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Trudeau will not whip Liberal MPs to vote in favor of euthanasia bill

The majority Liberal government is backing down on its initial plan to whip the vote in favor of a forthcoming law that allows doctors to kill their patients.

It now says that it will allow MPs to vote on the controversial bill to be tabled today according to their consciences, reported the Globe and Mail today.

In February Liberal House Leader Dominic LeBlanc had told reporters that Liberal MPs would be forced to vote the party line in support of assisted suicide, a move that would guarantee the bill's passage.

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With its Jack Layton-esque centrism in tatters, radical Leap Manifesto will doom the NDP

Stick a fork in the federal NDP. They're done.

These New Democrats, no longer Thomas Mulcair's NDP as of 3:15 p.m. EDT Sunday, have responded to last October's electoral disappointment in a classically Liberal-party way; first, by casting aside years of careful strategy in a desperate lunge for something they hope will be shiny and better; second, by dragging the losing leader out behind the barn and ignominiously putting him out of their misery, without so much as a thank you.

The process was inept, curt and callous. It left Mulcair, who drew kudos from all his colleagues when he was winning, without a shred of dignity.

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Trudeau to whip Liberal MPs to vote in favor of 'extreme' euthanasia bill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already made Liberal party MPs pledge that they will vote in favor of abortion, and now, on the other end of life, he plans to whip the vote in favor of a forthcoming law that allows doctors to kill their patients.

Liberal House Leader Dominic LeBlanc told the Globe and Mail yesterday that Liberal MPs will be forced to vote the pro-assisted-suicide party line.

"At the end of the day, the Supreme Court has defined a right around the issue of assisted dying, and we will be always voting to uphold Charter rights," he said.

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Justin Trudeau could face his worst nightmare in Ted Cruz

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may soon need to contemplate the possibility that, when he next meets the president of the United States, he will be facing Ted Cruz. With Cruz's victory this week in Wisconsin, Donald Trump is all but certain to fall short of the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the Republican nomination for president prior to the party's convention in Cleveland in July.

If Trump fails to win a first-ballot victory, he will then almost surely lose many of the delegates involuntarily bound to him. The once seemingly invincible Trump has been faltering, losing all of the recent state contests for delegates and, for the first time in the weekly Reuters tracking poll, is losing nationally to Cruz. If delegates are freed up, Cruz - now a mere 225 delegates behind Trump - then becomes the odds-on favourite to scoop up the remaining delegates he needs to represent the Republicans. And with Cruz and Hillary Clinton (the likely Democratic nominee) statistically tied, come November of this year Trudeau could well be confronting his worst nightmare in a President-elect Cruz.

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Why, exactly, are our fighter jets coming home?

"We may never know exactly why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pulling Canada's fighter jets out of the coalition air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," The Globe and Mail's editorialists write. That's a funny lede, but an accurate one.

Canada's new plan to fight ISIL, announced Monday, is considerably more robust than the one it replaces. And yet there are predictably terrible reviews for Trudeau’s frankly astonishing inability - after many, many months of opportunities - to explain coherently why he doesn't think Canadian fighter jets are the right sort of fighter jets to drop bombs on things that he agrees should have bombs dropped on them.

The National Post's Andrew Coyne rather magnificently translates the PM's speech into plain English: "Airstrikes on their own do not achieve long-term stability," you must understand. "They may have proved useful for halting ISIL's previously runaway expansion, they may have driven it from territory, denied it refuge, degraded its military capacity and destroyed more and more of the oil resources without which it cannot finance its activities, but they cannot, on their own, do something that no one has claimed they can.

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Justin Trudeau: So, so much worse than you thought he would be

Justin Trudeau has now been Canada's prime minister for five months. Those Christians who told me that Trudeau's term would come and go with no real damage to our country's moral fabric-whatever's left of it, anyway-were very, very wrong.

Things have started off rather ominously. For those who like to turn up their noses at warnings that a growing government always crowds into the space of Christians who want to raise their children in peace, consider this fact: The Liberal government has pledged to repeal Canada's law allowing spanking.

