Weekly Round-Up: January 31, 2014

January 31st, 2014 by Dan Allan

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

Parliament is back in business

The House of Commons returned on Monday to resume the Second Session of the 41st Parliament. Elected in November’s by-elections, new MPs Larry Maguire, Ted Falk, Chrystia Freeland and Emmanuel Dubourg took their seats for the first time.

The Liberal Party shared their plans for Senate reform on Wednesday when leader Justin Trudeau announced that all 32 Liberal senators would be removed from the Liberal caucus and will now sit as independents in the red chamber.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May also announced that former NDP MP Bruce Hyer would become the party’s deputy chief.

NL cabinet shuffle and leadership speculation

Tom Marshall shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday in his first major move as interim premier. The Progressive Conservative leadership race that will ultimately determine the next premier is expected to be held in late May or June. Businessman Bill Barry announced that he will run this week, and the CBC reports that other potential candidates could include lobbyist Tim Powers (who took part in last year’s Student Budget Consultation panel) and Senator Fabian Manning.

Tories sweep Manitoba by-elections

Two Manitoba ridings held by-elections on Tuesday, and the Progressive Conservative candidates won both: Shannon Martin in Morris and Doyle Piwniuk in Arthur-Virden. Only 27.7 per cent of eligible voters cast ballots in Morris and just 33.5 per cent voted in Arthur-Virden. Turnout was negatively impacted by “chilly weather and [a] recent pipeline explosion.”

Farewell, Western Block Party

Not be to mistaken for an outdoor social gathering at a London, Ontario university, the Western Block Party was founded in 2005 and ran four candidates in the 2011 federal election. The party failed to submit 250 member declarations as required by the Canada Elections Act and has been deregistered by Elections Canada.

What we’re up to

We’re taking part in British Columbia’s 2013 Provincial General Election Conference in Vancouver this weekend, hosted by UBC’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions. We’re excited to share details on our 2013 BC Student Vote program, where more than 100,000 students engaged in the provincial election.

Olivia continues meeting with MPs and we are getting ready to share the Student Budget Consultation results, so check back soon for more details!

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

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