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Recently by Alison Crawford

Ka-Cheque!!!

The "Welcome to the Cheque Republic" buttons were popular at last weekend's Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner. 

And now there's a website. 

Today, the Liberals launched www.chequerepublic.ca. It seems the oversized novelty cheque story has had an entirely unanticipated stimulus effect -- making the Liberals get all artsy-crafty. 
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Just a Small Detail

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What a curious omission.

Yesterday, CBC contacted the office of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt to ask about the lobbyist who helped organize a fundraiser on her behalf on Sept. 24.

Michael B. McSweeney is vice-president of the Cement Association of Canada. 

Both he and the association are registered with the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada. And a search of the registry shows that on Sept. 24, the Cement Association reported having lobbied Raitt directly. 

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White-Collar Redux (x2)

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Justice Minister Rob Nicholson held his fourth media event on the government's proposed white-collar crime law today in Ottawa. 

Again, he was unable to flesh out many of the details because the legislation still hasn't been tabled. That will happen tomorrow. 

But Nicholson did release a few details, including a two-year mandatory jail term for fraud over $1 million.

Just as he did at last month's "announcement on white-collar crime legislation," Nicholson surrounded himself with what he called "victims of fraud."  One of the women present at today's announcement is a member of the Earl Jones Organizing Committee. 

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Flyer Fight

Making accusations of excessive partisanship is a dangerous game.

First of all, you have to find issues that average Canadians will care about. 
 
Second, you have to make sure you can't be accused of doing the same thing.
 
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Novelty Cheques, Novel Portrait?

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The giant novelty cheque story appears to have inspired the the Liberal party's artsy side.

Today at a news conference, Liberal MPs David McGuinty and Marcel Proulx announced the party is launching 47 complaints with Canada's ethics commissioner, saying that they've found 181 examples where Conservative MPs have taken credit for taxpayer-funded Government of Canada funding announcements through the use of "personalized partisan cheques" since 2007.

Why 47 complaints? One for each Tory MP the Liberals say handed out the cheques.

Today's news conference also featured a crafty multi-media presentation, which included an image of Prime Minister Stephen Harper made up of a collage of those oversized cheques.


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2 Can Carry That Tune

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Three things about yesterday's LPCQ meeting in Quebec City that aren't exactly newsworthy but still interesting:

- Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff delivered a speech more than 30 minutes long and entirely in French without the use of teleprompters.

- Ignatieff was the most passionate and generated the most applause when he said his French isn't perfect but that's part of who he is.

- In reference to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's surprise musical performance at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Saturday night, Ignatieff said he envied Harper's piano-playing abilities but felt the prime minister carried a tune just as well as he does.

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