• John BairdJohn BairdI'm having trouble getting angry about this story regarding Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and his trip to London.

    CTV News is reporting that Baird and six of his buddies stayed at the Canadian High Commission — official residence of former B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell — free of charge while vacationing in the U.K. last Christmas.

    High Commissioner Gordon Campbell, the former premier of B.C., confirmed that Baird stayed at Campbell’s personal quarters where he pays rent, while he was out of the country.

    “I invited him to use the apartment," Campbell told CTV News. "I wasn't going to be there and the staff was not there. He used it as my friends would use it.”

    As the foreign affairs minister, Baird is Campbell’s boss.

    Macdonald House — owned by the federal government — sits in central London and is often used by the prime minister or governor general for official events.

    Baird's office claims that Baird and Campbell are personal friends and that no taxpayer money was used.


    Read More »from John Baird vacationed for free at Canada's official residence in London
  • Who says complaining doesn't accomplish anything?

    It did in British Columbia.

    On Wednesday afternoon, B.C. Premier Christy Clark rescinded her government's decision of last week to give significant raises to senior staff.

    "The decision [to give raises] was very much at odds with what I talked about during the campaign," Clark told reporters.

    "I've always believed and I said this during the election campaign: Leadership listening to people and fixing things when you realize that they're not right. British Columbians talked to me, they said this loud and clear, they didn't think this was right.

    "I'm not satisfied that any of those raises were necessary for staff. So as of today I will rescind those changes."

    The raises boosted salaries of top government aides — many of whom were working for the B.C. Liberal campaign in May — by as much as a whopping 18 per cent. As explained by CKNW radio, all chiefs of staff now lose their salary bumps except the premier's deputy chief of staff who is now

    Read More »from B.C. Premier Christy Clark reverses decision to give senior staff big raises
  • On Tuesday, MPs pulled the plug on one of the most eventful sessions of Parliament in recent memory.

    Across the board for all parties, it was a challenging session with flubs, missteps and scandals galore.

    The NDP had to deal with Thomas Mulcair's Reese Witherspoon moment and two tax delinquent MPs while Justin Trudeau came under-fire for earning speaking fees from charities prior to becoming Liberal leader.

    But for the Conservatives, it was the session from hell.

    Here are ten things that wrong for the Tories' this session.

    1. The beginning of the Justin Trudeau era

    The spring-session was Justin Trudeau's first as Liberal leader. As has become the Tory's modus operendi, they chose to attack. Unfortunately, this time, some of their attacks backfired.

    Their 'just in over his head' commercials caused a backlash against negative ads while an orchestrated push from the PMO about Trudeau-speaking fees was widely criticized.

    [ Related: Tories file conflict of interest complaint against Justin Trudeau

    Read More »from The three worst months ever for the Harper government
  • Justin TrudeauParliament is recessed for the summer, but that's not stopping the Tories from continuing their attacks on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

    Conservative MP Ben Lobb has written a letter to Federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson asking her to investigate whether Trudeau broke conflict of interest rules by voting against Bill C-377 – the union financial transparency bill — even though he has accepted $35,000 in speaking fees from unions since becoming an MP.

    "Under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, Members like Justin Trudeau are banned from acting in any way which could cause a real or apparent conflict of interest, and from using their position as a Member to further their own private interests," an email distributed to Conservative staffers and supporters notes.

    "MP Lobb wrote to the Commissioner to raise concerns that Justin Trudeau may be using his position as a Member of Parliament to advance the interests of groups who have made direct, substantial,

    Read More »from Tories file conflict of interest complaint against Justin Trudeau
  • Bob Rae (CP)Bob Rae is retiring from Parliament.

    The MP from Toronto Centre, the former interim leader of the Liberal Party and the former premier of Ontario made the announcement on Parliament Hill on Wednesday morning.

    A visibly emotional Rae said he's leaving to commit more time to First Nations issues. Last month, Rae became the chief negotiator for First Nations groups in talks with the Ontario government about the Ring of Fire development.

    [ Related: Toronto MP, former Liberal leader Bob Rae resigning House of Commons seat ]

    Rae later released this statement to reporters:

    Some months ago I agreed to work with the Matawa Tribal Council in northern Ontario as their negotiator in dealings with the government of Ontario.

    The Ring of Fire mining development will have a huge impact on the communities in the area and well beyond. How positive that impact could be has yet to be determined, and will depend on the outcome of the discussions that are now underway, and will only intensify in the time

    Read More »from Former Liberal leader Bob Rae to resign from House of Commons
  • MP Eve Adams with Prime Minister Stephen Harper

    How does that old saying go?

    'Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.'

