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

Canada Election 2015 Anniversary: MPs Re-Tell The Campaign In Their Own Words

(20) Comments | Posted October 19, 2016 | 4:50 PM

OTTAWA — The 2015 election didn’t turn out the way Conservative MP Peter Kent expected.

It was not the momentous victory NDP MP Niki Ashton had hoped for.

It wasn’t even the result newly elected Liberal Catherine McKenna was initially prepared for.

The Liberals’...

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Trudeau Hints At Flip In Electoral Reform Pledge

(144) Comments | Posted October 19, 2016 | 1:52 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is backtracking on his promise to change the electoral system, his opponents charged Wednesday.

After campaigning last year on assurances that “2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system,” Trudeau appears to backpedal in an interview with Quebec newspaper...

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NDP MP Kennedy Stewart's Candidate Gender Equity Bill Not Supported By Liberal Government

(23) Comments | Posted October 19, 2016 | 9:25 AM

OTTAWA — An NDP MP’s bid to force political parties to nominate more women to Parliament may be headed for defeat Wednesday after the Liberal government decided not to actively support it.

NDP MP Kennedy Stewart’s private member’s bill, C-237, the Candidate Gender Equity Act, would financially...

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MPs Seize Rare Opportunity To Critique House Of Commons Rules

(49) Comments | Posted October 7, 2016 | 8:56 PM

OTTAWA — NDP MP Christine Moore is having another baby, and she wants MPs like her to be able to work, vote, and give speeches remotely.

Moore’s suggestion was one of dozens brought forward on the floor of the House of Commons this week when MPs were given the rare...

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Omar Alghabra Faces Racist Messages After Criticizing Tories On Anti-Islamophobia Motion

(511) Comments | Posted October 7, 2016 | 12:19 PM

OTTAWA — A Liberal MP received violent and racist messages on social media this week after he highlighted the refusal of some Conservative MPs to denounce all forms of Islamophobia in the Commons.

omar alghabra
Liberal MP Omar Alghabra speaks in the House of Commons...

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Tory MPs Oppose NDP Motion Condemning All Forms Of Islamophobia

(653) Comments | Posted October 6, 2016 | 10:50 AM

OTTAWA — A motion condemning all forms of Islamophobia failed to get the unanimous consent of the House of Commons Wednesday — after some Conservative MPs stood opposed.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, who proposed the motion, expressed his profound disappointment.

thomas mulcair
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair...

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Brad Wall, Justin Trudeau Duke It Out Over Carbon Tax On Twitter

(374) Comments | Posted October 4, 2016 | 10:00 PM

OTTAWA — Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took their disagreement over a carbon tax to social media Tuesday.

“During last elxn Trudeau said he would not impose carbon tax plan on provs. I supported that policy. Keep your word,” Wall tweeted, throwing the PM’s pledge to...

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Peter Kent: It's ‘Concerning' Trudeau's Office Won't Criticize China

(27) Comments | Posted October 3, 2016 | 6:37 PM

OTTAWA — Canadians should be concerned that the Trudeau government refuses to criticize China, Conservative critic Peter Kent said Monday.

Kent, the critic for foreign affairs, cited a Huffington Post Canada story in the House of Commons where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s spokesman had refused to denounce...

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Vindicated Stephane Dion Happy Liberals Are Finally Taxing Carbon

(32) Comments | Posted October 3, 2016 | 2:41 PM

OTTAWA — Eight years after being ridiculed and lambasted for suggesting a carbon tax, former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion says Canadians are now ready for a price on greenhouse gas emissions.

Dion, Canada's foreign affairs minister, lost the 2008 election after series of perceived faux pas and a massive Conservative...

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PMO's Silence On China's Human Rights Record Troubling: Critics

(208) Comments | Posted September 30, 2016 | 5:03 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office won’t say whether it trusts the Chinese judicial system, even as it opens up discussions on a possible extradition treaty with the country.

“You’re asking me to criticize the Chinese system,” Trudeau’s spokesman Cameron Ahmad told The Huffington Post Canada...

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Ambrose Charged Taxpayers For Housing Costs While Living At Stornoway

(378) Comments | Posted September 30, 2016 | 9:24 AM

OTTAWA — Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose charged taxpayers nearly $10,000 in secondary housing costs — while she was living in an official residence also paid for by the public, records from the House of Commons show.

Ambrose, an Alberta MP and former cabinet minister, was selected by her peers...

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Deepak Obhrai: Kellie Leitch Acting 'Un-Canadian' With Immigrant Values Proposal

(100) Comments | Posted September 29, 2016 | 4:36 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch is acting "un-Canadian" and is "fear mongering" with her campaign to screen prospective immigrants for so-called Canadian values, says rival candidate Deepak Obhrai.

In a video launching his leadership campaign's website, the Calgary MP says the current debate over anti-Canadian values is...

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Brad Trost, Tory Leadership Hopeful, Questions Neutrality Of MP Chris Warkentin

(27) Comments | Posted September 28, 2016 | 11:07 AM

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership contender Brad Trost says fellow MP Chris Warkentin should be stripped of his parliamentary duties for failing to be impartial and threatening to make public a clandestinely recorded phone call.

In a letter obtained by The Huffington Post Canada, and addressed to interim Conservative Leader Rona...

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Andrew Scheer Joins Conservative Leadership Race

(22) Comments | Posted September 27, 2016 | 12:25 PM

OTTAWA — Saskatchewan MP Andrew Scheer will announce his bid for the Conservative leadership Wednesday.

Scheer, 37, grew up in Ottawa and is bilingual. He served as speaker of the House of Commons from 2011 to 2015.

At a press conference Wednesday, Scheer will make his leadership ambitions formal.


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Homa Hoodfar, Iranian-Canadian Professor, Freed In Iran

(110) Comments | Posted September 26, 2016 | 9:59 AM

OTTAWA — Iranian-Canadian professor Homa Hoodfar has been released from an Iranian prison where she had been languishing since June.

Hoodfar, a retired sociology and anthropology professor from Montreal's Concordia University, was charged with "dabbling in feminism" and sent to Tehran's notorious Evin prison. A court found Hoodfar guilty, imposed...

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

(239) 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

(92) 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

(201) 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

(235) 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

(20) 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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