Gemini Award-winning journalist David Akin is the National Bureau Chief for Sun Media and is based at Sun's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He has covered events as varied as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s annual tours through the Arctic to the uprisings in Egypt in the spring of 2011 to terror trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba. Akin received a Gemini Award for his reporting while he was a correspondent for CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson and he was a National Newspaper Award finalist while working as a contributing writer for The Globe and Mail. His 20-year career in journalism also includes being a member of the inaugural staff at the National Post.
Akin has long been one of Canada’s journalism pioneers when it comes to exploring ways to use digital media and computer-assisted tools for newsgathering and publishing. His blog, On The Hill, is nearly a decade old and he is a frequent speaker on the use of social media in communications.
Akin has been named one of the 100 most influential people on Parliament Hill.
A Montrealer by birth, Akin studied history at the University of Guelph. He lives near Ottawa with his wife and two children.
David Akin - March 30th, 2014
State Senator Dale Schultz was a rare Republican who voted against the bill, saying the party was “fiddling with mechanics rather than ideas.”
“Making it more difficult for people to vote is not a good sign for a party that wants to attract more people,” he said.
The New York Times today has a long read about how U.S. conservatives– the Republican Party — is changing election laws in several states.
Read it here: New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States – NYTimes.com.
Democrats argue the whole point of the changes is to make it more difficult for the type of people who tend to voter Democrat — lower-income Americans and Black Americans — to actually vote. Read more…
David Akin - March 29th, 2014
Julia Gillard (2nd from left) was the prime minister of Australia in Nov. 2011 when this pic was snapped (by a Harper PMO photographer though I was standing 10 feet away at the time the pic was snapped) during Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Seoul, South Korea. That’s UK PM David Cameron and IMF President Christine Lagarde in the pic with Gillard and Harper.
Earlier today, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard spoke to the first-ever Progress Summit put on by the Broadbent Summit. Gillard led a left-leaning goverment and the Broadbent Summit is named after Ed Broadbent. (I surely don’t need to tell you who he is.).
Here is the text of the remarks Gillard was to give, provided by the event organizers:
In my home town in Australia, Adelaide, it is going to be 32 degrees today but the warmth of the welcome I have received has compensated for the difference between that and the freezing Ottawa air. So I am simply delighted to be here to join you for this important event.
While the weather is so starkly different, Australia and Canada share so much in common.
We are both vibrant liberal democracies in the Westminster tradition, with national and provincial level governments and we share our head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.
Our nations are rich in the resources the world needs and have large scale, efficient agriculture. Our economies are sophisticated and increasingly reliant on knowledge and service industries. We came out of the Global Financial Crisis, less damaged than many other nations in the world, in part because of the superior regulation of our banking and financial sectors.
The life expectancy of our people is more than 80 years, our GDP per capita is over $40,000 dollars and the World Bank puts us both in the top three best places to start a business. As a patriotic Australian please forgive me for pointing out we slightly beat you in each of these measures. All these indices are telling us that Canadians and Australians share the good fortune of living in two of the most prosperous places on the planet. We have the joy that comes with living not only in wealthy nations, but in peace and freedom. Read more…
David Akin - March 28th, 2014
Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits Fort Lennox in Saint-Paul-de-l’Île-aux-Noix, Que. on Friday Sept. 14, 2012. Harper visited the site to commemorate Canadian victories in the War of 1812. (Maxime Deland/QMI Agency)
Both his fans and his critics agree on one thing about Stephen Harper. He wants to transform the country, so Canadians will come to see his Conservatives and not the Liberals as the natural governing party.
By the election of 2015, he will have done much in that regard.
But to make that work endure, the Conservatives need history on their side. They need a narrative of Canada in which Conservative Party values are integral to the story. Voters who buy this history will then turn to Conservative leaders as the default choice in this century the way Canadians turned to Liberal leaders by default in the last century.
I’m not the first to advance this thesis. Plenty have done something similar over the last few years, particularly when the Harper Conservatives allocated millions to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. But this week, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird gave a speech about John Diefenbaker’s foreign policy and that speech, more than anything I’ve heard yet from a Conservative politician, neatly articulated the Conservative vision of how Canada’s history ought to be read or interpreted. Read more…
David Akin - March 26th, 2014
There are 308 MPs in the House of Commons. I like a lot of them. On all sides. Most are “good people”. The common denominator among the ones I like a lot are those that are — and Andrew Potter forgive me for using the term – authentic. They are comfortable in their own skin. They’re interested in other human beings for the simple reason that they find other human beings interesting — not simply because there’s a chance those other human beings might vote for them or say something nice about them.
Ed Holder, the London West MP, (pictured above in 2011 with PM Harper at the Tim Horton’s Brier — and yes, this pic, was taken by a PMO photographer) is one of those I like a lot for those reasons and here’s the latest evidence — Read more…
David Akin - March 26th, 2014
A nice touch from the Heymans, signalling their excitement about their move to Ottawa after Bruce Heyman was sworn in today as the new U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Welcome! (Even if you are Black Hawks fans….)