The 2014 Summertime “Ottawa Spends” Winners

- September 18th, 2014

From a tuna sport fishing derby to golf tournaments to brain research, Conservative MPs rang up a whopping $1.4 billion bill handing out cheques on the summertime spending circuit.

The annual summer spending spree began on June 21 when the House of Commons shut down for the summer recess and it ends Monday when the House opens for its fall sitting season.

But in the 85-day-summer that government MPs had to hit the barbecue circuit, a total of 432 spending announcements were logged in our exclusive QMI Agency “Ottawa Spends” database.

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An unprecedented disaster of an interview for the Liberal leading in New Brunswick

- September 17th, 2014
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CBC New Brunswick Harry Forestell, left, takes no prisoners in the “re-do” interview with New Brunswick Liberal Leader Brian Gallant.

With just five full days of campaigning to go until New Brunswickers vote on Monday, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant will be struggling to recover from the worst media interview a politician ever gave in mid-campaign since Stéphane Dion got confused in the 2008 federal election.

But while Gallant’s mix-up, like Dion’s, involved a re-do, Gallant cannot blame his media interlocutor for a confusing, ill-worded question.

In the re-do, in fact, he did the exact opposite of making things right. He was forced to admit, time and again, his own errors and, in doing so, dissembled at least twice. Read more…

In Alberta radio blitz, McIver aims squarely at Prentice

- September 4th, 2014
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Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver speaks to the Edmonton Sun’s editorial board on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014 Today, MciVer’s campaign launched a radio blitz against rival Jim Prentice.. (Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun)

The race in Alberta to become that province’s next premier takes a new twist Thursday with a province-wide radio blitz aimed at taking the front-runner down a few notches.


Listen: This radio ad from the Ric McIver campaign began playing all over Alberta today


The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta will hold its first vote Saturday in the leadership contest to replace Alison Redford, who resigned in March in a cloud of scandal involving misspending of public monies.

Former Harper cabinet minister Jim Prentice is the front-runner in a field of three candidates seeking to become leader of the party and the next premier of Canada’s wealthiest province. Read more…

Transcript: LPC hopeful Andrew Leslie quizzed on Israel-Hamas — by CPC staffer?

- September 2nd, 2014
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In this picture, provided by the federal Liberal Party, Lt Gen (ret’d) Andrew Leslie, hopeful of winning the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans, speaks about the Israel-Hamas conflict with a woman who the Liberals say is a Conservative Parliament Hill staffer, Alexandra Constantinidis

Late last week, a recording was forwarded through a third party to the Ottawa Sun and and to my newsroom in Sun Media’s parliamentary bureau. The recording, about five minutes long, contained a conversation from Aug. 19 between Lt. Gen (Ret’d) Andrew Leslie and, at the time we received it, an unidentified woman. In the process of verifying that circumstances and content of this conversation we contacted Leslie and the office of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. Leslie also made a recording of this same conversation and, on Tuesday, provided us with his transcript of conversation. His transcript matches the transcript we made from the first recording we received. The Liberals also identified the woman having the conversation with Leslie as the Parliament Hill assistant to Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders, Alexandra Constantinidis. Attempts to reach Constantinidis Tuesday to confirm she is the other participant in this conversation were unsuccessful. (Constantinidis’ Facebook page indicates she is a student at Mount Royal University and may well have returned to Calgary to start classes this fall there.)

The circumstances of this rather odd conversation? A public discussion that occurred at the end of a roundtable Leslie held on veterans affairs at a Royal Canadian Legion in his riding of Ottawa-Orleans on Aug. 19. Leslie, who was appointed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to co-chair the Liberal Party’s Council of International Affairs Advisors, is seeking the Liberal nomination in Ottawa-Orleans. The conversation was recorded by both parties. Read more…

The hypocrisy of Atlantic Canadians?

- September 2nd, 2014

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Two letters to the editor. One from the east. One from the west.

The first, from pollster Don Mills of Corporate Research Associates, based out of Halifax, published at the paywalled site AllNovaScotia.com on August 29:

No fracking? No problem. ~

Weak economic growth and out-migration of youth? No problem.

Aging population and rapidly rising heath-care costs? No problem. Read more…