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Happy Diamond Jubilee!

It’s Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee today –
she has reigned for 60 years! She is the second monarch in Canada’s history to have
done so. Expect a number of celebrations across the country over the next four
months, including a visit from Prince Charles and Camilla, as we mark the
occasion in a pretty big way.

Stephen Harper has declared that the
Toronto-Danforth by-election will be held on March 12, two weeks
before the NDP leadership convention. The PMO's office followed the declaration with a statement about
how the riding was the Liberals’ to lose, based on entirely erroneous electoral
history in the riding. Klassy!

The fact that the mandatory minimums for
pot growers are worse than those for child sex offences in Bill C-10 did reach the
PMO after it was pointed out in media and in the various justice committee
hearings in the Commons – not that they adjusted their talking points when the bill reached the Senate. Rob Nicholson didn’t answer a direct question on the
topic when questioned about it.

John Baird invoked Mein Kampf and the Nazi
Holocaust when talking about Iran’s potential nuclear armament on television
yesterday, entirely with a straight face. Because apparently that kind of
grossly inflated rhetoric isn’t going to be a problem.

On that note, international affairs expert Roland Paris looks at the Harper government’s use of fear in its
messaging for both foreign and domestic policy.

What’s that? National Defence is being hosed by private contractors who aren’t doing the work they’re being paid to
do? You don’t say!

Here is a look at some of the changing
demographics
 and population shifts in the country, now and over the next 20
years.

The CBC lists seven topics for Harper to
address during his trip to China this week.

Colby Cosh at Maclean’s gives a spectacular takedown of the whole situation with
Brad Trost whinging about party discipline.

And Ruth Ellen Brosseau is looking for a parliamentary
assistant
. Funny that you need to be more qualified for the job than the MP,
and you get paid less than a third as much.

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