Erin O’Toole enters the Conservative Party Leadership Race #CPC #cdnpoli

MP for Durham Erin O’Toole is entering the Conservative Party leadership race. O’Toole says he is best placed to lead the Conservative Party into the next election because of his experience in the military and his track record as a cabinet minister.

“We need to reconnect with more Canadians, we need to show Canadians that government can and must be more than sunny ways slogans and photo ops. We need to build on the strengths and successes of our past while actively seeking opportunities to win back the trust of Canadians.”

The Ontario MP, who most recently served as public safety critic in his party’s shadow cabinet, acknowledged that many Canadians might not yet recognize his name.

“Today, all I ask is that Canadians take the time to get to know me, and the Conservative team, a little better. We will be there for you and your families in 2019,” he said, referring to the next election. “I think Canadians did not vote for high deficits, higher taxes, and we’re going to remind them of that in a bit of a fresh way.”

The Ontario MP had previously run for the interim leadership of the Conservatives, but lost to Rona Ambrose.

“The interim leadership race was a great experience for me. The difference from that race, and this one, is I intend to win this one,” he said to laughs from supporters.

He has the backing of 10 sitting MPs, including Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo), Todd Doherty (Cariboo-Prince George), Blake Richards (Banff–Airdrie), Michael Cooper (St. Albert-Edmonton), Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon–Grasswood), James Bezan (Selkirk–Interlake–Eastman), Robert Sopuck, Dauphin–Swan River–Neepawa), Jamie Schmale (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock), John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil) and Colin Carrie (Oshawa).

O’Toole was first elected to the House of Commons in a 2012 by-election to replace Bev Oda, who resigned.

Source: CBC

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Tony Clement drops out of the Conservative leadership race #cdnpoli #CPC

Conservative MP Tony Clement is ending his bid to lead the Conservative Party.

“Unfortunately upon review I’ve come to the conclusion that we really haven’t met the goals as I had wanted to. Accordingly, I have decided to end my leadership campaign,” Clement said.

“I make this decision not very lightly of course, but owing to the financial realities, it’s very clear that I cannot expose my family to any further financial risk at this time.”

Clement didn’t say whether he’d throw his support behind another candidate. For now, he says, he’ll focus on supporting interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose.

Source: CTV

Government modifies tax credit for TV Talk Shows #cdnpoli

The government has modified a tax credit now making TV talk shows eligible to receive funding.

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly was unable to provide a cost for the retroactive tax credit, but indicated it would create jobs in the industry.

“Talk shows are important platforms for our local talent and give a voice to Canadian diversity. This genre provides a platform to discuss current issues and promote Canadian arts and culture,” Joly said in a statement emailed to CBC News. “Opening the tax credits to the talk show genre will certainly stimulate job creation in the sector.”

The tax credit has been at the centre of a controversy in recent months after a reinterpretation of the rules by government officials led to shows like Marie-France Bazzo’s BazzoTV losing its tax credit.

The move could also benefit television production companies in the rest of Canada where talk shows, up until now, have been largely produced in house by television networks.

“It would give those [shows] an opportunity to develop in Canada and be financed — so that is a positive step for the Canadian production community,” said Stephen Selznick, a media and entertainment lawyer with Cassels Brock in Toronto.

Selznick said it will be interesting to see whether provincial governments follow the federal government’s lead and change their own rules to allow talk shows to be eligible for their programs.

The Canadian Media Producers Association was pleased with the government’s move.

“The CMPA welcomes the government’s modifications to this tax credit program, as it will provide stakeholders with certainty regarding funding eligibility for a broader range of Canadian content productions,” said Andrew Addison, vice-president of communications and marketing.

“Ultimately this move supports the production of content that has a strong audience demand.

However, tax watchdogs question whether a government running a deficit should be handing out tax money to talk shows.

“It seems like a very strange thing to do at a time when we are short of money to begin with,” said Aaron Wudrick, federal director for the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation. “I don’t think most Canadians would agree that subsidizing talk shows is a valuable use of their tax money.”

