• Tory candidate Mark Adler claims to be the first child of a Holocaust survivor elected to Parliament, which offended some including an ex-MP.Tory candidate Mark Adler claims to be the first child of a Holocaust survivor elected to Parliament, which offended some including an ex-MP.

    A Conservative MP’s re-election campaign has taken an ugly turn over a contentious piece of personal history.

    Mark Adler, member for the Toronto riding of York Centre, claimed to be the first child of a Holocaust survivor to be elected a Member of Parliament.

    The assertion appeared in his online bio until it was called into question Monday by an article in the Canadian Jewish News (CJN). It can still be found in the cached version.

    In an email to the CJN, former Montreal-area Liberal MP Raymonde Folco called it “disgusting” for Adler “to use the Holocaust in this way, for personal ends.”

    Folco’s father escaped from a train bound for the Auschwitz death camp, and both her parents later fought for the French resistance. She told the CJN she never used her background to further her political career, which included serving as an MP from 1997 to 2011.

    As of Tuesday Adler’s bio read: “Being a child of a Holocaust survivor, Mark has passionately dedicated his time to raise awareness about

    Read More »from Tory candidate removes ‘son of a Holocaust survivor‘ in poster
  • Tina Fontaine: 1 year since her death, has anything changed?Tina Fontaine: 1 year since her death, has anything changed?

    By June Chua

    It has been a year since the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was pulled from Winnipeg’s Red River. Last summer, lead investigator Sgt. John O’Donovan said she had “definitely been exploited and taken advantage of.”

    The discovery of the aboriginal girl’s body, which was found wrapped in plastic, marked a tipping point, according to Leslie Spillett, an indigenous advocate and director of Ka Ni Kanichihk in Winnipeg, which provides educational, health and job services to aboriginal people.

    Spillett says the teen’s death made a deep impact in the consciousness of the Canadian public where “this is now an issue that doesn’t seem to be going away.”

    According to an RCMP report released in June, 1,181 women and girls identified as indigenous were murdered between 1980 and 2012 with another 174 missing. It’s a homicide rate 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in the country.

    The issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women became a clarion call around the country

    Read More »from Main federal parties and their aboriginal platforms
  • Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen Harper arrive at Rideau Hall August 2, 2015. (Reuters)Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen Harper arrive at Rideau Hall August 2, 2015. (Reuters)

    Laureen Harper’s pep talk to Conservative party workers in Toronto last week probably won’t be the last time we see the prime minister’s wife making solo appearances in the Oct. 19 election campaign.

    Working the small crowd of volunteers and lauding their willingness to sacrifice the rest of their summer because of the early election call, Harper fulfilled a couple of important roles of a political spouse: She was somewhere Stephen Harper couldn’t be (he was prepping for the first leaders’ debate), and she showed a facet that he generally doesn’t (personal warmth).

    Laureen Harper is a key asset in the Conservatives’ bid to win a fourth term in government, more so than the wives of Liberal Leader Justice Trudeau and the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair.

    Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and the couple’s three young children were on the campaign bus this week, while Catherine Pinhas-Mulcair’s only major appearance was to stand near her husband when he responded to Harper’s Aug. 2 election call.


    Read More »from Spouses of Canadian party leaders play key role, although very different from U.S.
  • SNL alleged ripoff of 22 Minutes sketch has 'lawyers talking,' Mark Critch believesSNL alleged ripoff of 22 Minutes sketch has 'lawyers talking,' Mark Critch believes

    It was maybe the most Canadian Twitter war ever, replete with references to CBC subsidies, mutual declarations of respect and apologies, if somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

    Comedian Mark Critch and right-wing commentator Ezra Levant are embroiled in a social media spat over the This Hour has 22 Minutes star’s political commentary.

    It began with Critch’s reference to Stephen Harper’s former parliamentary secretary, Paul Calandra, as a “slippery tool” for his comments on the Mike Duffy trial.

    Calandra responded by blocking the comedian on Twitter — not the first time the Markham-Stouffville Conservative has blocked people on social media.

    Critch then pledged to his 55,800 Twitter followers to donate $1 to Planned Parenthood Newfoundland and Labrador, up to $1,500, for each person who tweeted “Paul Calandra u are a tool.”

    That’s when Levant, the former Sun TV personality and now helmsman of TheRebel.media, weighed in.

    “CBC comedian joins the election campaign. His partisan war-chest filled by

    Read More »from Comedian, right-wing commentator in campaign spat on Twitter
  • 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

    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


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