QP's top 10 political stories of the year
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, December 28, 2014 9:50AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 28, 2014 12:18PM EST
A shooter in Parliament, another war in the Middle East, and battles at home over pipelines and controversial legislation -- it's been a busy year in Canadian politics.
Accompanied by a panel of Canada's top political journalists, CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife counted down the top stories of the year on CTV’s Question Period on Dec. 28.
Here’s a look at the list:
1. Ottawa shooting shocks the capital
On the morning of Oct. 22, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial, and then raced onto Parliament Hill. The House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers, became a national hero when he gunned down the attacker inside Centre Block.
2. Harper versus the Supreme Court of Canada
From rejecting Harper’s appointment of Marc Nadon to blocking his attempts to reform the Senate, the Supreme Court of Canada repeatedly went head to head with the prime minister in 2014.
3. Violence in the Ukraine stirred Cold-War era tensions
Russian forces moved into the Crimean peninsula in February, and violence in the Eastern Ukraine had claimed more than 4,700 lives by early December. In response, Canada and its NATO allies introduced sanctions against Russia and sent aid to Ukrainian forces, creating tension with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
4. The tragic shooting in Moncton
Three Mounties lost their lives on June 4 in what police called the “darkest day” in the RCMP’s history in New Brunswick. The shooter responsible for the killing spree, 24 year old Justin Bourque, was later found guilty of three charges of first degree murder.
5. Vets versus Fantino
Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino repeatedly came under fire in 2014: multiple Veterans Affairs offices closed under his watch and then he was accused of disrespecting veterans; an Auditor General report found that veterans have trouble accessing disability benefits; and documents emerged revealing Veterans Affairs returned $1.1 billion to the Federal Treasury.
6. The Canadian economy: tax cuts and a surplus
The Conservative government doled out tax cuts this fall in anticipation of a surplus budget.
7. Pipeline politics
Keystone XL, Northern Gateway, Energy East, and the Transmountain pipeline all created deep divides between environmental activists and oilsands supporters, and a landmark Supreme Court decision ruled that First Nations will have more say in development projects on their land.
8. Fair Elections Act
The Conservative majority government pushed the controversial Bill C-23, also called the Fair Elections Act, through parliament in May. The bill was widely criticized as restricting marginalized Canadians’ access to voting and stifling Elections Canada.
9. Allegations of harassment in parliament
Justin Trudeau’s choice to suspend two Liberal MPs over “allegations of personal misconduct,” opened up the conversation on harassment in Canadian politics and led to a new harassment prevention policy in the House. Since Trudeau’s decision, one female MP has spoken anonymously about one of the allegations that led to a suspension. The accused MPs maintain their innocence.
10. Canada at war: airstrikes against ISIS
Canada officially joined the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in the first week of October, committing six CF-18 fighter jets, two Aurora surveillance planes, one C-150 refuelling jet, and about 600 personnel to the mission.