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 appears on "Power & Politics" every Wednesday on the CBC News Network, and is a frequent contributor to various CPAC programs and CBC-TV's "At Issue" panel on Thursdays.

She can be found on Twitter @althiaraj and on Facebook.
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Entries by Althia Raj

Kevin O'Leary's Exit A Boon For Maxime Bernier? Not So Fast, Tory Leadership Rivals Say

(21) Comments | Posted April 27, 2017 | 7:38 AM

TORONTO — Kevin O’Leary’s decision to withdraw from the Conservative leadership race creates a huge opportunity for his former rivals, those still in the contest said Wednesday, as they squared off in the party’s final debate and took particular aim at Maxime Bernier, now the perceived front-runner.

"Today, the race...

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Trudeau Confirms Feds Will Ensure Access To Legal Pot If Provinces Don't Act

(52) Comments | Posted April 24, 2017 | 9:37 PM

OTTAWA — If a Canadian province doesn’t set up a framework to sell marijuana legally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will ensure pot is available to all Canadians online.

Trudeau said he recognizes that different provinces will have different approaches but they will have more than one...

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Steven Blaney Is All Worked Up Over Milk And Maxime Bernier

(22) Comments | Posted April 18, 2017 | 11:27 AM

It’s 8 a.m. and Steven Blaney is bursting with energy.

The 52-year-old MP for Bellechasse — Les Etchemins — Lévis, a riding south of Quebec City that includes bedroom communities and rural areas, and backs on the Canada-U.S. border, is determined to show he’s not a single-issue candidate.

steven blaney

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Trudeau Government Hasn't Ruled Out Military Role In Syria: Parliamentary Secretary

(68) Comments | Posted April 17, 2017 | 10:41 AM

The Liberal government isn’t ruling out a military contribution in Syria, a government spokesman told Follow-Up, The Huffington Post Canada’s political podcast, this week.

And it won’t say whether it will back further unilateral action in the region by the United States to help remove Bashar al-Assad.


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Kellie Leitch, Tory Leadership Hopeful, Says You Have Her All Wrong

(179) Comments | Posted March 31, 2017 | 11:52 AM

Kellie Leitch wants you to know she's not a racist. She's not mean, either.

She is intelligent, compassionate, generous, and hard-working. Those are the words she uses to describe herself when asked.

Over the course of a 90-minute lunch with The Huffington Post Canada, it is also clear Leitch...

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Katimavik Youth Program Receives 11th-Hour Reprieve From Trudeau Liberals

(26) Comments | Posted March 24, 2017 | 10:09 PM

OTTAWA — The federal government has granted Katimavik, the national youth volunteer program, half a million dollars — money that could keep it afloat while the Liberals decide whether to make good on Justin Trudeau's four-year-old pledge to ensure the organization's survival.

The Huffington Post Canada has learned the federal...

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Bill Morneau Says Liberals Are Responsible, Despite No Plan To Return To Balance

(6) Comments | Posted March 22, 2017 | 5:48 PM

OTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau batted away criticism Wednesday that his second budget has no plan to return to balance, and questions about why the Liberals ditched their promise to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio.

The document, titled “Building a Strong Middle Class,” includes $4.8 billion in new spending, but...

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Ambrose Tells Trudeau 'We Don't Live In China' As House Rules Debate Heats Up

(187) Comments | Posted March 21, 2017 | 7:29 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is acting like a Chinese dictator, the Conservatives suggested Tuesday as the opposition continued to fight back against Liberal attempts to curb debate and filibusters in the House.

The prime minister is trying to change the rules of the Commons to fit his schedule...

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Tories Accuse Liberals Of Seeking 4-Day Work Week, Fewer Question Periods For PM

(42) Comments | Posted March 20, 2017 | 7:21 PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to say Monday whether he is prepared to unilaterally change the rules of the House of Commons to allow for fewer sitting days or question periods.

Conservative House leader Candice Bergen twice asked whether the prime minister would promise that no changes would...

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Liberal Flirtation With Privatizing Airports Sets Off Alarm Bells

(19) Comments | Posted March 20, 2017 | 6:21 PM

OTTAWA — Opposition parties, Canada’s airlines and some of the country’s major airports are sounding the alarm over the Liberal government’s interest in privatizing some of the country's terminals and landing strips, warning it will lead to higher fees for travellers.

The plan won’t be in Wednesday’s budget, Huffington Post...

