Pierre Poilievre gets personal over Fair Elections Act

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Pierre Poilievre gets personal, good news for Canucks fans, welcome Bruce Heyman, the latest on MH370 and an Easter problem

Canada's Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Canada’s Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

The showdown between Pierre Poilievre and Marc Mayrand over the Fair Elections Act continues. Poilievre, the minister for democratic reform who has been given the task of selling the Conservative’s changes to the elections act, took a swipe at the elections watchdog Tuesday. Speaking at a Senate committee in the morning, Poilievre said Mayrand “wants more power for himself, a bigger budget and less accountability.” Mayrand is a long-time civil servant and has been a vocal critic of the changes proposed by the Conservative government. It’s uncommon to see an elected official attack a staff member so personally, and opposition members demanded an apology from Poilievre during question period. While the Prime Minister ignored questions about Poilievre’s behaviour, Poilievre said he stood by his words.

Canucks president and GM Mike Gillis gets the boot. It was a pretty good time for the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, back when they nearly won the Stanley Cup before it was snatched away by the Boston Bruins. (Of course, there was that whole riot thing.) It’s been a downhill slide since then, under the leadership of president and general manager Mike Gillis, with the Canucks failing to even earn a playoff spot this year. Gillis was fired Tuesday, a day after the Canucks lost their last game of the season, to a chorus of “Fire Gillis!” from the crowd. Someone was listening to the fans.

Welcome to Bruce Heyman. The U.S. finally appointed a new ambassador to Canada, after the position was left vacant for nine months. Heyman, a former Chicago investment banker, was expected to meet with Stephen Harper after he met Gov. Gen. David Johnston at Rideau Hall Tuesday. Does this mean we can finally expect a decision on Keystone XL? Speaking to reporters at Rideau Hall, Heyman didn’t have anything new to add on the file.

And then the MH370 pings were gone. Yesterday, officials expressed optimism that they tracked two “pings” consistent with those that would come from the black box on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Today, those pings were gone again. An Australian vessel continues to search near where it located the signals. “We’re throwing everything at this difficult, complex task,” Australia’s defence minister said. The bad news: the batteries in the black box are supposed to last 30 days. The search is now on day 32.

Rob Ford has a chocolaty problem on his hands. The Toronto mayor ordered 10,000 Cadbury Creme eggs in anticipation of handing them out at the annual Easter parade. That was before the Lion’s Club, which organizes the annual event, kindly asked all mayoral candidates and politicians, including Ford, not to attend. And who can blame the Lion’s Club for its decision, considering that Ford creates a scene wherever he goes. The eggs still showed up at the mayor’s office Tuesday, so many that they needed to be loaded onto a pallet for transportation. Now, what’s a mayor to do with 10,000 Easter eggs? (Ford says he’ll donate them to the Lion’s Club if they want them.) Also Tuesday, Ford announced that Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is now part of his campaign team. Yes, that’s the same Johnson who disgraced the country after using drugs at the 1988 Olympics. Here’s a photo from Toronto Sun reporter Don Peat, who captured the egg delivery in progress: