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Some deleted gas plant e-mails found

TORONTO - Now you see them. Now you don’t. Now you see them again.

In yet another shocking twist to the gas plant e-mail saga, Tory MPP Vic Fedeli told the media late Wednesday that gas plant e-mails previously thought blown away by key Liberal staffers have suddenly turned up.

He said he has been informed by Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian that “a lot of records were found” and a “significant number” related to the cancellation of two gas-fired plants in Oakville and Mississauga.

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Public Safety Minister Vic Toews resigns ahead of Harper’s expected cabinet shuffle

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has announced he is resigning as a minister and Member of Parliament effective Tuesday.

Toews said in a statement that he is leaving public life in order to focus on his family and to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

The resignation, which had been expected, is the latest development that foreshadows an anticipated major cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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Senate committee calls in Mounties to look at Duffy’s expenses, $90,000 gift

The Senate has asked the RCMP to investigate expenses claimed by Mike Duffy – and to look into the $90,000 payment he received from the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff – after a review found a pattern of questionable expenses claimed by the PEI senator.

Senate finance officials revealed information showing that Mr. Duffy attempted to claim 18 days of per diems for working in Ottawa during the Senate’s summer recess even though other records clearly showed the senator was in Prince Edward Island.

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Doug Holyday to run for provincial Progressive Conservatives in Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Doug Holyday is gearing up to give the Ontario Liberals the shellacking of the summer.

Mayor Rob Ford’s deputy mayor jumped into the Etobicoke-Lakeshore byelection Thursday setting the stage for a councillor versus councillor showdown over the riding currently held by the Grits.

Holyday is facing off against Liberal candidate Councillor Peter Milczyn — an executive committee colleague.

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Oops, Trudeau has another Britney Spears moment

OTTAWA -- The scandal-plagued Senate has a cheerleader in Justin Trudeau after the Liberal leader said he wouldn't abolish the chamber because it's to Quebec's gain over other provinces to keep the lights on.

"We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and British Columbia. It's to our advantage," he told a French newspaper.

"To want to abolish it is demagoguery," he said in a rebuke of NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's campaign to mothball the place. "We'll have to improve it."

Mulcair responded Sunday that it's not to anyone's advantage to keep the Senate.

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Byelections are a chance to give Liberals the boot

TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne is at the cottage this week.

Lucky her. Her summer vacation won’t be interrupted by five pesky byelections.

If you were unfortunate enough to book a vacation around the long August weekend, your holiday is Liberal roadkill.

Grits keep telling us they had to hold two of the byelections — London West and Windsor Tecumseh — by mid-August.

“My understanding was that we had to have those elections before Aug. 15,” said Transportation Minister Glen Murray,

That’s just not true. The votes have to be called by that day — but could take place 28 days later, in September.

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Gawker nears $200K goal for Ford video, but tape’s owners can’t be tracked down

Gawker’s crowd-sourcing campaign to raise $200,000 to buy the video of Mayor Rob Ford allegedly smoking crack is nearing its goal, but the man who broke the story on the New York-based gossip site now admits he can’t track down the owners.

Gawker editor and writer John Cook was the first to report a week ago that he had seen the video, which he said was being shopped around for six figures by Toronto-area drug dealers.

On Thursday night, Cook told CityNews that an inability to contact the tape’s owners has thrown a wrench in the site’s plans to purchase and publish the footage.

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Time for Pride (and others) to pay their own way

TORONTO - I’ll see you at Pride this weekend in the Gay Village, a quick stroll from my place.

The Sunday parade is a gas, awash in high camp and low stress. Church St. will smell of sweat, pot, beer — and money. Sponsors include Viagra, Trojan condoms, Loblaws, TD Bank, Loblaws, Pizza Pizza ...

You’re on the list, too, whether you like it or not.

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Trudeau’s Liberals hit historic highs as senate scandal has ‘drastic effect’ on Tories: poll

With the Conservatives ensnarled in the biggest political scandal in their seven years in government, a new poll suggests Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are en route to winning a massive majority in the next election.

More than four in 10 Canadians, 44%, said they would vote Liberal in the next federal election, according to latest Forum Poll for the National Post, compared to 27% support for the ruling Conservatives and 20% for the opposition NDP.

The Liberals would claim 192 seats in the 308-seat House of Commons with that support, leaving the Tories with 77 and dropping the NDP all the way back to 37.

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Toronto city councillor leaves chamber in protest during Morgentaler tribute

TORONTO, June 12, 2013 ( – In a rare flap over abortion in Canadian municipal politics, a Toronto city councilor walked out of the council chamber Tuesday in protest over a moment of silence for recently-deceased abortionist Henry Morgentaler.

Denzil Minnan-Wong, a Roman Catholic who has served on council since 1994, told LifeSiteNews that he walked out on principle.

“I have always been prolife. Walking out was a matter of principle and personal integrity,” he said. “Not to walk out would have been a recognition of his accomplishments.”

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‘Leave this room’: Harper warns caucus amid promise to tighten Senate expense rules


OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday he is “not happy” with the actions of some Senators and with the conduct of his own office.

