Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Elections commissioner ends robocalls investigation, but opposition MPs say report shows Bill C-23 needs to be beefed up

Elections commissioner ends robocalls investigation, but opposition MPs say report shows Bill C-23 needs to be beefed up

A report from a three-year Elections Canada investigation that found insufficient evidence of widespread attempts to mislead voters with fraudulent telephone calls in the 2011 federal election nonetheless supports calls to beef up the federal election commissioner’s investigative powers, opposition MPs say.



POLITICS

Elections commissioner ends robocalls investigation, but opposition MPs say report shows Bill C-23 needs to be beefed up

Elections commissioner ends robocalls investigation, but opposition MPs say report shows Bill C-23 needs to be beefed up
A report from a three-year Elections Canada investigation that found insufficient evidence of widespread attempts to mislead voters with fraudulent telephone calls in the 2011 federal election nonetheless supports calls to beef up the federal election commissioner’s investigative powers, opposition MPs say.

‘Most of major attacks on democracy in C-23 left untouched by Senators’ in committee report, say NDP, Libs

‘Most of major attacks on democracy in C-23 left untouched by Senators’ in committee report, say NDP, Libs
NDP, Liberal MPs find the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s amendments puzzling.

Senate committee’s proposed changes to feds’ elections bill look like a lifeline for Poilievre

Senate committee’s proposed changes to feds’ elections bill look like a lifeline for Poilievre
A Senate committee on Tuesday proposed amendments to the Harper government’s controversial election legislation that looked more like a lifeline for besieged Minister of State for Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre than a response to nearly unanimous opposition to the bill that MPs and Senators heard during more than three weeks of condensed hearings from electoral experts and citizen groups.

House breaks, Cabinet ministers publicize $31.2-million in government funding announcements so far

House breaks, Cabinet ministers publicize $31.2-million in government funding announcements so far
Nine Cabinet Ministers and at least one backbench MP launched Parliament’s two-week spring recess with a binge of $31.2-million in government funding announcements, records of the statements show.

Flaherty’s death inspires overwhelming sentiment of loss in House of Commons

Flaherty’s death inspires overwhelming sentiment of loss in House of Commons
Jim Flaherty had only political foes facing him across the green-carpeted floor of the House of Commons, but his sudden and unexpected death on Thursday inspired an overwhelming sentiment of loss and posthumous praise even among those who once fiercely decried the Conservative budgets he tabled in his eight years as Canada’s federal finance minister.

Conservative MP claims Elections Canada ‘leaks’ reason behind feds moving elections commissioner to Director of Public Prosecutions Office

Conservative MP claims Elections Canada ‘leaks’ reason behind feds moving elections commissioner to Director of Public Prosecutions Office
A government backbencher, whose razor-thin victory in the 2011 general election came under scrutiny in a Federal Court challenge, says he believes ‘leaks’ from within Elections Canada led to explosive news reports about fraudulent robocalls during the election and are likely one of the reasons the government wants to transfer Elections Canada’s investigative branch to the Director of Public Prosecutions Office.

Feds’ elections overhaul bill to end Elections Canada’s ‘campaign compliance strategy’

Feds’ elections overhaul bill to end Elections Canada’s ‘campaign compliance strategy’
Contentious government legislation that proposes to prohibit the chief electoral officer from communicating anything but basic voting information to the public will effectively kill a ‘campaign compliance strategy’ that Elections Canada developed last year in response to the notorious robocall attempts to dupe electors in the 2011 general election, MPs say.

First Nations leaders call on feds to maintain vouching, voter information cards as House Affairs Committee hearings get testy

First Nations leaders call on feds to maintain vouching, voter information cards as House Affairs Committee hearings get testy
Alberta Conservative MP Blake Richards had to be interrupted by the Conservative chair of a Commons committee Thursday while drowning out a response from an aboriginal women’s leader who, along with other First Nations witnesses, was calling on the government to lower barriers to voting rather than prohibiting the use of vouching and voter information cards as elector eligibility provisions under the Canada Elections Act.

