Weekly Round-Up: October 18

October 18th, 2013 by Dan Allan

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

The Speech from the Throne

The second session of Canada’s 41st Parliament opened on Wednesday with the reading of the Speech from the Throne. Read by Governor General David Johnston, the hour-long speech is considered the unofficial start of the 2015 federal election campaign.

Did you miss it? You can watch it on the Parliament of Canada website or read the complete text. The Globe and Mail has compiled “twenty-six must-know things” from the speech.

Notably, the speech announced that 16-year-old girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai will become Canada’s sixth honourary citizen, joining the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.

The aftermath of the Nova Scotia election

More than a week has passed since the Nova Scotia provincial election where Stephen McNeil’s Liberals won a majority government. McNeil announced this week that Kirby McVicar would be his chief of staff, and that he would be naming his cabinet next week.

Outgoing Premier Darrell Dexter met with the NDP caucus and announced that he will stay on as party leader for now. Jamie Baillie, the new Leader of the Opposition, also met with the newly-elected PC caucus.

Our friends at Springtide Collective released their analysis of the election, and they believe that the results show “deep problems” with the First-Past-The-Post electoral system as “most Nova Scotians voted for candidates that lost.”

Possible Senate suspensions

The Senate of Canada moved on Thursday to suspend senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin without pay. Another motion moved to reinstate the suspension of Senator Patrick Brazeau. The three Conservative senators have been the subject of scrutiny over expense claims, and other conduct.

The suspensions, which would also strip the senators of Senate resources and benefits, will be debated next week. Duffy announced on Thursday that he would be taking a medical leave from the Senate.

Alberta electoral news

Albertans head to the polls on Monday for municipal elections where they will elect mayors, councillors and school trustees. For more information, including new voter ID requirements, visit the Alberta Ministry of Municipal Affairs website.

An all-party legislative committee is “close to a decision” on the province’s next chief electoral officer. The chief electoral officer runs all general elections, by-elections and plebiscites, and monitors financial disclosure made by political parties, candidates and constituency associations. Former chief electoral officer Brian Fjeldheim retired at the end of April.

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

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