NDP, Liberal MPs find the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s amendments puzzling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two public sector unions are raising questions after a government-wide strategy to modernize the public service is relocating 164 employees into a federal building that was already near maximum capacity.
New Science and Technology Minister Ed Holder well-liked, but critics don’t see change in federal science policy.
Pollster Nik Nanos says ‘if you read the newspapers, you’d think war had been declared on democracy.’ But the government’s controversial changes to the elections laws are not resonating.
Foreign policy provides a ‘controlled platform’ that leaves little room for opposition leaders to crowd, and the situation in Ukraine has won sustained media attention, making it more likely to capture Canadians’ interest.
Tory Sen. Don Meredith vehemently denies it but sources reconfirmed to The Hill Times that the Senate administration is conducting a special review of his expenses.