McIver to PC Party of Alberta: Ban membership giveaways

- August 18th, 2014

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Alberta MLA Ric McIver (above), a candidate to be leader of his party, writes to his party’s president to urge him to ban free giveaways of party membership by other leadership campaigns. So far as we know, only the campaign of Jim Prentice has been covering the $10 cost of party memberships for those who will sign up to vote for Prentice. Here’s the letter: Read more…

The Harper jobs record? Depends on how you slice it …

- August 17th, 2014

LFP

In our newspapers Monday, I write about Finance Minister Joe Oliver’s visits beginning Monday through southwestern Ontario, an area of the country that’s been particularly hard hit by job losses, mostly in the manufacturing sector. You can read the column here.

But here, in this post, is some more background on what I’ll call the “Harper Jobs Record” based on data from Statstics Canada monthly labour force survey.

Economists, traders, and investors prefer to work in increments of “last month”, and “last quarter” but for the purposes of this post I will work mostly in political increments, i.e. since “last election” or since “Harper took over”. That said, we will, like economists, traders, and investors, find common ground in using a 12-month comparison for some data. Read more…

MP quits BQ, says new leader just too radical

- August 12th, 2014

Canada - Centre Block - Parliament Buildings

The Bloc Quebecois does not have official party status in the House of Commons. In the 2011 general elections, its ranks were reduced to 4 seats, a decline of 43 seats. Then, Claude Patry, elected as a New Democrat in 2011, decided to go sit with the Bloc. So they were up to 5. Then the big debate over the “Charter of Values” erupted in Quebec. The PQ government of Pauline Marois loved it but BQ MP Maria Mourani did not and said so. For that, she was booted from the BQ caucus by its leader Daniel Paillé (who didn’t have a seat in himeself in the House.) Mourani then said she didn’t believe in sovereignty anyhow and is sitting as an independent MP. So the BQ was back down to 4 MPs. Today, they are down to 3 MPs as Jean-François Fortin announced he, too, will sit as an independent. Why? The new BQ leader, Mario Beaulieu (who beat Fortin for the job), is too radical. Read more…

Baird to UN: Are you kidding me?

- July 22nd, 2014
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks about the failed ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during a news conference in Ottawa July 15, 2014. (REUTERS/Blair Gable)

The Times of Israel reported this week:

A United Nations agency that last week found rockets in a Gaza school operating under its auspices has handed that weaponry over to Hamas, Israeli officials said Sunday, accusing the organization of actively helping the terrorist organization potentially attack Israeli civilians. Read more…

By phone, Harper and Netanyahu speak about the Hamas rocket attacks

- July 19th, 2014
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JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Israel earlier this year. (DAVID AKIN/QMI)

Earlier today, Canada’s Prime MInister Stephen Harper spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here is the ‘read-out’ from the Harper’s office:
—- Read more…