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Conservative Leadership Race 2017: Raitt Calls For Expulsion Of Candidates Who Break Rules

(12) Comments | Posted March 20, 2017 | 12:59 PM

Conservative leadership challenger Lisa Raitt says any candidate found to break the party's rules should be be kicked out of the race.

Raitt, who is vying to replace interim leader Rona Ambrose, said on Monday that accusations of vote-rigging and inappropriate membership purchases are undermining the legitimacy of the contest.

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Sid Ryan, Ex-Union Leader, Inches Closer To Decision On NDP Leadership Race

(61) Comments | Posted March 18, 2017 | 1:25 PM

OTTAWA — Canadian labour leader Sid Ryan says he’ll announce before the end of the month if he will run for the NDP leadership.

Speaking to The Huffington Post Canada’s politics podcast “Follow-Up,” the former president of the Ontario Federation of Labour said he’s concerned about dividing votes...

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Maxime Bernier Calls Kevin O'Leary A Desperate ‘Loser' After Membership Fraud Allegations

(38) Comments | Posted March 17, 2017 | 11:45 AM

OTTAWA — Conservative leadership candidate Maxime Bernier blasted his rival Kevin O’Leary as a “loser” and a “bad candidate” after the celebrity businessman complained to the party of potential membership fraud.

UPDATE: One day after Kevin O’Leary complained of widespread membership fraud, the Conservatives on Friday announced a review had...
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Maxime Bernier Campaign Investigated For Allegedly Breaking Tory Leadership Rules

(42) Comments | Posted March 16, 2017 | 10:14 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative party is investigating allegations that leadership candidate Maxime Bernier’s campaign breached contest rules by signing up members without their knowledge, The Huffington Post Canada has learned.

The claims are being levelled by fellow leadership challenger Kevin O'Leary. Reached on Thursday evening, Bernier said he had never...

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NDP Leadership Hopefuls Debate Party's Future, Trudeau.. And Beer

(3) Comments | Posted March 13, 2017 | 5:23 PM

OTTAWA — Four NDP candidates faced off Sunday in the party’s first leadership debate in Ottawa. There was much agreement on stage but a few points of a disagreement did emerge as MPs Peter Julian, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron and Niki Ashton vied for support from members.


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Chris Alexander Says Tory Leadership Bid Is About Fixing Canada, Not His Image

(14) Comments | Posted March 9, 2017 | 7:57 PM

Conservative leadership candidate Chris Alexander laughs off the suggestion that he’s a hard guy to read.

“I’m in it to win,” the 48-year-old tells The Huffington Post Canada over breakfast at The Fairmont Macdonald in Edmonton.

It’s the morning after the would-be leaders’ debate, and Alexander is looking relaxed. His...

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Leitch Is Creating Environment That Could Get Immigrants Killed: Deepak Obhrai

(192) Comments | Posted March 6, 2017 | 3:08 PM

On the same day that Kellie Leitch released the kind of questions she wants to ask newcomers, MP Deepak Obhrai says his Conservative leadership rival is creating an American-style environment that could get immigrants killed.

Obhrai, a Calgary MP since 1997, said in a news release that Leitch’s plan...

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Tory Leadership Debate In Edmonton Had Plenty Of Fireworks Without Kevin O'Leary

(15) Comments | Posted March 1, 2017 | 11:47 AM

EDMONTON — Conservative leadership candidates faced off Tuesday in Edmonton — while Kevin O’Leary, another contestant, held court at a hotel across the street.

kevin oleary chicken
A man dressed in a chicken suit mocks Kevin O’Leary for skipping the Conservative leadership...

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Lisa Raitt Suggests It's Time For Some Tory Leadership Contenders To Drop Out

(35) Comments | Posted March 1, 2017 | 8:53 AM

EDMONTON — Conservative leadership contender Lisa Raitt suggested Tuesday that it is time for some candidates to put aside their “arrogance” and pull out of the contest for the sake of the party.

“There are 14 of us. There are seven of us who should be having conversations about what...

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Erin O'Toole Aims To Convince Tories He'll Beat Trudeau Without Flash

(19) Comments | Posted February 28, 2017 | 7:23 PM

Ontario MP and Tory leadership contender Erin O’Toole wants to vent. He’s frustrated about a Liberal motion calling, in part, for the House of Commons to condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.

O’Toole wanted to support the motion, M-103, and reached out to its sponsor,...

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