    The Hill Times' Tim Naumetz is reportingthat Conservative MP Eve Adams has received a $155 traffic citation for talking on her cell phone while driving on Parliament Hill.

    A source told The Hill Times Ms. Adams, Parliamentary secretary to the Veterans Affairs minister, was driving through the security entrance when officers noticed she was talking on her cell phone at the same time. When an officer walked up to her as she stopped, Ms. Adams pointed to her Commons pin and said she was an MP, and at some point picked up her phone again, drawing the citation.

    Certainly, it's not the most egregious act in the world, but it's kind of significant because of the big deal the Conservatives made about NDP leader Thomas Mulcair's recent run-in with 'the law.'

    [ Related: Tory MP Eve Adams defends herself for claiming beauty products as election expenses ]

    Last Thursday morning, the NDP leader failed to stop at

    Read More »from Tory MP Eve Adams gets ticketed for talking on cell phone while driving on Parliament Hill
  • Senator Mike Duffy (CP)Aww. It looks like Canada's senators are a little sad.

    The Canadian Press is reporting that our much-maligned senators — currently embroiled in scandals up the ying-yang — are bringing in motivational speakers to raise their deflated spirits and perhaps their hurt feelings.

    All senators, their staff and Senate employees have been invited to attend talks by communications consultant Barry McLoughlin and motivational speaker Marc-Andre Morel.

    According to an email sent out by the Senate clerk’s office, the pair will talk about what it describes as “the enduring value of the Senate and help bring a little perspective to the current situation.”

    The subject line of the email invitation tells recipients that “the Senate values you and the work you do — come find out why.”

    The event was initially scheduled for Wednesday June 19th but it looks like that date has been nixed.

    After the Senate's Question Period, on Tuesday, Senate leader for the Conservatives, Marjory LeBreton, urged Senate

    Read More »from Motivational speakers to give senators a pep talk: report
  • It turns out that the Prime Minister's Office is perpetuating, prolonging and even gleefully advancing the Justin Trudeau/speaking engagement story.

    Trudeau has been under fire for months, for earning $277,000 for speaking engagements since becoming an MP in 2008. A good chunk of the money was earned from charities and publicly-funded organizations.

    Last week, a letter from the Grace Foundation surfaced asking Trudeau for a refund because they lost over $20,000 on their Trudeau-speaking event in 2012. It didn't take long, however, for the Twitterverse to discover that members of the Grace Foundation — a seniors charity in St. John — had ties to the Conservative party and particularly the PMO.

    [ Related: Justin Trudeau vows to 'make things right' with charities, evokes memory of his father on Father’s Day ]

    And now there's this: According to journalist Laurie Watt of the Barrie Advance, she received an email from the PMO on Monday about a Trudeau-event at the Georgian College.

    On Monday, PMO

    Read More »from PMO caught pushing the Trudeau speaking engagement story
  • Yet another Harper government appointee is under investigation for allegedly breaking the rules.

    On Monday, Saulie Zajdel — a former Tory candidate and “regional advisor” for Heritage Minister James Moore — was arrested in Montreal and now faces a cadre of charges linked to the city's ongoing corruption probe.

    Zajdel was, by most accounts, a rising Conservative 'star.' Over a year ago, according to CBC News, he "joined Stephen Harper for a happy-hour pub stop in Montreal as the Conservatives' best hope to win their first seat in the city in a quarter-century."

    While his alleged crimes occurred in 2007 and 2008 — prior to his affiliations with the federal Conservatives — the arrest is another black mark for the Tory brand plagued with scandal.

    During question period, on Monday, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale recited a laundry list of Conservative government appointees that have gone bad.

    The growing list is staggering.

    There's Senators Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy who are all under

    Read More »from Is Stephen Harper a poor judge of character?
  • David Suzuki (CP)

    It's no secret that David Suzuki and Stephen Harper don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues.

    The well-known environmentalist has long chided the Harper government for its position on the Kyoto accord, its promotion of Alberta's oils sands and for weakening the Navigable Waters Act.

    But Suzuki's latest attack goes well beyond the environment.

    In an op-ed piece published in the Globe and Mail on Monday, Suzuki blasts the Conservative government over robocalls, accountability and even the Senate.

    We’re witnessing an erosion of democratic principles. When accusations arose that robocalls were used to misdirect people from polling stations, I was appalled that people here would attempt to undermine the very heart of democracy, using a tactic found in banana republics. Even more shocking was the absence of outrage from political leaders, especially Mr. Harper, whose party was the focus of the accusations.

    Our current government’s policies are guided by ideology rather than facts. Its tactics

    Read More »from David Suzuki blasts PM Harper over erosion in "democratic principles"


(2,975 Stories)