• Sir John. A MacDonald would have turned 198 on January 11th.Today, January 11, is Sir John A. MacDonald's birthday.

    If he were alive today, our first prime minister would be 198 years old.

    To mark the occasion, the federal government is announcing plans for MacDonald's 200th birthday in 2015. According to PostMedia News, they've set aside $870,000 for a "bicentennial commission" and a "new set of Heritage Minute television spots paying tribute to MacDonald."

    Now, I understand the need to promote our history: it's about instilling pride and developing a sense of 'Canadiana.' I get that. I also understand that in the big scheme of things $870,000 isn't really a lot of money.

    [ Related: Sir John A. MacDonald statue sprayed with graffiti in Kingston, Ont. ]

    But, when you add the $870,000 to other monies that the Harper government has spent on historical tributes, it starts becoming significant especially in a time of fiscal austerity.

    Let's review, shall we?

    In 2012, the government projected to spend $7.5 million for the Queen's diamond jubilee

    Read More »from Sir John A. MacDonald’s 198th birthday celebrated as the feds look forward to his 200th
  • In what's been dubbed by some as 'MILF-gate', radio DJ Justin Wilcomes was fired after asking B.C Premier Christy Clark what it was like to be a MILF during a live on-air interview.A shock jock on Vancouver Island says he has been fired for doing his job.

    In what's been dubbed by some as 'MILF-gate', radio DJ Justin Wilcomes — aka Drex — asked B.C Premier Christy Clark what it was like to be a MILF during a live on-air interview last month.

    To everyone's surprise, the premier actually answered the question.

    [ Related: B.C. Premier Christy Clark: 'Better a MILF than a cougar' ]

    "You know, I take that as a compliment … you know, it’s one of those things," Clark said.

    "Better a MILF than a cougar."

    Now, according to Wilcomes, he's been unfairly fired because of the question and the subsequent public uproar.

    "I did what was expected of me," he told a CKWX1130 on Thursday.

    “I work at a rock station. We do entertainment and comedy interspersed with things in our community. I don’t think it was a bad thing. I think, more the media attention is what they were angry about."

    Wilcomes went on to say that he wanted to apologize to the premier for the question but was never

    Read More »from Radio station fires DJ who asked B.C. Premier Christy Clark if she was a ‘MILF’
  • Native protesters gather as they take part in an Idle No More march at the Peace Arch border crossing between Canada and the U.S. in Surrey, British Columbia January 5, 2013.Contrary to some reports, James Anaya, the UN's special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, has not been denied entry into Canada by the Harper government.

    On Wednesday, the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations released a statement claiming that Anaya, who in the past had been critical of the federal government's handling of aboriginal affairs, had been denied visas to enter Canada on three separate occasions.

    But in an email exchange with Yahoo! Canada News on Thursday morning, Anaya says that it's not true.

    [ Related: UN offers ‘advice’ to Harper on how to deal with Idle No More protests ]

    "I do not know of the original source of the assertion that I have been denied a visa to enter Canada," he wrote.

    "I have not been denied a visa as I have not applied for one, and ordinarily as a United States passport-holder I am not required to have a visa to enter Canada."

    Anaya does however say that, about a year ago, he made a formal request to the federal government asking

    Read More »from UN special advisor James Anaya refutes claims that he was denied visas to enter Canada
  • This story was updated at 9:45p.m. EST on January 10

    Governor General David Johnston will host a "ceremonial meeting" with First Nations leaders at Rideau Hall tomorrow.Will he? Will she? Won't they?

    That remains the question just hours before a scheduled historic meeting, Friday, between First Nations leaders and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

    After a day of threats, snubs, olive branches and more threats, the meeting -- sparked by the Idle No More movement -- is in jeopardy.

    Thursday started with Manitoba chiefs demanding that the location of the meeting be moved from the prime minister's office to the larger Delta Hotel and that Governor General Davd Johnston be in attendance.

    The GG obliged — sort of — offering an olive branch stating that he would host a 'ceremonial meeting' for First Nations leaders at Rideau Hall after their meeting with Harper.

    But, apparently, that wasn't good enough for the Manitoba chiefs.

    CBC News is reporting that they will not attend the meetings unless they get their way; several other provincial factions have decided to stand in solidarity with their Manitoba

    Read More »from First Nations meeting with PM still up in the air
  • New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa December 10, 2012.You might call it a family reunion, of sorts.

    According to La Presse, provincial NDP leaders from across the country will descend upon Ottawa on Tuesday, for a summit with federal party chief Thomas Mulcair.

    The meeting, which will include opposition leaders as well as Premiers Greg Sellinger (Manitoba) and Darrell Dexter (Nova Scotia), is expected to be part strategic planning session and part PR exercise.

    The French-language newspaper notes that officials have even prepared a presentation for the group showing that, out of all the provincial parties, New Democrats have the best financial record over the past 30 years.

    [ Related: Olivia Chow says facial paralysis won't impede work ]

    "The NDP comes first of all political parties. [They] filed a budget surplus in 46 per cent of years they exercised power," notes the article.

    "The Conservative Party (including the Saskatchewan Party) came second with an average of 40 per cent and the Liberal Party, third with 25.7 per cent."

