In case you missed it: The summer's 10 biggest Canadian political stories
Centre Block is shown through the gates of Parliament Hill on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (Justin Tang / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Since the House of Commons stopped sitting on last June, politicians have been occupied addressing legal problems, trading allegations against opposing parties, and responding to international crises.
With summer coming to an end, CTVNews.ca rounded up 10 of the season’s biggest political stories to catch you up before House of Commons action resumes on Sept. 15:
1. A summer of international crises
Global events dominated headlines this summer, with Russia taking increasingly bold steps toward Ukraine, the Islamic State creating a humanitarian disaster in Iraq and Syria, and a seven-week conflict in Gaza that left more than 2,000 people dead.
In response, the Canadian government deployed military supplies to support Ukrainian troops and enforced sanctions against Russia. It also helped shuttle weapons into Iraq to help ward off Islamic State militants, and stood firmly in support of Israel amidst the Gaza conflict.
2. Suspended senator Mike Duffy hit with 31 charges
The RCMP charged the suspended senator with 31 criminal charges, including fraud, breach of trust, and bribery of a judicial official. Duffy is expected back in court on Sept. 16 for a trial that may have further implications for other senators accused of misspending.
3. Michael Sona found guilty in Robocalls case
The former Conservative staffer was convicted of election fraud in August for using automated phone calls to mislead voters in Guelph, Ont., in the 2011 federal election.
The Conservatives distanced themselves from the incident, but Judge Gary Hearn said Sona “did not likely act alone.”
4. PM says no to inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women
Despite growing calls for a public inquiry following the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg, Harper said police investigations are the best way to address crimes against aboriginal women.
5. Historic Supreme Court of Canada ruling grants First Nation’s land title
The court’s unanimous 8-0 decision recognized the Tsilhqot’in First Nation’s claim to 1,750 square kilometres of territory and their right to a say in economic development of the area.
The landmark ruling may impact the future of the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which the federal government approved just before the beginning of the summer.
6. NDP to fight mail scandal ruling
In July, the NDP announced it would appeal a Board of Internal Economy decision to fine the party $1.17 million for sending mail that was ruled partisan. And then in August, the same decision-making board ruled that the NDP also misspent tax money by employing staffers in satellite offices.
7. Liberals beat NDP in key Toronto byelection
Liberal candidate Adam Vaughan beat the New Democrat hopeful Joe Cressy to win a key byelection in Toronto’s Trinity-Spadina riding, where Jack Layton’s widow, Olivia Chow, once held a seat.
Leading up to the byelection, pundits predicted the Trinity-Spadina race would act as a measure of how Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau may fare in future elections.
8. Changes proposed to prostitution laws: Bill C-36
The House of Commons Justice committee met for a rare summer session to discuss Bill C-36, Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s response to the Bedford case ruling. The government says that, if passed, their new legislation would protect at-risk women, but critics say it puts sex trade workers at risk.
9. Leaders hit the road
Harper, Mulcair, and Trudeau all travelled across the country this summer giving speeches and posing for photo-ops. The leaders publicly celebrated holidays, attended the Calgary Stampede, spoke at party events, and met with local politicians and voters.
10. Premiers met in Charlottetown
The premiers met at the end of the summer to discuss provincial priorities. They agreed on a need for more federal funding for health care and infrastructure.
Members of Parliament return to the House of Commons in Ottawa on Sept. 15.
CTV's Question Period returns Sunday morning at 11 a.m. ET. (Check your local listings for details.)