Althia Raj
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Althia Raj is The Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief. Before joining HuffPost in 2012, 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 is a weekly 'power panel' contributor to CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon. She can also be frequently heard and seen on CTV's Question Period, CPAC's The Week with Mark Sutcliffe, CBC The National's At Issue panel and CBC radio stations across the country. She can be found on Twitter under @althiaraj and on Facebook.
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Entries by Althia Raj

Andrew Kania In Talks To Run For Tories In Brampton West

(42) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 10:19 AM

OTTAWA — Former Liberal MP Andrew Kania is in talks with the Conservative party to run for them in Brampton West, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Kania was the Liberal MP for the riding from 2008 to 2011. He lost the last election to Conservative Kyle Seeback. Seeback is...

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NDP Says Universities Not Neutral Enough To Host Leaders' Debates

(115) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 6:49 PM

OTTAWA — Canada’s New Democrats believe Canadian universities are “not really neutral” enough venues in which to hold the leaders’ debates.

The surprising comments were made by NDP national campaign director Anne McGrath during confidential discussions with representatives of the broadcast consortium as well as the Liberal party, Green party...

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Jack Layton's Death Made NDP Stronger, Matthew Dubé Says

(22) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 11:06 AM

TORONTO — Former NDP leader Jack Layton's death made the party stronger, says a 2011 "orange wave" MP from Quebec.

Matthew Dubé, the MP for Chambly—Borduas, told a McGill university alumni crowd in Toronto Tuesday that Layton's unexpected death forced MPs band together as a team and work harder.

"It...

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Unifor Running Anti-Stephen Harper Radio Ads In Swing Ridings (AUDIO)

(158) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 5:10 PM

OTTAWA — Canada’s largest private sector union is ramping up its anti-Conservative campaign, telling voters in swing ridings why they shouldn’t vote for Stephen Harper.

Unifor is running radio ads in five strategically chosen locations: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina, the Greater Toronto Area and Moncton, N.B.

“We’re talking about Harper’s economic...

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Federal NDP In 3-Way Tie With Tories, Liberals, Poll Suggests

(310) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 9:28 AM

OTTAWA — The federal NDP has surged ahead of the Liberals and is now in a statistical three-way tie with the other parties, according to a new poll by EKOS.

The EKOS poll has the Conservatives at 30 per cent, the NDP at 29.1 per cent and the Liberals last,...

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Justin Trudeau Targeted In Anti-Abortion Flyers (GRAPHIC)

(349) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 7:14 PM

OTTAWA — Graphic postcards of a bloody aborted fetus next to Justin Trudeau’s face are making their way to the mailboxes of Canadians living in swing ridings — and disgusting some residents who have already received them.

Mississauga, Ont., resident Shondie MacKenzie told The Huffington Post Canada she was...

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Urban Affairs Minister Idea From Thomas Mulcair Denounced By Quebec MNAs

(24) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 4:40 PM

OTTAWA — Quebec legislators have denounced a proposal to create a department of urban affairs in Ottawa — after NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair promised Friday to establish a federal minister of urban affairs.

In a speech to party faithful in Montreal, Mulcair said if elected on Oct. 19 he would...

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Canada Election 2015: Tories Say No To Debate Proposal From CBC, CTV, Global

(259) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 5:47 PM

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t take part in the traditional televised leaders’ debates during the upcoming election.

The Conservatives rejected the broadcast consortium’s offer of four debates, and party spokesman Cory Hann said the Tories won’t accept any other debate proposals from the group of TV networks —...

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Bill C-51: Liberal Senators To Vote Against Anti-Terror Legislation

(126) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 1:55 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal senators are poised to demonstrate their independence from the Liberal party leadership in the House of Commons, by voting en masse against the controversial anti-terrorism bill, C-51.

The Senate Liberals’ leader, James Cowan, told The Huffington Post Canada he hasn’t spoken to Liberal Party Leader...

