Roundup: Etobicoke Centre appeal today

Are you ready? The Supreme Court hears the Etobicoke Centre appeal today. This is going to be one to watch, considering how much attention is being focused on the way Elections Canada runs elections, and their training and operations are as much under the microscope here as any particular voter impropriety.

There is talk that the new seat redistribution in BC and in New Brunswick will disproportionately be beneficial to the Conservatives, in large part because new ridings in BC are going to the lower mainland suburbs, while in New Brunswick, Dieppe moves into a new riding, but on balance there shouldn’t be any loss of seats to Liberals or NDP even if the vote spread changes. I’m a bit torn on this assumption that these new ridings in the suburbs of BC will automatically go Conservative. Given that much of the redistribution has reduced the influence of rural ridings (which were over-represented to begin with), and that rural ridings were far more likely to vote Conservative than anything else, one could argue that it makes the ridings more volatile – especially as the “rurban” phenomenon of small urban area at the narrow end of a large rural riding is being blunted in a lot of places. This will create more representative urban and suburban ridings that might actually see their issues addressed rather than swamped by rural concerns. This could put those ridings into play far more, now that the more conservative rural population can’t be relied upon to carry the votes.

Thomas Mulcair won’t be meeting with Alison Redford when he makes his Stampede appearance later in the week, and it doesn’t sound like she’s too eager to meet either.

Bev Oda allegedly ordered an air purifier for her office so that she could smoke with impunity – and charged it to the public treasury. Her office denies it, mind you. (Has anyone checked if Diane Finley has done the same? Just wondering).

Candu scientists and engineers are on strike in a wage dispute. Lisa Raitt is “disappointed.”

What’s that? Imprisoning refugees who arrive by “irregular means” could have negative impacts on their mental health? You don’t say!

Alberta environmental groups are challenging oil sands companies to prove that their remediation efforts are working, as one of those companies seeks regulatory approval to expand their current mine.

The rumour that Vic Toews is up for a judgeship in Manitoba has resurfaced once again (not that I necessarily believe it this time either).

Pundit’s Guide looks at money spent versus results in the last election.

And Jason Kenney has a petition on his website to thank him for tackling refugees getting healthcare coverage. I’m still not convinced that this wasn’t actually a template page with dummy text that was accidentally made public (considering there are no links on the site itself to said petition), but when his office said it was legitimate, well, my head exploded. Apparently Kenney is that cheeky. (Alternately, his office is going to great lengths to keep from admitting that their webmaster ballsed this one up big time, which is equally plausible.)