Althia Raj
Althia Raj is The Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa bureau chief. Before joining HuffPost in 2011, Althia worked as a national political reporter for Postmedia News. She has covered Parliament Hill on and off since 2006, writing for Sun Media, and producing for CTV and for CBC Radio's "The House."

She appears on "Power & Politics" every Wednesday on the CBC News Network, and is a frequent contributor to various CPAC programs and CBC-TV's "At Issue" panel on Thursdays.

She can be found on Twitter @althiaraj and on Facebook.
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Entries by Althia Raj

Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump Meeting Success Came From Months Of Talks, Bonding

(74) Comments | Posted February 14, 2017 | 1:46 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first face-to-face meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump was months in the making and on Monday, it all went according to script, Canadian officials told The Huffington Post Canada.

Trudeau stressed his differences with Trump but did not antagonize him....

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Deepak Obhrai, Tory Party Elder, Seeks Leadership And A Little Respect

(24) Comments | Posted February 11, 2017 | 10:12 PM

Deepak Obhrai is trying to make a point.

Canada has changed. Young people and immigrants understand that, the Conservative candidate tells The Huffington Post Canada over lunch at the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel, a stone’s throw away from Parliament Hill. But the Tories’ base seems unable to...

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Trump Adviser Kellyanne Conway Says Trudeau To Visit ‘Next Week'

(75) Comments | Posted February 7, 2017 | 5:27 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump may meet in Washington, D.C. as early as next week, a Trump adviser said Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN, Kellyanne Conway said: “I’m glad that the prime minister of Canada is coming here next year, next week excuse me. I’m...

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Liberals Won't Bail Out Canada's News Industry, Sources Say

(70) Comments | Posted February 7, 2017 | 1:27 PM

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government won’t be bailing out Canada’s struggling news industry, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The upcoming federal budget will include no cash to set up a civic journalism fund — as was recently recommended by the Public Policy Forum in a report commissioned by...

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Fears Of Alt-Right, Divisive Referendum Behind Liberal Electoral Reform Reversal: Insiders

(299) Comments | Posted February 3, 2017 | 8:08 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal insiders say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pulled the plug on electoral reform because he didn’t want to plunge the country into a divisive referendum and feared that proportional representation would lead to white nationalists’ acquiring seats in the House of Commons — concerns dismissed by critics Friday.

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Katimavik Youth Volunteer Program Begs Trudeau For Help

(9) Comments | Posted February 3, 2017 | 8:01 AM

OTTAWA — Katimavik, the national youth volunteer program that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau once chaired, says it will have to shut down the organization at the end of March unless the federal government steps in with some cash.

Katimavik’s board of directors says it has tried to engage...

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Kellie Leitch Says There's Nothing Racist About Immigration Plan

(89) Comments | Posted February 2, 2017 | 5:07 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch acknowledged Thursday that her call to screen newcomers will lead to fewer immigrants and refugees admitted to Canada — but she said there’s nothing racist about the plan.

In a 2,588-word fundraising email, the Ontario MP, who was the target of...

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Canada Electoral Reform: Liberal MPs React To Trudeau Abandoning Promise

(339) Comments | Posted February 2, 2017 | 7:44 AM

OTTAWA — Most Canadians will forgive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for breaking his electoral pledge, many Grit MPs told The Huffington Post Canada on Wednesday.

“It’s a bold move, and it’s a brave move on the prime minister’s part,” longtime Nova Scotia MP Rodger Cuzner said shortly...

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Will Liberals Tax Health, Dental Benefits? Trudeau Doesn't Rule It Out

(59) Comments | Posted January 31, 2017 | 6:17 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to rule out the possibility Tuesday that the Liberals will increase government revenues by taxing private health and dental plans in the upcoming federal budget.

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose said in question period that there were only two ways the Liberals could...

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Andrew Leslie Notes Obama's Record When Pressed On Trump's Executive Orders

(31) Comments | Posted January 31, 2017 | 2:34 PM

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau’s new parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs justified the Liberals’ tepid response to the U.S. president’s refugee ban Tuesday by noting that Donald Trump has issued fewer executive orders in his first week than did former president Barack Obama.

