Althia Raj
Althia Raj is The Huffington Post Canada's Ottawa Bureau Chief. Before joining HuffPost in 2012, 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

Forces Et Démocratie Plans To Crash Meeting To Ensure Spot In Debates

(10) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 10:24 AM

OTTAWA — The leader of the upstart Quebec-based party Forces et Démocratie says he plans to crash a meeting of television broadcasters next week in order to ensure his spot in the election debates.

Jean-François Fortin, a former leadership contender for the Bloc Québécois and the MP for Haute-Gaspésie–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia,...

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Ralph Goodale Fires Back At Joe Oliver Over 'Bitter' Attacks On Pierre Trudeau

(140) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 2:58 PM

OTTAWA — Former finance minister Ralph Goodale gave an impassioned defence of the Liberals’ economic record Tuesday after recent attacks by the Harper Conservatives suggested that the party would plunge Canada back into spiralling deficits like those of the 1970s.

He kept the door open, however, to...

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NDP Want Tories To Pay Back $2.6 Million From Salaries For 7 Years Of Deficits

(89) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:14 AM

OTTAWA — The NDP wants Conservative cabinet ministers to dig deep into their own pockets and put their money where their mouth is.

Last week, Finance Minister Joe Oliver announced that after running deficits for seven of the last nine years, the Conservatives would introduce balanced-budget legislation —...

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CUPE Slams Leadnow For Encouraging Canadians To 'Vote Together'

(209) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 7:25 PM

OTTAWA — The head of Canada’s largest union is lashing out against an anti-Conservative strategic-voting campaign.

In a letter to the non-partisan group Leadnow, Paul Moist, the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), said he has supported the group’s “good work” in the past but he...

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Why It's Really Stephen Harper On Trial, Not Mike Duffy

(156) Comments | Posted April 11, 2015 | 11:46 AM

It was supposed to be a commemorative photograph for a highly valued senator from a grateful prime minister. It seems to fit the bill: Mike Duffy and Stephen Harper are there on stage, Canadian flags behind them, and a lovely silver cursive inscription reads:

"To Duff, A great journalist...

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Photo Of Harper, Mike Duffy In Happier Times Surfaces At Trial

(16) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 4:33 PM

OTTAWA - Senator Mike Duffy earned high praised from Prime Minister Stephen Harper as one of his "best, hardest-working appointments ever," an Ottawa court room heard Thursday.

Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne introduced a photo of Harper and Duffy together to try to explain the now disgraced senator's allegedly illegal travel...

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Elizabeth May Gains Trudeau's Support To Include Greens In 2015 Election Debate

(214) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 9:15 PM

UPDATE, April 14: Green party leader Elizabeth May tweeted today that she has been invited to take part in the debates.

The party received an invitation to a planning meeting, and Green party spokesman Julian Morelli said the media consortium that organizes the debates "made it clear that if you're...

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Ex-Tory MP James Lunney: Freedoms Under 'Unprecedented Attack' In Canada

(434) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 9:28 PM

Vancouver Island MP James Lunney left the Conservative caucus Tuesday to sit as an independent. He voluntarily stepped aside, he said, so he could speak out and defend his “Christian world view,” which he feels is under attack.

He sat down with The Huffington Post...

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Dominic LeBlanc, Liberal MP, Denies NDP's Allegations Over Expenses

(50) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 6:41 PM

OTTAWA — One of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s closest friends is denying allegations levied by the NDP that he inappropriately used his public office to help the Liberal party of New Brunswick.

“It’s fabricated stuff,” New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc told The Huffington Post Canada on Thursday. “They are throwing...

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Senate Liberals To Get Reality Check On Youth Engagement In Politics

(50) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 10:57 PM

OTTAWA — Canadians should be forced by law to vote as a way of battling youth disengagement from politics, a Queens’ University student plans to tell the Senate Liberal caucus Wednesday.

Kristen Olver and her friend, Lucia Guerrero, both of them fourth-year political studies students, will be making a trip...

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As Deadline Looms, NDP Continues To Fight $2.7 Million Tab For Expenses

(7) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 3:55 PM

OTTAWA — The deadline for the NDP to refund the House of Commons $2.7 million in inappropriate satellite office expenses loomed Tuesday with the party saying it has no plans to repay a penny.

The Board of Internal Economy, the secretive committee of MPs with representation from the Conservative, NDP...

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James Lunney Leaves Conservative Caucus Citing Christian Beliefs

(212) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 2:03 PM

OTTAWA — Conservative MP James Lunney is leaving the Conservative caucus because he wants the freedom to speak his mind and defend his Christian beliefs, he announced Tuesday.

Lunney said he was making this decision voluntarily and had not been pressed to step aside, although he declined an interview request.

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Harper Dismisses Legal Concerns Over Syrian Airstrikes

(255) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 4:50 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper laughed off concerns Wednesday that Canada is about to flout international law by launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

Harper announced Tuesday that the government would extend Canada’s mission against ISIL, which so far has been limited to Iraq. The Tories intend...

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Canada's Plan For Airstrikes Against ISIL In Syria Has Dubious Legal Basis, NDP Charges

(178) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 7:12 PM

OTTAWA — Canada is about to skirt international law, the NDP suggested Tuesday after Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Canada would begin bombing missions in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad’s invitation.

Speaking in the Commons, Harper said the government has decided not to seek the express consent of the...

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Harper To Make Case For ISIS Mission Extension In Iraq And Syria Tuesday

(177) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 8:12 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper will present a motion to the House of Commons on Tuesday seeking a one-year extension of the current mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as well as the authorization to expand airstrikes into Syria, The Huffington Post has learned.

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Leaders Target B.C. To Gain Seats In 2015 Federal Election

(177) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 3:27 PM

NANAIMO, B.C. — It’s a Tuesday night in early March, and 300 New Democrats, community leaders and curious onlookers have packed a hotel hall in downtown Nanaimo to hear Thomas Mulcair.

After a brief introduction by local Vancouver Island candidates, the NDP leader emerges from the back of the room....

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Mulcair Making Up Coalition Discussion, Liberals Say

(171) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 11:22 PM

OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s office says NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is lying about a discussion he claims the two leaders had last year about forming a coalition.

Trudeau, who has ruled out forming a coalition with the NDP, says a meeting that Mulcair says happened at the Irish...

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Alexandre Boulerice, Quebec NDP MP, Says His Party Is Against The Niqab

(226) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 5:01 PM

OTTAWA — The NDP is opposed to the wearing of the niqab, Quebec NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice told a French-language television program Thursday, contradicting a position party leader Thomas Mulcair had articulated as recently as two weeks ago in English.

Boulerice, the party’s Quebec lieutenant, told TVA his party is...

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Diane Finley, PMO Under Fire For $1-Million Violation Of Conflict-Of-Interest Rules

(129) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 8:19 PM

OTTAWA — Opposition parties demanded to know Wednesday why the Prime Minister’s Office influenced a $1 million funding decision that the ethics watchdog said broke conflict-of-interest rules.

“What was Nigel Wright doing in the approval process?” NDP leader Thomas Mulcair asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the Commons.


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Liberals Are Supporting Bill C-51 So Tories Can't Make 'Political Hay,' Trudeau Says

(284) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 6:59 PM

VANCOUVER — Federal Liberals are supporting the Conservatives’ controversial anti-terrorism bill because they don’t want the government to make “political hay” of national security issues in an election year, party leader Justin Trudeau suggested last week.

Speaking at the University of British Columbia Wednesday, Trudeau encountered a student audience that...

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