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 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

Bill Blair Says Thomas Mulcair Approached Him To Run For NDP

(205) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 4:36 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal candidate and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair says it was the NDP who first approached him to run for Parliament.

In an interview with The Huffington Post Canada, Blair, a veteran of the police service and the top cop in Toronto for the past 10 years,...

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'Ready For Change': Mulcair Makes Case For NDP Government At Rally

(17) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 10:47 PM

OTTAWA — NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair tried to position himself Wednesday as the best agent for change.

“After 10 long years of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, Canadians are ready for change,” Mulcair declared to a cheering crowd of more than 730 people assembled at an Ottawa convention hall.

Behind...

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Brent Rathgeber, Independent MP, Wants You To Be Able To Fire Your MP

(84) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 6:45 PM

OTTAWA – Independent MP Brent Rathgeber wants Canadians to be able to fire their member of Parliament if they are unsatisfied with the job he or she is doing.

The Edmonton MP, who quit the Conservative caucus after the government tried to water down his bill on public salary...

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Trudeau Unveils 32-Point Plan For 'Real Change'

(315) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 8:00 AM

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced a series of sweeping changes Tuesday to improve government services, change the way Canadians vote, and increase government transparency if the Grits win October’s election.

Trudeau’s 32-point plan, dubbed “real change,” includes several major initiatives and reversals of Conservative government decisions, such as...

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Liberals Mum After Veteran David MacLeod Quits Candidacy To Protest Bill C-51 Vote

(183) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 5:31 PM

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are staying mum about a star candidate who just turned on them.

David MacLeod is a Canadian Forces veteran that was supposed to run against Justice Minister Peter MacKay in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova. But the day MacKay announced he wasn’t...

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Jean Pelletier, Star Tory Recruit, Loses Nomination Battle In Quebec

(26) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 2:36 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservatives’ Quebec lieutenant dismissed suggestions Monday that the party has lost control over its members in the province after two star candidates were defeated in nomination races.

Last week, the former director general of the Quebec City Carnival Jean Pelletier lost his bid to represent...

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Peter Van Loan: Bill On Face Coverings Won't Pass Before MPs Break

(33) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 12:58 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government is introducing more last-minute legislation it has no plans to pass, just to lay out its electoral platform for the fall, the Government House Leader said Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Peter Van Loan acknowledged an upcoming bill forbidding face coverings during citizenship ceremonies...

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NDP's Motion Urging Review Of MPs Expenses Comes Too Late

(31) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 9:29 PM

The NDP took a journey into nowhere Thursday with a motion that invited the auditor general to look at MPs’ expenses. But because of its timing, the motion has no chance of being debated, much less passed — and that’s led one critic to suggest the NDP is only posturing.

...
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Tories Float Idea Of Forcing Women To Unveil To Get Public Services

(402) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 3:12 PM

OTTAWA — The federal government says it will consider introducing legislation to force members of the public to unveil themselves in order to obtain federal services.

“Canadians would agree that, when you’re either receiving or giving public services, you would have your face uncovered,” Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal told...

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Justin Trudeau Calls For Auditor General To Review MPs' Expenses

(64) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 1:22 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he’d support an auditor general review of all MPs’ expenses. The Conservatives responded that they would support it too, and the NDP insisted they would also back a call for a comprehensive audit of spending claims.

But none of the...

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Senate Expense Audit: 9 Cases Flagged For RCMP, By The Numbers

(21) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 4:42 PM

OTTAWA — Auditor General Michael Ferguson's two-year probe of Senate expenses flagged nine cases that he said Tuesday were so serious they should be immediately referred to the RCMP.

In each case, Ferguson said, current or former senators were making claims for living expenses incurred in the...

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Senators Say Auditor General, Like Most Canadians, Doesn't Understand What They Do

(58) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 1:00 PM

OTTAWA — Several senators are hoping Canadians won’t take the auditor general’s word on their expenses as fact Tuesday when his report is released to the public — given what they believe are serious lapses in his judgment and the audit process.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Auditor General Michael Ferguson...
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NDP Satellite Offices: Commons Spending Board Reactivates Court Case

(58) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 2:26 PM

OTTAWA — The body that administers the House of Commons is moving to reactivate a court challenge launched by the NDP against a ruling by the Board of Internal Economy that dozens of its MPs improperly used parliamentary resources for partisan purposes.

The board’s lawyer, Guy Pratte, wrote to the...

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NDP MP Pat Martin Fails To Strip $57 Million From Senate Budget

(61) Comments | Posted June 8, 2015 | 1:29 PM

OTTAWA — The NDP will try once again Monday to defund the Senate by stripping the upper chamber of most of its budget.

NDP MP Pat Martin plans to move a motion to scrap $57 million dollars from the Senate’s program expenditures for this year’s budget. The upper chamber’s total...

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Senate Audit Has Some Calling For Review Of MP Expenses, Too

(37) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 3:37 PM

OTTAWA — The damning Senate audit should renew calls for an audit of MPs in the House of Commons, some recently audited senators say.

The NDP, the Liberals, the Greens, Quebec upstart party Forces et Démocratie and independent MP Brent Rathgeber all support the idea of calling Auditor General Michael...

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Senate Expense Audit: Tory Senators Wish They Knew Auditor Had Fingered Their Own Leader

(64) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 7:04 PM

OTTAWA — Several Conservative senators say they wish they had known their Senate leadership had been fingered by the auditor general when they drafted a new arbitration process for those with questionable expenses.

The three most powerful people in the upper chamber — Senate Speaker Leo Housakos, government leader Claude...

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Bill C-50, Citizen Voting Act, Comparable To U.S. Voter Suppression Tactics: Expat

(57) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 8:45 AM

OTTAWA — A Conservative bill that restricts the ability of expats to vote is comparable to voter suppression tactics in the American deep south, says a Canadian living in the United States who has been battling Ottawa for the right to cast a ballot.

“These are tried and true tactics...

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MPs On Health Committee Seek More Warnings About Cellphones, Wi-Fi, Baby Monitors

(192) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 8:07 PM

OTTAWA — The federal government should do more to warn Canadians about the dangers of Wi-Fi, cellphones and baby monitors, some MPs on the Commons health committee say.

"We are in a soup of radiation from cellphone and cellphone towers, and baby monitors and iPads," Conservative MP...

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NDP Union Says Relationship With Party Not 'Utopian'

(4) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 2:11 PM

OTTAWA — The NDP union’s head says its relationship with the party is not “utopian” but negotiations are still ongoing over some staff concerns that party managers want to stop filling vacant positions, offering any grievance settlements and won’t meet with the union till the next election is over.

“It...

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Peter MacKay Will Not Run For Re-Election In 2015

(212) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 8:33 AM

Justice Minister Peter MacKay confirmed on Friday he will not be running in the next federal election.

MacKay made the announcement at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, N.S., citing “purely personal” reasons for his decision. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also attended the event.

“It is now time for me...

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