Federal politicians often come across as a little more polished than their provincial and municipal counterparts.

Maybe it's the air in Ottawa or it's being surrounded by all those major cultural institutions.

So is Surrey mayor Dianne Watts ready for a run for the big leagues of Canadian politics in 2015?

She's certainly sharpened her image in the years since she was first elected in 2005. You be the judge.

How much would it cost for the City of Vancouver to buy both the Arbutus rail corridor and Granville Island? The price tags are unclear, but it appears the mayor is willing to pony up the city's dough.

Gregor Robertson has sent a letter to residents along Canadian Pacific Railway's West Side corridor. The July 15 letter states:

One of the Lower Mainland's better-known queer advocates, Imtiaz Popat, has declared that he hopes to get elected to the Vancouver park board this November.

Popat, who ran as a Green council candidate in Surrey in 2011, is seeking a COPE nomination in Vancouver.

Popat was a long-time host on Co-op Radio and has produced videos, founded a support group for LGBT Muslims, and been an environmental and antiwar activist.

He wants to help create a new Vancouver community centre modelled on 519 Church Street in Toronto. It offers programming for the LGBT community and new Canadians.

On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart the other night, Hillary Clinton came very close to admitting that she’ll be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.

On the show to promote her latest book, Hard Choices, Clinton was grilled right off the bat by Stewart as to her presidential ambitions.

While he noted that the book is an “incredibly complex and well-reasoned eyewitness view” of Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, Stewart joked that “I think I speak for everyone when I say no one cares, they just want to know if you’re running for president.”

This morning's Press Progress bulletin from the Broadbent Institute contained a zinger.

A day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of his cabinet were distancing themselves from suspended senator Mike Duffy, those pesky lefties decided to distribute a 2010 video of Old Duff asking for money on behalf of the Conservatives.

"Soon, Canadians will have to decide between a proven leader in Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a visiting professor in Michael Ignatieff," Duffy declares.

Duffy faces 31 criminal counts in connection with Senate expenses, contracts, and a $90,000 payment to him from Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright.

For a couple of weeks, I've had difficulty finding the names of Vision Vancouver board members.

That's because it's not obvious from the party's website.

Even by clicking the "connect" tab, there's no visual indication.

I was only able to find the names of the directors thanks to our brilliant web and technology editor Stephen Hui.

It's not along the top menu bar. Instead, you have to go to the bottom and click "contact".

Here's how I found it after speaking to Stephen. After hittiing "CONNECT" on the home page, I arrived at another page full of information.

Recently, stickers bearing the words “Please Respect Canada’s Official Languages” appeared on bus shelter ads in West Vancouver. The ads in question feature Chinese text.

Today (July 15), NDP deputy leader Libby Davies issued a statement on the matter:

Resorting to vandalism to spread a xenophobic message is cowardly. Canada is a multicultural society and New Democrats understand that diversity strengthens our nation. We call on the local MP, John Weston, to openly speak out against the vandalism and to condemn Putting Canada First - the organization that has led the charge against these Chinese language advertisements.

2013-14 was a good year to be the managing director of B.C. Hydro subsidiary Powerex.

The B.C. government today (July 15) released a list of the 10 best paid public sector executives in the province, and Powerex’s Thomas Bechard is on top.

Here’s the list:

1. Thomas Bechard, managing director of Powerex

  • Salary: $358,800
  • Bonus: $540,000
  • Total compensation: $973,431

2. Stephen Toope, president and vice chancellor of University of British Columbia

District of Kitimat voters rejected Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project in a plebiscite back in April. Green councillor Adriane Carr, who is running for reelection, wants the City of Vancouver to hold a similar vote on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project.

Despite the boundless optimism shown by Toronto mayor Rob Ford (and his brother Doug) regarding this fall's mayoral election, a new poll indicates that the real race might be between two of his challengers.

A Nanos Research Poll that surveyed 600 Torontonians by phone between July 2 and July 5 reveals that John Tory would get the votes of 39.1 percent of decided voters if they went to the polls today.

Olivia Chow would snag 32.7 percent, and Ford languished at 21.7 percent. (David Soknacki and Karen Stintz would round out the field at less than five percent each.)

The random poll, commissioned by the Ontario Convenience Stores Association, has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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