The message was delivered in a speech to the Conservative caucus on Parliament Hill, as the Senate expense scandal enveloped Harper’s government.

“I did not get into politics to defend the Senate,” said Harper.

He said that anyone who wants to use their public office for their own benefit should either leave office or exit the Conservative caucus.

“Let me be very blunt about it,” Harper said Tuesday morning. “Anyone who wishes to use and have public office for their own benefit should change their plans or better yet, leave this room.”

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Shame on Andrea Horwath for propping up the Liberals

TORONTO - I’m not buying any of it.

I’m not buying former premier Dalton McGuinty’s argument that he didn’t know his staff had deleted all their e-mails.

I’m not buying Andrea Horwath’s fake outrage over the e-mails — only to watch her prop up this scandal-plagued government.

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Sen. Mike Duffy resigns from Conservative caucus over expenses scandal

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is standing by his chief of staff despite a growing scandal involving Sen. Mike Duffy, but the senator found himself on the outs with his party and was booted from the Conservative caucus Thursday night.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Duffy would have to sit as an Independent, although it was not immediately clear how long Duffy would have to sit out of the Tory fold.

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Trudeau defends embattled Senator Mac Harb

OTTAWA -- Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau may be willing to forgive and forget the sins of a Grit senator accused of abusing expense claim rules.

Embattled Sen. Mac Harb will be "absolutely" welcomed back into the Liberal fold if he pays back expenses following an investigation on Senate expense claims, Trudeau said Sunday.

"For me, there's a real difference between what Mac Harb is going through and what senators Duffy and Wallin seem to have on their plate," Trudeau said on Global's program, The West Block.

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Wynne won’t provide deadline for auto insurance cuts

TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne won’t give a “firm” deadline for bringing down auto insurance rates by 15%.

“We have said that if the budget passes that we will implement a 15% reduction and that we will do it as quickly as possible,” Wynne said Thursday. “It would be an average reduction across the province.”

New Democrat MPP Jagmeet Singh said the rate cut is possible within a year, and it’s a “serious concern” that the Liberals aren’t prepared to commit to that implementation deadline.

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Peter MacKay would consider leaving Conservatives if leadership selection rules changed

Peter MacKay says he would think about leaving the Conservative Party he helped found, if the rules currently in place to choose the next leader are changed at the party’s convention in Calgary later this month.

Asked about the implications of proposed changes to introduce one member, one vote for the next leader, Mr. MacKay said on Wednesday: “People would leave the party.”

Asked if he would be one of them, he replied: “I’d think about it. It would be a very different party with a very different future.”

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Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney - Bail-in Would Include Deposits

Speaking in advance of G20 and IMF meetings, Carney appeared to disagree with the approach taken in Cyprus last month that involved taxing deposits, but would not state his personal position because he said it might be misconstrued.

"The bail-in approach broadly speaking, not bail-in as it was performed a couple of weeks ago in Cyprus, but bail-in as a component of addressing systemic risk ... is an absolutely necessary element, it doesn't solve everything but it's absolutely necessary," he said.

As for Cyprus, he said simply: "It's done."

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Debate over system for picking Conservative leader causing party strife, MacKay says

Peter MacKay says he’s getting a bad case of deja vu heading into this month’s Conservative convention.

In an interview, the defence minister described his exasperation with a passionate debate on party leadership rules that turns up like clockwork at the party’s conventions, which are held every two years.

“There’s a bit of a refusal to accept the strong will of the party by bringing this forward time and time again,” MacKay said in an interview from Brussels.

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Ontario premier's signature on Oakville gas plant record, document shows

TORONTO -- It's Premier Kathleen Wynne's signature on an Oakville gas plant record.

Everyone could agree on that Thursday, but opinions veered sharply on the significance, if any, of this latest twist in the cancelled gas plants' saga.

Tory energy critic Vic Fedeli said the Liberal government failed to turn over the cover page of a cabinet document authorizing the energy minister to enter into negotiations with TransCanada Energy Limited for damages stemming from the 2010 decision to cancel the Oakville gas plant.

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Independent thought crawls out of the blasted landscape of Canadian politics

You say Canadian politics has got you down? That it’s nothing but spin, talking points, and scandal, scandal, scandal? You say that politics in this country has never been more venal, more trivial, more devoid of intelligence?

What, you expected me to disagree with you?

And yet, there is some good news to report. While attention has focused, rightly, on the appalling state into which our parliamentary democracy has fallen — the sterility of the debates, the rigidity of party discipline, the autocratic powers of the prime minister — here and there on this blasted political landscape the first shoots of independent thought have begun to reappear.

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Liberals sweep past Tories in latest poll — even without Trudeau as leader, as NDP heads for disaster

The Liberals have swept past the Conservatives in popularity, according to a new poll, with Canadians now clearly preferring a Grit government — even without Justin Trudeau as leader.

But with the long-expected coronation of Trudeau now less than 10-days away, the Forum Poll for the National Post finds the Liberals would win a clear majority with the Montreal MP as its figurehead.

The numbers show 33% of respondents would vote for the Liberal Party under outgoing leader Bob Rae, compared to 29% for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. The Official Opposition NDP garners 25% support, while the Greens trail far behind at 6%.

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