Althia Raj
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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

Trudeau's Pledge Of Freer Votes Embraced By Independent-Minded Liberals

(46) Comments | Posted July 28, 2016 | 11:03 AM

OTTAWA — They are a small group with little in common but an independent streak and the courage to exercise it.

About a dozen Liberal MPs during this past sitting of Parliament stood up and voted against the directives of their party — on government legislation, opposition motions and private...

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Hunter Tootoo Not Returning To Caucus After Addiction Treatment

(164) Comments | Posted July 27, 2016 | 11:41 AM

OTTAWA — Former Liberal cabinet minister Hunter Tootoo is not being welcomed back into the Liberal caucus after his stint in rehab, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The former fisheries minister announced Wednesday that he was back at work after 52 days in a rehabilitation facility....

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RU-486 Importer Wants Abortion Pill Restrictions Lifted In Canada

(42) Comments | Posted July 22, 2016 | 11:32 PM

OTTAWA — The Canadian importer of the abortion pill Mifegymiso plans to ask the Liberal government to expand the gestational age limit for pregnancy terminations, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Celopharma Inc., the company approved to import and distribute the drug commonly known as RU-486, also wants Ottawa to...

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Tony Clement: It's Time To 'Turn The Page' From Harper Era, But Experience Counts

(165) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 10:42 AM

OTTAWA — There were some things that bothered Tony Clement about the last years of the Conservative government, but he doesn't want to dwell on them.

The 55-year-old former Treasury Board president, industry, and health minister told The Huffington Post Canada Wednesday that he's looking towards the future.

...
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Canada Preparing To Commit Troops To UN Peacekeeping Missions: Sources

(49) Comments | Posted July 12, 2016 | 10:34 PM

OTTAWA — Canada may soon announce it will commit troops to new peacekeeping missions, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion told HuffPost Tuesday the Liberal government wants to “re-energize” Canadian leadership in key areas and in multilateral institutions.
...

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Tony Clement 'Very' Excited To Join Conservative Leadership Race

(114) Comments | Posted July 11, 2016 | 11:28 AM

OTTAWA — Former cabinet minister Tony Clement will announce Tuesday he is entering the Conservative leadership race.

The four-time Tory MP for Parry Sound—Muskoka invited friends on Facebook last week to a "special announcement" at the Royal Canadian Legion's Streetsville branch in Mississauga Tuesday evening.

Clement told The...

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Electoral Reform Referendum Would Cost $300M, Chief Electoral Officer Says

(94) Comments | Posted July 7, 2016 | 11:28 AM

OTTAWA — A referendum on electoral reform would cost taxpayers an additional $300 million, Canada's chief electoral officer said Thursday.

Marc Mayrand told the special committee on electoral reform that Elections Canada needs a minimum of six months — under the current Referendum Act — to plan for a vote.

...
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Maryam Monsef Strikes Sunny Tone, Avoids Clear Answers At Electoral Reform Committee

(202) Comments | Posted July 6, 2016 | 2:28 PM

OTTAWA — Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef had nice things to say about each one of her colleagues Wednesday when she appeared before a special committee on electoral reform, but she refused to provide clear answers to any of their questions.

"In what was an amazing tour de...

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Trudeau Invites Prince William, Kate Middleton To Visit Canada

(122) Comments | Posted July 5, 2016 | 2:22 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invited Prince William and Kate Middleton to visit Canada with their children.

The visit has not been confirmed by Kensington Palace but the Prime Minister's Office said a formal invitation had been extended to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

"The PM...

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Senate Report Reveals 'Quiet Suffering' Of Syrian Refugees In Canada

(120) Comments | Posted July 4, 2016 | 4:01 PM

OTTAWA — The Liberal government needs to provide Syrian refugees with more resources so they can have a better chance of integrating successfully into Canada, a new Senate report says.

The Senate's standing committee on human rights heard from several witnesses, including refugees themselves, during hearings in Montreal, Toronto and...

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

(94) 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

(152) 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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