Most recent entries for April 2013



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NDP MP Francoise Boivin is calling on her fellow justice critics -- and even the justice minister himself -- to back her party's campaign for full disclosure of documents that could shed light on Quebec historian Frederic Bastien's incendiary claim that two former Supreme Court justices kept British and Canadian officials in the loop on the progress of the court's closed-door deliberations on the patriation of the Canadian constitution.

In her letter, copies of which were sent to Liberal and Bloc Quebecois justice critics Irwin Cotler and Maria Mourani, as well as Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, Boivin notes that the Supreme Court "limited its review to the content of its own records without seeking to obtain documents from other sources to ascertain whether there was indeed inappropriate communication between one or more of its members and the Executive Branch of the Canadian and/or British governments."

Citing the resolution passed by the Quebec National Assembly "supported by all parties, both federalist and sovereignist," Boivin asks her colleagues to consider giving unanimous consent for a motion in support of "the publication of all available documents relevant to the issue."

As yet, it's not clear whether any of the recipients have responded to her invitation. 


Hit the jump to read the letter. 



Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has cleared outgoing Defence deputy minister Robert Fonberg of conflict of interest over his involvement in an interdepartmental dispute over $800,000 in project funding for an international non-profit group run by a former civil service colleague.

MPs will have one more day to peruse the fine print in the latest budget implementation bill -- which the NDP is already calling 'Omnibus 3.0', despite its comparatively slender 125-page girth -- before the opening round of debate gets underway later this week, thanks to the government's renewed enthusiasm for passing the military justice bill as soon as possible --- which, as it happens, likely means wrapping up third reading this afternoon, with or without the threatened time allocation motion for which notice was given yesterday evening. 

Also up for third reading approval tonight: Conservative MP Parm Gill's private members' bid to crack down on gang recruitment, which will likely go to a final vote tomorrow.

Later this morning, Auditor General Michael Ferguson will deliver his spring report, which will include his review of federal search and rescue operations, as well as a full analysis of spending under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Initiative.

According to the advisory, today's release will also cover:

  • Development assistance through official multilateral organizations
  • Diabetes prevention and control,
  • The 'creation of a historical record' for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools
  • Employment insurance overpayments
  • Advance funding within the P3 Canada fund
  • Status reports on evaluating program effectiveness, security in contracting and collecting tax debts
Hit the jump for the full post. 


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Hit the jump to read the full text.

The future of the parliamentary budget office will be the first item on the agenda when the House reopens for business later this morning, courtesy of New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair's proposal to promote the next PBO to full parliamentary officer status, which would give Kevin Page's successor the power to request all financial and other data that he or she believes is necessary to do the job, and take the matter directly to federal court if thwarted.

Even if he were able to win over a sufficient number of independent-minded Conservative backbenchers to overcome the almost certain opposition from the government, however, Mulcair's bill may be doomed from the outset, as the speaker has already voiced his concern that it could impose a cost on the treasury, which would mean it would require a royal recommendation to proceed.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has dutifully given notice of his intention to bring forward the much-anticipated budget implementation bill, thus setting the stage for its Common debut to take place as early as later this afternoon, although he's under no procedural obligation to introduce it immediately.

In any case, after the PBO debate wraps up, MPs will devote the rest of the day to considering various report stage amendments to the government's bid to modernize the military justice system.


Hit the jump for the full post. 

Yesterday, we asked "Is the accident in Bangladesh making you reconsider where you buy your clothes?". Here's what you said: 
Yes 72% 
No 25% 
Not sure 3% 
Total responses: 974
Hot on the heels of Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre's eyebrow-raising assertion that the 'root cause of terrorism is terrorists,' the quote-mining elves at the Liberal research bureau have unearthed comments made by the prime minister that, they claim, suggest that he was 'singing a very different tune' less than two years ago, when he was interviewed by CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Hit the jump for the full post. 
Despite a last minute entreaty to their colleagues across the aisle and the unexpected, but doubtless welcome, support of the NDP, the Liberals' bid to free those pre-QP speaking slots from party control went down to a decisive (149-96) defeat last night, with not a single MP straying from party lines -- including seven of the 11 Conservative MPs who spoke out in favour of Mark Warawa's original point of privilege.

Hit the jump for the full post. 
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