• Liberal caucus giving Bob Rae a standing ovation in the House of CommonsAmid glowing tributes from the other parties, Wednesday marked Bob Rae's final caucus meeting and House sitting as interim Liberal leader.

    After almost two years in the post, Rae will step aside for the new leader to be named at an event in Ottawa on April 14th.

    As premier of Ontario from 1990 to 1995, most would agree that Rae had a tarnished image. To this day, many decry his economic record as the NDP premier and chide him for being a political turncoat.

    But as Liberal leader, he served the party well.

    [ Related: Bob Rae suggests MPs dress like pandas for PM's attention ]

    Do two good years as Liberal leader erase his legacy as Ontario premier?

    We went to our expert panel for their opinions on Rae. Here's what they had to say.

    Warren Kinsella, Liberal insider, Sun News columnist:

    "He's been like many last-term presidents and Prime Ministers - when they're no longer seeking another term, they end up having their greatest accomplishments.

    I opposed him, openly and loudly, as

    Read More »from What is Bob Rae’s legacy?
  • Toronto Mayor Rob FordMany of us in the media have unhesitatingly piled-on the Rob Ford-bashing bandwagon over the past couple of years.

    He is, after all, an easy target: He's a somewhat unsympathetic figure and is the definition of gaffe-prone.

    I have to admit, however, that the Toronto Star story, published yesterday, about Ford's alleged alcohol problem made me a little uncomfortable.

    [ Related: Rob Ford supporters deny he has a drinking problem ]

    His morning press conference — where he was honouring boxing legend George Chuvalo — made me cringe.

    Some of the attacks against Ford have been warranted.

    The media certainly has a responsibility to report and comment on stories that affect City business: stories about policies, about his criticisms of the City staff and his numerous court battles are all fair game.

    But it seems the media has upped the ante when it comes to Toronto's mayor.

    Over the past there year, there have been stories about him chasing a reporter off his property and for climbing a

    Read More »from It’s time to leave Rob Ford alone
  • Stephen HarperIs Stephen Harper losing control of his caucus?

    A handful of Conservative backbenchers are speaking-out this week about being muzzled by party leadership.

    The backlash seems to emanating from last week's apparent muting of MP Mark Warawa's non-binding motion that would have Parliament condemn the practice of babies being aborted because of their sex.

    On Tuesday, Warawa also complained to the Speaker — with the backing of two other Tory MPs — about the Conservatives not allowing him to make a 'member's statement' in the House last week.

    A CBC report claims that some Tory MPs are upset with the"heavy-handed tactics on the part of the Conservative leadership."

    "There has been predominantly informal discussion about what is, or what is not, our rights, and MPs have to decide what's wrong and what's right, and what our rights are," said one Conservative MP, who requested anonymity.

    The MPs haven't gone as far as to set out other specific actions in protest, but "there has been discussion

    Read More »from Backbench Conservative MPs ‘rebel’ against PM’s control
  • The Rob Ford camp is in defence mode after the Toronto Star published a story on Tuesday suggesting that the mayor of Canada's most populous city has a serious drinking problem.

    The newspaper chronicled a February 23rd gala dinner — celebrating Canada's military — where Ford was asked to leave because organizers were concerned he was impaired.

    Ford arrived late to the cocktail and dinner event. He was speaking in a rambling, incoherent manner that alarmed some of the guests, according to organizers, military reservists and a prominent Ottawa conservative who were interviewed for this story. Toronto Councillor Paul Ainslie, a strong Ford ally, confirmed to the Star that Ford was asked to leave.

    This is second time within a month that Ford's 'state of being' at a public event has been questioned.

    Two weeks ago, former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson claimed she was groped by an "out of it" Rob Ford at a party, adding that the mayor made comments suggesting he wanted to have an affair

    Read More »from Rob Ford supporters deny that Toronto mayor has a drinking problem
  • NDP candidate Matt Toner and his dog coats

    Throughout the country, we're starting to see an increasing number of electoral ridings which primarily consist of apartments and condos.

    So how does a candidate campaign in such a riding, where he can't put up lawn signs and can't even get into the buildings to 'door-knock'?

    [ More Political Points: Cabinet minister tells student that she’ll “make a wonderful wife” ]

    Matt Toner, an NDP candidate for the upcoming provincial election in British Columbia, has a unique idea: dog signs.

    Toner, who is running in the downtown Vancouver riding of False Creek, is giving away orange dog jackets with the NDP logo and his name written on them.

    He said he came up with the idea last summer.

    "This is a riding without lawn signs. There are no lawns to put signs on. So it comes to how do you reach these people," Toner told Yahoo! Canada News.