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Michael Chong Urges Senate To Pass Reform Act Before Summer Break

(25) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 8:38 PM

OTTAWA — A Conservative MP who introduced legislation to make it easier to dump party leaders is calling on the Senate to stop ragging the puck and pass his bill before Parliament breaks for the summer.

“Time is running out,” Ontario MP Michael Chong told The Huffington Post Canada Monday....

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Ghost-Like Jack Layton Appears In Candidate's Handouts

(56) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 2:38 PM

OTTAWA — The ghost of Jack Layton watches over NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and would-be MP Kantharatnam Shanthikumar in a new pamphlet the candidate is distributing in a Toronto-area riding.

Shanthikumar, who is better known by his last name and the initials K.M, is running in Scarborough—Rouge...

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Eve Adams, Marco Mendicino In Eglinton-Lawrence Showdown For Grit Nomination

(12) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 11:14 AM

TORONTO — Marco Mendicino has a jump in his step. The Toronto Liberal is actively campaigning against Conservative-turned-Liberal MP Eve Adams for the Grit nomination in the riding of Eglinton–Lawrence — Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s riding.

Mendicino’s eyes sparkle, he talks with his hands, and he speaks convincingly at the...

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Trudeau's 'Fairness' Plan To Cut Middle-Class Taxes, Make Rich Pay More

(189) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 1:04 PM

AYLMER, QUE. — A Liberal government would increase child benefits for middle- and low-income families, cut middle-class income taxes, and make wealthier Canadians pay more under its “fairness” plan, Justin Trudeau announced Monday.

The Liberal leader said his $3-billion tax cut plan would be progressive — unlike the Conservatives’ plan,...

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Pierre Poilievre: Deadline To Apply For Universal Child Care Benefit Extended

(20) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:30 AM

TORONTO — The Conservative government has extended the application deadline for a benefit that is a key plank of its election platform after few families signed-up.

Employment and Social Development Minister Pierre Poilievre announced Friday the application deadline for the enhanced Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) has been pushed until...

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Brent Rathgeber, Former Tory-Turned-Independent MP, Aims To Limit Size Of Cabinet

(39) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 9:23 AM

OTTAWA — Independent MP Brent Rathgeber wants to limit the size of the federal cabinet.

“Canada has an extraordinary large ministry (currently 39), especially compared to other Western democracies (16 US; 21 Great Britain),” Rathgeber wrote in an email Wednesday.

“Worse, the ratio of the cabinet to the...

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Ministers' Regional Offices May Be Promoting Conservative Party: NDP

(71) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 10:11 AM

OTTAWA — Conservative ministers may be using taxpayer-funded offices to promote the Conservative party rather than doing government work, opposition parties suggested this week.

“It’s a black hole of accountability,” NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus told The Huffington Post Canada. “We’ve never really been able to get a clear...

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Tory Government To Spend Millions Advertising Child Care Benefit Passed Last Year

(27) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 6:24 AM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is spending $3.5 million this year to advertise a child care benefit that was passed last year but is central to the Conservatives’ re-election campaign, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

This appears to be in addition to the $13.5 million that...

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Trudeau Vows To Fight Bill C-377, Tories' 'Masterpiece Of Anti-Worker Sentiment'

(73) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 9:30 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau waded into traditional NDP territory Monday, declaring his strong support for the union movement and the agenda it is trying to promote.

“Unions matter,” Trudeau declared at a meeting of the International Association of Fire Fighters in Ottawa. “They are one of the few...

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Liberal Ad Attacks Tory Government's Spending On Ads

(186) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 3:06 PM

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper’s Conservative government spent $750 million of taxpayers’ money on government advertising since 2006, and the Liberal party wants to remind you of it.

In a television spot that will run during game five of the Montreal Canadiens–Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup playoff series Friday evening, the Grits...

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Tories' Public Transit Fund Has Some Mayors Scratching Their Heads

(27) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 10:11 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative MPs will be able to announce more pre-election promises for big transit projects after the federal government changed the way such investments are funded.

The creative accounting has several critics and mayors scratching their heads, wondering whether the changes will be disadvantageous for them.

The Public...

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