Althia Raj
Althia Raj is The Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief. Based in Ottawa, Althia was previously a national political reporter for Postmedia News. She has covered Parliament Hill on and off since 2006, writing for QMI Agency and producing for CTV and for CBC Radio's The House. She is an occasional contributor to CBC The National's At Issue panel. She can be found on Twitter under @althiaraj
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Entries by Althia Raj

Tories Likely To Ask Supreme Court For Extension On Right-To-Die Ruling If Re-Elected

(34) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 9:52 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government may ask the Supreme Court for an extension to comply with its physician-assisted suicide ruling – if it wins the next election, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The country’s top court unanimously ruled earlier this month that clearly consenting adults enduring intolerable physical...

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Muslims Being Vilified In Canada's Political Debates: NDP

(136) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 6:20 PM

OTTAWA — Muslims are often the scapegoats in political debates, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said Wednesday.

“There is a vilification that is happening," Mulcair told reporters. "I have been doing federal politics for years, and for years I have seen that Muslims are often the scapegoats in political debates. And...

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Green Party Could Be Excluded From Upcoming Election Debates

(282) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 4:06 PM

OTTAWA — The Green party, the Bloc Québécois and upstart Forces et Démocratie party could be frozen out of the upcoming federal election debates, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The Conservatives and the NDP want many debates, but sources in both parties say they also want to limit the...

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Do Tories Want To Ban Headscarves At Citizenship Ceremonies Now?

(304) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 4:37 PM

OTTAWA — Immigration Minister Chris Alexander suggested Wednesday that he does not want Muslim women to wear traditional headscarves during citizenship ceremonies.

“Niqab, hejab, burqa, wedding veil – face coverings have no place in cit[izenship] oath-taking!” the minister tweeted.

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Peter Stoffer, NDP MP, Calls For End To Omnibus Bills That 'Nobody Reads'

(46) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 6:44 PM

OTTAWA — MPs are failing to do their jobs and standing by as taxpayer dollars are spent without proper review, an NDP MP said Wednesday.

Nova Scotia NDP MP Peter Stoffer said the Conservative government’s overuse of omnibus bills means “billions of dollars fly out these doors with very...

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Joe Oliver Broke Government's Own Rules With Speeches Contract: Liberals

(41) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 2:43 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government broke its own rules by awarding a $9,200 untendered contract to the prime minister’s former chief of staff, Guy Giorno, Liberals charged Wednesday.

Giorno, Harper’s chief of staff from 2008 to 2010 and the Tories’ current election campaign chair, was paid $5,650 for a speech...

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Rookie Tory MP Pat Perkins Accused Of Skirting House Rules

(52) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 8:50 PM

OTTAWA — A new Conservative MP is skirting House of Commons rules by hiring her daughter’s live-in fiancé, critics charged Tuesday.

Whitby–Oshawa MP Pat Perkins hired James Beattie, her daughter Laura’s fiancé, to work in her constituency office after her byelection win last November.

The hiring doesn’t explicitly flout the...

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Tories Could Also Be On Hook For Taxpayer-Funded Mailouts

(61) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 9:20 AM

OTTAWA — Nine Conservative MPs could find themselves having to pay back thousands of dollars for partisan mailings — if their Tory colleagues decide to fine them.

Last month, public servants working for the Board of Internal Economy recommended their political masters direct them to dig deeper to find out...

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Jason MacDonald, Harper's Top Spokesperson, To Quit

(120) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 3:56 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s top spokesman, Jason MacDonald, is quitting and heading to the private sector.

The news comes just a week after a high-profile cabinet resignation and days after a Tory MP crossed the floor.

Rob Nicol, who was director of communications for Mike Harris when...

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Eve Adams Confirms She Aims To Run Against Joe Oliver, Will Move To Toronto

(29) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 10:17 AM

OTTAWA — New Liberal MP Eve Adams has confirmed she plans to run against Finance Minister Joe Oliver and move to the Toronto riding of Eglinton—Lawrence.