    "I live downtown, I live in these buildings and the only time I see my neighbours is when I'm out walking my dog."

    False Creek and especially the trendy

    Read More »from B.C. election campaign going to the dogs: candidate introduces dog signs
  • Conservative MP Keith AshfieldA Conservative cabinet minister made what some are suggesting was a sexist comment, last Friday, when he told a high school student that she'll "make a wonderful wife for somebody."

    Here's a description of the event as chronicled by CBC News:

    In Fredericton, MP and federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield, invited the media to a staged family conversation about the budget with Roland and Gina Moreno and their two daughters.

    It was an opportunity to highlight the government's emphasis on training young people for jobs the economy needs, but things went awkwardly off-script at the start as Ashfield sampled baked goods and chatted with eldest daughter Grace Moreno, a local high school student leader.

    "Grace, you're a great cook," Ashfield said. "You're going to make a wonderful wife for somebody."

    Political analyst Lisa Kirbie was the first to call-out Ashfield on Sunday evening on her website.

    "In what universe is it acceptable to tell a young woman that she’s going to make someone a

    Read More »from Conservative cabinet minister tells high school student that she’ll “make a wonderful wife”
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper looks at one of two Panda bears that arrived at Pearson International airport in Toronto March 25, 2013.
    It seems to be silly season in Canada today.

    The country is going gaga over panda bears while anti-Conservatives are using it as an excuse to chide Stephen Harper.

    On Monday morning, the PMO made a huge spectacle of the prime minister and his wife welcoming the delivery of two panda bears on loan to Canada from China in an apparent show of diplomacy.

    [ Related: Roll out the red carpet: Giant pandas touchdown in Toronto ]

    Some took to Twitter to somehow connect 'panda day' with Harper not meeting with the premiers since 2009 — despite requests from the first ministers.

    It's simply illogical.

    Read More »from Is Stephen Harper choosing pandas over premiers?
  • Pipeline politics are alive and well on the west coast of British Columbia.

    On Sunday, the Coastal First Nations marked the anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill with an ad campaign meant to convince British Columbians to rally against the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline and oil tankers off the coast.

    The group plans to air the ad on television networks along the proposed pipeline route in northern B.C.

    [ Related: Harper government announces new rules on oil tanker safety ]

    "We thought it was appropriate to release the commercial on the 24th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska," Art Sterritt, of the Coastal First Nations, said in a statement referencing one of the world's worst oil spills.

    "A lot of people don’t realize that taxpayers will be left paying upwards of $21.4 billion dollars if there’s a spill.

    "Each tanker is owned and operated by a small holding company to limit financial liability. Taxpayers are left holding the bag, and our communities are

    Read More »from First Nations group marks Exxon Valdez anniversary with an anti-pipeline campaign
  • Thomas Mulcair after winning the NDP leadership in Toronto on March 24, 2012Sunday marks Thomas Mulcair's first year anniversary of winning the leadership of the New Democratic Party.

    It's been a year of some ups and some downs.

    On the positive, Mulcair has built the party into a disciplined well-oiled opposition. He's put together an impressive team — both on the front benches and behind the scenes — that is professional and efficacious as any other party's. Moreover, Mulcair has proven himself to be an effective and forceful orator in the House of Commons in opposition to the Harper government.

    But there have been several challenges and gaffes for the NDP over the past year as well.

    Two MPs defected from the party: one to the Bloc and one — Bruce Hyer — became an independent.

    [ Related: NDP defection rehashes the party's sovereignty problem ]

    The NDP leader has also gone against public opinion on at least two major issues.

    Mulcair was chastised in the media, and especially in Western Canada, for his staunch opposition to the Keystone pipeline and about Dutch

    Read More »from Thomas Mulcair’s so-so first year as NDP leader
  • Saturday marked the fifth and final debate of the Liberal leadership contest.

    Like a lot of the other debates, this one was a ho-hum affair.

    The issue that did spur some disagreements, however, was the Green Party's statement — from earlier in the day — in which they said they would not run in the Labrador by-election and throw their support behind the Liberals to defeat Conservative Peter Penashue.

    "The electoral situation in Labrador is very unsettling. The call for the by-election is potentially rushed given that Mr. Penashue may still be found guilty in the Elections Canada investigation of his 2011 campaign," Green Party leader Elizabeth May said in the statement.

    [ Related: Greens urge NDP to stand down in Labrador byelection to defeat Conservatives ]

    Penashue, who recently resigned his seat in Parliament after it was learned that he accepted illegal campaign donations, beat out his Liberal opponent in the 2011 election by only 79 votes.

    "The Green Party is committed to

    Read More »from Green Party withdrawal from Labrador by-election becomes hot topic in final Liberal debate

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