After big election upsets, like in British Columbia this year — or in Alberta last year, or federally the year before that — political people like to say knowingly, “Campaigns matter.”
Watching Rob Rae disappear down a parliamentary corridor on Wednesday — the arm of Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau draped over his shoulders — we were reminded that campaigns matter, but they aren’t everything.
Rae leaves politics after two stints as a federal member of Parliament — first as a New Democrat, then as an interim Liberal leader. Read more…
The good, the bad and the absolutely wacky of NDP resolutions
by Anthony Furey
Policy conventions are great opportunities to see what direction the rank-and-file membership want to take the country in. The resolutions are pretty raw ideas, aired out before the leader’s office has had a chance to massage them. And at this weekend’s NDP policy convention there are plenty. The 123-page document contains hundreds of policies submitted by various party groups.
A bunch of fiscal ideas will ultimately hurt the middle class, like “eliminating Tax Free Savings Accounts as a means of tax avoidance” and “taxing capital gains and stock options at the same rate as salaries or wages.” If your retirement fund holds U.S. stock, you won’t like the “international tax on the purchase, sale, or transfer of the four principal types of financial assets — shares, bonds, foreign currency, and derivatives.” Read more…
Gun control is the hot issue on both sides of the border.
In Ottawa and Montreal Canada’s opposition parties are talking gun control and in Washington there are now Republicans joining Democrats in the Senate to push new gun control measures. The common thread is that in both countries the measures proposed by politicians would target law abiding gun owners and do nothing to stop crime or deal with mass shootings like the Sandy Hook massacre.
At the NDP convention in Montreal the official opposition is looking at several calls regarding guns.
Resolution 03-09-13 denounces what the NDP members from Esquimalt-Juan-de-Fuca call a weakening of mental health checks and the “unbalanced” weight of the gun lobby with the current government. It calls for a new firearms advisory council with more police and safety advocates on it and for the government to respect Quebec’s calls for their own gun registry. Resolution 03-56-13 submitted by the riding of Gatineau says pretty much the same thing.
But the big resolution to watch is this one from the Quebec section of the party.
3-23-13 Resolution to Maintain the Classification of Prohibited Weapons in its Entirety
BE IT RESOLVED that the NPD call on the government of Canada to immediately reclassify non-restricted military-style semi-automatic rifles as prohibited weapons, as many of Canada’s police forces
and coroners are requesting, with a view to taking these weapons off the market and ensuring they remain traceable to and in the possession of their owners at all times, despite the abolition of the long-gun registry.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NPD call on the Government of Canada to ensure that the Regulations Prescribing Certain Firearms and other Weapons, Components and Parts of Weapons, Accessories, Cartridge Magazines, Ammunition and Projectiles be updated at least once yearly to include new weapons on the market or those that have been superficially altered to avoid a restrictive classification.
It will be interesting to see which if any of these pass. My guess is that in essence they all will even if the first two are rolled into one for the big vote.
Meanwhile the NDP are not the only ones talking gun control. Liberal leader in waiting Justin Trudeau was talking gun control with Post Media’s Michael Den Tandt. You can read the an edited transcript of the interview, posted like a Teen Dream Magazine article with lots of dreamy pictures, here. But for those interested in gun control the fascinating part is that Trudeau calls himself a big believer in gun control, you just have to sell it the right way.
“It became a wedge issue between urban and rural Canadians, when Canadians are united on not wanting more gun crime – not wanting violence against women, against children, against what have you. So that approach is one that, because we had a polarization there, we are going to have to pull together and figure out different ways, better ways, hopefully, of responding to the fundamental concern which was, how do we keep our communities safer, in a way that does not … set off too many Canadians, or millions of Canadians.
Now the issue for me is that yes, I am a firm believer in gun control. But the way we go about it needs to be in a way that is effective and that involves stakeholders from across the geographic and political spectrum.”
Now, I’m not sure how that squares with calling the gun registry a failure as he did last year during a campaign stop in Eastern Ontario. Den Tandt didn’t follow up but that’s okay, we’ll have plenty of time to ask him that after Monday.
Here’s my chat with Ben Shapiro regarding the latest moves in the US.
Feds told truth on F-35: Opposition really about clipping air force wings
by Brian Lilley
You are being lied to about the cost of fighter jets except that the lying isn’t being done by the government.
If you’ve paid attention to the news at all lately you’ve heard about the “rising costs” of replacing Canada’s aging fleet of F-18 fighter jets with the new F-35. Initial government costs to buy the plane came in at $9 billion but this week headline screamed about the cost being $46 billion.
Brian Lilley is the host of Byline on Sun News Network and a senior correspondent for Sun Media's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. His weekly column is published in more than 30 daily newspapers across Canada and he appears on several leading talk radio stations.
Watch Byline at 9pm ET Monday to Friday and read Brian's columns in your Friday papers.
Brian Lilley is Senior Correspondent for Sun Media on Parliament Hill.
Brian has been covering politics for the last 10 years. Five of those years were spent as Ottawa Bureau Chief.