Saturday December 26, 2015

The 2015 House Quiz!

Parliament Hill is lit up with holiday-themed lights on Dec. 2, 2015.

Parliament Hill is lit up with holiday-themed lights on Dec. 2, 2015. (CBC Ottawa)

Listen to Full Episode 52:59

2015 may have been the Year of the Election, but there was no shortage of other political news — how closely were you paying attention?

Get ready to put your political memory to the test with the annual House holiday quiz, looking back at all the moments, big and small, that made up the political scene in 2015. 

Our three contestants this year may all be newbies to the quiz, but they're no political news rookies: the CBC's host of Power & Politics, Rosemary Barton, is here, plus the Toronto Star's parliamentary reporter Tonda MacCharles and La Presse bureau chief Jöel-Denis Bellavance

You can test your own knowledge, and see how you measure up against our three contestants, by taking the quiz. The questions are below. Scroll down to get the answers, and try not to cheat!

1) 2015 was the Year of the Election -- and not just the federal one. How many provincial and territorial elections took place?

2) Security would become a recurring theme throughout the year. Within the first week of 2015, terrorists targeted a French publication. Name that publication.

3) On January 12, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights released a report on a topic that would continue to come up throughout the year. What was the report about?

4) Stephen Harper said the following in a speech in Richmond Hill on January 30. What was the speech promising to introduce?

"Violent jihadism is not just a danger somewhere else. It seeks to harm us here in Canada, in our cities and in our neighbourhoods through horrific acts like deliberately driving a car at a defenceless man, or shooting a soldier in the back while he stands on guard at a war memorial."

5) A member of Stephen Harper's cabinet suddenly resigned on February 3rd. Who was it?

6) In a unanimous decision on February 6, the Supreme Court gave Parliament 12 months to do what?

7) It was one of the Conservative Party's KEY law and order campaign promises from 2011. The government waited until March of this year to introduce the promised legislation -- to great fanfare, only to be ignored until the election campaign. What bill am I talking about?

8) On March 24, Parliament voted to extend the mission against ISIS. How long was the mission extended for?

9) In early April, the highly anticipated trial of Mike Duffy's trial finally began. Name four PMO witnesses who have taken the stand since.

10) On April 13th, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne signed an unprecedented deal with Quebec. What was the deal?

11) Which foreign leader was in Canada in mid-April for an official visit?

12) On April 21, Minister of Finance Joe Oliver tabled the 2015 Economic Action Plan, his first and only budget. How big a surplus did Joe Oliver project?

13) On April 27, Prime Minister Harper announced a new Chief of Defence Staff. Who was named as the new CDS, and who did that person replace?

14) On May 4, the first election of the year took place. Where did that election take place?

BONUS QUESTION: The previous Premier of PEI, Robert Ghiz, was the longest currently serving Premier in the country when he stepped down. Who holds that title now?

15) A day later, on May 5, voters in Alberta went to the polls. The NDP won a stunning victory, a win that ended more than four decades of Tory rule. Name the party that was governing the province before the PCs.

16) In early May, the Prime Minister's office got in trouble for videos posted by the team that produces the 24/7 series. What was the problem with those videos?

17) May 9 — the night of the Press Gallery dinner in Ottawa. An evening of glitz, glamour, and Green party leader Elizabeth May's infamous speech. Which then-cabinet minister tried to get May off the stage?

18) Also on May 9, Ontario's Progressive Conservatives elected a new leader. In the end, who did Patrick Brown defeat to win the leadership?

19) In May, Canada's Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault accused the RCMP of breaking the law when they did what?

20) The Parti Quebecois chose a new leader on May 15. Name that leader.

21) It's in the spring that the Senate appointed an ARBITRATOR to help some members challenge the findings of the Auditor General regarding their expenses. Who's that arbitrator?

BONUS QUESTION: When the Auditor General's Senate report finally came out in June, how many senators were found to have made questionable claims — and how many cases were referred to the RCMP?

