By Tim Naumetz iPolitics Tues., Jan. 29, 2019 The day of firsts when the Commons opened sittings in Parliament Hill’s West Block Monday included a special first for Indigenous MPs — the first time a member of Parliament delivered an entire speech in an Indigenous language with translation provided by the House of Commons. The breakthrough came following months of Commons study after Indigenous Quebec MP Romeo Saganash, a New Democrat, challenged a Speaker’s ruling in 2017 that the Commons did not have the capacity to translate Indigenous languages — which total more than 60 in Canada. Manitoba Liberal MP Robert Falcon-Ouellette timed the first use of Indigenous translation during debate on a Conservative motion proposing to establish May 5 as “Dutch Heritage Day” in Canada. Unusual as it sounds, the choice was a match for the motion from southwestern Ontario Conservative MP Dave Van Kesteren. Falcon-Ouellette, like other MPs who … [Read more...] about Historic day for House of Commons also historic day for First Nations
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By Chantal Hébert Star Columnist Mon., Jan. 21, 2019 MONTREAL—Justin Trudeau is not the only federal leader who could benefit from the decline of the NDP in Quebec come next fall’s general election. The Bloc Québécois, under its latest leader, is also banking on the weakness of the New Democrats under Jagmeet Singh to help it earn back official party status in the House of Commons next fall. It might just work. Winning a dozen seats — up only two from the sovereigntist party’s current MP complement — might seem like a modest goal for a parliamentary group that once held the lofty title of official opposition but it was only a few months ago that the Bloc was given up for dead. Having narrowly avoided implosion, the party has put its divisions behind it or at least set them aside to kick off the election year under a just-acclaimed new leader. Article Continued Below Yves-François Blanchet sat in the … [Read more...] about Can Quebec’s Bloc Québécois win back party status in the House of Commons?
By Marco Vigliotti iPolitics Fri., Dec. 14, 2018 Canadians spent more than $65 million in the first nine months of 2018 to support the work of MPs in the House of Commons, including over $37 million for government-employee salaries. Total spending increased by roughly $1.84 million over the first nine months of 2017, due mostly to a $1.48-million hike in employee salaries. The figures come from the latest Members’ Expenditures Report, released by the Board of Internal Economy earlier this week. The expenditure report divides costs by those charged to MPs’ individual office budgets and resources provided by House administration. These are costs incurred by the House of Commons to support MPs in their parliamentary functions, such as committee work, as well as unprocessed travel claims. Collectively, MPs used roughly $57 million from their member budgets, while $8.37 million in spending was shouldered by House administration, mostly travel ($4.42 million) … [Read more...] about House of Commons has spent $1.8 million more this year than last
By Alex Ballingall Ottawa Bureau Tues., May 1, 2018 OTTAWA—Chief Kimberly Jonathan had tears in her eyes as she spoke about witnessing more than 250 MPs call on Pope Francis to apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indigenous residential school system. Jonathan was on Parliament Hill Tuesday to watch MPs in the House of Commons vote in support of a New Democratic Party motion for a papal apology. The tally was 269 to 10, with most MPs from every party joining the call for the pontiff to apologize for the church’s role in the school system that was deemed a tool of “cultural genocide” by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2015. “It’s more moving than I can express,” said Jonathan, chief of the Saskatchewan-based Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. “We stood together today in Canada.” Tuesday’s motion included an invitation to Pope Francis to come to Canada and … [Read more...] about House of Commons makes ‘historic’ call for residential school apology from Pope Francis
By Alex Ballingall Ottawa Bureau Sat., April 21, 2018 OTTAWA—Nicola Di Iorio sleeps five hours a night, but he says that’s enough to keep his motor going overtime — which is exactly what he has to do. For not only is he the federal representative for some 114,000 Montrealers, he maintains a side hustle as an active litigator who co-manages a gaggle of labour lawyers at a firm in Quebec’s biggest city. The Liberal MP for St-Léonard—St-Michel is, in effect, moonlighting as a labour lawyer, making him one of the few members of the House of Commons who have declared income from second jobs since the 2015 election, according to a Star analysis of records published on the federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’s website. In Di Iorio’s case, he also teaches classes at a local university, volunteers for three non-profit organizations, and is writing a book on labour law. “MPs ought to keep something … [Read more...] about Moonlighting MPs: Does your representative in the House of Commons have a second job?