After a morning spent breathlessly talking about the Auditor General’s report, we were waiting for fireworks. Harper was in the House, Mulcair was ready with his scripted questions sitting on his miniature lectern on his desk, but when the time came, Mulcair instead led off with a fairly pro forma question on budget cuts, to which Harper responded about transfer payments growing faster than provinces themselves were, and that they weren’t actually being cut. So much for that. Mulcair then turned to the F-35s and the Auditor General’s report, for which Harper assured him that they had accepted the report and were putting into place more rigorous supervision of the procurement process. Christine Moore followed up with more of the same, and Julian Fantino delivered an answer just like Harper’s. Ralph Goodale demanded to know why there was still no open tender for replacement fighters, to which Fantino accused Goodale of ignoring the good things the AG said in the report, though Goodale immediately countered that those good things praised were what the Liberals had put into place. When Marc Garneau asked about the government’s wilful blindness on the problems in the process, Rona Ambrose got up to tout the new secretariat being put into place to manage the procurement process.
Round two was mostly taken up with F-35 questions from the likes of Matthew Kellway, Malcolm Allan, and Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, for which we got mostly the same answers from either Fantino (who did mention a new Seven Point Plan™ on the process), or Ambrose. Peter Julian asked about a report claiming private sector job losses stemming from public sector cuts (Flaherty: those are wild numbers), Olvia how asked about the AG’s report on air safety (Lebel: We accept the report – basically shrugging off the reporting of serious lapses in safety inspections), and Jamie Nicholls asked about Aveos (Lebel: It’s an issue with two private companies). John McKay and Dominic LeBlanc returned to the F-35 and four years of mismanagement (Ambrose: New secretariat!). Irene Mathyssen and Kellie Leitch traded scripted outrage versus scripted bafflegab, Huang Mai asked about future tolls on the Champlain Bridge (Lebel: There’s no question about tolls right now), and Françoise Boivin asked about Quebec’s court challenge on long-gun registry data (Bernier: We’re going to defend our area of jurisdiction).
Round three saw questions on the demise of Rights & Democracy, Henk Tepper, OAS versus the Prime Minister’s special retirement allowance, environmental assessments at airports, a Canadian in a Spanish prison, drug shortages, GMO pork, and a final question on the long-gun registry data.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Greg Rickford who again proves that tailoring is key, with his black suit, white shirt and pocket square, and striped blue tie, and to Alexandrine Latendresse for her grey and black top, black skirt and black jacket. Style citations go out to Robert Goguen for a fluorescent blue shirt/black suit violation, and to Isabelle Morin for a black and floral jacket. The Christine Moore Shiny Watch today reports a multi-coloured metallic dress (that could have come from Talos IV) with black bordering around the waist and bust lines, paired with a black jacket.