• 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
  • Throughout the course of any election campaign, it's important for a candidate to bring in endorsers — individuals who will lend some credibility to the campaign while, at the same time, showing a sense of momentum.

    But even what's left of Ford Nation has to admit that this is an odd choice.

    On Tuesday evening, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that he was adding two members to his campaign team: disgraced Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson and Trailer Park Boys actor Sam Tarasco.

    The press conference ended like a lot of other Rob Ford pressers of late — the Mayor walking away after getting annoyed at the media's questions.

    But, in this case, reporters were right to ask how these two individuals could possibly help the Ford campaign.

    [ Related: 'Rob Ford for scale' weight-loss photo goes viral ]

    On Twitter, the announcement was accompanied by a collective WTF?

    Read More »from Rob Ford recruits Ben Johnson, Trailer Park Boys actor to join his campaign
  • CBC employees are once again bracing for deep budget cuts and job losses.

    According to reports, CBC/Radio Canada President Hubert Lacroix will address all employees via a conference call on Thursday afternoon to outline how the national broadcaster will deal with weak industry-wide advertising, poor TV ratings and the loss of NHL broadcast rights.

    Ian Morrison from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting says the announcement will be substantial.

    His sources from within the CBC have told him that the dollar amount of the cuts will amount to between $130 million and $140 million with about 70 per cent of the cuts coming on the English-operations side.

    "This will involve layoffs in the range of 200 people on the French side and about 350 on the English side," Morrison told Yahoo Canada News, noting that younger, less-senior staffers will bear the brunt of the layoffs.

    "In terms of programming, what I've heard is that they're going to really curtail anything that has to do with sports. That's a

    Read More »from CBC management set to announce big cuts, curtailing of sports programming
  • Pierre Karl Peladeau announced his candidacy for the riding of Saint Jerome on March 9, 2014.

    I think most people would agree that Pierre Karl Peledau's fist pump proclaiming that he wants an independent Quebec was a turning point in the election campaign.

    By putting the focus on sovereignty, the billionaire media mogul single-handily cost the Parti Quebecois a ton of support.

    Ironically, however, that one move might have sparked a sequence of events which could very well end with PKP becoming the next leader of the PQ.

    [ Related: Does Monday’s result mean the sovereignty movement is dead in Quebec? ]

    With Pauline Marois's resignation as party leader on Monday evening, speculation has already begun about who will replace her.

    Former PQ cabinet ministers Bernard Drainville and Jean-François Lisée are certainly potential candidates but all eyes are squarely on PKP.

    Jean Dorion, a former Bloc Québécois MP, told CBC News that he believes PKP is angling for the leadership.

    "I cannot imagine a man of the amplitude of Mr. Péladeau staying as a backbencher in an opposition party,"

    Read More »from What’s next for Pierre Karl Peladeau?

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