I’m not going to lie – it was a pretty ugly day in the Commons today. Harper wasn’t there, and everyone was in a pretty snappish mood already, after a morning full of committee shenanigans. When Thomas Mulcair started off by asking about the government getting the RCMP to launch a probe into the Globe and Mail after a story about the F-35s, James Moore – the back-up PM du jour – started off with a perfunctory “We have a responsibility to protect sensitive information,” before turning to Mulcair’s comments about the resource sector and mischaracterising those quotes as calling them a “disease” (which is not what “Dutch disease” refers to). But then Mulcair would go on a tirade defending his comments, before returning to his completely unrelated RCMP probe questions. And Moore would answer back with an attack, and Mulcair’s tirades would get increasingly angry and tangential, until he went on about the government following the development model of “Nigeria and not Norway” in a rant that was clearly not a question – not that it mattered by that point. Bob Rae toned things down a bit asking about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ comments about the changes to EI, and Moore, calmly, told him the changes were in the legislation. Which of course, they aren’t – the changes are dependent upon future regulation – but Rae did not lose his cool, though he did get a bit more excited on his final question – about the missing numbers of how much the OAS changes would save the treasury, but Moore simply repeated the boilerplate talking points about changes not coming until 2023.
Round two started with Anne-Marie Day and Libby Davies asking about those forthcoming EI changes (Leitch: We face un unprecedented skills shortage!), and Jean Crowder, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, Niki Ashton and Paul Dewar all asked outraged questions on the government’s treatment of the UN Special Rapporteur for Food (Aglukkaq used this opportunity to rail against opponents of the seal hunt). Sean Casey asked about the decision on those veterans clawbacks (Blaney: We’ll do what needs to be done), Scott Andrews asked about the reports the government may be closing 5 Wing Goose Bay (Penashue: We’re working on a plan), and Carolyn Bennett asked about how the Special Rapporteur spent two days with First Nations leaders when Aglukkaq had spent a mere 30 minutes since she’d been minister (note that Aglukkaq did not change her reply). Christine Moore returned to the topic of the RCMP probing the Globe and Mail on that F-35 story (Ambrose: The Clerk of the Privy Council asked the RCMP to check if there had been a leak of confidential material), Matthew Kellway accused the government of lashing out (Fantino: We’re doing a great job), and Jack Harris asked about both problems facing the military ombudsman and the Goose Bay issue (Fantino: We’ll act on an eventual report; Penashue: We’re developing a plan).
Round three saw questions on the reports into police conduct at the G20, whether the minister was interfering with the Museum of Science and Technology’s exhibit on sex (and during opposition questions, Conservative backbencher Wei Young was shrieking “Do you have children?!”), the planned “deletion” of the immigration backlog (Kenney responded with how the Liberals did it too, but neglected to mention that the court challenges that resulted made the backlog even worse), whether the government was trying to reopen the abortion debate, EI changes, veterans clawbacks, lead contamination at airports (Lebel: Do you seriously think we should shut down every airport in this country?), and National Energy Board regulations requiring same-season relief wells being drilled offshore.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Greg Rickford for a tailored dark grey suit with a white shirt and pocket square and lustrous purple tie, and to Michelle Rempel for a black dress and trim jacket – that was possibly leather – and some nice accessories. Style citations go out to Bev Shipley for a black suit with a lemon yellow shirt and pocket square and a reddish-brown tie, and Isabelle Morin for a white skirt with black-and-red florals, and a linen-coloured sweater.