In yesterday's budget the government announced that Canada's International Development Agency (CIDA) will be merged within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). CIDA's mandate of poverty reduction is distinct from the mandate of DFAIT, which is to promote Canada's interests abroad. The merger of these departments must be done without watering down CIDA's mandate.
Justin Trudeau is about to head into the national Liberal leadership vote heavily ahead of the competition, with little changing since he first announced his running back in the fall. Below are several of the most often used reasons, and perhaps some perspective on addressing those reasons and hopefully alleviating some of the hesitation in supporting another Trudeau to right the ship and lead the new Liberals in the 2015 election.
The federal minister of Finances, Mr. Jim Flaherty, made public comments and exerted pressures for Manulife Bank to withdraw its offer for a five-year-fixed mortgage rate of 2.89 per cent. NPD leader Thomas Mulcair accused Mr. Flaherty of using his position of power inappropriately. I couldn't have said it better myself.
The Harper government would do well to learn from the approach of the Conservative government in the United Kingdom which, in a difficult economic situation, has made the laudable commitment not to cut its aid budget. Scaling back our development assistance is, frankly, out of step with Canadian values.
Bob Rae never ceases to surprise. In a recent speech in Saskatoon, reported in the Huffington Post, Bob Rae, unequivocally voiced his support and hi...
By sanitizing and canonizing Jack Layton, CBC's "Jack" biopic did a disservice to the man. And it was mediocre TV. Even the portrayal of the thrilling 2011 election campaign lacked tension and drama when in reality, the actual campaign was a wild and exciting ride. A missed opportunity for CBC.
Right now in Canada, we need to get real about the math. That is of course, if you're one of the more than 60 per cent that voted for anyone other than Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party in the last federal election. The political math makes it virtually impossible for any of the opposition parties to beat Harper in the next election.
An increasing number of Canadians are supportive of NDP MP José Nunez-Melo's Air Passenger Bill of Rights, which has received plenty of attention this month following a deplorable flight delay aboard a Sunwing Airlines flight on February 8. But more public pressure is needed to sway the ruling Conservatives.
There are clerks in the chamber and working with committees, is it so hard to take attendance? Would it be so difficult to have a simple web site that keeps track of a Member of Parliament's attendance, one that the public or media can check? Are we letting MPs have a free ride?
Finally the NDP is making Question Period interesting to watch. And they have the Conservatives to thank for handing them the issues and the ammunition. I am speaking about NDP attacks on the Senate and the financial questions. It is often said that governments defeat themselves and it is issues like these that accumulate over time and eventually ruin your brand.
Political parties over the years have promised more freedom for MPs, more free votes etc., but little comes of it. All too often deviance from the party line by an MP becomes a media story and it plays as an embarrassment of the respective leader. It is no wonder then that party leaders react so strongly when this happens.
Bravo to Nathan Cullen, the NDP House Leader, for at least attempting to clean up the poor decorum in the House. However, I doubt his suggestions will go anywhere as the Conservatives will have to cooperate and that is unlikely.
With a final media show, Chief Spence has now ended her 44 day "reduced food" diet. The question should now turn to what did she accomplish? Are Canadians more aware today and do they have a better understanding of the abysmal living conditions in First Nations communities? Probably not, such conditions were already well known and have been for decades.
The (relatively new) leader of the British Labour Party, Ed Miliband, is turning out to be a very capable leader, and not just because his party is le...
If voters sit down and scrutinize the political and economic policy proposals put forth by each party in 2012, it becomes apparent that it is nearly impossible to tell where one party stops and another begins. So unless you sit slightly to the right -- in which case every party embodies your politics -- the next time a canvasser, pollster, government official, or public figure asks, "which political party do you support?" consider responding "none of them." Can you really be considered apathetic?
"Perception is reality" in politics. A lot of this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and well scripted talk points which are repeated over and over in the hope that voters will change their perception of that party or that of their opponents. It has been an interesting year in politics and next year will provide us with an opportunity to see if voter's perceptions of our leaders and their parties will change.