Canada's Criminal Code, Article 43, states, "Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances." Now, for all those who were ever physically disciplined but feel as if they had loving parents rather than abusive ones, Canadian law could soon disagree.

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Won't be fooled again

Voters in Whitby-Oshawa can do us all a favour and send a message to Queen's Park in the byelection Thursday: We've had it up to here with incompetence and waste.

Auditor general Bonnie Lysyk spelled it out in her December report.

She noted we have an accumulated provincial debt approaching $300 billion. Over the past 12 years, Liberal governments have bungled everything from smart meters to snow plowing.

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Wynne government's energy conservation program is wasting billions of public dollars

The Ontario government's energy conservation program is a multibillion-dollar boondoggle that wastes public money and doesn't lower the cost of electricity, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute.

Authors Tom Adams, an independent energy and environmental consultant, and Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at Guelph University, contend in "Demand Side Mismanagement: How Conservation Became Waste," that Premier Kathleen Wynne's government is making outlandish claims about how much money it has saved through energy conservation that have no basis in reality.

In November 2012, Adams correctly predicted the public cost of then premier Dalton McGuinty's cancellation of two gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga would exceed $1 billion.

His estimate, based on government documents available at the time, was $1.3 billion.

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New polls a warning for Liberals that public not in mood to tolerate large deficits

No relationship can feel new and exciting forever. In the words of John Cusack in High Fidelity, it's not all lipstick and lingerie.

For the Liberals, two new opinion polls suggest that the honeymoon is drawing to a close and we are about to enter the "washed-out cotton underwear hanging in the bathroom" phase.

One survey by Navigator looks at Canadian attitudes to infrastructure spending. It suggests that there is overwhelming support for spending on public transit, social housing and green infrastructure, with 78 per cent of the 1,211 respondents saying they endorse it.

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Ont. Liberals raised $2.5M at $1,600-a-plate fundraising dinner as premier promises to tighten donation rules

Ontario Liberals raised about $2.5 million at a big fundraising dinner Wednesday night that could be part of a waning tradition as the premier considers banning corporate and union donations.

The $1,600-a-plate Heritage Dinner - donors could pony up an extra $2,000 to pay $18,000 for a 10-seat "victory table" and an extra $1,000 to get into a 30-minute "pre-reception" - is a huge annual event for the party and last year raised $2.75 million.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said this week, following reports that her ministers have six-figure fundraising targets, some as high as $500,000 a year, that she plans to tighten rules on political donations this fall.

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Sinking economy may lead to Trudeau ouster: O'Leary

Our economy is now measured in "dollerettes" and "massive debt" and Canadian businessman Kevin O'Leary predicts if it keeps up, the Liberals may start thinking about replacing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"I think there could be a competition for leadership in the Liberal party because tax and spend is a really dumb idea in a country of no growth," the Shark Tank star told my Newstalk 1010 show, the Late Shift. "I don't think Justin Trudeau will have a long tenure."

Canada's economy is bleeding to death, he said, and the government is sticking in more knives.

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Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dies at 46

Councillor Rob Ford, whose tumultuous four years as mayor of Toronto turned him into an international cultural phenomenon, died on Tuesday at Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 46.

Official word of his death came from a source close to the family. His passing marks the end of a rare political actor whose everyman persona, budget-slashing agenda and very public substance-abuse issues inspired both intense loyalty and deep loathing among the city's diverse electorate.

It also ends an 18-month struggle with cancer.

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BREAKING: Grand jury indicts pro-life investigator behind baby part videos, clears Planned Parenthood

The lead investigator behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos faces up to 20 years in prison after a Houston grand jury decided on Monday not to charge Planned Parenthood with any wrongdoing - and instead indicted him for offering to purchase human organs from the abortion provider.

Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden faces a second-degree felony charge of "tampering with a governmental record," and a misdemeanor charge for violating the state's "prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs."

That is, jurors in the state of Texas are accusing David Daleiden of trying to illegally traffic in aborted babies' body parts.

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Trudeau sticks to his policy of "separating Muslims from terrorists"

A day after the stabbing attack in Toronto which left two soldiers injured, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 a two sentence statement which failed to mention the Islamic motivation of the attacker.

