Tuesday, Sep. 16, 2014 5:32AM EDT
He talked about Islamic State in Iraq, Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine, crime in Canada, and tax cuts on the way. But Stephen Harper had one main message: I’m the prime minister. Accept no substitute.
The issues themselves were mustered to highlight his experience as a leader, and the portrait of a dangerous and risky world was designed to tell you why you need it. It’s a tune that’s worked twice, in 2008 and 2011, and now, behind Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the polls, he’s turning it up louder.More »
Monday, Sep. 15, 2014 5:00AM EDT
When Justin Trudeau got onstage in Markham Friday night and told his audience of Ontario Liberals that someone had asked him if the election campaign had already begun, they all laughed. “I think you know the answer,” he said.
It’s obvious to the parties. The election year – Canada’s first, made inevitable by the fixed election date law that sets an October, 2015, vote – is here.More »
Friday, Sep. 12, 2014 4:00AM EDT
Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats are taking a page from Barack Obama’s playbook in a bid to close the fundraising gap with the Conservatives and Liberals, ramping up their digital fundraising push as Canada’s political parties face the end of taxpayer subsidies.
This year, the NDP hired Blue State Digital – a firm with ties to Obama campaigns – and its own in-house digital director to boost the party’s online fundraising and outreach. The moves come as the NDP trails its two main rivals in total fundraising, but also as digital campaigns carve out a bigger share of party efforts.More »
Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 3:41PM EDT
For a country that has so much invested in medicare – financially, politically and emotionally – we have shockingly little idea of how much it costs to administer our universal healthcare system.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information publishes an annual report on health spending – which was $211-billion last year, or $5,988 per capita – but the data on administrative costs is thin as a whisper.More »
Monday, Sep. 08, 2014 4:40AM EDT
When it comes to defence spending, the old Stephen Harper wouldn’t recognize the new one. The new one looks at lot more like Jean Chrétien.
Mr. Harper came to office believing that bigger defence spending paid off in terms of influence, particularly in that most important capital, Washington. But he’s since decided that the results are not worth the extra billions.More »
Thursday, Sep. 04, 2014 3:00AM EDT
CAMPBELL CLARK and STEVEN CHASE
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has signalled Canada is willing to take part in military action against ISIS in Iraq if major allies mount a coalition to strike at the extremist group.
Though Western countries have been slow to muster concerted efforts to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the United States has challenged allies to form a global coalition – and the Canadian government is now asserting it will do more.More »
Wednesday, Sep. 03, 2014 12:17PM EDT
New electoral boundaries in Saskatchewan will heighten the competition between the Conservatives and New Democrats in the next election. But can the NDP make the most of this opportunity for a Prairie breakthrough?
The Prairies, and in particular Saskatchewan, are the ancestral home of the New Democrats. Tommy Douglas, the party’s first leader, was a long-time premier for the province. But the area has not returned many NDP MPs to Ottawa over the last few elections: four in 2004, three in 2006, four in 2008, and just two in 2011. All of them were from Manitoba.More »
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 7:00AM EDT
The leader of one of Ontario’s largest public sector unions has been quietly pressing the government to turn over ownership of its liquor monopoly to his members’ pension plan – an idea that earned him a smack-down from Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office during June’s provincial election.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, is one of the Liberal administration’s most vocal critics on the left, frequently accusing the government of having a secret plan to privatize public services. But Mr. Thomas, apparently, had also been seeking to have the highly lucrative LCBO sold to the OPSEU pension plan.More »
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 7:00AM EDT
The province that handed Stephen Harper’s Conservatives a majority government in 2011 may be about to take it away, as Ontarians move from the governing Tories back towards Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
The Conservatives won 73 seats in Ontario in the 2011 federal election, the best performance of the party and its predecessors in raw seat count since 1917 and the First World War. The Tories also captured 44 per cent of the vote, their highest share since 1984 when Brian Mulroney won the largest majority government in Canadian history. It was a good year for the party.More »
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 12:04PM EDT
Seamus O’Regan is only the most recent Atlantic Canadian to throw his lot in with the federal Liberals, as the region looks set to swing over to the party in dramatic fashion.
The former host of CTV’s Canada AM will be seeking the Liberal nomination in the riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, currently represented by NDP MP Ryan Cleary. If polls in the province and the wider region are any indication, Mr. O’Regan has a good chance of winning it.More »
Vancouver-based columnist Gary Mason writes on B.C. affairs and issues affecting Western Canada. Mr. Mason has been a fixture on the West Coast journalism scene for more than two decades and has been the recipient of some of the industry's highest honours, including two National Newspaper Awards and six Jack Webster awards. He has authored six books, including his most recent, the No. 1-bestseller Patriot Hearts, Inside the Games that Changed a Country written with John Furlong.
Follow Gary on Twitter @garymasonglobe
Rhéal Séguin is a journalist and political scientist. Born and educated in southern Ontario, he completed his undergraduate degree in political science at York University and a master's degree in political science at the Université du Québec à Montréal.