“It’s critical to reach out and take back riding after riding that has now gone Conservative and bring them back into the red fold,”...

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Use Notwithstanding Clause To Delay New Law On Doctor-Assisted Death, Tory MP Urges

(105) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 4:12 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott is urging federal party leaders to use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ notwithstanding clause to delay implementation of the Supreme Court’s decision on physician-assisted death.

On Friday, the top court unanimously struck down a Criminal Code ban on doctor-assisted...

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Eve Adams Aims To Run Against Joe Oliver In Toronto Riding

(131) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 8:13 PM

OTTAWA — Newly minted Liberal MP Eve Adams plans to run against Finance Minister Joe Oliver in the Toronto riding of Eglinton–Lawrence, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Adams, the MP for Mississauga–Brampton South who shocked political Ottawa on Monday by crossing the floor, could face a challenge...

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Conservative MP Eve Adams Crosses Floor To Trudeau Liberals

(379) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 9:03 AM

OTTAWA — Conservative MP Eve Adams has crossed the floor to join Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

The MP for Mississauga — Brampton South plans to run under the Liberal banner in the 2015 federal election, somewhere in the Greater Toronto Area though she has declined to say precisely where for now.

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Ex-NDP MPs Still On Hook For Satellite Office Expenses

(24) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 5:33 PM

TORONTO — A handful of ex-NDP MPs could be forced to dig into their personal savings to repay some of their former party’s illegal expenses.

MPs, such as Jean-François Larose, Claude Patry and Sana Hassainia, now find themselves on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in backdated NDP...

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Should MPs Who Violate The Elections Act Get Their Full Pension?

(37) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 3:52 PM

OTTAWA — MPs voted 258 to 13 in favour of a bill that would strip convicted federal politicians of a large part of their gold-plated pensions. The NDP and Liberals supported the bill.

Conservative MP John Williamson said the bill aims to close a loophole that allows MPs and senators...

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Bill C-50, Citizen Voting Act, Would Suppress Votes, NDP Say

(105) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 7:25 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government’s new election bill will result in voter suppression for Canadian citizens who live abroad, the NDP charged Tuesday as MPs began debating the controversial legislation.

Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre introduced the Citizen Voting Act just before Christmas. The bill is...

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Varinder Bhullar, Edmonton Liberal, Accuses Party Of Breaking Open Nominations Pledge

(137) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 5:14 AM

OTTAWA — Another Liberal is accusing leader Justin Trudeau of breaking his open nomination pledge, contending that the party revoked his candidacy to pave the way for its preferred candidate in an Edmonton nomination race.

Party officials acknowledged that Edmonton–Mill Woods resident Varinder Bhullar was not their preferred candidate, but...

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NDP's Small Business Tax Cut Would Help The Rich: Economists

(133) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 7:21 AM

OTTAWA — An NDP plan to give tax relief to small businesses will actually end up giving wealthy Canadians a tax cut, some economists said Tuesday.

“[It’s] something to make the rich richer,” Jack Mintz, the director of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, told The Huffington Post...

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4 Things To Keep Your Eye On In Canadian Politics For 2015

(91) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 10:31 AM

Althia Raj, The Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa bureau chief, shares a few things to watch out for as Canada heads into an election year.

1. The NDP caucus — How many more will defect or announce they are not running again?

thomas mulcair

Photo credit:...

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Ex-Hill Staffer Who Says She Was Harassed Wants To Testify Before Parliamentary Committee

(16) Comments | Posted December 28, 2014 | 10:34 AM

OTTAWA — A woman who says she was sexually harassed by two political staffers wants to testify before a parliamentary committee drafting guidelines for a new code of conduct.

Maria Al-Masani told The Huffington Post Canada that after unwanted sexual advances from male colleagues caused her to contemplate suicide and...

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