The elevation of an insider such as Ray Novak to the top rank of executor of the Prime Minister’s wishes will only compound Harper’s self-enforced isolation.
Most of Canada’s current government leaders rose from a grave to which they were summarily consigned by the chattering media class over their time in opposition.
The more important story of the latest CROP poll is not a still fragile Liberal revival but rather a potentially irreversible slump in PQ fortunes.
For a federal finance minister to drop off the Parliamentary radar for a full month is rare. When that month happens to immediately follow the presentation of the budget, it is unheard of.
But that does not mean the other parties can or will give up without a fight. The Liberals absolutely need a win in Labrador on May 13, but Stephen Harper could use a victory and Thomas Mulcair—whose party has never run better than a distant third in the riding—needs to fight the perception that the NDP is spinning its wheels under his leadership.
Expect that fight to get underway just as soon as the new federal Liberal leader is in place later this month, and don’t expect either party to take prisoners.
Since he has gained control of both Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper no longer bothers to pretend that the environment in general and climate change in particular is a major preoccupation, let alone a priority of his government.
The fact is that the pro-Trudeau trend is at least as solid among the Liberal base as it is with the fans who have flocked to the party as part of the leadership campaign.
Indeed, as NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair casts himself as a contender for the job of prime minister, he has a duty to give voters fair warning of his position on such fundamental issues.
But in the real world of 2013 Canadian politics, implementing the expert panel’s prescriptions will almost certainly lead to a collision between Quebec and Stephen Harper’s government.
Liberal MP Denis Coderre is not volunteering for the task.
Upon his resignation as premier, he could have bolted the door shut to a federal leadership run instead of courting inevitable speculation as to a future on Parliament Hill.
But if Justin Trudeau is to convince Canadians that he is the agent of a belated Liberal rebranding, it might help if he did.
But Stephen Harper’s strategists would not be experts at retail politics if they had not spotted at least two of their vulnerabilities to a Trudeau-led Liberal party.
In the year and a half since they secured a federal majority, the federal Conservatives’ success has translated into more provincial resistance than acquiescence.
Peter MacKay joined by Senator Bob Runciman, Tim Uppal, and Corneliu Chisu met with the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Canadian Urban Transit Association to mark the passing of Bill S-221, which amends the Criminal Code to address assaults against public transit operators.
On May 12, the day UN rapporteur James Anaya released his report on the situation of indigenous peoples in Canada, families of missing and murdered women demonstrated on the steps of Parliament Hill. Mr. MacKay and fellow Conservative MP Joy Smith happened to be on the steps at the same time, for a photo opportunity, where a life jacket-donning Mr. MacKay was confronted by the women asking for his help. He said he would be willing to sit down and talk about the issue of missing and murdered women. When the meeting in Mr. MacKay’s office was scheduled, it was arranged symbolically to be held on the six-year anniversary of Mr. Harper’s apology to First Nations for residential schools, said Mr. Fiddler.
Mr. MacKay behind the bench at a 2013 Conservative Party hockey game.
Peter MacKay with his wife Nazanin Afshin-Jam and their son Kian.
Mr. MacKay with Laureen Harper at the 2013 Sandbox Canada event on Sparks Street.
Mr. MacKay, getting meta with his BlackBerry, alongside fellow caucus colleagues in 2013. From left: Bernard Valcourt, Shelly Glover, Peter Van Loan, Leona Aglukkaq, and Diane Finley.
In committee with junior defence minister Julian Fantino, on March 13, 2012. During the meeting the pair said the government would commit to procuring the F-35 joint single strike fighter jets.
Then-U.S. Secretary of Defence Robert M. Gates and Peter MacKay during his tenure as Defence minister.
Peter MacKay and Tim Powers. Mr. MacKay broke his arm while being tackled in a rugby game on the Hill on May 27, 2009. He was playing for the Canadian Forces team, against the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club, which Mr. Powers is a part of. Apparently Mr. MacKay barely flinched when the medics pushed his elbow back in place, and was doing interviews five minutes later.
Mr. MacKay with the Brazilian foreign minister Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim in a 2007 joint press conference following their bilateral meeting.
Peter MacKay signing... as he was sworn in with the rest of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Cabinet Feb. 6, 2006.
July 20, 2006 Mr. MacKay speaks to press after a technical briefing in Ottawa over concerns about the evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon.
Mr. MacKay tossing around a football on the Hill with Mr. Harper in 2005. Other photos from this afternoon on the lawn were cause for some contention for Mr. Harper at the time.
Peter MacKay, Jack Layton, and Anne McLellan in 2004, seen here debating the Throne Speech with CBC's Don Newman.
Then-leader of the Progressive Conservatives Peter MacKay, and Stephen Harper, then-leader of the Canadian Alliance announced on Oct. 16, 2003 that they agreed to join their two parties. 'Our swords will henceforth be pointed at the Liberals, not at each other,' Mr. Harper said at the time.