    Such a

    Read More »from Thomas Mulcair to host NDP ‘family reunion’ in Ottawa next week
  • Abbotsford, B.C. handed a $115,000 “one-time grant” to a struggling municipal golf course, claiming its problems stem, in part, from poor weather. In a report, city staff said “good weather” was among the things “being worked on” to turn it around."It's sort of apropos that, in the midst of the Attawapiskat audit and the calls for accountability within the First Nations, that Maclean's Magazine released their list of government financial foibles.

    The list, dubbed '99 stupid things the government did with your money', is probably a good reminder for all of us that its not only Aboriginal administrators that have trouble managing their budgets.

    [ Related: Which Canadian politician would you like to see on a reality T.V. show? ]

    My two favourite 'stupid things' come courtesy of municipal governments — number 1 and 79 respectively on Macleans' list:

    "Bad slice: The City of Abbotsford, B.C. handed a $115,000 “one-time grant” to a struggling municipal golf course, claiming its problems stem, in part, from poor weather. In a report, city staff said “good weather” was among the things “being worked on” to turn it around."

    "Timber tussle: The City of Ottawa has spent $853,000 in legal fees and settlement payments to block six homeowners

    Read More »from Magazine releases list of stupid things the government does with your money
  • Native protesters hold native flags as they take part in an Idle No More march at the Peace Arch border crossing between Canada and the U.S. in Surrey, British Columbia January 5, 2013.A "United Nations expert" has some advice for prime minister Stephen Harper with regard to Chief Theresa Spence and the Idle No More movement.

    On Tuesday, James Anaya, the UN's special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, issued a statement saying that while he is encouraged by reports that Harper will meet with First Nations leaders on Friday, he hopes that both sides will adhere to the standards expressed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    The Declaration states that indigenous peoples have the right to maintain their distinct identities and cultures as a basis of their development and place in the world, to pursue their own destinies under conditions of equality, and to have secure rights over lands and resources, with due regard for their traditional patterns of use and occupancy.

    In particular, Mr. Anaya highlighted one of the preambles in the Declaration which affirms that treaties, agreements and other arrangements are the basis for a

    Read More »from UN offers ‘advice’ to Harper on how to deal with Idle No More protests
  • Kathleen Wynne is cheered by supporters after announcing her intention to run for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party at a rally in Toronto on November 5, 2012.Most political watchers in Ontario have their calendars marked for the weekend of January 25th.

    That, of course, is when Liberal party members descend upon Toronto to replace Dalton McGuinty as Ontario Liberal leader and, by default, Ontario premier.

    This weekend, however, is pretty important too.

    On January 12th and 13th, Liberal riding associations across the province will each elect 16 delegates. These delegates, along with 800 'ex-officios' (ie: MPPs, party officers and Liberal MPs from Ontario), will be the only ones allowed to vote at the leadership convention at the end of the month.

    According to data obtained by the Toronto Star, Kathleen Wynne has more backers vying for delegate spots than any other candidate: The former cabinet minister has 1,533 supporters running to be delegates while former MPPs Sandra Pupatello and Gerard Kennedy have 1,281 and 846 respectively.

    [ Related: Wynne propelled by power to connect with people ]

    The Star does caution, that the numbers are

    Read More »from Kathleen Wynne leads in backers for Ontario Liberal leadership race weekend delegate selection
  • A bird's-eye view shows flood damage at Twin Lakes Beach, along the south shore of Lake Manitoba, in early June 2011.'No more freebies.'

    It appears, that's the message from our military to the various levels of government across Canada.

    According to documents obtained by PostMedia News, the Canadian Forces will start charging provinces and municipalities to cover the costs of participating in domestic disaster relief efforts.

    "Military officials say federal budget cuts are to blame for the move, which ends a 15-year practice of waiving efforts to recover such costs and could force communities and provinces to think twice before calling the Canadian Forces for help."

    Going forward, the waiving of such costs must be the exception, rather than the rule," reads a note prepared for Defence Minister Peter MacKay this past July."

    The Canadian Forces has been active in domestic disaster relief operations across the country. In 2011, according to the National Defence website, the Forces operated "in 4 provinces in support of relief efforts in the wake of three floods, one hurricane and multiple forest

    Read More »from Report claims that Canadian military will start charging for disaster relief
  • NDP MP Pat Martin could be featured in a reality TV show that tracks his daily struggle to access his Twitter account.Move over Kim Kardashian. Here comes...ahem Joe Biden?

    Believe it or not, there's a petition in the United States urging the Obama administration to authorize a reality TV show featuring Vice President Biden.

    So far the petition, posted on the White House website as part of their 'We the people' initiative, has garnered 1765 names — out of a goal of 25,000.

    A Biden reality show would be interesting — he is quite the character.

    But what about in Canada?

    Which Canadian politician would you like to see featured in a reality T.V. show?

    We asked our 'world famous' political panel that very question.

    Here are their responses:

    Bruce Hicks - political scientist, Concordia University:

    My choice would be a mayor of a town near Montreal (Quebec) in the hope that we would get a live version of what we have heard about at the Charbonneau Commission. Golfing with mafia dons, traveling first class to exotic locations and accepting so much cash you have to stuff it in your socks, all the while

    Read More »from Which Canadian politician would you like to see featured in a reality T.V. show?

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