• An Israeli Canadian is crowdsourcing to fly expats back to Canada to vote for Stephen Harper.An Israeli Canadian is crowdsourcing to fly expats back to Canada to vote for Stephen Harper.

    A lawyer based in Jerusalem is raising money — and eyebrows — with an online crowdsourcing effort aimed at flying expats to Canada to campaign and vote for the Conservatives’ Stephen Harper.

    Dan Illouz, born and educated in Montreal, launched the online fundraiser in July and has so far raised $4,724 from his initial goal of $4,500. The project, titled Be a part of a Campaign to Thank Prime Minister Harper, hopes to fly 10 Israeli-Canadians to Canada in October to bolster support for Harper in Jewish communities. The funds would cover plane tickets, car rentals and election-related events.

    “We want your help to send a small group of Canadians living currently in Israel that will go back to Canada in order to vote in the coming elections,” writes Illouz in the fundraiser description. He was not immediately available for comment.

    “This campaign will give a great message to Prime Minister Stephen Harper by thanking him for his support for Israel. It will also encourage the Canadian

    Read More »from Israeli-Canadian crowdsourcing to fly in voters for Harper
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    NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is standing behind a Quebec election candidate whose account of his impoverished childhood has been challenged.

    Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, the son of an Innu father and Québécoise mother who grew up in the Innu community of Uashat, described the hardships of his childhood in an interview published earlier this month in the online legal magazine Droit-Inc.

    The magazine says Genest-Jourdain, who represented the riding of Manicouagan for the NDP, spent his early years in a home ravaged by alcohol.

    He told the magazine he sometimes ate from garbage bins and the family’s apartment floor was a “swamp of beer.”

    He said he realized he did not want to end up like his father or his cousins, “working on cirrhosis of the liver or begging in the streets.”

    Eventually he pursued law school at the University of Laval and became a member of the Quebec bar in 2007.

    But a story in the Journal de Montreal this week cites a Facebook rant from a woman who says she is

    Read More »from Mulcair affirms support for NDP candidate accused of lying about poverty stricken childhood
  • Jennifer McCreath is Canada's only transgender candidate running in this federal election.Jennifer McCreath is Canada's only transgender candidate running in this federal election.

    Newfoundlander Jennifer McCreath, the only openly transgender federal election candidate in the country, has long been a trailblazer. 

    She helped put transgender issues on the map in Newfoundland and Labrador eight years ago when she did a series of interviews on provincial TV station NTV about being an openly transitioning provincial government policy analyst.

    “In 2007, trans stories in mainstream media was still kind of a rather taboo subject,” McCreath told Yahoo Canada News. “And so it introduced the topic of transgender and transexual issues. It introduced me as a person who was living here and going through it.”

    Her life, she said, was never quite the same again. 

    She’d just moved to St. John’s from Toronto that year. She’d just recently come out to her friends and family and began transitioning. But suddenly, she was a provincial public personality.

    “Instead of getting these funny stares and nasty looks, people all of a sudden recognized who I was,” she said. “Strangers were

    Read More »from Meet Canada’s only transgender federal election candidate
  • (Canadian Press Videos)(Canadian Press Videos)

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s campaign team has dropped a controversial gag order on supporters who attend his campaign events, but that doesn’t mean he’ll suddenly start rubbing elbows with the common folk. 

    The party will continue to vet event attendees ahead of time – no surprise, says Robert David, a professor in the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies.

    “They want a crowd around them who are supportive,” David tells Yahoo Canada News. “They don’t want any hecklers.”

    It’s not unique to the Conservative camp, he says, but the Tories have taken it to a new level. 

    The Conservatives have been criticized for providing templates for candidate comments and severely limiting media access before and during the current campaign.

    “In the 2004 election he ran into trouble when some of his own party members, his own candidates were saying things out in public that he was embarrassed about and that really hurt him,” David says.

    “So he really started

    Read More »from Tory gag order is gone but election campaign is about control: pundit
  • Parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment examines Canada's environmental reportParliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment examines Canada's environmental report

    Conservatives in Oshawa, Ont., hope a “family friendly” event at a shooting range will scare up some funds for their candidate in the upcoming federal election.

    MP Colin Carrie is billed as the special guest at the Long Range Target Shoot Fundraiser scheduled for this Saturday.

    “This event is an annual favourite for many, affording supporters the opportunity to safely handle and discharge a wide assortment of firearms with the assistance of trained and seasoned firearms owners,” reads the event invitation, which was posted to Facebook with the caption “Another great family friendly event.”

    A BBQ lunch is included in the $65 ticket price for the fundraiser being held at the Orono Fish and Hunt Club, which says on its website it has about 300 members.

    It’s at least the second time the Conservative riding association in Oshawa has held such a fundraiser for Carrie. Photos on the group’s Facebook page show him “shooting targets” at an event last September.

    A spokeswoman for the riding

    Read More »from Target shoot fundraiser being held for Oshawa Tory MP
  • Canada is just over a week into an 11-week federal election campaign and the gaffes have already begun. 

