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    gre
    Trey Capnerhurst#Harper Helps Stop UN Plan To Rid World Of Nukes #canada http://t.co/A4jwo7QF0K
    Wed 10:46 pm | Alberta, Edmonton East
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    ndp
    David FinnisSpeculation increasing that 2015 election writ will be dropped in August Opposition MPs say they have heard speculation about a possible Conservative plan to begin the election period perhaps as early as Aug. 5 after the Finance Canada ads on the universal child care benefits end. The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. By TIM NAUMETZ | Published: Tuesday, 05/26/2015 10:48 am EDT Last Updated: Wednesday, 05/27/2015 1:52 pm EDT PARLIAMENT HILL—The growing stack of leader debates for the October election, combined with the timing of Finance Canada ads that are still touting billions of dollars in tax breaks and higher child allowance benefits this year, have opposition MPs speculating the Conservative government may kick off the official federal election campaign earlier than anticipated and possibly increasing the national spending limit by more than $8-million. NDP and Liberal MPs said they have heard speculation about a possible Conservative plan to begin the election period perhaps as early as August after the Finance Canada ads end. “They are in the best position to run a long campaign. Their war chest is bursting at the seams,” NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, Man.) told The Hill Times. “It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Conservatives foisted a 90-day writ period on us. Let’s face it, the election period has already begun for all intents and purposes. … It could well be they intend to campaign on the taxpayer's expense until midsummer, then drop the writ and spend their own war chest for three months.” Liberal MP David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Ont.)—pointing out that the benefits of an extended writ period following the Conservative amendments to Canada Elections Act provisions on election expense limits—said he also has been asked about the possibility of a longer campaign. Based on projections from the 2011 election expense limits, the party spending limit for a minimum 37-day campaign on Oct. 19, 2015, would be roughly $22-million for parties that run candidates in all 338 ridings. A decision to issue election writs at the end of August rather than in mid-September would give parties with the means the ability to spend at least $8-million more during the writ period for this election for expenses that would qualify for a 50 per cent reimbursement from Elections Canada. The opportunity for higher reimbursements to accompany higher election expenses that would result from a longer campaign stems from Conservative changes to federal election law—automatic and pro-rated increases to party and candidate spending limits should a federal election writ period be longer than the minimum 37 days required under the Canada Elections Act. Campaign advertising prior to the election period would not qualify for the reimbursement from taxpayers, but would follow closely on the heels of a multi-million-dollar ad campaign the Finance Department placed, with the direct approval of Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) and his Cabinet, to run from May 4 until Sunday, Aug. 4. The advertising, which focuses on benefits and tax breaks Finance Canada told The Hill Times last week will give a typical two-income family of four tax relief and child benefits of “up to $6,600 in 2015,” coincidentally is also being aired during three federal byelections the government launched on May 3, to be held Oct. 19. Although Government of Canada Communications Policy prohibits all but essential departmental advertisements during the general election, the prohibition does not apply to byelections. The election expense limit for byelection candidates in Peterborough, Ont., is $508,682; $467,778 in Ottawa West-Nepean, Ont., and $446,064 in Sudbury, Ont. The expense limit for parties who have candidates in each of the three byelections is a total of $1.14-million, which can be spread among the three electoral districts or spent in only one or two. The unprecedented number of leader debates for a federal general election in Canada—now a total of eight including five the Conservative Party has said Mr. Harper will attend, two sponsored by CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and Global which Mr. Harper will not attend and another hosted by a women’s group that NDP Leader Tom Mulcair (Outremont, Que.) has agreed to attend—would guarantee a debate every week, sometimes perhaps two or three, during a normal five-week campaign. One of the debates being proposed by Rogers Communications, hosted by its Maclean’s, would be prior to the start of the election writ period, normally termed as the campaign period. A further consideration for the opposition parties as they try to scrutinize government motives is the fact that more than $3-billion in the enhanced child allowance payments will go out to all families on July 20, in the middle of the Finance Canada ads and only weeks before even the normal start of a 37-day writ period and campaign for the Oct. 19 voting day. The Conservative Party raised $20.1-million from individuals in tax-deductible contributions in 2014, compared to $15.7-million raised by the Liberal Party and the $9.5-million raised by the NDP. tnaumetz@hilltimes.com The Hill Times
    Wed 8:17 pm | British Columbia, Okanagan--Coquihalla
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    ndp
    Marc LaferriereMade it home in time for local campaign meeting at our office. Busy week. Loving it. No place like home though :)
    Wed 6:14 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    John ParryCall on Party Leaders and MPs to Commit to Full Public Review of Defence and Security Policy https://t.co/CmqOdNUkbV via @sharethis
    Wed 5:42 pm | Saskatchewan, Saskatoon—Wanuskewin
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    ndp
    Marc LaferriereRegister for Tomorrow's Free Rally and Bus Trip with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, MPP Catherine Fife, Diane Freeman and myself. Bus leaves at 5:30pm from 69 Erie Ave. Be a part of it.
    Wed 2:53 pm | Ontario, Brant
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    ndp
    Brian WhiteIt was an honour to bring this motion forward. All workplaces must be safe for all workers. Everyone deserves to return home from work.
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    ndp
    David FinnisA sad day indeed when schools can't teach kids about how democracy works.
    Wed 12:57 pm | British Columbia, Okanagan--Coquihalla
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    ndp
    Wed 12:54 pm | British Columbia, Okanagan--Coquihalla
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    ndp
    Trish McAuliffeRally at Queens Park Noon tomorrow...are you in the fight? SIgned the petitons, sent letters, called your MPP lately. Act now ... or never complaint you can't turn on your air condition ony because you didn't turn up the heat on Wynne's government. Act now.
    Wed 12:25 pm | Ontario, Whitby—Oshawa
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    gre
    Trey CapnerhurstOil royalties meaningfully compared #Alberta #raisethem http://t.co/Wd5muLJ3ut "Changing royalties..isn't going to change where the oil is."
    Wed 12:09 pm | Alberta, Edmonton East
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    ndp
    Wed 12:07 pm | Ontario, Whitby—Oshawa
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    ndp
    Wed 12:00 pm | Ontario, Whitby—Oshawa
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    ndp
    Trish McAuliffeSome of you asked for it & YOU got it, reposted. Share far and wide!
    Wed 11:34 am | Ontario, Whitby—Oshawa
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    ndp
    Marc SpoonerYeah right. "I did it all myself, why don't you."
    Wed 10:38 am | Saskatchewan, Wascana

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