Tease the day: Bell/Astral deal denied, omnibus critics abound

Oh, and new allegations about Liberal corruption in 2005

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

If only the Liberals were still in power, the fun the Conservatives would have in Question Period today. The London Free Press reports that Joe Fontana, a former Liberal cabinet minister and current mayor of London, Ont., apparently paid for his son’s 2005 wedding reception with government funds. You might recall that during the week before that wedding, accusations flew in the House of Commons about Liberal corruption. Imagine that. Somewhere, Pierre Poilievre is smiling. Anyway, on to the rest of today’s headlines. Telecom was, as you might expect if you followed the CRTC yesterday, big news.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the CRTC’s decision to reject BCE Inc.’s $3-billion takeover of Astral Media. Beneath a photo of protests in Greece, the National Post also fronts the CRTC’s BCE/Astral decision. The paper’s top online story is a John Ivison column about how MP pension changes could “spur” an “MP exodus” from Ottawa. The Toronto Star‘s top national stories, though below the fold, are about the Conservatives’ omnibus budget bill and, not surprisingly, the BCE/Astral decision. The Ottawa Citizen leads with what pension changes in the public service mean for public servants. iPolitics fronts a story about the prospective Canada-China investment deal. National Newswatch links to a London Free Press story that alleges the feds paid for a 2005 wedding reception for former Liberal cabinet minister Joe Fontana’s son.


Stories that will dominate the Hill Stories that will be (mostly) missed
1. Omnibus budget bill. The opposition will hammer the government on several elements of the budget bill until the second it receives Royal Assent. Their primary concern is the same as with the last omnibus bill: It’s just too big. 1. Hacking from the Hill? Janvier Doyon-Tremblay, 28, works in the House of Commons. He was charged by the RCMP with hacking into the Quebec website in April. Doyon-Tremblay was also under contract with the RCMP at the time.
2. Pension changes. Beyond the size of the omnibus bill, MPs will query the government on how it allegedly creates a “two-tiered” pension system among federal public servants that unions, who agree with pension changes generally, oppose. 2. New voices on the UN security council. Rwanda, Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg and South Korea all won seats on the council. Finland felt Canada’s pain of two years past, as it failed to win a seat of its own.

Scorecard for yesterday’s Tease: Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue was under fire during Question Period for a second day, and the omnibus budget bill’s introduction yesterday morning meant it played a starring role in QP. Neither were mentioned in the Tease, though food safety—which was included—still played prominently.




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Tease the day: Bell/Astral deal denied, omnibus critics abound

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