The last QP of the sitting could be described in a single word: Scattershot. Apparently everyone was looking to get as many YouTube clips for their MPs’ websites to sustain them through the summer on a variety of topics, so there was very little coherence to any of the debate. Thomas Mulcair asked about F-35s (Harper: We’re rebuilding the Canadian Forces with the equipment our men and women in uniform need!), the cut in funds to minority francophone newspapers (Harper: There’s this funding formula in place, and hey, you ran all kinds of unilingual Anglophone candidates in francophone ridings), and about the myriad ethical lapses of the Conservative front bench (Harper: This was one of the most legislatively productive periods in Canadian history, and you’re an ineffective opposition!). So there. Nycole Turmel then took a turn batting away at those ethical lapses (Paradis: Our government’s done a good job on the economy!) before Bob Rae got up and went after Flaherty’s mortgage announcement earlier in the morning, noting that the new changes return the policy back to where it was in 2006 when the government took office (Harper: We’re being prudent after listening to the experts!). For his final question, Rae noted that it was National Aboriginal Day, and given all of the 1812 celebrations, why hasn’t the government resolved the Six Nations land claims dispute that has been going on since said war. Harper assured him that they were in negotiations, and hey, they have new land claims legislation.
Round two saw Megan Leslie asking about Canada not being on target to reach GHG reduction goals (Rempel: You voted against funding for green programmes and laws to increase penalties), and Jean Crowder, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, Romeo Saganash, Niki Ashton, Carol Hughes and Pat Martin all took note of it being National Aboriginal Day and asked about different aspects thereof (John Duncan: We’re making First Nations a priority, and hey, Nutrition North is saving northerners money and giving them healthier food choices!). Judy Foote asked about shipbuilding commitments (Ambrose: We’re overseeing the contracts and confident the projects will be delivered), John McKay asked about the “mandate” of the PBO that he’s supposedly overstepping (Clement: In 2009, Carolyn Bennett thought he was going rogue – while Bennett shouted that she was being taken out of context), and Stéphane Dion asked about the closure of the Quebec City rescue centre (Ashfield: There is no change in services). The round closed out with Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway asking about the F-35 procurement, and by extension who is in charge of things at Defence these days (Ambrose: We have a new secretariat! MacKay: You don’t support the troops).
Round three saw questions on the Community Access Programme, job cuts on military bases, EI changes, families not being better off these days, why the Ethics Committee meeting was shut down today, cuts to Parks Canada in the North, getting the Health Committee to investigate CCSVI studies, science funding, the OAS, and whether the government was doing enough for Quebec.
Oh, and the Speaker did smack down the Conservatives for making improper back-bench suck-up questions that weren’t about government policy, and that they shouldn’t ask about what opposition parties believe. But hey, he’s being partisan, right?
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for his grey suit with a purple check-patterned shirt and a light tie with a grey grid pattern, and to Judy Foote for a white pant suit and top. Style citations go out to Olivia Chow for a cougarific belted leopard print dress with a lemon yellow sweater, and to the Honourable Member for Warhammer for his swamp green shirt with a cream tie and linen jacket with jeans.