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

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

(13) 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

(82) 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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Trudeau: Gender Inequality and Extreme Poverty Are Indisputably Linked

(146) Comments | Posted August 25, 2016 | 12:09 AM

CHICOUTIMI, Que. — Poverty is sexist, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau writes in his latest feminist declaration.

In a letter released to the media Wednesday, Trudeau responds to the ONE Campaign that he agrees there is an indisputable link between gender inequality and extreme poverty.

“On behalf of the...

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Liberal Caucus Braces For Bumpy Reception, Protests In Sovereigntist Territory

(12) Comments | Posted August 24, 2016 | 8:53 PM

SAGUENAY, Que. — As the federal Liberal caucus arrived in the picturesque region of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean for two days of meetings, the local Grit MP warned party members that they shouldn’t expect an especially warm reception.

This area is known as sovereigntist territory — three provincial seats are held...

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Federal-Provincial Health Talks Worse Than Mexican Standoff: Quebec Minister

(76) Comments | Posted August 23, 2016 | 9:26 AM

VANCOUVER — The federal Liberals promised a new relationship with the provinces and territories on health care, but so far funding talks have resulted in little progress, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

Several provinces are frustrated by Ottawa's vague proposals and its apparent desire to put no new money...

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Stephen Harper To Resign Calgary Heritage Seat Within Days

(298) Comments | Posted August 22, 2016 | 2:58 PM

VANCOUVER — Former prime minister Stephen Harper is expected to resign his seat in Parliament in the coming days or week ahead.

Harper, 57, resigned as leader of the Conservative party on election night in October after losing his attempt at a fourth term.

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Bardish Chagger, Rookie Cabinet Minister, Promoted To Government House Leader

(153) Comments | Posted August 19, 2016 | 2:03 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has elevated first-time MP and rookie cabinet minister Bardish Chagger to the post of Government House Leader.

Chagger, the 36-year-old MP for Waterloo, Ont., is the first woman, and first visible minority, to hold the position.

bardish chagger

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Government Should Eliminate Friday Sittings To Improve Parliament: Dominic LeBlanc

(127) Comments | Posted August 4, 2016 | 12:48 PM

OTTAWA — The federal government may scrap Friday sittings of the House of Commons despite a lack of unanimity from Parliamentarians, the Government House Leader's office confirms.

Writing in the summer edition of Power and Influence magazine, Government House Leader Dominic LeBlanc argues Friday sittings should be eliminated...

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

(49) 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

(165) 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

(164) 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

(50) 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

(112) 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

(93) 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

(121) 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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