Now that a Senate committee has recommended nine changes to Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act, the legislation seems pretty solid. And, since Pierre Poilievre has, apparently, indicated privately that he’s open to changes, an amended version of the bill will likely become law by this summer.
We would probably have gotten to this point earlier had not the minister responsible for the bill been MP Pierre Poilievre (Nepean-Carleton), Minister of State for Democratic Reform.
Russ Campbell’s Blog: Fiscal Conservatism Seems Alive and Well in Ottawa: 8,900 Public Service Jobs to Be Cut
When Conservatives under Stephen Harper took office in 2006, I was disappointed at how much they resembled their predecessors when it came to their penchant for increasing the size of government.
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the “worst mass murder” in the city’s history didn’t end at the barrel of a gun.
Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen at a house party, taking “a large knife” and using it to fatally stab four men and one woman, all of whom were students in their 20s.
The scene was “horrific,” Hanson told reporters.
Matthew de Grood, the suspect in the killings of five people, graduated from the University of Calgary and was admitted to attend law school in the fall. (Facebook)
But as police continue to investigate, the tragedy was also a grave reminder that stabbings top the list when it comes to violent crime in the country, with Statistics Canada reporting in 2008 that one-third of homicides or attempted murders involved knives — more than any other type of weapon, including firearms.
The attack at the house party came the same day that four shoppers in Regina were stabbed at a mall, a 17-year-old student was stabbed at a Brampton, Ont., high school and a week after a 47-year-old man was charged in the stabbings of four ex-coworkers at a Toronto office.
As details emerged about the Calgary slayings, social media users anticipated swift legislative action.
“About time to ban assault knives!” one person tweeted, linking to the Calgary story.
Another Twitter user questioned whether a “ban all the knives campaign” was forthcoming.
Criminologists say neither scenario is likely.
“I call it moral panic,” said Janne Holmgren, director for the Centre for Criminology and Justice Research at Mount Royal University. “Sometimes fear drives a lot of legislation, unfortunately.”
Justin Trudeau has talked himself into a defamation lawsuit that is likely to leave his party quite a bit lighter in the wallet. The shoot-from-the-lip Liberal leader and his Ontario campaign co-chair David MacNaughton are named in a $1.5-million libel suit filed on behalf of Christine Innes, a candidate who was barred from running for the Liberal party.
Innes had wanted to contest the Liberal nomination for the pending by-election in Trinity-Spadina, the seat vacated when New Democrat MP Olivia Chow resigned to run for mayor of Toronto. Trinity-Spadina and Toronto Centre ridings will cease to exist in 2015 when redistribution comes into effect. As a result, three new Toronto ridings will be created from the two current ones.
The Ontario government, morally bankrupt and intellectually impoverished, are asking an advisory council to “optimize the full value” of the provincially owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the utilities, Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa said, “We are looking to maximize the value of our Crown corporations owned by the people of Ontario. … Continuing public ownership, however, remains a key priority.”
This is the second time in less than a month I’ve written about The Honourable Jim Flaherty. Back on March 19, I wrote about his then recent resignation as Canada’s finance minister, a post he had held since he was elected to the federal riding of Whitby-Oshawa in 2006. It is so hard to believe that, less than a month later, I would be writing about his death.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I was not always a fan of Jim Flaherty’s policies. I have never doubted, however, his dedicated service, his devotion and his commitment to Canada, or that he was doing what he believed was best for our country.
The sneaky Dippers are apparently, once again, trying to put one over on us. Readers may remember that, following Jack Layton’s death, the New Democrats dreamed up a scheme to issue political tax receipts for donations intended for the Broadbent Institute. This time, they’re using taxpayer money to fund staff in “satellite” offices in Quebec and Saskatchewan.
For both schemes, NDP spokespersons publicly assured Canadians they had cleared their plans in advance. And both times their clever plans were shut down once they came under public scrutiny.
After former NDP leader Jack Layton died in 2011, his family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Broadbent Institute, a left-wing think tank named after former NDP leader Ed Broadbent. Since the Broadbent Institute lacked tax-status as a charity, however, the donations went through the NDP and were later to be transferred to the think tank.
The Quebec Liberal Party won a resounding victory last night, returning to office with a majority of 70 seats (41.51%) only 19 months after losing to the Parti Québécois (30 seats, 25.37%).
The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), a party that self-describes as being conservative on economic issues and liberal on social ones, garnered an impressive 22 seats and 23.07 per cent of the popular vote. While the Québec Solidaire (QS), a hard-left sovereigntist party, chewed away enough PQ support to win 3 seats and 7.63 per cent of the vote.
The current version of the Conservative Party of Canada is just too weird at times. Dimitri Soudas, Dean Del Mastro, Peter Van Loan, how do fellows like these rise to the highest levels of the party? How do they become so closely linked to our prime minister?
And what of Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State for Democratic Reform, the minister who is sponsoring Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act? Poilievre may be very bright, and he may be hyperpartisan and loyal to a fault, but he’s among the last members of parliament I’d choose to sponsor something as sensitive as the reform of the elections act.
More: Russ Campbell’s Blog
The Adams-Soudas affair has become rather tawdry. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Guergis-Jaffer episode, which the Ottawa media turned into a similar soap opera in 2010.
Helena Guergis’s political career ended badly when she lost her job as minister for status of women and her place in the Conservative caucus in April 2010—she went on to a third-place loss as an independent in her riding of Simcoe-Grey in the next election.
A similar fate may await Conservative MP Eve Adams (Mississauga-Brampton South). Her fiancé is well-known, well-connected Conservative party insider, Dimitri Soudas, who, apparently, was forced to resign as the executive director of the party following allegations that he interfered with Adams’s nomination battle for the new riding of Oakville North-Burlington.