Inside Politics

Janyce McGregor Bio

Janyce McGregor

Janyce McGregor joined the CBC's Parliamentary Bureau in 2001, after three seasons as a rookie television producer for Studio 2 on TVOntario. In 2005, she followed her then-doctoral student husband to the U.K., where she worked for BBC World Service Radio in London... thus scoring a public broadcaster hat trick for her resumé. Janyce is originally a farm girl from southwestern Ontario. Her most important job title is "Mom."

Harper's birthday disrupts his ministers

For a government known for meticulous message control and media event planning, it was rather unexpected to see the cabinet ministers assembled in the Commons foyer to react to Tuesday's auditor general's report disrupted by enthusiastic singing from above.

Video, after the jump...

Royal baby bill 'no harm and no foul'... but 'almost servile'?

Marjory LeBreton, the Government Leader in the Senate, tried Monday to ease fears expressed at a Senate committee last week that Canada might be about to buy a pig in a poke: assenting to British legislation to change the rules for the royal line of succession before the final wording of that law is set in stone.

"It strikes me that there is something not in law perhaps but in spirit -- something almost servile -- about saying we will assent to whatever they do at Westminster," Quebec Liberal Senator Joan Fraser said in the Senate. "These things do not happen very often but next time, I truly hope we do a better job."

Read more... after the jump.

Toews on crime: Now it's going down

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews on Wednesday kicked off a timely and no-doubt interesting -- but mostly closed-door -- conference of law enforcement officials, civilian oversight bodies and academics wrestling with how to manage the rising costs of policing. CBC News is doing an in-depth series on this issue this week.

Among the minister's prepared remarks, this section in particular jumps off the page:

"Spending on policing has increased steadily -- reaching more than $12 billion annually in 2010.

At the same time, over the last decade, the volume and severity of reported crime have both been on the decline.

This has added fuel to the debate among Canadians, who rightfully want to know where and how their tax dollars are being spent."

What Toews says is true, according to Statistics Canada crime rate statistics. Given the theme of the conference, it's a perfectly legitimate point to underscore: as decision-makers figure out how to cut costs and (to use a cliché) "do more with less," they also have to wrestle with how much of what they're doing now is justified according to the latest figures.

The accuracy and relative importance of these Statistics Canada crime rate statistics have been challenged frequently by several ministers in the Harper government -- including Toews -- over the last few years, in explaining the need for often-controversial pieces of crime legislation, not to mention the increased spending required to pay for the Conservatives' justice and public safety agendas.

A selection of past quotes, after the jump...

Parliament's Candice Bergen

Plenty of politicians try to make a name for themselves on Parliament Hill. But it's a rare day when a Member of Parliament gets to announce a new name for herself in the House of Commons.

Candice Bergen (formerly Candice Hoeppner) announced before question period on Monday that she's reverting back to her surname from birth. But hold the Murphy Brown jokes: it appears she's heard those lines before.

Video, after the jump...

Peter Kent succumbs to Harper flesh-eating disease

It's a pretty big deal for any member of the Conservative backbench to have the prime minister in town. The locals come out to see him, and it can generate a lot of local partisan momentum.

So maybe Yukon Tory Ryan Leef was just a little over-excited when he got a little tongue-tied during his introduction for Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Carcross, Yukon on Monday night.

But how does Environment Minister Peter Kent explain his similar slip of the tongue the following day in Norman Wells, N.W.T.?

Update and video, after the jump...

Lisa Raitt goes for the gold in Olympic sidestep

With Canada's Amateur Sport Minister Bal Gosal focused on the Canadian athletes competing in London, it fell to Labour Minister Lisa Raitt to sub in and wave the federal government's flag at a KidSport announcement Thursday in Toronto.

But like several of her colleagues this summer, Raitt met up with an opponent of the federal government's recent cuts to refugee health benefits.

The tale of the tape, after the jump:

About those Senate attendance records...

Earlier this week, we published a Canadian Press story about the difficulty of tracking the attendance records of Senators, something which requires old-fashioned, in-person paper searching in a Senate office in downtown Ottawa. In an "open government" era, some believe its time to make these records available electronically.

Today, Senator David Tkachuk, the chair of the Senate's internal economy committee, responded to that report.

Full text, after the jump:

Cabinet's summer of refugee doctor discontent


Olympic triathlete Simon Whitfield is wrapped in a Canadian flag as Amateur Sport Minister Bal Gosal looks on, following the Olympic flag bearer announcement Thursday on Parliament Hill. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Doctors threatened to show up and disrupt events featuring Conservative MPs and cabinet ministers all summer long. Turns out, they meant it: at least if Amateur Sport Minister Bal Gosal's past week is any indication.

Video of the latest two doctor versus cabinet minister confrontations, after the jump:

Answering the call on Commons decorum

MPs take their mobile devices into the House of Commons. We see them use them all the time, reading and sending text messages.

But a ringing phone? That's a total no-no.

Which might explain why some government MPs went nuts when a phone rang not just once, but twice, during Newfoundland and Labrador MP Jack Harris' question to Defence Minister Peter MacKay during Wednesday's question period.

House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer let it go. Both times.

Catching up with Bev Oda...

It's been a while since press gallery journalists had a chance to ask any questions directly to International Cooperation Minister Bev Oda.

It's hard to say whether they'll feel satisfied with the information they got during this impromptu scrum after the Conservative caucus meeting on Parliament Hill Wednesday.

Watch the video after the jump....