims
  • Picture of the homeland map via the Associated Press
    American reporters appropriately had a 'wait, what? moment' on Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary committee meeting.

    Senator Diane Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was defending the National Security Agency's top secret spying when she brought out a prop identifying North America — the United States, Canada and Mexico — as the "Homeland".

    "You may also be surprised to learn that our homeland now includes both Mexico and Canada, two areas that we understood to be autonomous nations that are not part of the United States," noted the Atlantic Wire, the publication which first reported the unorthodox map.

    [ Related: U.S. expects immunity for its cops working in new cross-border policing program ]

    "Normally, this would be written off as a design goof, as one of the NSA's (newly adept) graphics guys using a little more light blue than he ought.

    "This being the NSA, we're not inclined to offer that benefit of the doubt. Is this a way of blending in Canadian and Mexican

    Read More »from Canada, Mexico become part of U.S. ‘homeland’ during NSA Senate briefing
  • Route map
    There's no surprise here: the announcement of a new oil pipeline was invariably going to raise the ire of environmental groups across the country.

    On Thursday morning, TransCanada Corporation announced that they are moving forward on a 4,400-kilometre pipeline that could carry over 1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to refineries in Eastern Canada.

    "The Energy East Pipeline project involves converting a portion of natural gas pipeline capacity in approximately 3,000 kilometres of TransCanada’s existing Canadian Mainline to crude oil service and constructing approximately 1,400 kilometres of new pipeline," notes the company's press release.

    "The pipeline will transport crude oil from receipt points in Alberta and Saskatchewan to delivery points in Montréal, the Québec City region and Saint John, New Brunswick, greatly enhancing producer access to Eastern Canadian and international markets. The pipeline will terminate at Canaport in Saint John, New Brunswick where

    Read More »from Greenpeace, other environmental groups vow to fight west to east oil pipeline
  • The Harper government has laid out it's legal argument for senate reform and abolishment.

    Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon on Parliament Hill.

    "I'm pleased to announce that our government is submitting it's legal argument — or factum — to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Quebec Court of Appeal on the issue of Senate reform," Poilievre said.

    "The factums for both references reflect our government's continued confidence in the constitutionality of our Senate reform legislation."

    The minister is referring to their Bill C-7, which would incline provinces to hold senatorial elections and impose a nine-year term limit for senators.

    In February, facing resistance from senators and from the Province of Quebec, the government referred several questions to the Supreme Court about the bill's constitutionality.

    The factum outlines the government's position.

    "Let me summarize the questions we will ask the court and the arguments we

    Read More »from Harper government lays out its legal arguments for Senate reform/abolishment
  • Stephen Harper at a campaign stop in Saskatoon during the 2011 election campaign

    They may be down in the polls, but the Conservatives are still king when it comes to fundraising.

    According to the latest financial data, submitted to Elections Canada and compiled by Punditsguide.ca, the Tories raised $4.86 million from the Canadian public between April and June of 2013, compared to the Liberals at $2.96 million and the NDP who earned $1.37 million.

    The year-to-date number further illustrates the Conservative Party's dominance when it comes to the size of their bank accounts: Since the beginning of the year, the Tories have raised $9.33 million, the Liberals $4.66 million and the NDP $2.97 million.

    [ Related: Jason Kenney versus Justin Trudeau: The battle for the ‘ethnic vote’ ]

    The data also displays positive trends for the Liberals: Q2 of 2013 is now the party's best quarter in two years. Moreover, Justin Trudeau's party had more donors this quarter than Stephen Harper's party: 38,014 individuals donated to the Liberals whereas 30,437 people contributed to the Tory

    Read More »from Harper Conservatives are still the best at raising money
  • Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Reuters)There's an unwritten rule in politics that, despite differences in ideologies, you don't slam other levels of government.

    After all, conventional wisdom suggests that to work well with these people, you need to have good relationships with them.

    But no one ever accused Toronto Mayor Rob Ford of being conventional.

    On Tuesday, while campaigning on behalf Scarborough Progressive Conservative candidate Ken Kirupa — ahead of five provincial byelections on Thursday — Ford called Kathleen Wynne's Liberals a "corrupt government."

    "If you say you want to go and vote Liberal, then you’re basically just giving a bank robber another gun and say[ing] go rob another bank," he said according to the National Post.

    "That’s what it comes down to."

    Not surprisingly, according to the Toronto Star, the Liberals weren't very pleased with Ford's comments.

    Liberal party insiders voiced astonishment over the “insensitivity” of Ford’s remarks about guns given Scarborough-Guildwood recently recognized the one-year

    Read More »from Ahead of byelections, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says voting Liberal is akin to giving a bank robber another gun

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