Weekly Round-Up: December 19, 2014

December 19th, 2014 by Dan Allan

Each Friday, CIVIX provides a digest of the major events in Canadian politics.

A ‘Wild’ week in Alberta politics

The last week before the holidays is usually light on political news but 2014 has proved to be the exception. Alberta has already had a busy political year – Jim Prentice is the province’s third premier in nine months – and the past week has only made things more interesting.

Wildrose leader Danielle Smith led a “mass defection” of MLAs to join Prentice’s Progressive Conservative caucus this week. Joining Smith in crossing the floor are Rob Anderson, Gary Bikman, Rod Fox, Jason Hale, Bruce McAllister, Blake Pedersen, Bruce Rowe and Jeff Wilson.

It was initially reported that the two parties might even officially merge, but many in the Wildrose have “pledged to remain.” The party will begin the process of selecting a new leader in January.

Sudbury shake-up

The Nickel City also had an action-packed week. On Monday, former Ontario Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier announced that he would not run for the party’s nomination in the upcoming Sudbury provincial by-election in favour of an appointed candidate.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Sudbury NDP MP Glenn Thibeault would be leaving federal politics to run provincially for Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals. Both Sudbury by-elections will take place at some point in 2015.

Retirements

Thibeault was not alone in announcing their exit from federal politics. Longtime Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies will not run for re-election, and Senate Clerk Gary O’Brien will retire in February 2015.

Leadership races

The Manitoba NDP leadership campaign is now officially underway! MLA Theresa Oswald will reportedly launch her campaign later today, and current-premier Greg Selinger also plans to run.

Leadership candidates – including Selinger – will be required to pay a $2,000 entry fee and gather signatures of support. There’s more bad news for Selinger: new numbers from Angus Reid show that the premier’s approval rating is just 17 per cent.

What we’ve been up to

We’ve had a busy year! We ran Student Vote parallel election programs for the Ontario provincial electionOntario’s municipal and school board elections and British Columbia’s local government elections. We’re currently in the midst of our third federal Student Budget Consultation program.

In the past week alone we have coordinated twenty Rep Day Member of Parliament classroom visits in high schools across Canada. Participants this week included Speaker Andrew Scheer, Bal Gosal, John McCallum and Rathika Sitsabaiesan.

On behalf of all of us at CIVIX, best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. We’ll see you again in 2015!

For ongoing updates, follow us on Twitter at @CIVIX_Canada.

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