• Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne ahead of Toronto pride parade 2013
    Alberta's Alison Redford made history on Sunday, becoming that province's first premier ever to march in Calgary's gay pride parade.

    Earlier this summer Ontario's Kathleen Wynne and Quebec's Pauline Marois earned the same distinction in their respective provinces. And, federally, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau also chose to march.

    But where are the high profile federal Conservatives?

    While pride events across the country aren't totally void of Tories, their attendance is scarce.

    [ Related: Pride Parade showers Montreal streets in colour ]

    The Montreal Gazette's Don MacPherson recently suggested that  Stephen Harper’s "party doesn’t want to alienate social conservatives" by participating in these parades that, in some cities, attract hundreds of thousands of people.

    So, in other words, the Tories don't want to appear too gay-friendly?

    If that's the case, the 'jig is up.'

    [ Related: Toronto Pride festival at the heart of Canada’s gay rights movement ]

    They haven't

    Read More »from It’s time for Stephen Harper to march in a gay pride parade
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper answering questions at an announcement on August 20, 2013
    Should Stephen Harper follow the lead of his international allies — specifically U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama — and recall Parliament to debate a potential attack in Syria?

    Earlier this week, the British Parliament debated and eventually rejected Cameron's motion for U.K. military involvement — in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime

    On Saturday, Obama called for direct military action in Syria but said that he would also seek Congressional authorization to do so.

    "I have decided that the United States should take military action Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open ended intervention, we would not put boots on the ground. Instead our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope," the President said during a press conference on the White House lawn.

    "I have made a second decision. I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people's representatives in Congress. For the last

    Read More »from Is it time to recall Canadian Parliament to debate Syria?
  • A-recent-PSAC-demonstrationJust ahead of Labour Day, a right wing think-tank has embroiled itself in a feud against Canada's largest public sector union.

    On Thursday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) sent out at a release urging the federal government to crack down on what they call an "epidemic" of sick-days in the public service.

    Overall, federal government employees took 17.9 days of sick leave, according to the most recent Treasury Board survey. In comparison, the most recent report from Statistics Canada shows employees working outside of government took only 6.7 sick days in 2012.

    "We have more federal government employees booking off sick on any given day than actually show up for work at General Motors and Chrysler combined,” said CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas.

    “We’re facing an epidemic of sick-leave abuse amongst government employees and it needs to be stopped.

    “Too many government employees have forgotten the meaning of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.”

    Canada's public sector unions

    Read More »from “An epidemic of sick-leave abuse” in public service says taxpayer watchdog
  • New PBO Jean-Denis Fréchette (far left)

    The Harper government has finally appointed a permanent replacement to former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page.

    Canada's new PBO is economist Jean-Denis Fréchette, a veteran public servant of Parliament Hill who currently serves as the Senior Director of Economics, Resources and International Affairs in the Library's research service.

    "Mr. Fréchette brings 27 years of experience supporting the institution of Parliament,” Government House Leader Peter Van Loan said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

    "After more than a quarter-century providing strong, non-partisan support to Senators and Members of the House of Commons, he brings a deep and serious understanding of the needs of the client group that the Parliamentary Budget Officer has a mandate to serve."

    Despite his impressive record of public service, however, there are some people concerned about this hiring.

    CBC's Evan Solomon is reporting that insiders are complaining about Fréchette's lack of budget experience:

    Sources tell me

    Read More »from Canada’s new budget watchdog just a Harper lapdog?
  • Former immigration minister Jason Kenney welcomes new Canadians at a Canada Day Citizenship CeremonyCitizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) wants your help in determining 2014 immigration levels.

    They really do! At least that's what their website says:

    We are seeking your feedback on immigration to Canada, specifically on the total number of new permanent residents Canada should welcome and how this overall total should be distributed among immigration categories. The consultation will explore a number of issues related to three main questions:

    - What is the appropriate level of immigration for Canada, this year and beyond?

    - What is the best ratio – or mix – between the number of economic immigrants, family class immigrants and the refugee/humanitarian class?

    - Economic immigration is a key immigration goal for Canada’s long-term economic growth. What role can immigration play to support Canada’s economy?

    You can add your voice to the discussion, here. The online consultations end on August 31.

    [ Related: Canada’s 'very generous' refugee system likely to welcome gay Russians ]

    Regardless

    Read More »from How many immigrants should Canada allow in 2014?
  • P.E.I. resident Lloyd Kerry is at it again.

    Over the past year, the enterprising artist/entrepreneur has been designing and selling politically inspired T-shirts: Earlier this year, for example, he produced one with the slogan 'Stuff the Duff' — inspired, of course, by (alleged) fellow Islander Mike Duffy's troubles.

