Most recent entries for November 2009

Cruising for votes


Is Fred Slade ready for an election?
You betcha.
Slade is the enthusiastic Conservative candidate for the riding of Sudbury.  His web site already features the requisite shots of him with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Senator Mike Duffy, as well as a link to an old C-SPAN video interview with Michael Ignatieff, who was then speaking in the capacity of author of The Lesser Evil because he wasn't yet the Liberal leader.
Slade's election-readiness doesn't stop there.  The fine people of Sudbury also are getting used to spotting this tricked-out van all over the place.
PrivilegeWatch delayed, PrivilegeWatch denied?

Check back for updates from the gallery as NDP MP Paul Dewar is scheduled to rise on that point of order related to alleged obstruction and attempted witness intimidation at the Afghanistan committee, and the House votes on Liberal MP Irwin Cotler's motion to send his ten percenter-related privilege complaint to Procedure and House Affairs.

Low text version here

On-Demand Audio: Ottawa Report

Join the CBC's Chris Hall and James Fitz-Morris Tuesday mornings for Ottawa Report.

Each week they talk with morning shows across the country on CBC Radio One about the latest developments on the national political scene.

You can listen to an on-demand version of the audio here. You can also tune in to your local regional news broadcast at

This week, as Barack Obama gets set to unveil a new Afghan strategy to deploy thousands more U.S. troops, our reporters discuss what this could mean for Canada's involvement with Afghanistan. 

And, our prime minister says Canada's carbon-cutting goals are similar to those in the U.S., but is Canada distancing itself from countries pushing for action on climate change? Stay tuned!


President Barack Obama issued new orders for the American military in Afghanistan on Sunday, and his administration has begun briefing the United States' allies and other key players on these plans.

The official public announcement comes tomorrow (Tuesday) evening at 8 p.m. ET, when Obama delivers a speech at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Our colleague Susan Bonner in Washington is reporting that although Obama is speaking personally with leaders from Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Denmark, China, India, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan... he will not be making a personal call to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Vice-President Joe Biden will be phoning Canada's prime minister.

Ignatieff: He's 64th!


Michael Ignatieff is receiving high praise from Foreign Policy - a magazine that features essays written by world leaders and thinkers.
In its first annual list of '100 Top Global Thinkers', Ignatieff places 64th.
The list, along with Ignatieff's write-up, can be found here -- or probably you can just wait for the next set of Conservative attacks ads, again going after Ignatieff for being an "out-of-touch academic," and a former Harvard professor.
The magazine cites him for "showing that not all academics are irrelevant."
12:17:22 PM
"We're mainly here to answer questions," -- an encouraging start from Bob Rae, at least from the perspective of the assembled media, although he and Dosanjh do come bearing what appears to be a remarkably thorough timeline -- a "timeline of torture", according to the headline -- from August 16, 2005 to last week. He'd also like to remind us all that this is not about the troops, or the support thereof -- everybody supports the troops, he notes. This has to do with cabinet, and what was known by whom, and when.

Dosanjh *also* wants to point out that this isn't just about Colvin's allegations at this point -- it's about what international organizations have been saying since 2005, and it's not going to be resolved in Question Period, or by a parliamentary committee.

Rae then goes through an amalgamation of his and Dosanjh's opening remarks in French. Good turnout of media, by the way -- I think pretty much every outlet is here, although I'm not sure if it's running live.

Bumping the HST bill...

Our Kady has alluded to this, but here are some more details about what's going on in the House today as far as the timing for the HST motion vs. the CN back-to-work legislation... courtesy of my colleague Margo McDiarmid, who's been working her phone and berry this morning and tirelessly updating things on CBC NN:


The prime minister sure looked commander-in-chief-y sitting on the bow of a military launch speeding to the HMCS Quebec, at anchor off Trinidad.

Stephen Harper wore a suit and tie, the probable result of a schedule too packed to change.

The two sailors that sat beside him were in their work dress, augmented -- as is the navy rule aboard small craft -- with life preservers.

First Reading (11/30/09)

Today's essential political reads:
... and the critics -- the opposition foreign affairs critics, that is -- seem to be giving the latest twist in the plot a resounding thumbs down, judging from the response that I got from two members of the committee that has been trying, and failing, to get its hands on copies of the very same memos that were apparently obtained, albeit in redacted form, by Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford -- who, incidentally, is now dismissing Colvin as a "so-called whistleblower" in a second column based on the contents. 

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