Weekly Round-Up: January 24, 2014

January 24th, 2014 by Dan Allan

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

Kathy Dunderdale resigns as NL premier

Kathy Dunderdale announced on Wednesday that she would step down as premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. Finance Minister Tom Marshall will become the interim premier. Dunderdale will remain on as the Progressive Conservative MHA for Virginia Waters.

Dunderdale took over as premier and PC leader from Danny Williams in 2010 and won a majority government in 2011. The party has suffered in the polls over the past year and Dunderdale noted that, “just as you know when it’s time to step up, you also know when it is time to step back.”

The next provincial election is scheduled for October 13, 2015, but this week’s news could change that. Many expect that a new PC leader will be elected in the next few months and, according to the Elections Act, an election must be held within a year of the new premier being sworn in.

Harper becomes first Canadian PM to address the Knesset

Prime Minister Stephen Harper became the first Canadian leader to address the Israeli legislature on Monday as part of his Middle Eastern tour. Two members of the Knesset heckled Harper before walking out of the speech.

The Everyday Political Citizen Shortlist

We nominated Fort McMurray teacher and Student Vote Team Leader Sam Livingstone for Samara’s Everyday Political Citizen project. Fourteen notable jurors (including Rick Mercer and Preston Manning) narrowed the list of more than 200 nominees to a shortlist of 13, and we’re proud that Samantha made the cut.

Yellowknife mayor Mark Heyck selected Samantha, noting that she “found creative and effective ways to teach civics in her classroom, but perhaps more importantly, she encouraged her Grade 6 students to bring the importance of political engagement home to their kitchen tables, to discuss the value of political participation with their parents.”

Resignations, floor-crossings and leadership races

Mount Pearl South MHA Paul Lane announced on Monday that he would be crossing the floor from the PC to join the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party. Lane disagreed with Premier Dunderdale’s leadership, and his decision may have contributed to her resignation.

Green Party of Canada deputy leader Adriane Carr stepped down after eight years on the job. Carr is also a Vancouver city councillor and wants to focus on her re-election campaign. Vancouver, and all other BC municipalities, head to the polls in November.

La Pinière MNA Fatima Houda-Pepin resigned from the Quebec Liberal caucus after a disagreement with the party over her pro-secularism stance.

The BC NDP will elect their new leader on September 28th, 2014. Leader Adrian Dix announced last year that he would resign when a new leader was elected.

The week ahead

The House of Commons returns on Monday, and Manitoba’s Morris and Arthur-Virden ridings head to the polls for by-elections on Tuesday.

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

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