• Some Liberal party members are posting photos of destroyed membership cards on social media sites.Some Liberal party members are posting photos of destroyed membership cards on social media sites.
    The Liberal Party’s voting record on Bill C-51 may be rearing its head as sentiments shift among progressive voters in Canada.

    Bill C-51 passed in the House of Commons with a Conservative majority as well as votes in favour from the Liberal caucus, and is now being studied by the Senate. And although the bill is poised to pass and become legislation before the next federal election, pressure continues to mount in opposition.

    Former Liberal supporters are posting photos of their cut up LPC membership cards on social media, in protest of the party’s support of the government’s controversial anti-terror legislation.

    One quick glance at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s Facebook page shows some of the hostility over the party’s stance on the bill. Almost every post on Trudeau’s wall contains comments denouncing the leader’s position.

    The story doesn’t quite end there. According to Sun News’ David Akin, some former Liberal Party members have switched allegiances — and are running for the NDP

    Read More »from Party members unimpressed with Liberal’s support for C-51
  • Conservative MP Michael Chong is just one of many MPs pushing for parliamentary reform. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred ChartrandConservative MP Michael Chong is just one of many MPs pushing for parliamentary reform. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
    Hopes for reforming Parliament for the better may not have to die with the predicted death of Michael Chong’s Reform Act; a number of backbench MPs across party lines are committed to reforming Parliament if re-elected come October.

    One of these MPs is B.C. New Democrat Kennedy Stewart, who’s been talking to other members about ways to work together to mend what many say is an ailing institution.

    The first goal right now for these MPs is re-election, obviously, but they’ve agreed to meet after Oct. 19, to sit down and make some parliamentary reform plans.  

    “I’ve talked with a number of members from my own party and from other parties, like Mr. Chong,” Kennedy told Yahoo Canada News, “about after the election…getting together right away and trying to hammer out four or five items that we might be able to work on together in terms of parliamentary reform.”

    In addition to Chong, Stewart said Liberal MP Stephane Dion, Craig Scott from the NDP and Conservative Brad Trost, among others, are

    Read More »from Backbenchers no longer taking a back seat to parliamentary reform
  • Elizabeth May says sleep deprivation behind failed attempt to be 'edgy' on Khadr. Elizabeth May says sleep deprivation behind failed attempt to be 'edgy' on Khadr.
    Hill denizens and politics watchers knew 2015 would be a unique year in Ottawa, but few probably guessed how weird things would get at this year’s annual parliamentary press gallery dinner Saturday night.

    Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s speech — an attempt at comedy, she’s admitted — fell like a dead weight and made the hundreds of journalists and politicians in the great hall of the Canadian Museum of History shift in their seats uncomfortably.

    As May rambled, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt made her way to the stage to escort the party leader out of the spotlight, at which time May told the crowd that Omar Khadr, recently released on bail, has “more class than the whole f——g cabinet.”

    May’s speech has been a topic of conversation in political circles since Saturday, some voicing anger over the cabinet comment, some expressing confusion, others in support for what she said.

    But will her words haunt her, politically? Is there damage control to be done?

    Yes, some, said Tim Powers of

    Read More »from Elizabeth May’s ‘kooky’ press gallery speech unlikely to hurt  politician in long run
  • Lele Truong, Lareen Jervis and Mariana Hollmann (left to right) take part in a news conference and petition on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Thursday, May 7, 2015 calling on the federal government to remove tax on feminine hygiene products. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred ChartrandLele Truong, Lareen Jervis and Mariana Hollmann (left to right) take part in a news conference and petition on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Thursday, May 7, 2015 calling on the federal government to remove tax on feminine hygiene products. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand


    In a rare move in favour of an opposition party initiative, the Conservative government said it will be supporting the NDP’s motion to remove the GST from feminine hygiene products.

    Minister for the Status of Women Canada Kellie Leitch made the announcement over Twitter Friday after the House of Commons had spent about an hour debating the NDP’s opposition day motion calling for a menstrual product GST exemption.

    The real question now is when, if ever, the Conservative government will follow through with the support Leitch committed to on Friday.

    New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen has been pushing for this initiative since 2011, when she introduced a private member’s bill on the subject. Pressure to get menstrual products — pads, tampons, menstrual cups and the like — exempt from GST ramped up last January

    Read More »from Canada one step closer to having no tax on tampons
  • Mylène Freeman is pictured outside the Famous Five monument on Parliament Hillto raise awareness of the NDP's new motion. Photo courtesy of Freeman's Facebook page.Mylène Freeman is pictured outside the Famous Five monument on Parliament Hillto raise awareness of the NDP's new motion. Photo courtesy of Freeman's Facebook page.

    A crazy week in politics will be bookended by another somewhat unusual event: MPs talking about periods in the House of Commons.

    The NDP is using its opposition day motion on Friday to talk about taxes on tampons, in an effort to get the GST removed from all feminine hygiene products sold in Canada.

    They’re urging the federal government to remove what they call an “unfair tax on women.”

    On Thursday morning, MPs Irene Mathyssen and Mylène Freeman, with a backdrop of a handful of supporters dressed in red, held a small rally in front of the Famous Five monument on Parliament Hill to raise awareness about the party’s motion.

    “It’s very, very clear that when the GST was introduced, no one gave any thought to the fact that this was going to impact women, all women,” Mathyssen said.

    She noted that this tax — which targets one sex for products that are essential, not luxury — is particularly burdensome for women struggling in poverty.

