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 can 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 @althiaraj and on Facebook.
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Entries by Althia Raj

Brad Trost, Anti-Abortion Social Conservative, Mulls Tory Leadership Bid

(95) Comments | Posted June 28, 2016 | 4:12 PM

OTTAWA — Social conservative MP Brad Trost is exploring a bid for the Conservative leadership, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Trost, a vocal anti-abortionist who fought to keep the definition of marriage as the union of one man and woman in the Tory policy book in May, confirmed he...

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After Brexit, Trudeau Ducks Question On Quebec Referendum

(143) Comments | Posted June 28, 2016 | 2:53 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declined to weigh-in Tuesday on whether 51.9 per cent — the level of support for the "Leave" vote in last week's Brexit referendum — would be a clear enough majority for Quebec to separate from Canada.

"As we know, it's very difficult to transfer...

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Mike Duffy Investigation, Trial Cost RCMP $477,858

(58) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 6:04 PM

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Mounted Police spent nearly $478,000 investigating Sen. Mike Duffy and preparing for his trial, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Documents released under the Access to Information Act show a total of $477,858.52 was spent on "Project AMBLE," the Mounties' probe of Duffy. The bulk...

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Deepak Obhrai May Run For Tory Leadership, But Won't Deny Backing Peter MacKay

(21) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 2:03 PM

OTTAWA — Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai is testing the waters for a possible Conservative leadership run.

"I'm trying to feel my support, what support do I have. I don't want to run if I don't have the base to run," he told The Huffington Post Canada this week.

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Deepak Obhrai Backs Brexit, Blames European Union For Canada's Embarrassment At UN

(171) Comments | Posted June 22, 2016 | 8:54 AM

OTTAWA — Canada lost its bid for a United Nations Security Council seat because of the European Union and the country would be better served if Britain left the organization, a long-time Conservative MP says.

Calgary Forest Lawn MP Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs from 2006 to...

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Canadian Blood Donation Deferral For Gay Men Shortened, But Not Ended

(53) Comments | Posted June 20, 2016 | 9:50 AM

OTTAWA — Gay men will be able to donate blood after abstaining from sex with other men for one year.

The Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Héma-Québec have confirmed that, as first reported by The Huffington Post Canada, Health Canada has accepted their proposal to drop the blood donation deferral...

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Ziad Aboultaif's Organ Donor Registry Bill Defeated Because Of 'Petty Politics': Conservatives

(94) Comments | Posted June 16, 2016 | 9:39 PM

OTTAWA — The Liberal government rejected a Conservative MP's bill this week that sought to establish a national organ donor registry.

The Tories said the Grits could have "helped save hundreds of Canadian lives" but instead chose to defeat a bill "for absolutely no other reason than partisanship."

"The Liberals...

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MPs Aiming To Make Parliament Family-Friendly Divided On Friday Sittings

(55) Comments | Posted June 15, 2016 | 7:18 PM

OTTAWA — MPs should be "incentivized" to procreate, a Liberal MP said, as a new report Wednesday suggested minor changes to make Parliament family-friendly and passed up recommending a four-day schedule for now.

Toronto MP Arif Virani, 44, told The Huffington Post Canada that balancing family life with the job...

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Liberals Outspent Tories In Last Election, Trudeau's Adviser Gerald Butts Says

(94) Comments | Posted June 15, 2016 | 7:30 AM

OTTAWA — The Liberals outspent the Conservatives during the last campaign to win the election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's closest adviser said Tuesday.

Gerald Butts, Trudeau's principal secretary, told a group of consultants, party strategists and reporters that they would be surprised to soon discover the Grits had spent more...

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Canadian Blood Donation Deferral Period Could Be Shortened For Gay Men

(36) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 9:24 PM

blood donation canada low

OTTAWA — Health Canada will soon decide whether to ease the restriction on gay men to donate blood — but it likely won’t go as far as the Liberals’ campaign promise to end the ban completely, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

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Christine Moore And Her Daughter Have Made Parliament A Better Place For Families

(13) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 1:57 PM

OTTAWA — MPs can now call on Mrs. Doubtfire and Mary Poppins types to take care of their young ones. The House of Commons launched a new child-care service Monday, ahead of a much-anticipated report on making Parliament more inclusive and family-friendly.

The Short-Term Child Care Program...

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Tory MP Bob Zimmer Urged Feds To Reclassify Rifle Used In Orlando Shootings

(906) Comments | Posted June 13, 2016 | 4:19 PM

OTTAWA — A similar type of semi-automatic rifle used in the Orlando shootings should be easier to obtain in Canada and allowed for hunting, a Conservative MP said last month.

British Columbia MP Bob Zimmer tabled a petition in Parliament on May 13 calling on...

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All-Party Support Still Not Enough To Change Electoral System: Tories

(206) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 8:24 PM

OTTAWA — If every political party in the House Commons agrees on a new electoral system, it still won’t have the necessary support without a referendum, a Tory MP says.

Conservative democratic institutions critic Scott Reid told The Huffington Post Canada this week that even if the...

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Tory MP Ted Falk: Liberals Put Themselves Ahead Of Charities By Killing Tax Bill

(47) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 1:40 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal and NDP MPs killed a bill Wednesday that sought to give Canadians who donate to registered charities the same generous tax credits as those who give to political parties receive.

Conservative MP Ted Falk's Bill C-239, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (charitable...

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Trudeau Nanny Will Be Replaced With Caregiver Who Is Paid By PM, Not Taxpayers

(332) Comments | Posted June 7, 2016 | 10:24 PM

trudeau nanny
Marylou Trayvilla, far left, will no longer be working for the Trudeaus after July 1. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ended the employment of one of the women who help take care of his children, and will...

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Bill C-14: Senators Aim To Prove Their Worth In Emotional Assisted Dying Debate

(77) Comments | Posted June 3, 2016 | 11:57 PM

Something unusual happened this week — cameras were allowed inside the Senate to televise a working session of the upper chamber.

Under the public’s watchful eye, senators took turns asking Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Health Minister Jane Philpott questions on the government’s medical assistance in dying bill, C-14.

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Liberals Wave White Flag On Electoral Reform Committee

(194) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 10:57 AM

OTTAWA — The Liberal government waved a white flag Thursday, changing course on its democratic reform plans and handing the opposition a majority on a committee that will recommended changes to the electoral system.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he took to heart complaints that his...

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NDP Seeks To Move Power Away From Liberal-Stacked Electoral Reform Committee

(75) Comments | Posted June 1, 2016 | 11:48 AM

OTTAWA — The NDP will attempt Thursday to change the makeup of a parliamentary committee recommending a new electoral system by moving power away from the majority Liberal government to the opposition parties.

UPDATE: In a move that outraged Conservatives, Liberals agreed to support the NDP idea.
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Hunter Tootoo Resigns Cabinet Seat For Addiction Treatment

(115) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 7:30 PM

OTTAWA — Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo has stepped down from cabinet and left the Liberal caucus to deal with addiction issues.

"Mr. Tootoo will be taking time to seek treatment for addiction issues," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a brief statement Tuesday evening. Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc will...

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Cheryl Gallant Unloads On David MacNaughton, New Ambassador To U.S.

(231) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 11:36 AM

OTTAWA — Canada's ambassador to Washington was appointed as a cushy reward so he could lobby for his former clients, claimed outspoken Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant Monday in remarks the Liberal government said amounted to character assassination.

Gallant, the longtime MP for Renfrew—Nipissing Pembroke, told the Commons the...

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