With Thomas Mulcair away, it was up to Nathan Cullen to lead the NDP for Question Period today. After this morning’s presser to put the government on notice that they were going to make a formal request to split the budget bill, Cullen asked a trio of questions about just that – splitting said budget bill. And lo and behold, James Moore – in his capacity as Deputy PM du jour – rose to say that this budget bill was getting more debate than any other in history. Peggy Nash rose to ask the very same thing, calling the bill a “Trojan Horse,” though I’m not quite sure it’s an apt analogy considering it’s not being used to breach any impenetrable walls as the Conservatives have a majority anyway. Regardless, both Jim Flaherty and Diane Finley dismissed Nash’s concerns considering all of the good things in the bill. Bob Rae got up and asked how it was that the government could cut mental health services to Canadian Forces personnel in light of their much-touted support for the troops. Moore talked about how Canada spends more helping its soldiers than any other NATO ally, but didn’t really answer the question. For his last supplemental, Rae asked about the forthcoming meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on Food, but Moore responded by listing some of the great progress the government has made with First Nations issues.
Round to started off with Christine Moore, Matthew Kellway and Jack Harris each asking about the fanboy-esque justification letter that DND sent to Public Works in order to sole-source the F-35s (Fantino: Seven-Point Plan™! Ambrose: We have a new secretariat), Mathieu Ravignat asked about the recent revelations regarding the IP address liking a Conservative campaign to the Robocon investigation (Poilievre/Del Mastro: We’re cooperating, but you’re making baseless smears), and Megan Leslie asked he government to apologise for its “money laundering” accusations around charities (Shea: The measures in the budget are to help educate organisations; Oliver: We’re enhancing environmental protection). Scott Simms and Lise St-Denis returned to the question of the robocalls and that IP address (Del Mastro/Polievre: Not only are we investigating, but the Liberals in Guelph made a questionable robocall too!), and Ralph Goodale wondered that if there was indeed money laundering going on in charities if Fintrac and the RCMP were called in (Shea: We have a duty to ensure that these charities are operating properly). Closing off the round, Ruth Ellen Brosseau asked about the meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur for Food (John Duncan: We’ve invested in our shared priorities with First Nations), and Guy Caron asked the government to take a leadership role with the launch of the Mental Health Commission’s report (Aglukkaq: I look forward to the release of the report tomorrow).
Round three saw questions on the menace of Conrad Black, failed IRB candidates getting another chance at the entrance exam, breaking up the omnibus bill since the Senate is breaking it up in committee for pre-study, the Veterans Appeal Board, use of French in the workplace, a housing cooperative in Brampton having difficulty with CMHC, a closing cadet camp, and cuts to both Parks Canada and Library and Archives Canada.
After QP wrapped up, the Speaker ruled on Bob Rae’s question of privilege with regards to whether the government was misleading the House with regard to the F-35s, and determined that he couldn’t determine that there was deliberate misleading, and thus could not find a prima facia case of privilege.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James Bezan for his dark grey suit with a blue striped shirt with white cuffs and collar and a red tie and pocket square, and to Michelle Rempel for a mottle blue and while dress with a black jacket. Style citations go out to Megan Leslie for what appears to be a black suit pulled over a spotted hospital gown, and to the Honourable Member for Warhammer for his black suit, white tie, and orange and black striped shirt.