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 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

Parm Gill, Conservative Candidate, Investigated By Elections Commissioner

(55) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 12:01 AM

Conservative candidate Parm Gill is being investigated by the Commissioner of Elections Canada, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Gill, the incumbent candidate in the Ontario riding of Brampton North, is being scrutinized for accepting or charging money from unsuspecting donors without their consent.

Several sources told HuffPost that...

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In Halifax, The NDP-Liberal Battle For Change Hits Close To Home

(19) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 2:46 PM

Jane Davis has been rotating the political signs on her Halifax front lawn every few days.

Like many voters in the downtown riding, she wants to get rid of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper but was initially unsure where to park her ballot — with popular NDP incumbent...

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Leona Aglukkaq Spent More Than $140K To Speak At Close Of Lima Climate Conference

(84) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 7:39 AM

OTTAWA — Nunavut Conservative candidate Leona Aglukkaq spent more than $140,916 as environment minister to attend a climate change conference with 26 staff and government officials.

The Canadian delegation at the meeting in Lima, Peru, for the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United...

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5 Notable Promises From The Liberal Party Platform

(6) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 12:25 AM

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals released their full platform on Monday. The 88-page booklet reiterated many of the party’s promises, such running three years of deficits, boosting child care benefits and cutting income taxes for middle-class Canadians, but a few other pledges also stuck out.


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Here's What Made Ex-Liberals Back Mulcair, And Ex-NDPers Turn To Trudeau

(67) Comments | Posted October 4, 2015 | 11:42 AM

John Fenik looks out at one of the farms in his large Eastern Ontario riding of Lanark–Frontenac–Kingston.

A long-time Liberal who counts former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau as one of his heroes, Fenik is running for the NDP in this election.

He was...

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Kenney Says Tories Would Strip Every Convicted Terrorist Of Citizenship, If Only They Could

(160) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 8:28 PM

The Conservative party would strip all Canadians of their citizenship if they were convicted of terrorism offences but can't because of a UN convention, Tory incumbent candidate Jason Kenney said in an interview this week.

"Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. If we did not have the legal constraint, then the legal...

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Cheryl Thomas, Victoria Liberal Candidate, Quits After Anti-Muslim, Anti-Israel Remarks Surface

(90) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 7:47 PM

OTTAWA — Victoria Liberal Cheryl Thomas resigned her candidacy Wednesday after controversial remarks she made about Israel and mosques were unearthed.

The Liberals are the first party to dump a candidate after the deadline for withdrawals on Sept. 28, meaning Thomas' name will still appear on the...

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Bill C-24: Harper Says Tories May Consider Stripping Other Criminals Of Citizenship

(281) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 4:44 PM

OTTAWA — A re-elected Conservative government might look to strip dual citizens of their Canadian citizenship if they commit other heinous crimes, Stephen Harper said in a radio interview Wednesday.

Harper was on The Andrew Lawton Show to talk about Bill C-24, a new law the...

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Pierre Dufour, Liberal Candidate, Backs Away From Niqab Comments

(4) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 3:15 PM

A Liberal candidate who suggested it is “unacceptable” for women to wear the niqab during citizenship ceremonies is backing away from his comments.

Pierre Dufour, a candidate in the Northern Quebec riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, told residents at a debate on Monday that he found the situation unacceptable, and informed the...

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Thomas Mulcair's Niqab Policy Opposed By 3 More Quebec NDP Candidates

(212) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 5:31 PM

Three more NDP candidates in Quebec are backing away from party leader Thomas Mulcair's stated policy on the niqab and are telling their constituents they oppose the wearing of face veils during citizenship ceremonies.

Danielle Landreville, the NDP candidate in Joliette, said Tuesday that she opposes the wearing of the...

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Mount Royal: Israel Policy Key In Battle For Liberal Stronghold

(21) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 3:43 PM

"This is a 'no,'" Liberal candidate Anthony Housefather hears a volunteer say behind him as he door-knocks through the hallways of a luxury condominium building in the Montreal riding of Mount Royal.

"It's OK. I'm going to talk to her."

"You're a very nice...

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Scott Reid, Tory Incumbent, Scores Support From 2 Pro-Marijuana Groups

(25) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 11:33 AM

Conservative incumbent Scott Reid has received the endorsement of two marijuana-rights groups, who say the Tory MP has been a "remarkable voice" for cannabis in Parliament.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada (NORML Canada) said it is putting all its efforts...

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Liberals' Fiscal Plan Hangs On Finding $6.5-Billion In Savings In 4 Years

(149) Comments | Posted September 26, 2015 | 8:53 PM

OTTAWA — The Liberals released a fiscal plan Saturday that was praised by external experts as prudent and transparent, but which also opened the door to new tax hikes, larger deficits and cuts to public sector spending.

The Liberals project a $9.9 billion deficit next...

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Top 3 Moments Of Leaders' French Debate

(100) Comments | Posted September 25, 2015 | 3:22 AM

It was unlike any debate in this election so far.

Five party leaders — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Green party Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe — were asked about topics ranging from health care and capping interest...

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Why You Should Watch The Leaders' French Debate

(83) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 12:23 AM

UPDATE: The debate begins at 8 p.m. ET and can be viewed at this livestream at

The French-language federal leaders’ debate on Thursday will be unlike others in this campaign. For one, the main candidate fending off the attacks will be Thomas Mulcair, not Stephen Harper.


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Winnipeg Centre: Pat Martin, Robert-Falcon Ouellette Make Riding Key NDP-Liberal Battle

(156) Comments | Posted September 19, 2015 | 7:50 PM

"You, son of a bitch."

It's not the type of comment that usually gets said during an all candidates debate, but the race in Winnipeg Centre — and specifically NDP incumbent candidate Pat Martin — is far from typical.

Martin, the long-time MP, is well-known for his colourful language. He...

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Liberals' Deficit Plan Will Blow Well Past $10 Billion: Tories, NDP

(225) Comments | Posted September 19, 2015 | 11:39 AM

OTTAWA — The Liberals are defending accusations that they've already blown through their $10-billion deficit plan by announcing millions — possibly billions — more in spending than they've budgeted.

This week, the Conservatives and the NDP both accused the Grits of underestimating their promises. Calgary incumbent candidate...

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Kevin Page: NDP's 'Thin' Fiscal Plan Put Mulcair On Spot

(107) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 11:42 PM

Even though Canada’s former budget watchdog called the NDP’s fiscal plan "Swiss cheese," leader Thomas Mulcair insists Kevin Page has very nice things to say about his party’s document.

Page, who served as parliamentary budget officer from 2008-2013, has been advising Mulcair and the NDP, as well as other parties....

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André Savoie, Quebec Tory Candidate, Retracts Refugee Remarks

(48) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 3:46 PM

OTTAWA — A Quebec Conservative candidate says Canada shouldn't be taking in too many Syrian refugees because taxpayers will have to house them.

During a debate with Cégep students on Tuesday, André Savoie, the Conservative candidate in Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia, suggested that if he were a refugee he would get...

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NDP's Plan To Run Surplus Next Year Is Not Realistic, Experts Say

(114) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 2:19 AM

OTTAWA — Despite promising to run a surplus in its first year in government, the NDP will most likely run a deficit — unless it dips into the employment insurance fund to pad its bottom line.

The NDP released a fiscal plan Wednesday projecting a...

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