Weekly Round-Up: June 12, 2015

June 12th, 2015 by Dan Allan

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

Upcoming elections

A new poll indicates that the Conservatives, NDP and Liberals are in a “dead heat” with just four months remaining until the October 19 federal election. The results also show that nearly two thirds of respondents would support a coalition government should no one party win enough seats to form a majority.

Need help keeping track of the latest polls? The Toronto Star has released their federal poll tracker. Also of interest is The Hill Times’ list of incumbent MPs not running for re-election.

In other electoral news, the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election has been set for November 30th to avoid a potential conflict with the federal vote. Boundaries will also be changing and the number of MHAs being elected will be 40, down from the current 48.

Party leaderships

The “Old kid on the Bloc” is back! Gilles Duceppe announced on Tuesday that he will return as Bloc Quebecois leader (replacing Mario Beaulieu) and his leadership was confirmed on Wednesday by the party executive. Duceppe had previously led the party from 1997 to 2011. How will Duceppe’s return “change the game”? Éric Grenier offers his insight here.

The Nova Scotia NDP have been without a leader since Darrell Dexter resigned following the 2013 election. There is now a three-way battle for the party’s top job: MLA Dave Wilson and former MLA Gary Burrill entered the race this week, joining MLA Lenore Zann. The new leader will be elected in February 2016.

Results recap

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard‘s Liberals won two provincial by-elections on Monday in the ridings of Jean-Talon and Chauveau. Full results are available on the Elections Quebec website. What do the results mean for politics in the province? The Montreal Gazette has a great explainer.

Voting ended for the Metro Vancouver Transportation and Transit Plebiscite last month. Elections BC announced last week that the results would be released before the end of the month.

Legislature lowdown

In Prince Edward Island, “bringing decorum and civility” to the provincial legislature has been a “challenge” in the aftermath of last month’s election. For example, possible dates for the province’s finance minister to deliver the spring budget are being pushed back due to Opposition Leader Steven Myersunofficial filibustering of his Throne Speech reply.

In Alberta, Lois Mitchell will be installed as the 18th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta today at the legislature in Edmonton. Mitchell takes over from Donald Ethell, who held the post since 2010. Yesterday, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner was selected by his peers as the legislature’s new Speaker and a Throne Speech will be read on Monday.

In Manitoba, MLAs reached an agreement to sit for a minimum 90 days per year, not counting time in committee and in their constituencies. This change makes Manitoba one of the longest-sitting legislatures in the country. The province heads to the polls in April 2016.

If you’re a history buff, we recommend this interesting recap of the century-long “capital quarrel” between Fredericton and Saint John that began in 1784 to see which city would host the provincial government. We know that Fredericton came out on top, but Saint John certainly put up a good fight.

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

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