    The No Tax on Tampons campaign spearheaded by the group

    Read More »from NDP to use opposition day to push for tax free tampons
  • Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks to reporters after the federal budget was delivered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Patrick DoyleGreen Party leader Elizabeth May talks to reporters after the federal budget was delivered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

    Will the government’s controversial anti-terror bill be an election issue, even if it becomes law before the writ is dropped this year? In all likeliness, yes, if Bill C-51’s critics have anything to do with it.

    The House of Commons wrapped up debate on the legislation this week, which passed in a vote at third reading stage Wednesday night with a Conservative majority, as well as with the support of the Liberal Party.

    The NDP and Greens voted against C-51 and have had serious concerns with the bill since it was tabled in the House earlier this year.

    The Greens are readying themselves to make Bill C-51 an election issue and get the bill repealed.

    “The fact is that this bill will not make Canadians safer – it will actually do the opposite and that’s the big lie being told to Canadians,” noted Green Party leader Elizabeth May after the vote Wednesday night.

    “We need outreach programs that counter radicalization of our youth, oversight over our intelligence agencies, and improved

    Read More »from NDP, Greens vow to make C-51 an election issue as bill heads to the Senate
  • Provincial elections this week are telling two different stories about women in Canadian politics: one a story of disappointment and the other a reason to hope for those wanting to get more female elected representatives.

    In Prince Edward Island Monday the number of women in the provincial legislature dropped by one — no small change for a legislature of 27 members. In the current Liberal majority, there are five female MLAs; four belong to the governing party and one to the Progressive Conservatives.

    Contrast that with Alberta where history was made Tuesday night. Not only did the once Tory blue province turn on its head and elect an NDP majority government, the province is also expected to have elected more women than ever before.

    Elections Alberta doesn’t have the final stats available yet, but at the outset the province’s next premier, Rachel Notley, suggested Tuesday was record-setting for the number of women elected to the province’s legislature.

    More women running seems like a

    Read More »from Alberta, P.E.I. and two stories about women in politics
  • Protesters hold signs during a demonstration against Bill C-51, the Canadian federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation in Vancouver, British Columbia April 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ben NelmsProtesters hold signs during a demonstration against Bill C-51, the Canadian federal government's proposed anti-terrorism legislation in Vancouver, British Columbia April 18, 2015. REUTERS/Ben Nelms

    The House of Commons took a walk down memory lane in the final hours of debate on the government’s controversial anti-terror bill, just hours before MPs are set to vote on the legislation Tuesday evening.

    It was an exercise in review and reiteration, with opposition members detailing concerns they have of the bill, which they’ve spoken out about over the past few months.

    Issues with the controversial Bill C-51 have been many and varied — and trumpeted mostly by New Democrats inside and outside the House of Commons.

    NDP public safety critic Randall Garrison outlined his main issues, which include the broadness of the bill’s measures on information sharing, granting new disruptive powers to CSIS and creating a new criminal offence targeting people who support terrorism.

    He called C-51 one of the most significant pieces of legislation to come before the House of Commons while he’s been a member of parliament and said the NDP has had a principled stance against the bill, even when it

    Read More »from House of Commons counts down final hours of debate on Bill C-51
  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a policy announcement during an event at a restaurant, Monday, May 4, 2015 in Aylmer, Que.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes a policy announcement during an event at a restaurant, Monday, May 4, 2015 in Aylmer, Que.. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

     

    Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s announcement Monday to tax the rich more heavily and tax the middle class less, and to enhance child benefits offered to families, is at first blush economically viable and sound — but there are caveats.

    The Liberal plan, says one economist, is doable and is, essentially, making the tax and transfer system more progressive.

    But Armine Yalnizyan, a senior economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives said it creates a rhetoric that in order to beat the Conservatives in the next federal election, parties have to offer tax cuts.

    “It’s the first foray of the Liberals in the wake of the extremely popular Harper budget,” Yalnizyan told Yahoo Canada News. It’s taking what’s in the Conservative’s budget, tabled in the House of Commons in April, and responding to it, she suggested.

    Trudeau made his announcement at a family diner in Aylmer, Quebec, just outside of Ottawa, with a backdrop of parents and kids who, one would assume, will be the

    Read More »from Trudeau's tax plan ‘doable’ policy: economist
  • Alberta Conservative leader Jim Prentice speaks with media after meeting with supporters on a visit to the Italian Centre during a campaign stop in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, May 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason FransonAlberta Conservative leader Jim Prentice speaks with media after meeting with supporters on a visit to the Italian Centre during a campaign stop in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, May 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson


    The Alberta election on May 5 is looking to be historic, with the Progressive Conservative dynasty under new leader Jim Prentice predicted to collapse. The province could for the first time in over 40 years have a new government — and an NDP government no less. So what’s going on? 

    1. A win for the NDP would be about the Progressive Conservatives  

    Although NDP leader Rachel Notley has run a solid campaign and seems like a sound party leader, the results of the election on May 5 won’t be about her, or her party.

    “It’s a political cliche but it’s a cliche because it’s true, that governments aren’t elected, governments are defeated,” said Duane Bratt, a professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

    There are a number of factors that have gone into the NDP surge and the Progressive Conservative deflation — a stagnating economy and dissatisfaction with an aged political dynasty included.

    “If in fact they are defeated it will be because they deserve to be defeated, and there’s a lot of

    Read More »from 5 things you need to know about the Alberta election

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