• A strategically-launched bill by the governing Conservative party in Alberta is not sitting well with those who are in support of gay-straight student alliances in schools.

    The Tories are being accused of launching their bill on the issue as a means to block the progress of the Liberals’ bill on the very same topic.

    “The Conservative bill is touted as addressing the same issue, but I would suggest that it isn’t,” Kelly Ernst, president of the Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association, told Yahoo Canada News.

    “It is a very politically cunning bill and I think it was used as a way to squelch the rather popular Liberal bill. From what I gather Bill 202 was gaining a lot of support.”


    Related stories:

    Gay-straight alliance bill leaves emotions raw at Alberta legislature

    Tory plan to protect LGBT students doesn't go far enough, critic says

    Gay-straight alliances blocked by school boards, Sandra Jansen says


    After the Alberta Liberals introduced a private member’s bill that would secure a

    Read More »from Battle of the bills: Alberta Tories' gay-straight student alliance bill dubbed dirty politics
  • Screengrab from APTN special report 'Wasting Away.'Screengrab from APTN special report 'Wasting Away.'

    A Rankin Inlet community leader, who has raised concerns about the price of nutritious food in the North, is refusing to yield to government pressure to retract comments he made about community members having to eat food out of the garbage dump.

    The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network reports that Environment Minister and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq ordered the deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet, Sam Tutanuak, to retract his comment that some Rankin Inlet residents couldn’t afford to buy groceries, and their only option was to scavenge for scraps in the local dump.

    The public standoff goes a long way to emphasize the struggle faced by Northern Canadians, who have trouble securing reasonably-priced, nutritional food in their isolated communities.

    Obviously, the Nunavut Member of Parliament could find the notion of her people resorting to such measures embarrassing, and has taken steps to shut down the chatter.

    It appears Aglukkaq shouldn’t expect an apology any time soon. Tutanuak says there

    Read More »from Nunavut leader stands by comments about residents eating from garbage dump due to high food costs
  • (iStock)(iStock)

    Dirty tricks are as old as politics. It’s only the techniques and technology that change.

    If you’re scandalized by the idea of a low-level political operative trailing an opposition candidate with a recorder, hoping to catch them in a gaffe, your political education is sadly incomplete.

    For those just tuning in, the federal Conservatives have been scrambling to get out from under a debacle this week triggered when a low-level party worker secretly recorded a conversation that allegedly caught an Alberta Liberal candidate demeaning families at a public meeting in Canmore.

    The young woman, carrying a recorder under her coat, listened in as Banff-Airdrie candidate Marlo Raynolds spoke with two other men about the government’s plans to introduce income splitting for two-income families. Raynolds allegedly said the plan would do “arguably nothing” for children, as parents would spend the extra money on TVs, cars and other things that wouldn’t help the economy.

    The poor-quality recording

    Read More »from Secret recordings just the latest in a long tradition of political dirty tricks
  • Photo: TwitterPhoto: Twitter
    When it comes to veterans issues, the Harper government is badly losing the battle of public opinion. 

    For months we’ve heard stories about “angry veterans”  frustrated over a lack of support and services   who are vowing to do whatever they can to defeat the Harper government in 2015.

    Some have said they’ll stop doing photo-ops with Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino; some have gone as far as to launch an “Anyone But Conservative” campaign. 

    There’s at least one veteran, however, who is going against what seems to be the new anti-Conservative norm. 

    Tim Laidler, who served in Afghanistan in 2008 before leaving the military, still believes that the Conservatives are the best ally of veterans.

    He’s actually putting his hat into the ring and is now the Tory candidate — for the 2015 election — in the suburban Vancouver riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

    So  given all the recent strife  why is a veteran choosing to run for the Conservatives of all parties? 

    "My choice really

    Read More »from Afghanistan veteran remains loyal to Conservatives amid protests for support
  • REFILE - CORRECTING NAME OF WOMAN ON RIGHT Lorella Praeli, Chela Praeli and Ligia Jimenez (L-R) listen to U.S. President Barack Obama speak about immigration reform during a visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada November 21, 2014. Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION EDUCATION)REFILE - CORRECTING NAME OF WOMAN ON RIGHT Lorella Praeli, Chela Praeli and Ligia Jimenez (L-R) listen to U.S. President Barack Obama speak about immigration reform during a visit to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada November 21, 2014. Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation on Thursday, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION EDUCATION)
    On Thursday evening, U.S. President Barack Obama made a historic announcement which allows millions of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. 

    Under Obama’s plan, those who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and that are parents of citizens or legal permanent residents would be eligible to apply and avoid deportation.  

    But what about Canada’s illegal immigrant problem? Should the Harper government be taking similar action?

    According to a 2009 House of Commons immigration committee report, the number of illegal immigrants in Canada is hard to nail down: Estimates have ranged anywhere from 80,000 to 500,000. 

    The report, however, notes that Canada’s illegal immigrant population is a little different than the United States in that most illegal immigrants in this country have come over to Canada with some sort of status — as a visitor or as a temporary worker. In the U.S., many of the 11.2 million migrants have sneaked-in over their southern border. 

    "Different people react

    Read More »from Harper should follow Obama's lead on illegal immigrants: lawyer
  • Screengrab from LifeGuard Structures promotional video.Screengrab from LifeGuard Structures promotional video.

    You’ve got to admire the entrepreneurial spirit of Stephen Noon. 

