• 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?
  • It would be easy to look at Monday's Quebec election results and suggest that the sovereignty movement is dead — that a vote against the PQ was a vote against an independent Quebec.

    There's a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest support for a sovereign Quebec is, at least, waning.

    In the 2012 election about 38 per cent Quebecers voted for a party that promoted sovereignty; in 2014, that number dropped to about 32 per cent. Moreover, during this campaign, when star candidate Pierre Karl Peledeau started talking about a referendum, PQ support numbers plummeted in the opinion polls.

    [ Related: Pauline Marois resigns as PQ leader after crushing election defeat ]

    There are also people who have closely analyzed the demographic shifts in Quebec, concluding that things are definitely different now than in the 1980s and 90s.

    The Economist magazine cites two individuals who suggest the sovereignty movement is at least in hibernation.

    "Claire Durand, a sociologist at the University of Montreal,

    Read More »from Does Monday’s election result mean the sovereignty movement is dead in Quebec?
  • Couillard wins majority in Quebec election

    Cartoon by Fleg
  • She gambled, and she lost. And in the face of defeat, Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced that she will resign as Parti Quebecois leader following a crushing election defeat which saw the Liberals win a majority government.

    To add insult to injury, Quebec's first female premier couldn't even retain her seat in the riding of Charlevoix-Cote-de-Beaupre.

    "This evening, you'll understand that under the circumstances I will be leaving my post," she told a subdued crowd in Montreal.

    The early analysis is that Marois led a horrible campaign full of missteps and unfocused messaging, which included a lot of talk about a referendum that many Quebecers clearly weren't interested in.

    In Marois' defence, she can't be blamed for her star-candidate Pierre Karl Peledeau proclaiming that he wanted an independent Quebec (Incidentally, PKP won his seat).

    But she can and must be blamed for her outlandish musings about sovereignty.

    More on the Quebec provincial election:

    Read More »from Pauline Marois resigns as PQ leader after crushing election defeat
  • Philippe Couillard's Liberals have won a majority government in the province of Quebec.

    Liberal candidates were victorious in 70 ridings, compared to the Parti Quebecois in 30, the Coalition Avenir Quebec in 22 and the Quebec Solidaire in three.

    During his victory speech, Couillard struck a hopeful tone.

    "Tonight Quebec has won. All of Quebec has won by giving itself a stable government," he said.

    "Quebec now has a priority of economy and employment. Quebec has chosen union and openness.

    "My wish is that we find ourselves again. From everywhere in Quebec...we are all Quebecers."

    While Couillard, CAQ leader Fracois Legault and Quebec Solidaire leader Françoise David each won their respective seats, Marois lost hers in Charlevoix-Cote-de-Beaupre to Liberal Caroline Simard.

    During her concession speech, Marois announced her resignation as PQ leader.

    "Quebecers have spoken and we must respect this result," she said.

    "This evening, you'll understand that under the circumstances I will be

    Read More »from Philippe Couillard’s Liberals win majority government in Quebec
  • Just hours before the polls close in Quebec, the 'what if' game has already begun.

    What if the PQ loses as the polls are predicting — can Pauline Marois stay on as party leader?

    What if the PQ are almost wiped-out — what happens to the sovereignty movement?

    What if there's another minority government, this time a Liberal minority government? How long before the next Quebec election?

    [ Related: Five missteps of Pauline Marois during the Quebec election campaign ]

    That final question is probably one of the most intriguing and the most disconcerting for Quebecers.

    This election cost taxpayers approximately $88 million and has been one of the nastiest campaigns in recent memory. It's not something Quebecers want to go through again any time soon.

    But according to the Toronto Star's Chantal Hebert, Quebecers may have to. In her weekend column, she warns that a Philippe Couillard minority government could be as short-lived as Paul Martin's 2004 government.

    "A minority Liberal government

    Read More »from Quebec votes: A Liberal minority government could have a short shelf life
  • Patrick Brazeau at the weigh-in for a charity boxing match against Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.

    Somehow, this seems like a good fit: Patrick Brazeau and professional wrestling.

    The embattled suspended senator has signed on to be a guest referee for a professional charity wrestling match featuring WWE legend The Honky Tonk Man.

    This YouTube video announcing the event, appeared online over the weekend with a scratched-up Brazeau talking about his character, his old job, the event and Justin Trudeau's f-bomb.

    Since being suspended from the Senate without pay, Brazeau's unconventional escapades have been widely publicized.

    Late last year he posted a brief synopsis of his CV on Twitter which actually helped him land a position as a journalist with Frank Magazine. The stint with the satirical publication lasted one month until the editor fired him for his "narcissistic ramblings."

    In February, it was learned that Brazeau became employed as a day manager at an Ottawa-area strip club.

    [ Related: Suspended Sen. Patrick Brazeau is working at a strip club ]

    Meanwhile, Brazeau continues

    Read More »from Patrick Brazeau to jump into pro wrestling ring
  • One month ago, the polls indicated that the Parti Quebecois was poised to win a majority government.

    On March 5, buoyed by those numbers, Pauline Marois met with her province's Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve the National Assembly and to call a general election.

    But on the eve of election day -- about 30 days later -- the polls tell a very different story.

    It's now expected that Philippe Couillard's Liberals will form government. Some of the observers are even predicting that Marois will be forced to resign as PQ leader, as early as Monday evening.

    So if we believe the polls, what went wrong?

    1. Pierre Karl Peladeau:

    Most now agree that the turning point in this election campaign was the candidacy of media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau.

    His candidacy divided the PQ with some questioning how a left-leaning party could welcome PKP — historically, a union-bashing businessman. One pundit suggested it was akin to Conrad Black joining the federal NDP.

    [ Related: Pauline Marois regrets talking

    Read More »from Five missteps of Pauline Marois during the Quebec election campaign
  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau taking questions from reporters.

    Two new opinion polls this week provide the Harper Conservatives with some good news and some bad news.

    Let's start with the good news.

    According to Nanos Research's weekly brand rankings, more and more Canadians are picking Stephen Harper as their number one choice for prime minister.

    "For the fourth week in succession, the percentage of Canadians that rank Harper as their first choice for Prime Minister has risen. For the first time since January 18, 2014, Harper has numerically surpassed Trudeau on this measure although the numbers remain tight on the preferred PM tracking," pollster Nik Nanos wrote as part of an email release.

    "Thirty percent of Canadians said that Harper was their first choice as PM, compared to 28 percent for Trudeau and 18 percent for Mulcair. Harper on the PM tracking is up five points in the last four weeks. While Trudeau has been trending downward on this measure over the same period."

    Perhaps Harper's leadership on the Ukraine file has something to do with

    Read More »from Harper first choice for Canadians as PM, but Tories drop 10 points behind Liberals in new poll


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