• Harper and Netanyahu during their joint news conference in Jerusalem January 21, 2014. (Reuters)Harper and Netanyahu during their joint news conference in Jerusalem January 21, 2014. (Reuters)

    A definitive win for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in Tuesday’s Israeli election ensures Canada’s “special friendship” with the nation, and its leader, will continue.

    Netanyahu’s win has been called stunning. Polls had put him behind rival Isaac Herzog and the Zionist Union last week and in a last-ditch effort to hold onto government, Netanyahu tacked hard to the right.

    He said he was abandoning the commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state and warned voters, in a video posted on Facebook on the day of the election, that Arabs were going to the polls in droves. His late in the game anti-Arab campaign seems to have worked, striking enough fear in the hearts of Jewish voters to get them to the polls and keep him in power.

    The Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has cozied up to Israel and Netanyahu more than any Canadian government in the past.

    It was expected that a win from Herzog could, perhaps, mend relations a bit between Israel and nations like the

    Read More »from Netanyahu’s victory ensures 'special friendship' with Harper will continue
  • It seems Stephen Harper likes the Governor General, a man readily praised by diplomats in Ottawa, so much he’s keeping him around.

    David Johnston will be Canada’s Governor General longer than the typical tenure. His term was set to wrap up in 2015, but on Tuesday Prime Minister Harper announced a two-year extension for the Queen’s representative in Canada.

    Since 2010, Johnston has conducted the ceremonial duties of the Governor General with aplomb, impressing new ambassadors and high commissioners as he officially welcomes them to Canada.

    Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence, is where new ambassadors present their letters of credence to the governor general — a ceremony that makes their posting as a head of mission in Canada official.

    Johnston, they say, always has an anecdote or two to share with the new ambassadors from Belgium to Indonesia or Ecuador as he shakes their hands in those credential ceremonies. Diplomats in embassies and high commissions have nary a negative

    Read More »from David Johnston, an ambassador's best friend, to stick around as Governor General
  • Demonstrators carry sings while protesting on a national day of action against Bill C-51. (CP)Demonstrators carry sings while protesting on a national day of action against Bill C-51. (CP)

    According to an analysis of social media activity centered around Bill C-51 from March 11 to March 15, May’s Twitter account was the most tweeted individual account on March 14 during cross-country protests against the government’s controversial anti-terror legislation.

    One of her posted messages about the rally in Toronto, held in Nathan Phillips Square, was retweeted 458 times — the most tweeted message in that time span— according to an analysis done by Full Duplex, a public affairs and research company based in Ottawa.

    Saturday’s cross-country rallies saw thousands come out to protest the Conservative government’s anti-terror bill. The Green Party leader was joined at Nathan Phillips Square by Toronto NDP MPs Peggy Nash, Rathika Sitsabaiesan and Andrew Cash. May was one of two party leaders attending Saturday’s rallies; NDP leader Tom

    Read More »from Elizabeth May's voice rings loudest against Bill C-51 in flood of online chatter
  • Conservative MP walks through the Foyer of the House of Commons June 6, 2012. (CP)Conservative MP walks through the Foyer of the House of Commons June 6, 2012. (CP)

    A Conservative MP is having humble pie for breakfast — instead of a hearty Guinness — on this St. Patrick’s Day.

    Larry Miller, the MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, is facing significant backlash and accusations of racism from comments he made Monday on a local riding radio station about the ongoing niqab debate, and he quickly retracted (some of) his statements Tuesday morning.

    The debate stems from a federal court ruling that deemed the Conservative government’s ban on wearing a face covering during the citizenship oath unlawful, and that the ban even contravened the government’s own citizenship laws.

    But the government, and

    Read More »from Tory MP sorry for telling niqab-wearing women to ‘stay the hell where you came from’
  • (AP Photo/Daily Breeze, Chuck Bennett)(AP Photo/Daily Breeze, Chuck Bennett)

    A group of Canadian academics want the country to take heart: despite how big a project it might seem to be and despite the many years it might take to get there, tackling climate change and getting to a low-carbon economy is possible.

    Over 70 scholars from across the country will be putting forward 10 policy planks in a paper this Wednesday at an event in Montreal. They’ll make recommendations that, if implemented, they believe will have a significant impact in reducing Canada’s carbon emissions over the next few decades.

    McGill professor Catherine Potvin, the Canada Research Chair for Climate Change Mitigation and Tropical Forests, is spearheading what’s called the Sustainable Canada Dialogues. She told Yahoo Canada News that the goal — one of many, really — is to commit, as a society, to being free from fossil fuels and carbon in 35 years.

    And, she said, it’s very doable.

