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

Stephen Harper's PMO Approved $93,000 In Moving Expenses For Senior Staffer

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2016 | 12:22 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office once approved $93,000 in moving expenses for a senior staff member.

The figures, provided by the Privy Council Office, note that between 2008 and 2010, one person costs were covered to the tune of $92,918.59. (The figure was later adjusted to $92,952.71). The...

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Chris Alexander, Former Immigration Minister, Aiming To Join Tory Leadership Race

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2016 | 6:05 PM

OTTAWA — Former embattled Conservative immigration minister Chris Alexander is hoping to join the Tory leadership race.

Alexander, the former MP for Ajax–Pickering, told The Huffington Post Canada he is currently collecting signatures supporting his potential run.

"I am actively considering a bid to lead the Conservative Party of Canada...

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Trudeau Unofficially Launches Canada's Bid For UN Security Council Seat

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2016 | 11:09 PM

UNITED NATIONS — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unofficially kicked off Canada’s campaign for a Security Council seat Tuesday, telling the United Nations’ General Assembly: “We’re Canadian. And we’re here to help.”

In a 12-minute speech, Trudeau told the gathering of world leaders that they need...

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Justin Trudeau Hailed At UN As 'Example' To The World

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2016 | 9:35 PM

NEW YORK — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was enthusiastically embraced at the United Nations Monday, as diplomats and politicians shredded their usual nuanced tones for generous acclaim, unusual applause and selfies with the Canadian leader.

Trudeau was at the UN to tell the world’s leaders that Canada...

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Genetic Non-Discrimination Bill Opposed By Insurance Industry Set For Debate

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2016 | 9:45 AM

OTTAWA — A bill that outlaws genetic discrimination and is staunchly opposed by the insurance industry is one of the first pieces of legislation up for debate as the Commons returns to work this week.

Bill S-201, an act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, passed unanimously in...

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Trudeau Government's First Months Were Least Productive In Decades

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2016 | 7:43 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first months in office were the least productive of any government in the House of Commons in more than two decades, data compiled by the Library of Parliament shows.

Parliament passed 10 bills during Trudeau's first nine months, the public database...

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Kevin Garratt Released From Chinese Prison 2 Years After Arrest

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2016 | 4:22 PM

OTTAWA — Canadian Kevin Garratt has been freed from a Chinese prison and is back home with his family.

Garratt was detained in August 2014 along with his wife, Julia, who was later freed, on suspicions they were gathering military intelligence. The Garratts had lived in China for more than...

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Kellie Leitch Slams Politically Correct 'Elites' Upset About Anti-Canadian Values Debate

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2016 | 8:21 AM

HALIFAX — Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch is hoping her proposal to screen all prospective immigrants for "anti-Canadian values" is a moneymaker.

In a second fundraising email since she announced her policy, Leitch told her supporters two-thirds of Canadians agree with her. Eighty-seven percent of Conservatives polled support this "common-sense...

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Tory MPs Split On How Well New Leader Should Know French

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2016 | 8:09 PM

HALIFAX — Conservative MPs say it’s imperative their new leader speak French, but how bilingual that person must be or by what time fluency is required remains a source of disagreement among caucus members.

Calgary MP Michelle Rempel told reporters Tuesday it is important that the leader...

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Rona Ambrose Urges Tories To Stay United As Leadership Race Heats Up

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2016 | 11:21 AM

HALIFAX — Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose warned the Tory caucus Tuesday not to let their upcoming leadership contest divide the party.

"I know we all understand the importance of speaking with one united voice. We are all realists here," Ambrose said in a speech to about 115 MPs and...

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Tony Clement Wants To Monitor All Canadian Charities For Terror Activity

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2016 | 10:51 PM

OTTAWA — Canadian charities are sounding the alarm after Conservative party leadership candidate Tony Clement said he wants to monitor the activities of all charities to ensure that they are not contributing to radicalization or terrorism.

On Monday in Ottawa, Clement unveiled what he called his 10-point...

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Tory Leadership Race Left Wide Open After Peter MacKay Opts Out

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2016 | 9:12 PM

HALIFAX — Conservative MPs greeted the news that Peter MacKay won’t run for the Tory leadership with sadness and understanding Monday, but also with optimism that the party’s race is now wide open.

Many Tory MPs learned of MacKay’s decision as their plane touched down in Halifax,...

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Conservatives Hope Summer Caucus Meeting Sends Message To Atlantic Canadians

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2016 | 4:46 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative MPs are heading to Atlantic Canada next week — where the party was completely shut out in the last election. They hope to remind voters in Halifax that the Tories haven't forgotten them and to plan for the upcoming sitting of Parliament.

It's the first summer caucus...

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Liberals May Be Purposely Keeping Voting Reform Meetings Vague: NDP MP

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2016 | 6:47 PM

OTTAWA — Public consultations over the new electoral system should result in a clear sense of what Canadians want, not just vague and lofty ideas, opposition MPs say.

NDP critic Nathan Cullen told The Huffington Post Canada he is concerned that Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef’s town halls are not...

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Jane Philpott Wants Strings Attached To New Health Spending, Quebec Says No Way

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2016 | 8:40 AM

OTTAWA — Canada's health minister says she wants to know where the provinces would spend additional federal dollars before agreeing to more cash — a position that Quebec says is unacceptable.

In an interview with The Huffington Post Canada, Dr. Jane Philpott said the Liberal government sees the negotiations over...

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Mark Henry Rowswell, Beloved Canadian Celebrity In China, Has High Hopes For Trudeau's Visit

(0) Comments | Posted August 30, 2016 | 1:36 PM

OTTAWA — China's best-known Canadian says he's optimistic Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will succeed in warming relations with the People's Republic.

Canadian-born Mark Henry Rowswell is an immensely popular performer known to Chinese audiences as Dashan. He's now doing stand-up comedy, but for years he appeared frequently on television and...

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Trudeau Government Now Refers To ISIS As Daesh

(255) Comments | Posted August 29, 2016 | 7:35 PM

OTTAWA — The Liberal government says it will from now on refer to the Islamic State as Daesh.

The terrorist group, which is also known as ISIL or ISIS, is being described in government communications and ministerial speeches as ‘Daesh,’ a term that reportedly angers the so-called Islamic State.

...
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Liberals In Quebec Confident They Can Win Again In Traditionally Sovereigntist Ridings

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2016 | 8:29 AM

SAGUENAY, Que. — Liberals in Saguenay, Que., where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his caucus are meeting, say the tide is changing here and that local residents are willing to shed their support for sovereignty in order to board the federal gravy train.

Marc Pettersen, the Liberals' candidate last...

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Stephane Dion To France? Foreign Affairs Minister Says He's Not Interested In Ambassadorship

(14) Comments | Posted August 25, 2016 | 12:58 PM

SAGUENAY, Que. — Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says he has no interest in being Canada's next ambassador to France, addressing rumours circulating in his department and in Ottawa circles that he will be shuffled out of cabinet in the next year and given a plum diplomatic post.

...
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Angry Dairy Farmers Blast Trudeau's 'Inaction' On Diafiltered Milk

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2016 | 11:45 AM

SAGUENAY, Que. — Roaring truck engines, honking horns, and angry dairy farmers greeted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he arrived at the Liberals' summer caucus meetings Thursday.

About 100 dairy farmers from the Saguenay region drove their trucks to the Delta hotel where Trudeau and his 181 MPs are holding...

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