QP: Administrative arrangements

With Harper away, Thomas Mulcair faced off against John Baird instead as QP got underway. Mulcair read his first two questions, about slow economic growth, to which Baird responded with some fairly rote replies about the government’s record on job creation. Mulcair then turned to the burning question of the day – what about those joint embassies? Why did we find out through the UK press? Baird replied that these were simply administrative arrangements – putting  a desk in embassies where we the UK doesn’t have a mission, and likewise a Canadian desk in a UK embassy where we’re not represented. Mulcair then suggested that if they’re so concerned about sharing with the UK, why not share armed forces, or combine the Senate and the House of Lords since they’re “the same thing” (at which point I nearly pulled a Naomi Campbell; they are most certainly not the same thing – not in the slightest), and so on, but Baird didn’t take the bait. Bob Rae was up for the Liberals, playing off that question and wondering why, if our foreign policy is so independent and great, was Harper not attending the UN General Assembly this week? Baird noted that Harper was going to be in New York to get a “Statesman of the Year” award, and that we play a leading role in the world. Rae then shifted to the topic of income inequality, which the government wasn’t addressing, but Baird returned to his job creation talking points, and listed off all of the government’s programmes for low-income Canadians.

Round two kicked off with Paul Dewar and Ève Péclet accusing the Conservatives of leaking those Omar Khadr transcripts to Maclean’s (Toews: I didn’t get any transcripts, so don’t look at me), Hélène LeBlanc and Peter Julian asked about the CSIS report on foreign takeovers (Goodyear: The Nexen deal is being scrutinised), and Anne-Marie Day, Philip Toone and Chris Charlton all asked about changes to EI (Leitch: We’re creating jobs!). Roger Cuzner asked about those EI clawbacks (Leitch: If they work more, they keep more of their earnings), Sean Casey asked about disabled police being subjected to the same rules as disabled veterans (Adams: We’ve accepted the court ruling and are acting expeditiously), and Judy Sgro wondered about the impact of our sovereignty with those joint embassies (Baird: That’s a ridiculous question). Closing off the round, Christine Moore and Matthew Kellway asked about that PR firm restricting access to F-35 information (Ambrose: We have a secretariat), and Peggy Nash asking about the PBO seeking legal advice because he can’t get information (Clement: Why is he spending resources tracking money we haven’t spent?).

Round three saw questions on the study on private prisons (Toews: No plans to privatise), the wasted money at the Old Port of Montreal (Ambrose: We’re similarly outraged, the AG is looking into this and we’ve put a third party manager in place), revising the Statement of Requirements for the F-35s, reciprocity with the Nexen deal, French services at these shared embassies (Baird: no changes there), how many children were in care, family reunifications for Haitians after the earthquake, and cellphone thefts.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Rosane Doré Lefebvre for her white jacket with the black top, and to Maxime Bernier for his pale brown suit with the palest of pale pink shirts and matching pocket square, with a pink, grey, and brown striped tie. Style citations go out to Stephen Woodsworth for a dark brown suit with a bright red shirt and grey tie, and to Lynne Yelich for a Dijon-coloured top and jacket with dark grey trousers.