Weekly Round-Up: December 6

December 6th, 2013 by Dan Allan

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

Nelson Mandela dies at 95

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died yesterday at age 95. An anti-apartheid activist imprisoned for 27 years, Mandela later served as president from 1994 to 1999. Mandela was the first living person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship, became the first foreign leader awarded the Order of Canada and addressed the Canadian Parliament in 1990 and 1998.

Election date update

Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz announced plans this week to push the next provincial election back by about six months to April 25, 2016. The province was previously scheduled to vote on October 5, 2015; this would have conflicted with the next federal election, which is scheduled for October 19, 2015. The Northwest Territories, Manitoba, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Yukon and Saskatchewan face similar conflicts.

Nova Scotia is currently the only province without a fixed election date, but that may soon change. Premier Stephen McNeil says a move to set a fixed election could come as early as next spring, and opposition leader Jamie Baillie introduced legislation that would set the election for the second Tuesday in October 2017.

Manitoba’s Morris constituency is still without a by-election date, despite having been vacant for nearly 300 days. PC MLA Mavis Taillieu resigned her seat on February 12, 2013, but NDP Premier Greg Selinger still has not announced the date for the by-election. PC leader Brian Pallister notes that Morris has now set the record for the province’s longest by-election wait.

Google goes behind the scenes on Parliament Hill

Google launched their Street View imagery of Parliament Hill back in July, and this week they released new behind the scenes online tours of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Leader of the Opposition, the Memorial Chamber and the Peace Tower Observation Deck. Want more? Check out our blog on Canadian political landmarks you can visit “without leaving your couch.”

Senator David Braley resigns

Conservative Senator David Braley has resigned three years before his mandatory retirement. Braley was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010 and currently owns two CFL teams: the Toronto Argonauts and BC Lions.

Samara examines MP websites

Our friends at Samara have kindly mentioned us and our work in several of their “Friday Fill(ibuster)” blogs. Today we’re happy to return the favour!

Their team combed through Canadian MPs websites and found that Members of Parliament do a great job of providing basic information about themselves. They struggle, however, at offering ways for Canadians to engage in political discussion or have input on decisions and policy. Amazingly, 5 MPs did not have a website at all!

Visit the Samara website for more information, including a cool infographic on their findings.

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

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