The pro-cooperation candidate of the NDP showed the party’s ugly head today as he orchestrated the defeat of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s accountability measures and turned to old-style dirty politics. Former NDP leader Jack Layton may have said he wanted to fix Ottawa, but it turns out people in his party like NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen are only part of the problem. A party dropping further into third place and in a vengeance against a Liberal comeback, today’s events weren’t fuelled on principle, but on sleazy NDP politics.
Conservative MPs Shelly Glover and James Bezan are in legal trouble over financial filings from the last election campaign – Glover has the added accusation of running a misleading robocall campaign. Chief Electoral officer Marc Mayrand sent a letter to the Speaker, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, asking that the two MPs be removed from the House of Commons. The Liberals asked for the letter, Scheer told them to find it online. The Tory MPs face serious allegations of electoral misuse and the NDP are going to support them on Monday.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau told the Federation of Canadian Municipalities yesterday in Vancouver, the only way to restore public trust in public officials is to “raise the bar” on accountability. He also told the audience he is not in favour of the status quo in the senate and explained his stance on opening the constitution. Trudeau announced plans to announce new transparency measures in the near future.
Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux wants future political ads to end with an approval message from their leaders, a move that would make some of Harper’s personal attacks on the Liberals and NDP seem ridiculous. Imagine how powerful a message like “just visiting” or “in over his head” would be if it ended with “I’m Stephen Harper and I approve this message.” The new rule would apply to all parties and will be presented in a private member’s bill.
While the NDP made a national statement asking the RCMP to investigate the dealings between former chief of staff Nigel Wright and former Conservative senator Mike Duffy, the senate debated what to do with the case. Conservative senators overwhelmingly rejected Liberal calls to bring in the RCMP in favor of sending it back to the same committee that whitewashed the first audit.
Yvonne Jones takes back Liberal stronghold. In a much anticipated by-election, Jones has won with a landslide. We shall see how this will change and narrate the political landscape on the Canadian Political Scene given the new-found momentum behind the Liberal Party with leader Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile, former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Penashue has been left in the cold.
The list of Conservative MPs against taxpayer-funded attack ads against Justin Trudeau has grown to include some well known names, notably and most recently, Defense Minister and Deputy leader Peter MacKay. While the PMO and Prime Minister Stephen Harper think it is alright to use taxpayer money to fund a campaign of smears and deceit, a growing number of Conservative MPs are standing up for their principle and rejecting petty and desperate politics.
Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson won’t probe potential conflicts of interest in Conservative candidate Peter Penashue’s campaign in Labrador after Green Party leader Elizabeth May launched a complaint. Penashue stepped down as Harper’s cabinet minister after acknowledging his campaign accepted illegal campaign donations in the 2011 election campaign. Meanwhile polling trends appear set to give Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones a landslide victory in the riding with over 60% of the popular vote.
Upon an audit made on the housing allowance and meal expenses of Liberal Senator Mac Harb and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, and on travelling expenses of Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin, thousands of dollars will have to be repaid. Senate caucus meetings will take place tomorrow to determine if the forensic audits should be forwarded to the RCMP. This comes at a time when the relevance and legitimacy of the Senate are questioned and the Official Opposition argues the institution should be abolished.
While the PMO and Prime Minister Stephen Harper think it is alright to use taxpayer money to fund a campaign of smears and deceit, a growing number of Conservative MPs are standing up for their principle and rejecting petty and desperate politics. Recently the Liberal Party got a leak of “10-percenter” ads the Conservatives planned to mail constituents on tax-payer dimes to attempt to smear Justin Trudeau.