Laura Beaulne-Stuebing

    Politics Contributor
  • Elizabeth May: 'The Greens are in the debates in 2015'

    Are Canada’s three major political parties trying to keep the Green Party out of election debates? Elizabeth May thinks they might be.

  • Canada had six female premiers, and now only two remain: What happened?

    Rewind the movie of political leadership in Canada all the way back to July 2013: It’s the Conference of the Federation in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and six provincial leaders are women. It’s a moment that many called historic, speaking of new possibilities and a shift in the old boys’ club mentality of politics.

  • Minimum wage raises in Ont., B.C., fall short of ‘living wage’ in major cities: advocates

    An increase in Ontario’s minimum wage, announced by the province Thursday morning, might seem like good news for people wrestling to pay their bills and to make ends meet. Ontario’s ministry of labour announced that minimum wage in the province will be moving from $11 an hour to $11.25 an hour, effective Oct. 1 this year. The increase follows the province’s announcement last year of raising the minimum wage from $10.25 to the current $11, and promising annual increases would be tied to inflation. Ontario will soon have the second-highest minimum wage in the country, after the Northwest Territories, but these changes aren’t going to get people — working full time and earning minimum wage — out of poverty.

  • Left-leaning think-tank beats feds to releasing a 2015 budget

    While the political watchers in Ottawa await the federal government’s announcement of a 2015 budget date, a left-leaning think-tank has beat the feds to the punch by releasing their own federal budget. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives puts together what the organization calls an Alternative Federal Budget every year to counter the federal government’s annual plans on taxation and spending. Many would expect that Finance Minister Joe Oliver to have announced, at the very least, a date he plans to table the federal budget. Last year’s budget, what the federal government has taken to calling an Economic Action Plan, was delivered on Feb. 13.

  • David Johnston, an ambassador's best friend, to stick around as Governor General

    It seems Stephen Harper likes the Governor General, a man readily praised by diplomats in Ottawa, so much he’s keeping him around.

  • Green Party leader’s voice rings loudest against Bill C-51 in flood of online chatter

    Green Party leader Elizabeth May’s online voice rose above the fray and fracas of Twitter noise protesting the Conservative government’s anti-terror legislation this weekend. According to an analysis of social media activity centered around Bill C-51 from March 11 to March 15, May’s Twitter account was the most tweeted individual account on March 14 during cross-country protests against the government’s controversial anti-terror legislation. One of her posted messages about the rally in Toronto, held in Nathan Phillips Square, was retweeted 458 times — the most tweeted message in that time span— according to an analysis done by Full Duplex, a public affairs and research company based in Ottawa. Saturday’s cross-country rallies saw thousands come out to protest the Conservative government’s anti-terror bill.

  • Tory MP sorry for telling niqab-wearing women to ‘stay the hell where you came from’

    A Conservative MP is having humble pie for breakfast — instead of a hearty Guinness — on this St. Patrick’s Day. Larry Miller, the MP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, is facing significant backlash and accusations of racism from comments he made Monday on a local riding radio station about the ongoing niqab debate, and he quickly retracted (some of) his statements Tuesday morning. The debate stems from a federal court ruling that deemed the Conservative government’s ban on wearing a face covering during the citizenship oath unlawful, and that the ban even contravened the government’s own citizenship laws. At the heart of the debate — the “her” Miller referred to in his comments Monday — is Zunera Ishaq, a Toronto resident who moved from Pakistan to Canada in 2008 and who launched a Charter challenge against the government after she was unable to take the oath citizenship while wearing a niqab.

  • Trudeau's Toronto speech 'obscene,' says multiculturalism minister Kenney

    Defence minister Jason Kenney is hitting back at Justin Trudeau after the LIberal party leader accused the Conservative government of stoking fear and prejudice against Muslim Canadians.

  • Prentice shrugs off criticism over radio show comments

    Alberta Premier Jim Prentice says comments he made earlier this week blaming Albertans for the province’s dire fiscal situation were taken out of context by critics. On Wednesday, Prentice told a CBC radio talk show host that “in terms of who is responsible, we need only look in the mirror. Alberta’s NDP leader Rachel Notley also chimed in and said the premier’s words were profoundly insulting, and insisted he publicly apologize.

  • Cabinet ministers granting clemency? Harper's new no-parole law reminds us they can

    The Harper government’s new no-parole legislation, announced Wednesday afternoon and to be introduced next week when MPs return from some time back in their ridings, is, as it turns out, an opportunity to fall down the rabbit hole of ancient Crown prerogatives. The legislation will include a provision allowing cabinet to decide on the release of some killers, which caused a bit of a tizzy on Twitter after the prime minister announced the pending bill. The government is planning to table legislation in the House of Commons that, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, would ensure Canada’s “most heinous criminals” stay in jail for life, without chance of parole. "Next week, our government will introduce legislation to ensure that for the most heinous offenders and the most horrific crimes a life sentence in Canada will henceforth mean exactly that — a sentence for life," the prime minister said at an afternoon press conference in Scarborough, Ont.

  • Latest federal Tory pitch for support: ‘Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada’

    If the Conservative Party’s latest email to supporters were to be taken literally, Canadians should be shaking in their salt-stained Sorel winter boots: Canada is, according to the CPC, a war zone. In an email sent out on March 2, Tim Uppal, MP for Edmonton-Sherwood Park, suggested Canada is being targeted by terrorists and that the government’s anti-terror bill, the controversial Bill C-51 that has received plenty of criticism from security experts, will keep Canadians safe. “Jihadi terrorists have declared war on Canada,” Uppal wrote. Near the end of February, media outlets reported that the Somalia-based terror group Al-Shabaab, the same group that attacked a mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013, had posted a video online encouraging supporters to attack public shopping spaces, including the West Edmonton Mall.

  • Getting a medical assessment for your private insurance? There'll soon be a tax for that

    The Canadian Psychological Association is raising alarm bells over potential changes to federal tax laws, which CPA representatives say will place additional barriers in front of anyone seeking mental health services in Canada. Draft policy changes to Canada’s Excise Tax Act, published at the end of 2014, could subject interactions with private insurers to GST and HST. This, says Dr. Karen Cohen, CEO of the Canadian Psychological Association, is worrisome. “One in five Canadians have a mental health problem in a given year.