With Omnibus Budget Bill 2: The Revenge now tabled, Thomas Mulcair was up first to read out a trio of questions that demanded it be split up – not that Harper really cared, preferring instead to recite some careful lines about “Jobs!” and “Growth!” Malcolm Allen followed up with questions about the problems at XL Foods turned up by routine USFDA audits, but Ritz responded with a call to pass Bill S-11 without haste. Bob Rae was up for the Liberals, asking that the portion of the omnibus bill dealing with MP pensions be split out and its passage hastened – but Harper countered with a demand that they pass the entire bill in short order. For his final question, Rae asked if Ritz himself knew about those USFDA audit results, but Harper insisted that the CFIA took action when they had information.
Round two kicked off with Peggy Nash’s concern that there was no stimulus in what is essentially an austerity budget – funny that. Flaherty lectured her reading the budget – as he did when he got similar questions about the omnibus bill from Guy Caron, Sadia Groguhé, and Nathan Cullen. Jack Harris, Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus were all up to ask about the allegations about Peter Penashue’s election spending, but Pierre Poilievre offered that the new official agent would work with Elections Canada, before he started chastising each in turn about other various electoral spending offences. Scott Simms wondered how Penashue’s actions could be considered a “rookie mistake” when he’d stood for elections for Innu positions many times (Poilievre: Your party’s unpaid leadership debts are now illegal donations), Wayne Easter asked about that inappropriate ACOA appointment (Valcourt: This isn’t a political issue), and Judy Foote asked about the inappropriate conduct for former ambassador Loyola Sullivan (Van Loan: This conduct was post-employment, and we have strong rules). Rosane Doré Lefebvre asked about using the national security exemption for Shared Services Canada to prevent Huawei from bidding (Toews: Naming countries and companies isn’t helpful, and when we did in the past, you guys complained), and Hélène LeBlanc and Jamie Nicholls asked about foreign companies taking over natural resources (Paradis: We have a net benefit test).
Round three saw questions on the Canada-China FIPA, the final report of NRTEE, getting the Auditor General to audit CFIA, the incident of iron sulphate being dumped off the coast, the importation of foreign cancer drugs, affordable housing, and airport security fees.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Peggy Nash for a tailored dark grey suit with a light blue collared shirt, and James Bezan for a grey suit, light purple shirt and a darker purple tie. Style citations go out to both Harold Albrecht and Jean Rousseau for black suit/yellow shirt violations (Rousseau’s shirt being blindingly bright yellow), and Rosane Doré Lefebvre for a mustard dress with a black jacket. Dishonourable mentions to Raymond Côté and Robert Goguen for their fluorescent blue shirts.