Roundup: Cooperation to fix electoral woes

In the wake of the rather damning internal report at Elections Canada about the problems that have plagued the last election (but which no doubt have been cumulative over successive elections), the agency has agreed with its recommendations but says that it will likely take political cooperation from all sides in order to implement the needed changes – especially as it will cost more to hire more staff and get additional resources. The former Chief Electoral Officer, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, doesn’t see that as a problem because everyone knows that the system needs to be fixed. Elsewhere, the Conservatives are gloating while a Liberal campaign worker from the 2008 election was charged with failing to file election returns. Meanwhile, it seems that the party’s treatment of Michael Sona has created a rift in the local Conservatives in Guelph.

It was all hands on deck yesterday as John Baird, along with provincial and municipal partners, put on a big show of support to keep the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization headquarters in Montreal in the face of an aggressive move by Qatar to try to have the headquarters relocated to Qatar. While Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said that the headquarters would never actually move given the way the UN actually operates, it was nevertheless the kind of show that Baird can now use in QP for the coming weeks when the NDP accuse him of putting the headquarters’ future in jeopardy thanks to his particular foreign policy stances on Israel and the Middle East.

Paul Wells takes his turn at the whole “Why is Mulcair cavorting with Separatist talking points” issue, and looks at the kind of provincialism that all leaders are currently engaged in. Meanwhile, the Conservatives have (quite rightly) dismissed the NDP’s call for the more patriation documents to be released.

The government announced $82 million in clean energy projects yesterday. But you know, they’re totally in the pockets of Big Oil lobbyists, and so on.

Maclean’s takes a look at the issue of communications and micromanaging of scientists in this country – otherwise known as muzzling – and the impact it has on the role of those scientists to educate the public. (Hint: It’s a wholly detrimental impact).

The government is tendering advertising agency contracts to extend the Economic Action Plan™ campaign for another three years – at least. Oh boy!

The Taxpayers Federation is upset that our parliamentarians sometimes *gasp!* have to travel for work that isn’t necessarily related to the foreign affairs committee, and that includes trips on behalf of various Parliamentary Associations. Because it’s apparently too much to ask that MPs and senators learn about situations in other countries, meet their counterparts or share best practices on policy files. That’s just so awful, etcetera, etcetera.

Our diplomatic staff in Washington DC picketed in front of the embassy yesterday as part of their escalating job action to demand equal pay for the same kinds of work that other public servants are doing.

At a stop in Edmonton, Justin Trudeau praised the efforts of premier Alison Redford for raising the profile of the Keystone XL Pipeline, while panning the efforts made by the Harper government. Conservative staffers got upset and tweeted about all of the various times and representations that said cabinet had made, though perhaps the point was about the efficacy of the message rather than the frequency of visits.

Some Conservative senators are trying to distance themselves from former Senator Bert Brown’s newfound assertion that yes, the government’s proposed Senate “reforms” will require a constitutional amendment. Liberal Senators in particular see this as a galling insult to the provinces, that Brown spent years being the PM’s messenger to the premiers when he knew full well that the message he was peddling was wrong.

Former NDP leader Alexa McDonough has revealed that she is battling breast cancer, but seems to be on the mend as she has nearly completed her treatments.

And Andrew Coyne raises a few questions about the opaque process for selecting the new Bank of Canada governor, and what that could mean about his independence.

One thought on “Roundup: Cooperation to fix electoral woes

  1. “The government announced $82 million in clean energy projects yesterday. But you know, they’re totally in the pockets of Big Oil lobbyists, and so on.”

    Because we all totally understand that the $82 million on offer over three years completely outweighs approximately $4 billion the federal government will make available to the oil and gas industry through tax expenditures and other subsidies over that period of time.

    And we know that the letter of December 12, 2011, to Environment Minister Peter Kent and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute and the Canadian Gas Association asking for changes in six laws affecting the industry had noting to do with the fact that “within 10 months of the request, the industry had almost everything it wanted.” [CBC News, January 9, 2013]

    No, no sign here that the Harper Government is in the pockets of Big Oil lobbyists.

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