    “That’s a long transition that should start now, and we should plan for it,” Potvin said. “The action we will

    Read More »from Low-carbon Canadian economy attainable, but requires ‘massive change’: academics
  • MP David Wilks represents the Kootenay-Columbia riding for the Conservative party. (Handout)MP David Wilks represents the Kootenay-Columbia riding for the Conservative party. (Handout)

    David Wilks began his drinking career, as he calls it, at age 14, and the drinking got progressively worse as he got older.

    “It started to run how I did my day-to-day activities,” the Conservative MP for Kootenay-Columbia told Yahoo Canada News. “Everything revolved around alcohol, and if I couldn’t revolve it around alcohol I wouldn’t do that, whatever it would be.”

    He would spend more time with other drinkers, who drank like he did or more than he did, to justify it in his own mind, but eventually Wilks hit rock bottom.

    Few who watch politics in Ottawa regularly, or who follow what goes on in the House of Commons, would know this. But on March 13, Wilks — a big man, an intimidating-looking figure who isn’t really intimidating at all — stood up in the chamber of the House and said a few words.

    “Mr. Speaker, on January 27th and 28th of this year, individuals from across Canada came together in Ottawa to create a united vision for what addiction recovery means in Canada. Hosted by the

    Read More »from MP David Wilks is 26 years sober
  • OpenMedia is among the groups supporting the national day of action in protest of Bill C-51 (OpenMedia.ca)OpenMedia is among the groups supporting the national day of action in protest of Bill C-51 (OpenMedia.ca)
    Critics of the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation will be gathering in over 50 cities across the country Saturday in an effort to raise awareness about the controversial bill and encourage the government to go back to the C-51 drawing board.

    LeadNow, OpenMedia and Amnesty International are among the organizations involved in or throwing support behind what’s been dubbed the national day of action against Bill C-51 on March 14.

    OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson told Yahoo Canada News that over 15,000 individuals have RSVP’d for the cross-country events online.

    “More and more Canadians from all walks of life are concerned about this bill,” he said. “We’re just hoping to make that more clear to the government and educate more Canadians, because … the real kind of challenge for those of us who understand the dangers of the bill is to educate [other] Canadians.

    The government’s anti-terror bill, which was introduced in Parliament at the end of January, has received

    Read More »from Thousands expected at cross-country C-51 protests
  • Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know

    Explaining the Tories' controversial anti-terror legislation

    The scope of the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation is broad, and it may be difficult hear what the real issues and concerns are amid the noise and clatter of Ottawa.

    So, as best we can, Yahoo Canada News presents an anti-terror bill 101; or, as we’d like to call it, “Bill C-51 for Dummies.”

    What is Bill C-51?

    Bill C-51 was introduced at the end of January, and sets out to extend Canada’s anti-terror laws beyond legislation the then-Liberal government implemented just after 9/11.

    The bill comes at a time when tension over threats of terrorism on home soil are high. Attacks on two Canadian soldiers in October, as well as the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, are often cited by members of the government as justification for tougher laws.

    Bill C-51, according to Public Safety Minister Steve Blaney, is in line with the government’s “firm commitment” to protect Canadians from jihadist terrorists who seek to destroy the values Canadians hold dear.

    “The

    Read More »from Bill C-51 for Dummies: What you should know
  • The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations says aboriginals in Canada are worried that the Tories’ proposed anti-terror legislation will brand them as terrorists.

    AFN chief Perry Bellegarde appeared before the House of Commons national security committee Thursday morning and raised a number of concerns over Bill C-51.

    He said that First Nations people in Canada have a long history of dealing with laws that threaten their rights. Bellegarde made a recommendation that the bill be scrapped, and rewritten with proper consultation of First Nations people.

    “The key issues at stake in Bill C-51 are the state’s power to place individuals or groups under surveillance, to monitor their everyday activities, to create criminal offenses that affect our ability to exercise our legally recognized rights, and the overall relationship of state power to fundamental human and indigenous rights,” Bellegarde said.

    This generation is not going to forsake our ability to protect our lands and
    Read More »from AFN chief wants C-51 scrapped, fears bill will brand First Nations people as terrorists
  • Addressing Canada’s income inequality is more of a political challenge than an economic one, according to a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

    The CCPA’s David Macdonald was one of the guests at Wednesday’s Senate Liberal open caucus meeting to discuss income inequality. He told a roomful of Liberal senators that something like a guaranteed annual income — an option that has been floated by many thinkers and economists as an answer to poverty — needs substantial political capital to be implemented.

    He said that such a policy may never become reality due to the political heavy-lifting that would be required.

    Those who trumpet a guaranteed annual income believe that every citizen has the right to a certain standard of living, including a certain level of income. The Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) has been campaigning to set $20,000 as the base income for all Canadians so they can make ends meet.

    David Macdonald of the CCPA (policyalternatives.ca)David Macdonald of the CCPA (policyalternatives.ca)Those who oppose this sort of policy tend to believe

    Read More »from Politics, not economics, the main hurdle to addressing income inequality: expert

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