Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014
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INSIDE POLITICS I
Prime minister has political winds at his back

Stephen Harper’s 2015 part is still very much unsettled and as we have just learned, events off the Parliamentary stage will largely define that role.


  
Veterans Affairs minister an ocean away amid criticism

Julian Fantino shows no contrition, only combativeness and a talent for reading talking points in the House of Commons.


  
Sometimes it feels like we’re working in a giant frat house on the Rideau

An institution that can’t find a way out of this mess has only itself to blame for the perception under which it now labours.


  
Liberals MPs’ banishment from party fold stands to be permanent

When all is said and done, the grim political fate that Massimo Pacetti and Scott Andrews have incurred for their alleged sins will go a longer way to deter future Parliamentary offenders than any after-the-fact remedy.


  
Sexual harassment allegations against CBC star Ghomeshi unleash floodgate

Few are more vulnerable to allegations of personal misconduct than elected politicians and there has long been an implicit gentlemen’s agreement (pun intended) between the parties to deal with such matters under the radar. Until now.


  
When fear invades your neighbourhood

I’d like to think that the neighbourhood will be back, that the shortcut across the War Memorial will be routine and the greetings of the security guards will be the same, but once fear invades the neighbourhood, it feels like it will never be the same again.


  
Independence erupts in House of Commons

When independence does erupt in the Commons, indecision is sometimes confessed and MPs can veer from party lines on principle, without being branded mavericks or sparking a media feeding frenzy.


  
Trudeau immediate political casualty of war of words

It is not that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau necessarily chose the wrong camp, but having picked a side in the most sensitive policy debate to have come his way since becoming leader, he then failed to distinguish himself in action.


  
Saying sorry properly becoming a lost art

Ezra Levant sparked a boycott of Sun News by Trudeau. Paul Calandra had faced days of criticism and appears to have been taken to the woodshed by his boss. Justin Trudeau was facing a demand for an apology by the ambassador, among others.


  
New Brunswick campaign a dry run of Liberal strategy

Federal lessons cannot always be gleaned from provincial experience, but New Brunswick parallels were too enticing to ignore.


  
Rathgeber book tells bleak story of Canadian politics

Worse than the troubling conclusions of the likes of Graham Steele, Brent Rathgeber and others is the fact that while they don’t lack for ideas to fix Parliamentary democracy, all doubt that the impetus for reform is strong enough to break down the systemic barriers to change. And on that score they have a point.


  
Harper-Duffy fracas may end badly for both

The Prime Minister may have a number of perfectly legal reasons to testify, but should he do so, he loses, Duffy wins and the Senator sleeps soundly in the political world in which they both live.


  
Reconciliation bid deserves mercy from cynics

Maybe it’s just more talk with familiar names. But when some of our former leaders decide that this issue still deserves their efforts, only the most cynical would not listen. And if they can force this dialogue onto the agenda in a federal election year, we all benefit.


  
Criminal trial gives Duffy opportunity to go after PMO: Tim Harper

  
Conservatives could be tempted to campaign against courts in next election

This is a government determined to bring its brand of law and order to this country, whether it is cracking down on bogus refugee claimants, giving police more surveillance powers, bringing in mandatory sentencing, ending early parole or always going the extra mile to bring down the hammer in the name of victims’ rights.


  
Trudeau’s got momentum after Monday’s four byelections results

The voting trends are the only real numbers we have—they are not crowd counts, or Question Period performance, fawning local coverage in small towns or even fundraising numbers.


  
Government turns policy gold into lead

  
Surprised by buoyancy of Wynne’s Liberals

Do you wonder how a three-term incumbent party manages to swim against the tide for change, even as it is dragging some pretty heavy scandal-related baggage?


  
Harper works hard to carve out his own isolation

  
Advance polls could distort final outcome of a competitive campaign

The goal of maximizing voter participation is worthwhile, but what if it is being pursued at the cost of short-circuiting the due process that should lead to as informed an electoral verdict as possible?