    [ Related: Stuff the Duff: PEI man looks to profit from Mike Duffy’s troubles ]

    Kerry has now joined forces with cartoonist Steve Nease to produce his latest masterpiece featuring images of Senators Duffy and Pamela Wallin (with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on drums). The slogan reads: Money for nothing and our trips for free.

    The Senators

    The drawing is in reference to the ongoing Senate expense scandal: Duffy is alleged to have improperly claimed a Senate living allowance while Wallin was forced to repay almost $140,000 in travel expenses.

    The slogan is a play on words from a 1985 Dire Straits' song which included the lyrics "money for nothing and chicks for free."

    "I look at it as a

    Read More »from 'Money for nothing and our trips for free' Senate scandal T-shirts now on sale
  • Vancouver Mayor celebrates his re-election in 2011 (CP)

    It's been said that politics makes strange bedfellows.

    But maybe this 'connection' isn't as strange as it appears on the surface.

    According to Vancouver Province reporter Michael Smyth, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has reached out to Vancouver Mayor -- and former NDP MLA -- Gregor Robertson asking him to run for the federal Liberals in 2015.

    Smyth doesn't think Robertson will do it, but says that his sources at Vancouver City Hall confirm that Trudeau made the ask.

    Trudeau could use Robertson’s profile and popularity to maintain the Liberals’ presence in the city.

    Consider also the existing links between Robertson’s Vision Vancouver party and the federal Libs — from Vision-mayor-turned-Liberal-senator Larry Campbell, to Vision councillor Raymond Louie’s support for former Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh.

    Robertson and Trudeau are on the same page on marijuana legalization and other issues.

    To add fuel to fire, Robertson recently moved to a new home in what will be a new federal riding.

    [ Related:

    Read More »from Justin Trudeau looking for another high profile catch in Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson
  • Prime Minister Harper at a press conference on August 20, 2013 (CP)Stephen Harper has finally spoken out about the Quebec government's secularization plan.

    The prime minister had been criticized for his muted response about the so-called Values Charter which will reportedly ban public employees from wearing religious symbols in public institutions.

    On Thursday afternoon, he chose his words cautiously.

    "I am going to continue to be very careful in what I say about this given that we have not seen a proposal yet from the Government of Quebec. So I don't know specifically what's in it. I have heard different things. Some of which cause more concern than others.

    We know that the separatist government in Quebec would love to pick fights with Ottawa. But that's not our business. Our business is the economy. Our business is job creation for Canadians — all Canadians including Quebecers. And our job is social inclusion.

    Our job is making all groups that come to this country -- whatever their background, whatever their race, whatever their ethnicity, whatever their

    Read More »from Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks about Quebec’s proposed Values Charter
  • You've got to laud the gusto of the Conservative Party strategists.

    On Wednesday afternoon, to the frustration of media, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau wouldn't go into specifics about his party's economic platform during a caucus resort on Prince Edward Island.

    "My responsibility is to put forward a comprehensive robust platform in 2015," Trudeau told reporters.

    "And I'm not going to shortcut that process...just because people want to know right now and are impatient to know."

    [ Related: Media to Justin Trudeau: ‘Where’s your policy?’ ]

    By Wednesday evening, the Conservatives came out with a quick, succinct and somewhat witty retort.

    Here's an email of 'talking points' sent to Tory supporters:

    Justin Trudeau Thinks Canadians Can Wait Longer For a Job Than They Can For a Joint

    - After wasting no time in announcing his policy to legalize marijuana, today Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Canadians will have to wait two more years to hear anything from him about creating jobs and economic

    Read More »from Tories slam Justin Trudeau over vague policies and support for marijuana
  • He's talked about legalizing pot; he wants more transparency in terms of MP expenses; but when it comes to his core pledge of helping the middle class, Justin Trudeau has been consistently vague.

    Since announcing his leadership intentions last fall, he's gotten away with talking in broad terms and generalities.

    It seems the media now wants more.

    [ Related: Trudeau hypes transparency at Liberal caucus retreat ]

    Trudeau is in Prince Edward Island this week, as part of the annual Liberal Party caucus get-together.

    During a press conferencr on Wednesday afternoon, the media grilled him about his party's economic platform.

    [We're] looking at education and training, looking at how we're expanding opportunities in knowledge economy," Trudeau said.

    "Looking at how we develop solutions across the board is what the Liberal party will be focused on over the coming years. We have a policy platform to build for 2015 and we are serious about putting it together in consultation with experts, with academics

    Read More »from Media to Justin Trudeau: ‘Where’s your policy?’

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