The government’s move centres on the Canadian film or video production tax credit, a program introduced in 1995 to “encourage the creation of Canadian film and television programming.” The fully refundable tax credit is equivalent to 25 per cent of the qualified labour expenditure of an eligible production.

“It’s used by a lot of them to finance,” said Selznick. “Most of them could not produce their content without that credit.”

Source: CBC

Chris Alexander expected to join Conservative leadership race #cdnpoli #CPC

Former immigration minister Chris Alexander is expected to join the race for the federal Conservative leadership.

A source with close knowledge of the race confirms Alexander is gathering the necessary signatures and financial support and building a team for a run.

The source says his campaign is expected to focus on foreign policy and the economy.

Alexander served as Immigration Minister under former PM Stephen Harper.

Alexander became embroiled in controversy during last year’s election campaign amid questions about the government’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis.

He was also criticized for promising, along with then-labour minister Kellie Leitch, to create a telephone tip line to report so-called “barbaric cultural practices.”

Discussion of the Week: Is there a “Statute of Limitations” on what can be used against a candidate running for public office? #cdnpoli #donaldtrump

Just when the US Presidential election couldn’t get crazier, a video from 2005 emerges of Donald Trump essentially saying he can get away with sexual assault because he is a celebrity. Republican nominee for President Trump indicated that these comments were just “locker room” talk, and don’t inform us about his feelings toward women.

A video that is only 10 years old should still inform us about a person’s character and moral judgement. Donald Trump was in his late 50’s when the video was recorded, so he wasn’t much younger than he is now. He wasn’t exactly naive about the nature of male/female relationships having been married multiple times. The only justification Trump could have made for the recording would have been to indicate he didn’t know he was being recorded.

While Trump should certainly be held accountable for the 2005 tape, I started thinking about other candidates/scenarios. Can things we said as children, or teens still be used against us as adults? Is there a significant period of time that we should be allowed to grow/mature/change our views on certain topics? If candidates aren’t allow to have mistakes from their past, would anyone run for public office?

Outside of the more scandalous things people have said, do we respect people who come to change their views, or do we simply mock them Jon Stewart style for flip-flopping and lacking values?

Let me know your feelings in the comments below:

Government tightens mortgage requirements and limits foreign money in Canadian real estate market #cdnpoli #mortgages

Ottawa has announced new rules aimed at limiting foreign money into Canadian real estate and ensuring that borrowers take on mortgages they can afford.

They include a move to close a loophole in the tax laws that allows non-residents to buy homes in Canada, and then get a tax exemption to avoid paying capital gains when they sell the home by claiming it as a principal residence.

Starting now, “an individual who was not a resident in Canada in the year the individual acquired a residence will not be able to claim the exemption for that year,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said.

Canadians who were legitimate residents at both the time of purchase and time of sale will still be able to take advantage of the principal residence tax exemption, the government announced.

In addition to cracking down on tax leakage by foreign money, another change is that from now on, all insured mortgages must undergo a “stress test” that ensures a borrower’s ability to make their mortgage payments at a higher interest rate.

Effectively, that means borrowers will be tested against their ability to pay their mortgage if actual rates were as high as the big bank’s five-year posted mortgage rates, which the Bank of Canada says currently average 4.64 per cent.

That requirement was already in place for many borrowers, including so-called “high-ratio” mortgages for people with small down payments, and borrowers who borrowed money on terms of less than five years.

But from now on, any insured mortgages will be tested against that higher bar. Anyone who already has a mortgage, or who has already applied for mortgage insurance, is exempt from the new rules, which will formally kick in on Oct. 17.

According to interest rate-comparing website RateHub, a hypothetical borrower with $100,000 in annual income and $40,000 to put down on a house today could qualify for a house worth $665,435 with a mortgage at 2.17 per cent, which three lenders are currently offering, according to the site.

But under the new rules, that same buyer could only qualify to buy a home for $505,762, or 24 per cent less than before the rules kick in. The lender is still willing to offer that lower rate, but the borrower would no longer be allowed to get it under the stricter rules, because his or her finances would be tested as though the mortgage rate is more than twice as high as it is in reality.

Source: CBC