Trudeau also refrained from unequivocally calling the stabbing attack a "terrorist" act, but rather chose carefully his words by stating the following:

"Canadians - and the Canadian Armed Forces - will not be intimidated by terror & hate. May the CAF members injured yesterday make a full recovery."

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders noted in a press conference that while at the scene, the accused Ayanle Hassan Ali said that "Allah [Islamic name of God] told me to do this. Allah told me to come here and kill people". Ali was born in Montreal and since 2011 resides in Toronto. Ali was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, attempt murder, weapons dangerous and aggravated Assault.

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Pulling our fighters out has sidelined Canada

Make no mistake about it, Canada's standing on the world stage has gone down a notch in recent months.

The fight against terrorism is one of the defining issues of our time and it appears Canada is playing a diminished role in the conversation.

Late Monday it was reported that Canada was not invited to join a meeting of the world's defence ministers happening in Paris on Wednesday, at which they'll be discussing the campaign against the Islamic State.

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O'Leary praises Trudeau's 60 Minutes interview

"You are way tougher on Shark Tank than she was," I teased Kevin O'Leary after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's much-anticipated interview with correspondent Lara Logan aired on 60 Minutes Sunday night.

And on Dragon's Den, too.

But the Shark and Dragon was not biting.

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Canada shut out of meeting to discuss ISIL in apparent snub

Canada has not been invited to a meeting of defence ministers in Paris this week to discuss the fight against ISIL militants, media reports say.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s office has confirmed to CBC News and the Globe and Mail that he won’t attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The reports say defence ministers from the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands will take part in the talks.

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Refugee process 'amateurish and dangerous,' says expert

The Liberals achieved their revised target of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the month. But that doesn't mean the program is now a success, a number of sources say.

"The way they've been handling this is just amateurish and dangerous," former diplomat James Bissett, who first joined the public service in the 1950s, said in a phone interview.

"We just don't have the capacity to find them accommodation and get them settled," he adds. "The NGOs and the church groups themselves have been complaining."

Over the years, Bissett held various senior government positions in immigration and refugee planning, until being appointed ambassador to Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania in 1990.

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Where is the fury and resolve to fight back? Trudeau's silence on terrorism is deafening

It's early still in the life of this government. Yet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Grits closing in on 100 days since their Oct. 19 electoral triumph, a pattern begins to emerge. It's one that does the new regime and its leader little credit. It smacks of an inability or unwillingness to perceive sentiment beyond the urban Liberal echo chamber. It bespeaks a lack of imagination - including an inability to imagine threats to the government's capacity to endure and succeed long-term. Tunnel vision and obduracy are not supposed to set in quite so soon.

Let's begin with this: Trudeau's Achilles heel. Every politician seems to have one. For this PM, for the longest time, it was his tendency to blurt silly things about serious geopolitical issues at inopportune times. There was his tone-deaf statement in an interview with the CBC that the Boston Marathon bombers must have felt excluded; his offhand praise of China's system of government; his curious joke about the Russians invading Ukraine over hockey. Most memorably, there was the juvenile quip about former prime minister Stephen Harper whipping out Canada's CF-18s to "show them how big they are."

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Only 29% of Ontarians think Kathleen Wynne is doing a good job

The majority of Ontarians disapprove of the way Premier Kathleen Wynne is doing her job, according to a Mainstreet Research/Postmedia poll.

Of those polled, only 29% approved of Wynne's performance, 60% disapproved and 11% weren't sure - giving the high-profile Premier an approval rating of minus-31.

Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research, said it's not unusual for the head of a government to show low approval ratings - especially early in a mandate - when tough decisions are typically made.

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Toronto Star declares Kathleen Wynne a 'loser' in 2015 over sex-ed and other controversies

Often considered a bastion of liberalism and the vanguard of leftist ideology, even the Toronto Star has abandoned the sinking ship of Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government, declaring her a "loser" in 2015 for, among other things, forcing a hugely controversial sex-ed program on schools.

The Star's move is even more noteworthy given that Wynne had made the list of winners the previous year.

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