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Château under siege: a case for nationalization

By Ken Grafton      

Built by the Crown on Crown land and adjacent to Parliament Hill, the Government of Canada nonetheless decided to privatize the Château Laurier in 1988. That decision can be reversed. It may now be time to bring it back under Crown stewardship. It belongs to Canadians, perhaps they deserve to own it.

Completed in 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railways in conjunction with Union Station, the Gothic Revival Châteauesque-style hotel has been an iconic symbol of the nation’s capital ever since. A pet project of prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, the hotel bears his name today. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

WAKEFIELD, QUE.—If architecture is indeed frozen music, as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once declared, the proposed addition to Ottawa’s landmark Château Laurier hotel is extremely discordant to many ears. Ross and Macdonald must be rolling in their graves. Toronto condominium architect Peter Clewes, commissioned by building owner Larco Investments, defended his design as bridging the cultural divide between past and future. Some feel that it more resembles a bridge abutment. Now known popularly as “The Radiator,” it does bring back the 1970s; it resembles the Manulife Tower at 220 Laurier Ave. West (completed in 1975). The Radiator would fit in next door. While Manulife Tower is not an unattractive structure; it is an office building, not a national treasure. The standards are different.

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Continuity key to speakership in minority Parliament, say politicos, contenders

News|By Beatrice Paez
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a relatively 'comfortable' minority Parliament, and could survive with one fewer vote if the new Speaker is a Liberal, says Samara's Paul Thomas.

New Senate group eligible for $191,000 for rest of the year, but funding source up in the air 

Conservative Senators' questions over new Canadian Senators Group’s purpose are ‘sour grapes,’ says interim leader Senator Scott Tannas.

PIPSC to expand fight against government outsourcing, says union president

News|By Mike Lapointe
PIPSC president Debi Daviau says amount spent on outsourcing has increased ‘despite commitment by the government to reduce spending on external consultants to 2005 levels,’ at union’s annual general meeting.

‘This is different’: diplomats warned of divided Canada during parliamentary crash course

Given Canadians' self-professed preference for a minority government, 'I think we all are on probation,' Liberal MP Greg Fergus told diplomats.

Nearly 100 new MPs waiting until after cabinet reveal to move into offices

News|By Palak Mangat
The process of new MPs learning where their Ottawa offices will be will begin after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces who will be making up his re-jigged cabinet on Nov. 20, the government whip said last week.

86 ridings in 40 days: Trudeau’s cross-country sprint may have given party an edge

While a whistle stop in a tight race can help tip the outcome, political experts say there are other factors at play in galvanizing the electorate.
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