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About "David Akin"

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.

New Brunswick MLA quits politics 3 weeks after winning seat by 9 votes

- October 14th, 2014

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New Brunswick held a general election as per its fixed election date law on Sept. 22. Because it’s a fixed-date election, none of the parties or candidates were surprised by the date of this election. The result? The New Brunswick Liberals, led by 32-year-old Brian Gallant, would oust the incumbent Progressive Conservatives led by David Alward and win a majority government.

In the riding of Saint John East, it was a very close battle but Liberal Gary Keating (pictured above) won by nine votes, a victory that only a judicial recount would certify. Keating scored 2,332 votes to incumbent Progressive Conservative MLA Glen Savoie who had 2,323 votes.

Three weeks later, Keating quit. Here is his statement, released today (my emphasis): Read more…

Fun with surpluses, Part II: Are we richer than we think?

- October 14th, 2014
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At its Flickr page, the NDP have posted this pic of Leader Thomas Mulcair campaigning in Iqaluit earlier this year.

Last week, the economists at TD Bank put out a helpful paper in which they tried to calculate a) how much extra money the federal government is likely to have between now and March 31, 2020 and b) how much it will cost the federal treasury to do the things Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to do during the 2011 election once the budget was in balance.

The result of their number-crunching? From the 2014 fiscal year through to the 2020 fiscal year, Ottawa should post a combined surplus of $71.1 billion. (Reminder: Ottawa’s fiscal year ends on March 31 so “fiscal year 2015 or FY15” is the current fiscal year which began on April 1, 2014 and ends on March 31, 2015. By convention, fiscal years are denominated in the year they end.)

TD Bank says the cost of the 2011 campaign promises — which the Conservatives have already started to implement — will be a cumulative $19.9 billion through to FY20.

Read more…

On this Thanksgiving, we are grateful for Ottawa’s handout!

- October 12th, 2014
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Of course, it wasn’t money from the bank account of the federal Conservatives that MP Gerald Keddy (left) was handing over. It was money from all of us, given on behalf of the Government of Canada. Keddy got in a spot of trouble for this when he did it in 2009. Keddy has handed out dozens of such cheques, worth millions, and is on tap to do it again Tuesday as part of a cross-country blitz of cheque handouts by Conservative MPs. The party logo may no longer be there but the political point is the same: Conservatives are your pals!.

MPs will spend the next week in their ridings, doing all the good things MPs do for their constituents.

Government MPs though, get some additional work next week, handing out cheques.

Handing out cheques, of course, is one of the chief duties of government MPs — opposition MPs are never given the opportunity to hand out a government cheque — and this is done typically during weeks when MPs are away from the House of Commons on a constituency week as they are next week.

Here’s the lineup, so far, for cheque handouts on Tuesday. This is Tuesday only. It is also not an unusually busy first day of a “constituency week”. This is what government MPs do when in their ridings. Since the May 2011 election, we’ve had 5,300 cheque handouts for billions of dollars. Most happen on so-caNlled “break weeks”: Read more…

A premature copyright objection from the Parliamentary Press Gallery

- October 9th, 2014

Earlier today, the 300 or so members of Canada’s Parliamentary Press Gallery received the following notice in their e-mail inboxes:

CANADIAN COPYRIGHT LAWS

 Ottawa, Ontario

October 9, 2014

The Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery is troubled by reports the government is considering an exception to Canadian copyright laws that would give parties free reign in using news content for political advertisements.

Journalists report facts and balance them with context to ensure their stories are fair. Political ads, particularly during election campaigns, are by nature one-sided. Giving political parties the ability to selectively use news stories runs counter to the neutrality we strive to provide to Canadians every day.

The proposal is not yet formal. We await further details.

Laura Payton
President, Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery

As a member of the Gallery (and a former member of its board of directors), I believe it is a premature to be issuing a statement. Here’s why: Read more…

Is Wildrose violating copyrights in new ads?

- October 9th, 2014

 

The nice. And now …

Read more…