Voters Riled In 32 Ridings

Voter turnout at advanced polls jumped forty percent or more in thirty-two ridings across the country, according to Elections Canada data. In Calgary nearly 200,000 voters rushed to polls in advance of today’s general election. “Turnout in some ridings was remarkable,” an official said. READ MORE

Paid Leave For Lib Appointee

Cabinet in a rushed executive order granted a Liberal appointee indefinite paid leave. Michèle Gagné, a Québec City consultant, did not take questions. Cabinet authorized the benefit even as ministers campaigned for re-election: "We cannot provide any comment." READ MORE

OK Firing For Media Leaks

A federal labour board has upheld the firing of a whistleblower who leaked Department of Employment files to a reporter. The Employment Insurance claims investigator alleged managers were offered $50,000 bonuses for disqualifying legitimate applications for benefits: "I did so as a matter of conscience." READ MORE

O’Leary v. Democracy Watch

The advocacy group Democracy Watch has lost a bid to intervene in a constitutional challenge of political fundraising limits by TV celebrity Kevin O’Leary. Ontario Superior Court ruled broad arguments of fairness under the Elections Act did not require comment by the group: "Money flowing from individuals to political parties risks negatively affecting public confidence." READ MORE

Poem: “Blast From The Past”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock's tradition each and every Sunday: "Reagan’s slogan for the 1984 elections sounds familiar..." READ MORE

Review: The Man-Made Government

When picking his first cabinet in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper arranged an odd series of background checks with an aide. Harper sat at one end of a table, the aide sat at the other end and asked all the embarrassing questions you’d expect of appointees being vetted for cabinet. The arrangement meant candidates had to answer the aide while turning their back to the Prime Minister. With one exception all candidates faced the aide while saying, “Yes, Prime Minister”, “No, Prime Minister”, recounts Off And Running. Apparently no one felt ridiculous. READ MORE

Paid $245K In Seven Months

An Ottawa lawyer was paid nearly a quarter million dollars for seven months’ work at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Redacted billings are detailed in Access To Information records from the Privy Council Office: "Can anything be done more efficiently?" READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Mel Hurtig, In Memoriam

The Skeptics

The only time I face skepticism is every day. I still get people emailing me and writing letters, saying they wish the National Party was back again. No exaggeration, I get five or six of those a week. People sometimes ask, what do you think was your biggest accomplishment? Was it the Canadian Encyclopedia? I say no, the biggest accomplishment I had was trying to turn a lot of people onto politics. I guess it’s a corny thing to say, but I happen to really love this country.