    Morgan Wheeldon resigned as the NDP candidate in Nova Scotia’s Kings-Hants riding on Sunday after it was discovered he had written in a 2014 Facebook post that Israel was trying to “ethnically cleanse the region." 

    Meanwhile, Toronto Centre NDP candidate Linda McQuaig has come under fire in Alberta after she went off-script and contradicted Leader Thomas Mulcair’s stance on oilsands development, telling CBC’s Power & Politics on Friday that to meet Canada’s climate change targets “a lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground.

    These are the first gaffes of the 2015 election, but they certainly won’t be the last. And they are just the latest in the long history of Canadian politicians getting sidelined by goofs and scandals on the campaign trail.

    Here’s a look back at some of Canada’s most memorable political blunders.

    1. Liberal candidate heads up ‘Rights of Whites’ group 

    Read More »from 10 all-time Canadian political gaffes
  • Canada has a smaller proportion of women in federal office than both Iraq and Afghanistan — and it’s not at all clear whether that will change after the Oct. 19 election.

    In 2011, Canadians voted in a historic number of female MPs — 76 out of 308 seats in the House of Commons, or 25 per cent.

    But that only put us in 46th place in the world when it comes to percentage of women elected to national parliaments, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s latest findings. As of June, Iraq was at 26.5 per cent and Afghanistan 27.7 per cent. The world average is 22.88 per cent.

    There are 30 seats more in the House this time around, and the total women confirmed as candidates as of Monday sat at around 30 per cent.

    That’s not good enough, says advocacy group Equal Voice.

    “We’re seeing very incremental rises, and we need to do more, to infuse significantly more women into the process at the federal level,” spokesperson Nancy Peckford says.

    The NDP’s stated policy is gender parity: its

    Read More »from NDP leading with most female candidates running in federal ridings
  • In the first federal election since the Idle No More movement signalled a renewed political engagement among Canada’s aboriginal population, indigenous leaders are looking for change.

    National chief Perry Bellegarde told an Assembly of First Nations (AFN) general assembly on July 7 that his group has identified 51 ridings across the country where aboriginal voters can swing the results, including nearly two dozen in the hands of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

    Despite historically low levels of voter turnout among Canada’s indigenous populations, Bellegarde and others say this election is different.

    “People are starting to realize the power of the First Nations vote if we can get organized,” Bellegarde told Yahoo Canada News.

    Bellegarde said that, while Canada is ranked in the top 10 in the United Nations' human development index, which includes measures of health, education and employment, the country's aboriginal population ranks in the 60s.

    "When we win as First Nations people on

    Read More »from Leaders hope aboriginal voters will help swing results
  • The first time Tommy Taylor crossed swords with former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, it was unexpected.

    The Green Party candidate taking on Blair in the riding of Scarborough Southwest was among the thousands of protesters rounded up by riot police during the G20 Summit in Toronto in June 2010.

    He was handcuffed and detained for almost 24 hours — 20-plus locked in a cage without being charged — an experience the writer and actor recounted in a viral Facebook posting and later in the stage play “You Should Have Stayed Home.”

    Now Taylor is the Green Party candidate up against Blair, who is running for the Liberals in the riding held by New Democrat Dan Harris. The Conservative Party of Canada has no candidate listed for the riding.

    A scene from Tommy Taylor's play You Should Have Stayed Home. Courtesy: Tommy TaylorA scene from Tommy Taylor's play You Should Have Stayed Home. Courtesy: Tommy Taylor

    “Bill Blair has been a serial violator of the Charter,” says Taylor, who won the Green nomination Tuesday night.

    “That really concerns me, that the Liberals would be pushing someone like that to go to Ottawa.”

    It has been suggested that Blair is a top

    Read More »from G20 protester-turned-Green candidate hopes to put ex-Toronto police chief on election hot seat
  • Miguel Figueroa, head of the Community Party of Canada.Miguel Figueroa, head of the Community Party of Canada.

    Federal elections in Canada may seem like a perpetual three-way race, but voters who feel disenfranchised by the mainstream parties do have a choice.

    There are 18 parties registered in the upcoming federal election — parties representing the pirates, the potheads and the pro-lifers, just to name a few.

    Here’s a look at some of them.

    Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada
    Established: 2005
    Leader: Liz White
    Number of candidates: N/A
    Slogan: We are North America’s first federal political party dedicated solely to the protection of all animals and the environment.
    Platform highlights: Against the seal hunt and cosmetic testing on animals. Considers the Green Party too “mainstream.”

    Marijuana Party
    Established: 2000
    Leader: Blair T. Longley
    Number of candidates: ran five candidates in the 2011 election; ran 73 candidates in the 2000 election
    Slogan: Stop criminalizing cannabis
    Of note: Longley says marijuana is “the single best plant on the planet for people, for food, fiber, fun and

    Read More »from Parties in upcoming election include pirates, potheads & pro-lifers

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