    Noon is the proprietor of Paratus Emergency Preparedness Ltd., a Vancouver based-company that markets a bulletproof safe-room and earthquake shelter built right inside your desk. 

    His customer base for the bulletproof cubby  which includes a sliding door  had been used in the retail industry. 

    Following the recent terrorist Ottawa, he now has a new target market:  He wants to sell these desks to Parliamentarians so they have a place to be secure in case there’s another unfortunate attack that forces them into a lock-down.  

    "We didn’t think that bulletproof desks in Canada was really something worth pushing until the events in Ottawa on [October 22nd]," he told Yahoo Canada News in a telephone interview.

    "It really changed our thinking to suddenly, instead of pursuing earthquake desks in British Columbia, we’re primarily now [focused] on these."

    Noon has taken out an ad in the Hill Times touting these 800 pound,

    Read More »from Bulletproof desk-maker targets new audience: Politicians in Ottawa
  • Senator Larry Campbell (right) is seen here August 21, 2006 in Vancouver (CP/Rafal Gerszak/Globe and Mail)Senator Larry Campbell (right) is seen here August 21, 2006 in Vancouver (CP/Rafal Gerszak/Globe and Mail)

    It’s just not fair.

    That’s the message Liberal senator Larry Campbell is spreading with regard to the “serious personal misconduct” allegations leveled against Liberal MPs Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews. 

    Last week, in an interview with the Hill Times, Campbell  a former mayor of Vancouver and ex-RCMP officer  said that the two NDP MP accusers should identify themselves publicly. 

    "I feel bad that they weren’t identified. I think everybody should be identified. Why should they [Liberal MPs] get smeared and [the NDP MPs are not even identified]?" he said.

    "To me, it’s just totally unfair."

    I think when you’re accused of something in our justice system, you should be able to address the accuser. It’s almost better to be charged criminally because at least then you have a chance to clear your name in a public place.
    —Liberal Senator Larry Campbell

    The misconduct allegations were brought to light earlier this month, when Liberal leader Justin Trudeau suspended Andrews and

    Read More »from Senator Larry Campbell says NDP accusing Liberal MPs of misconduct should come forward
  • Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith addresses party faithful at their annual meeting Nov. 14, 2014. (CP)Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith addresses party faithful at their annual meeting Nov. 14, 2014. (CP)

    "Wildrose Party set for sweeping majority"

    That was one of many newspaper headline, created in the days before the 2012 Alberta general election, predicting that Danielle Smith’s party would form government and that she would be premier.

    Smith didn’t win that election, the Progressive Conservatives did, and that sort of talk now feels like a lifetime ago. 

    After rebounding  in the opinion polls, at least  during the Alison Redford spending scandal, there are now questions about the Wildrose Party’s future.

    The party’s latest misfortunes can be attributed to several factors, one of which is the election of former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice as PC leader and premier. 

    "I would say that the situation is pretty tough for Wildrose," Mario Canseco, Vice President of Alberta-based polling company Insight’s West, told Yahoo Canada News.

    "I think they had a wonderful issue they exploited brilliantly this year, when the government announced their license plate changes," he said, 

    Read More »from Wildrose Party's future in jeopardy as countdown begins to Danielle Smith's departure
  • Young Palestinian groom Ahmed Soboh, 15 and his bride Tala, 14, stand inside Tala's house.Young Palestinian groom Ahmed Soboh, 15 and his bride Tala, 14, stand inside Tala's house.

    The Harper government has announced an additional $10 million in funding to combat the practice of child marriages in the developing world.

    Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the announcement in Ottawa on Tuesday as part of the fourth-annual John Diefenbaker Award Ceremony  a ceremony to honour those who show “exceptional courage and leadership in defending human rights.”

    This year’s award went to an international organization called Girls Not Brides.

    "In all parts of the world, Girls Not Brides gives a voice to those who are silenced by child marriage. They do this by calling for new laws, sharing best practices and engaging with communities," Baird said, calling child marriage “one of the most pressing development challenges of our time.”

    "Currently, 700 million girls and women alive today were married as children.This isn’t a cultural nuance or a women’s issue — the impact on health and freedom of so many young girls adds up to a human tragedy. Global efforts to reduce the

    Read More »from Canada increases funding to fight forced child marriages abroad
  • It appears the election campaign ads are slowly but surely starting to roll out (Cartoon by Graeme MacKay)It appears the election campaign ads are slowly but surely starting to roll out (Cartoon by Graeme MacKay)

    We may have had our first glimpse at a federal election ad for the 2015 election. 

    No, this one isn’t brought to you by the Conservative Party or the NDP — it’s paid for by the taxpayers of Canada. 

    The Harper government has launched its latest Economic Action Plan ad promoting their suite of childcare tax credits. 

    Over the past several years, the Tories have spent millions of dollars on these ads that are supposed to promote government programs.  

    Critics, however, argue that they reek of political partisanship promoting nothing but the Conservative Party of Canada.  

    Last week, Canadians for Tax Fairness — a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization advocating for fair and progressive tax policies put out a press release suggesting that the radio counterpart to the television ad is “thinly disguised electioneering.”

    “These..ads push the limits on informing Canadians about government programs,” Dennis Howlett, executive director of the organization said in a press release noting

    Read More »from Tories slammed for latest Economic Action Plan ad's campaign-style tone

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