22) On June 10, Gilles Duceppe announced he was coming back as leader of the Bloc Quebecois. Who did he replace?

23) Which international rock star met with the Prime Minister to talk about foreign aid?

24) On June 19, James Moore became the latest high-profile Conservative cabinet minister to announce his departure. His last portfolio was Industry. He also served as Heritage Minister and the Interim Minister for WHICH department?

25) Former Conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister Dean Del Mastro was sentenced to spend a month in JAIL after being convicted of what?

26) In July, premiers gathered in St. John's for the Council of the Federation meeting. Who was the chair of that meeting?

27) Stephen Harper announced a moratorium on appointing senators on July 24. Prior to that announcement, how many senators had Harper appointed while Prime Minister?

A. 52

B. 57

C. 59

28) On August 1, just in time for the election campaign, Tom Mulcair's memoirs came out. What's the title of his book?

BONUS QUESTION: Mulcair wasn't the only federal party leader to add "author" to his CV. Name the other three books written by Stephen Harper, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May.


1. On August 2, Stephen Harper went to see the Governor General and the campaign officially got under way. Harper was seeking a FOURTH mandate — who was the last Prime Minister to do the same?

2. In the lead-up to the campaign and for a few days after, this person ended up in the news after questions arose about the duration of the campaign, spending rules and Elections Canada's readiness for the early campaign call. Name that player.

3. 5, 0 and unlimited. What do these numbers represent in the context of the first day of the campaign?

4. When was the last year an election in Canada was longer than 78 days?

5. The Liberals and the NDP had very similar campaign slogans. Which belongs to which party?

'Ready for change'? 'Real change'?

6. One of the stand-out moments in the first leaders' debate was Justin Trudeau's 'number.' What did that number represent?

7. How many new seats did Alberta get in the 2015 election?

8. Which political candidate and appliance repairman would you NOT want to hire for a house call to fix your sink?

9. By how much did the NDP want to raise the corporate tax rate?

10.  What bill prompted Justin Trudeau to accuse the federal government of creating "two-tiered citizenship" during the campaign?

11. Name three star signatories to Naomi Klein's Leap Manifesto, launched with a press conference during the Toronto Film Festival on September 15.

12. If ratified, the Trans Pacific Partnership would create a free trade zone among 12 nations, including Canada. Name four of the other countries involved in this deal, announced Oct. 5.

13.  Zunera Ishaq became a surprise catalyst for a major campaign issue in September. What was that issue?

14. Final election lightning round question: what was the voter turnout this year?

BONUS QUESTION: when was the last election to have turnout that big?


29) Who is the youngest member of Justin Trudeau's cabinet?

BONUS QUESTION: What is her portfolio?

30) How many rooms are in the Trudeaus' "cottage"? Is it: 32, 22, 26, or 24?

31) Pipeline politics: on November 6, U.S. President Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL, ending a seven-year saga and heated political debate. When TransCanada first proposed Keystone in July 2008, oil was at a record peak. It's hard to imagine, but how much was a barrel of oil going for then?

32) While Canadians wondered where Tom Mulcair was after the election, he was actually busy perfecting his dance moves to this song, which he spoofed on This Hour Has 22 Minutes on November 3. What is the name of the song he danced to, and who is the original artist behind it?

33) At 1,718 words, the Speech from the Throne was the shortest in recent times. How long did it take Governor General David Johnston to read it?

A. 13 minutes, 51 seconds

B. 14 minutes, 59 seconds

C. 16 minutes, 4 seconds

D. 15 minutes, 29 seconds.

34) In the new seating plan for the 42nd session of Parliament, who does the Honourable Member for Calgary Heritage sit beside?

35) Mid-December, how many Syrian refugees arrived on the FIRST flight to Canada?

A. 147

B. 151

C. 163

36) The UN Climate Change in Paris dominated headlines for two weeks. Where will the NEXT UN Climate Change Conference take place?

