Weekly Round-Up: March 14, 2014

March 14th, 2014 by Dan Allan

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

Quebec election update

The first Quebec leaders’ debate will be held on March 20th and will feature PQ Premier Pauline Marois, Liberal leader Philippe Couillard, the Coalition for Quebec’s Future’s Francois Legault and Francoise David of Quebec solidaire. A second leaders’ debate, also in French, has been scheduled for March 27th. Marois again stated that she would not participate in an English debate, even if the format was changed to allow her to speak in French with simultaneous English translation.

Regrettably, there will not be a debate for the “Anarchopanda,” a man in a panda costume running for Parti Nul. The party has no platform and offers voters a chance to vote for “none of the above.”

The latest polls show that the Liberals and PQ are neck and neck with 36 per cent support.

Who wants to be NL premier?

The nomination deadline for the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador’s leadership race is today. The winner will become the province’s next premier. “There’s little interest in the prize,” according to Jane Taber of the Globe and Mail. So far, only businessmen Bill Barry and Frank Coleman have entered the race.

A Speech from the Throne was also held at the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly on Thursday, marking the beginning of the Third Session of the Forty-Seventh General Assembly. You can read or watch Lieutenant-Governor Frank Fagan’s speech here if you missed it.

Nominations, resignations and floor-crossings

Olivia Chow resigned as the MP for Trinity-Spadina on Wednesday to officially enter the Toronto mayoral race. Chow had represented the riding since 2006, and was previously a Toronto city councillor.

Calgary-Foothills MLA Len Webber has left the Alberta PC caucus and will cross the floor to sit as an independent. Webber told the Calgary Herald that Premier Alison’s Redford’s decision to pay back the cost of a trip to South Africa was “too little, too late.” Webber has represented the riding since 2004 and is also seeking the Conservative nomination in Calgary Confederation.

John Barlow won the Conservative nomination for the upcoming Macleod federal by-election. Barlow had previously run as a PC candidate in the 2012 Alberta provincial election where he lost to Wildrose leader Danielle Smith. Twenty-four-year-old Melissa Mathieson also ran for the Macleod nomination; she blogged for us on her decision to run.

Edmonton Centre MP Laurie Hawn announced this week that he would not be running again in the next federal election. Hawn has represented the riding since 2004. We spoke to Hawn about civic education several weeks ago, and a recap of our meeting was posted earlier in the week.

Campbellton-Restigouche Centre PC MLA Greg Davis won’t run in this September’s New Brunswick provincial election due to health reasons. He has represented the riding since 2010.

NWT MLAs ask to postpone election

Northwest Territories MLAs voted this week to ask the federal government to extend the term of the legislative assembly by up to a year. The next NWT election is scheduled for October 2015, but this would coincide with the federal election and multiple municipal elections. Other provinces, like Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island, have already announced plans to push back their elections.

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

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