Roundup: Null and void

The results of the last federal election in Etobicoke Centre were declared null and void by an Ontario court yesterday after the judge found there to be enough improper votes cast to overturn the results. The Conservatives have eight days to file an appeal – which would go directly to the Supreme Court in an expedited process – before a by-election needs to be called. While Borys Wrzesnewskyj insists that there was voter suppression in his riding, this was not the basis of the results being overturned, but rather, because Elections Canada officials and the volunteers at the polling stations didn’t follow rules. This does raise the issue of the kind of training that volunteer and scrutineers receive, and what happens when people get lazy, take shortcuts, and don’t follow rules properly. (And yes, the Conservatives have put out talking points that they followed the rules but this is an Elections Canada issue).

While it’s not related to the Etobicoke Centre decision, Elections Canada will soon be receiving a report on the Guelph robo-calls.

What’s that? The Conservatives refuse to release the draft report they prepared in 2007 on pension sustainability? You don’t say! But Finance officials have finally confirmed that the OAS changes are expected to save the treasury about $10.8 billion – even though both ministers refuse to.

Uh oh – it looks like Alberta is going to miss its emissions reduction targets, and that its already dubious carbon-capture-and-storage scheme is falling off the rails. But at least it’s prompting a review of said programmes, right?

Economist Stephen Gordon further problematises the “Dutch disease” rhetoric, and throws in what some of the environmental arguments would mean if they were equally applied to the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, it turns out that Industry Canada funded their own study into the phenomenon a couple of years ago and found some correlation, but the government of course is distancing itself from it.

There will be another vacancy on the Supreme Court by August. I’m guessing that means September special Parliamentary hearings, unless we’re really lucky and get “emergency” ones in the summer.

The costs of the restoration of buildings in the Parliamentary Precinct continues to rise, but we all know that over time and over budget is part of our proud Canadian heritage.

Here’s a look at the impacts on Canadian archaeology that the cuts to Parks Canada are going to have.

Prince Charles writes about service in a nod to the Diamond Jubilee and his upcoming visit to Canada.

And Scott Brison has a little bit of fun at the expense of the “nude Stephen Harper” painting.