37) In his first address to the Commons as Prime Minister, which former world leader did Justin Trudeau quote? Mahatma Gandhi, Pierre Trudeau, Nelson Mandela or Abraham Lincoln?


1) Four - Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories.

2) Charlie Hebdo.

3) Murdered and missing indigenous women in British Columbia.

4) Anti-terrorism legislation that would become Bill C-51.

5) John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affiars.

6) The Supreme Court of Canada gave Parliament 12 months to amended the law around doctor assisted death.

7) Life without parole bill.

8) 12 months, until March 2016.

9) Possible answers: Gerry Donohue, Nigel Wright, Benjamin Perrin, Chris Woodcock, Patrick Rodgers, Senator George Furey, Nicole Proulx, Gary O'Brien, Mary McQuaid.

10) Ontario joined Quebec's cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.

11) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

12) $1.4 billion surplus.

13) Lt-Gen. Jonathan Vance is the new chief of defence staff, replacing General Tom Lawson who had held the position since October 2012.

14) Prince Edward Island. Bonus: Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who's been in the position since November 2007.

15) The Social Credit Party (lost in 1971; had previously been in government for 36 years).

16) You could see the faces of special forces troops in the background when Stephen Harper was in Iraq.

17) Former Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.

18) Christine Elliott. 

19) Destroyed records related to the gun registry (Legault said the federal government set a dangerous precedent by trying to change laws retroactively to make it legal. She's now taking the matter to federal court).

20) Pierre Karl Peladeau.

21) Former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie. Bonus: 30 questionable claims, and 9 cases referred to the RCMP.

22) Mario Beaulieu.

23) U2 frontman Bono.

24) Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, from June 2011 to February 2013.

25) Three counts of violating the Elections Act.

26) Then Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Paul Davis.

27) C., 59.

28) Strength of Conviction. Bonus: Harper: A Great Game (non-fiction book about hockey). Trudeau: Common Ground. May: Who We Are: Reflections on my life and Canada.

Election Lightning Round:

1) Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1979.

2) Marc Mayrand, head of Elections Canada.

3) The number of questions Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau took from reporters on the first day of the election.

4) 1872 - it was 96 days long, but of course, the candidates had to travel by rail, or horse, no party jets for them.

5) 'Ready for change'? — NDP. 'Real change'? — Liberals.

6) "The number of Supreme Court justices who said one vote is not enough to break up this country."

7) 6 new seats, 34 in total.

8) Jerry Bance, Conservative candidate for Scarborough-Rouge Park, captured in a CBC Marketplace episode peeing into a coffee cup at a customer's house, dumping the contents into the sink, and rinsing the cup out with water. The incident became known as 'pee-gate' and was just one example of how social media played a big role in this election.

9) Two per cent, from 15 per cent to 17.

10) Bill C-24, after the federal government moved to strip convicted Toronto 18 plotter Zakaria Amara of citizenship.

11) Possible answers: Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Leonard Cohen, Leslie Feist, Sarah Polley, Denis Villeneuve, Donald Sutherland, Ellen Page, Rachel McAdams, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Michael Ondaatje, Nino Ricci, Charles Taylor, Pamela Anderson, Roy McMurtry, John Greyson, David Suzuki, Stephen Lewis, Joseph Boyden, Mrs Universe Ashley Callingbull.

12) Possible answers: United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Mexico, Peru, Chile.

13) whether a niqab should be allowed in citizenship ceremonies.

14) From Elections Canada: 68.5 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the election. Bonus:1993, an election which also resulted in a sweeping Liberal win, for Jean Chretien.

Back to the final four months:

29) Maryam Monsef, age 30. Bonus: Minister of Democratic Institutions. 

30) 22.

31) $145 USD.

32) Hotline Bling, by Canadian artist Drake.

33) B., 14 minutes, 59 seconds.

34) Rob Nicholson, Justice Critic.

35) C., 163.

36) Marrakech, Morocco.

37) Nelson Mandela.

Thanks for participating in the 2015 annual House holiday quiz!