Senate to pass feds’ controversial elections overhaul bill by end of June: Carignan

Senate to pass feds’ controversial elections overhaul bill by end of June: Carignan
The government majority in the Senate has set the end of June as the deadline to pass one of the most controversial bills the Conservatives have introduced in eight years.

Blind voters could also be disenfranchised under feds' elections law overhaul

Blind voters could also be disenfranchised under feds' elections law overhaul
Meanwhile, the House Affairs Committee begins a rush to jam in as many witnesses as possible in the two weeks remaining before a government-imposed May 1 deadline for the committee to complete its business and send the bill back to the House for final passage.

Most say Flaherty was a good finance minister: Forum Research poll

Most say Flaherty was a good finance minister: Forum Research poll
A clear majority of Canadians rate former finance minister Jim Flaherty as either a good finance minister or one of Canada’s best, some even saying they believe he was the best finance minister, a new poll has found.

PEOPLE

Parliament’s website gets a makeover

Parliament’s website gets a makeover
The House of Commons, the Senate, and the Library of Parliament manage the site. Jointly, these three contributors hold the responsibility and sole right to the content posted on the site.

LEGISLATION
LOBBYING

Lobbyists looking to give back with new pro bono advocacy organization

Lobbyists looking to give back with new pro bono advocacy organization
A group of young Ottawa lobbyists is launching a pro bono service offering their unique skills on a volunteer basis to organizations that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.

Changes in consulting business: fewer retainers, more competition

Changes in consulting business: fewer retainers, more competition
Consultant lobbyists are adjusting to a business environment involving more competition, new technologies, and shorter contracts.

Conflict-of-interest report doesn’t address calls for post-employment rule changes

Conflict-of-interest report doesn’t address calls for post-employment rule changes
House Ethics Committee doesn’t recommend including ‘apparent’ conflicts in the act.

What do the hired guns make, anyway?

What do the hired guns make, anyway?
Salaries range wildly, but an in-house corporation lobbyist, especially at the executive level, would usually make more than other lobbyists, exceeding $200,000 with stock options, bonuses and other benefits, and in some cases exceeding it a few times over.


Parliamentary Calendar
Thursday, April 24, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Former Liberal deputy prime minister Herb Gray dies at age 82: some photos from his life on the Hill April 22, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray, the former Liberal MP, Cabinet minister, and deputy prime minister, pictured here with his daughter Elizabeth Gray-Smith, died on Monday, April 21 at the age of 82. He served in Parliament of 39 years and was one of Canada's longest-serving MPs.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray and his former assistant Eugene Lang, pictured at a Hill reception.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray, pictured on his way to a U.S. Embassy's Fourth of July party in Ottawa. Mr. Gray may have not been in the House in his later years, but he regularly attended Hill-related receptions.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray at a menorah-lighting ceremony on the Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured back in his Centre Block office when he was in government.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured in his Centre Block office, being interviewed by Bill Curry, who was a reporter for The Hill Times.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured in his Centre Block office back when he was in government.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on the Hill posing for The Hill Times.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on the Hill back when he was a Cabinet minister.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on Parliament Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray pictured with his wife, Sharon Sholzberg, on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured in a Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Jim Peterson and Herb Gray, pictured on a rainy day on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Jim Peterson and Herb Gray.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, centre, pictured with the late Liberal MP Shaughnessy Cohen, and Windsor Star Hill reporter Paul McKeague, during a Hill fire drill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, who went esophagus cancer in 1996 and beat it, is pictured here in a Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured at a Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa on his way into a special Cabinet minister back when he was a Cabinet minister.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured in a Hill scrum. Allan Thompson, left, was a reporter with The Toronto Star, and Paul McKeague, pictured right behind Mr. Gray, was never far behind the MP from Windsor.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray in another Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray in his Centre Block office back when he was a Cabinet minister. He collected, framed, and hung up most of the editorial cartoons of himself in his Centre Block office.
The Hill Times file photo
Herb Gray and his many framed cartoons.
The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy
Herb Gray and his editorial cartoons, pictured in his Centre Block office.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE