Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: How concerned are you about a U.S. budget shutdown?

Here are the results:

Yes: 67%
No: 9%
Not sure: 24%

Total votes: 1053

As PM day trips to Quebec, Elizabeth May talks democratic deficit in Ottawa

With just over two weeks until the House returns to regular parliamentary business, the PM takes a day trip to Quebec City, where, alongside Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel, he will "deliver remarks" at the Institut national d'optique (INO) before heading to the iconic Citadelle for a photo op with Defence Minister Rob Nicholson.

Back on the Hill, meanwhile, New Democrat consumer protection critics Glenn Thibeault and Annick Papillon hit the stage at the National Press Theatre, where they will share their thoughts on the current government's track record on consumer protection issues, and present their party's priorities for the upcoming session.

Also out and about in the precinct today: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who will chat with reporters about her ongoing 'Save Democracy From Politics' tour before she makes her way to the Chateau Laurier to talk democratic deficit with the Economic Club of Ottawa. Later this evening, she'll host a town hall on the same subject.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Do you trust climate change predictions?

Here are the results:

Yes: 77%
No: 22%
Not sure: 1%

Total votes:1230

Info watchdog sounds alarm over access to ministerial records

Canada's information watchdog is sounding the alarm over recently issued guidelines that appears to implicitly discourage departmental access to information officials from seeking documents from ministerial offices.

Hit the jump to read all about it. 

Joe Oliver holds good newser event at Quebec-based ethanol plant

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver drops by the Varennes headquarters of GreenField Inc.,  which bills itself as "Canada's Leading Ethanol Producer," for what the advisory promises will be an "important announcement on innovation, clean technology and job creation," with Sustainable Development Technology Canada President communications director Pat Breton also expected to be in attendance.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

UPDATED - Del Mastro departure opens 3 possible parl sec slots

UPDATE: It seems that the PM is in the market for a new parliamentary secretary, thanks to the abrupt departure from caucus of now former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro. 

In fact, Del Mastro's exit could open up as many as three slots for ambitious backbenchers hankering for a boost to their profiles.  

Up until this afternoon, Del Mastro served as Commons backup for three separate ministers: Leona Aglukkaq (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency), Gary Goodyear (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) and Greg Rickford (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario). 

In theory, that would allow the PM to promote three different MPs -- although two would have to be from Ontario. 

Of course, he could also simply redistribute those portfolios within the current roster, which would likely be the wisest choice, given the optics of adding another three names to the PS payroll. 

Meet your new parliamentary secretaries, Canada! (originally posted on September 19, 2013)

Earlier today, the prime minister unveiled the new roster of ministerial parliamentary secretaries

(For those who may have forgotten -- or possibly never bothered to find out in the first place, a parliamentary secretary is basically a  VIB (Very Important Backbencher) who, in exchange for a small salary boost and a new title, is responsible for various and sundry duties that his or her minister is either too busy or too important to do themselves, from fielding questions on behalf of their respective ministers in the House to shepherding legislation through committee -- and, with increasing frequency, doing the rounds on the evening and weekend political panel circuit, representing the government and delivering the official talking points.) 

Some highlights from today's reveal:

  • The total number of parliamentary secretaries  --  climbs from 28 to 32, which includes 12 new additions to replace the 8 former PSes who were promoted to cabinet during the mid-summer shuffle, 12 portfolio switches within the existing roster and 8 positions left unchanged. 

  • Two of the newly minted are women, bringing the total to 6. 

  • Finally, the Prime Minister now has not one but two parliamentary secretaries, as does Justice Minister Peter MacKay.

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Should Dean Del Mastro step down as MP until a ruling in his case?

Here are the results:

Yes: 93%
No: 6%
Not sure: 0%

Total votes: 1285

UPDATED: Tory senator offers his version of run-in with Hill media

There are a lot of people who don't like reporters. A lot of them are politicians. Then there is Conservative Senator Don Plett.

Plett has made himself the avenging angel of all of those politicians who feel like they've picked reporters' acid-dipped observations out of their hides for years. And for his trouble, he has, for the second time in less than six months, compelled the head of Senate security to apologize to his tormentors after employing security guards as his own personal media wranglers.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

PM talks economy with business leaders at New York Q&A

As he prepares to wrap up his three-day visit to New York, the PM has one final non-UN-General-Assembly-related event on his itinerary: a mid-afternoon Q&A session hosted by the Canadian American Business Council, during which he'll field queries from as yet unidentified "business leaders" on the economy.

Also boosting Canada's profile south of the border today: International Trade Minister Ed Fast, who will make the rounds in Washington, DC, meeting with "key U.S. officials," including, as per the advisory, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and trade representative Michael Froman.

Hit the jump for the full post. 

Power & Politics' Ballot Box question

We asked: Can the federal government win support for B.C. pipelines from First Nations?

Here are results:

Yes: 16%
No: 81%
Not sure: 3%

Total votes: 798