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Sunday, December 21, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
2014 in photos Dec. 19, 2014

Mark Burgess
Justice Minister Peter MacKay, NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat, and Patrick Brown at the Canadian Tire Canal Classic, a charity shinny game between parliamentarians and the press on the Rideau Canal in January. The MPs prevailed.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Labour Minister Kellie Leitch, Chris Frogatt of National Public Relations and Blue Sky’s Sandra Buckler at the Manning Centre party in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Peter Stoffer in his Parliament Hill office in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre prepares to testify before the Procedure and House Affairs Committee in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at the party’s policy convention in Montreal in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner and Conservative MP James Rajotte at the Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer showing off his stickhandling skills at the February Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Liberal MP Wayne Easter and Conservative MP John Duncan at the Fuelling the dream Canadian Olympic team luncheon on the Hill in February.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Minister of Sport Bal Gosal at a Nature Canada event on the Hill on Feb. 3 alongside an owl.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The late Jim Flaherty pictured on Feb. 11 2014, the day he delivered his last federal budget.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The post-budget day party at Hy’s Steakhouse.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper heading out to greet Shi Ismaili Muslim spiritual leader Aga Khan on Feb. 27.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Laureen Harper, the Governor General’s wife Sharon Johnston, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper pictured Canadian as soldiers came home from Afghanistan on March 18, 2014. Also pictured, Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, and Chief of Defence Staff General Tom Lawson.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Andrew Cash and Canadian songstress Serena Ryder at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards in March, in Toronto.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MPs Pierre Nantel, Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Peggy Nash and Laurin Liu on the red carpet at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Heritage Minister Shelly Glover and Gabrielle star Alexandre Landry at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Actor Viggo Mortensen shows his true colours with Heritage Minister Shelly Glover at the Canadian Screen Awards in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Michael Chong, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth attend the launch of the iVote-jeVote campaign at the University of Ottawa in March to encourage young voters to engage in the political process.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Michael Chong and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair talk democratic engagement at the University of Ottawa in March.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and NDP MP Megan Leslie, pictured on April 2, 2014, at the Politics & the Pen gala, which raised $350,000 for the Writers Trust. The two hosted the evening, cracked a lot of jokes and sang Gloria Gaynor's song, I Will Survive.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivering remarks to his caucus upon hearing of Jim Flaherty’s passing on April 10, while an emotion Laureen Harper looks on.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP Susan Truppe comforts Labour Minister Kellie Leitch upon hearing of Jim Flaherty’s passing on April 10.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MP John Weston comes up for air while swimming laps at the Chateau Laurier’s pool in May. Mr. Weston is one of “The Chief Fun and Fitness Officers,” a group of MPs that take part in physical activities together.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
A pro-choice protestor holds a sign reading “my body, my choice” during the annual National March for Life demonstration on the Hill, on May 8.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Conservative MPs John Williamson and Rob Moore.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
NDP MP Megan Leslie.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Another lawn summer night at the Elmdale Lawn Bowling Club.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
First Nations protesters on Parliament Hill as part of the Peoples’ Social Forum gathering in Ottawa in August.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
Peoples’ social forum in August.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The Government Relations Institute of Canada’s board members took on the Ice Bucket Challenge outside of the Chambers building on Aug. 29.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
CBC TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes comedian Mark Critch interviewing NDP MP Pierre Nantel, his party's culture critic at the September edition of Movie Night on the Hill, the Canadian premier of Elephant Song.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Postmedia’s Stephen Maher dressed in his cowboy best, with Camille Labchuk, for the Jaimie Anderson Fundraiser at the Black Sheep Inn, in Wakefield on Sept. 26.
The Hill Times photo by Mark Burgess
At 9:52 a.m. Oct. 22, the first calls come in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. People try to save Cpl. Nathan Cirilo’s life.
The Hill Times photo by Mark Burgess
Mid-afternoon on Oct. 22, police head down Metcalfe Street to secure buildings that had been on lockdown for fear of a gunman on the loose. Reports later confirmed the lone gunman had been killed inside Centre Block.
The Hill Times photo by Steve Gerecke
Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, NDP MP, had come to the Hill on Oct. 22 with her baby and was breastfeeding in the lobby when the gunman entered. She hid in a phone booth until Hill security brought them to a safer place
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers carries the mace during the first Speakers Parade into the House of Commons following the shooting, on Oct. 23.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Flowers at the National War Memorial to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
A soldier stands guard at the National War Memorial on Nov. 11.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
The Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Canadian rock icon Burton Cummings backstage with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire at the Hope Live gala at the Great Canadian Theatre Company on Oct. 27.
The Hill Times photo by Jake Wright
Competing culinary team from the Lowertown Brewery at the 10th annual Gold Medal Plates on Nov. 17 at the Shaw Centre.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE