• 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
  • Remembering Jim Flaherty: Reaction on Twitter

    Former finance minister Jim Flaherty's death came as a shock to many of those who have worked with him during his tenure on Parliament Hill and as a leader in the Ontario legislature. Below are some of the thousands of reactions on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

    Read More »from Remembering Jim Flaherty: Reaction on Twitter
  • According to reports, police paramedics and fire were called to Flaherty's Ottawa home at 12:27 p.m. on Thursday afternoon for a medical emergency; Flaherty was found with no vital signs.

    His family released this statement shortly after the announcement.

    "Christine Elliott and her triplet sons, John, Galen and Quinn would like to make Canadians aware that her beloved husband an father passed away peacefully today in Ottawa.

    "We appreciate that he was so well supported in his public life by Canadians from coast to coast to coast and by his international colleagues.

    "The family asks for privacy at this time."

    Flaherty, 64, resigned from his finance minister post last month, citing a desire to get back to the public sector. He had been battling a skin condition that required him to take steroids but Flaherty insisted, at the time, that his illness had nothing to do with his announcement.

    "I am happy to report that I am on the road to a full recovery and the decision to leave politics

    Read More »from House of Commons suspended on news of Jim Flaherty's death
  • Updated at 4:40 p.m. EST

    Canadians awoke to yet another unfortunate incident relating to Patrick Brazeau on Thursday morning.

    According to Gatineau police, the suspended Senator was arrested at a private residence at 4 a.m. over a domestic disturbance.

    "When the first police officer arrived at the scene, they realized there was an altercation [between] a man and the woman. Just in front of the house," Const. Pierre Lanthier, a Gatineau police spokesman, told CBC News in an interview.

    "After talking to the female, she was complaining about being a victim of an assault by the man, so police officers [proceeded to arrest] the 39-year-old man at the scene."

    Brazeau was officially charged with five offences: two charges of assault, possession of cocaine, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and breaching previous release conditions.

    CBC News reports that Brazeau pleaded not guilty to all five charges and is expected to re-appear in court on Friday.

    To add insult to injury, it appears

    Read More »from Arrest for suspended Sen. Patrick Brazeau the latest plunge in fall from grace
  • B.C. Premier Christy Clark and former Alberta Premier Alison Redford at a joint news conference in November.

    It was a just a few months ago that journos were busy writing about how women in Canadian politics have come of age.

    There was a real excitement that six of Canada's premiers were women: Eva Aariak in Nunuvut, Christy Clark in British Columbia, Alison Redford in Alberta, Kathleen Wynne in Ontario, Pauline Marois in Quebec and Kathy Dunderdale in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    Today, that impressive list of six has dwindled to just two.

    Aariak lost her seat, Redford and Dunderdale were pushed out and Pauline Marois was involved in this week's epic Parti Quebecois election loss.

    What happenened in just a matter of months? And does the fact that there's only two women now suggest something about the state of women in Canadian politics?

    Most think that the disappearance of female premiers is simply a coincidence.

    "It does occur to me that it’s unfortunate that we had six, actually, six women at the Council of the Federation meeting last summer and that has changed, obviously," Ontario Premier

    Read More »from What’s happening to all of Canada’s female premiers?
  • Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre in the House of CommonsWhat was Stephen Harper thinking?

    It's a phrase we're hearing more and more of lately regarding incidents related to Dimitri Soudas, Nigel Wright, Arthur Porter and the prime minister's Senate choices.

    Perhaps it's time we start asking the question: What was Stephen Harper thinking when he appointed Pierre Poilievre as the Minister of State for Democratic Reform last summer?

    To be fair, the 34-year-old MP from Ontario is very bright and competent, and has been a loyal foot soldier for the Harper government. Since 2011, he's been the Conservative Party's attack dog, standing up for the PM in the House and on television panels.

    So, he probably did deserve a promotion to cabinet.

    But the promotion to Democratic Reform now seems like the wrong move.

    The hyper-partisan Poilievre has become a lightning rod for all the opposition to the so-called Fair Elections Act which will, among other things, eliminate 'vouching' for voters who lack proper identification at the ballot box.

    Instead of

    Read More »from Pierre Poilievre's 'attack-dog' style makes him questionable choice for key role

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