Andrew Leslie, an Ottawa-area MP and retired Army...

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Elizabeth May: Trudeau's Tweet About Refugees Is Hollow Without Action

(60) Comments | Posted January 31, 2017 | 7:32 AM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's weekend tweet suggesting Canada is open to refugees is meaningless unless the Liberals do much more to accept those now barred from seeking asylum in the United States, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said on Monday.

“To say we are open, we are an...

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Trudeau Sets Benchmark For Success, Failure Of His Government

(52) Comments | Posted January 27, 2017 | 2:11 PM

OTTAWA — If the Liberal government doesn’t substantially improve the lives of the less fortunate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday, he will have failed to do his job.

Speaking to a packed town hall at the University of Winnipeg, Trudeau told the boisterous crowd he was...

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Liberals' Electoral Reform Survey Reports Most Canadians Like Democracy The Way It Is

(62) Comments | Posted January 24, 2017 | 7:36 PM

OTTAWA — A controversial government survey designed to gauge public appetite on reforming the electoral system has concluded that two-thirds of Canadians are satisfied with this country’s democracy.

The findings indicate, however, that while 17 per cent are “very satisfied” with the state of Canada’s democracy, half the respondents are...

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Trudeau Says He 'Misspoke' When He Said Alberta Oilsands Must Be Phased Out

(57) Comments | Posted January 24, 2017 | 6:31 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he “misspoke” when told an Ontario audience earlier this month that the oilsands need to be phased out.

“I misspoke. I said something the way I shouldn’t have said it,” Trudeau told journalists Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Calgary. But then, the...

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Pierre Lemieux Pledges To Repeal Transgender Rights Bill C-16 In Name Of Free Speech

(97) Comments | Posted January 23, 2017 | 9:17 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Lemieux is lashing out at what he calls “chronic political correctness,” saying Canadians shouldn’t be forced to refer to transgender individuals with gender-neutral pronouns or face fines and other penalties.

“Freedom of speech in Canada is under attack,” Lemieux said in a news release...

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Robert Fox, NDP National Director, Says Leadership Race Will Energize Party In 2017

(6) Comments | Posted January 4, 2017 | 9:54 AM

OTTAWA — Robert Fox, the New Democratic Party’s new national director, doesn’t gloss over the party’s challenges.

A past executive director of Oxfam Canada who wasn’t even an NDP member until he took the job leading the party in September, Fox offers a refreshing change from the usual political spin.

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Jagmeet Singh Is A Young, Photogenic, Confident Politician. Sound Familiar?

(108) Comments | Posted January 2, 2017 | 10:27 AM

OTTAWA — He is the candidate many New Democrats hope will take the federal leap — a bright light who represents the future of the party, and a leader who could potentially compete against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, say supporters.

Outside of the Greater Toronto Area and NDP circles, however,...

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Bardish Chagger Downplays Suggestion Parliament Isn't Venue To Discuss Liberal Fundraisers

(41) Comments | Posted December 21, 2016 | 11:45 AM

OTTAWA — Government House Leader Bardish Chagger says she didn’t mean to imply the House of Commons is not the appropriate venue for opposition MPs to ask questions about the Liberals’ so-called cash-for-access fundraising.

In an interview with The Huffington Post Canada published Tuesday, Chagger...

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Bardish Chagger Says House Of Commons Isn't Place To Discuss Liberal Fundraisers

(28) Comments | Posted December 20, 2016 | 8:48 AM

OTTAWA — The House of Commons is no place to discuss party matters such as the Liberals’ so-called cash-for-access fundraisers, Government House Leader Bardish Chagger told The Huffington Post Canada in a year-end interview.

“You know, in that place [the House of Commons] is not where we talk about, I...

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Liberals Holding Provinces Hostage On Health Funding: Gaétan Barrette

(8) Comments | Posted December 17, 2016 | 2:48 PM

OTTAWA — Quebec’s health minister says the Trudeau government is holding the provinces hostage by offering a surprise last-minute “take-it-or-leave-it” health-care deal that offers less cash than the Liberals pledged during last year’s election campaign.

“Everything came out of the blue,” Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette told...

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