The drinking game of the day could have been “We learned today in the Auditor General’s report…” Because for about the first half of QP, nearly every question was prefaced by that statement. Thomas Mulcair started off by reading off a question about cyber-security from the report, who which Harper insisted the report said that they were making progress, and then a pair of questions on the hidden costs of cuts to OAS, which Harper insisted was a misnomer because there were not cuts – just changes coming down the road. Peggy Nash asked a pair of questions about changes to the labour code, to which Tony Clement first gave a bland non-answer about respecting taxpayers and fair changes, before Lisa Raitt answered the supplemental about how these changes gave clear deadlines for payments for employees where they didn’t exist previously. Bob Rae was then up, asking a pair of questions relating to the AG’s report, wondering why our Cyber-security response centre couldn’t be staffed 24/7, to which Harper insisted that they were making investments in cyber-security and had accepted the Auditor General’s recommendations. For his final question, Rae asked about the Correctional Investigator’s report on the skyrocketing number of aboriginal women in prisons, but Harper’s response wasn’t terribly edifying.
Round two started off with Linda Duncan and Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe asking about the AG’s comments on long-term fiscal sustainability (Flaherty: We’ve accepted the recommendations and are working with him), Rosane Doré Lefebre and Randall Garrison asked again about the cyber-security threats (Toews: We’ve taken action and continue to enhance our programme), Jack Harris asked about the AG’s report on complex veterans services paperwork before he and Christine Moore both asked about the reports of the treatment a soldier with PTSD received by the department (MacKay: This was recently brought to my attention and I’ve asked the department to look into it), and then Moore and Matthew Kellway asked about the reports that the Canadian Forces hadn’t been asked to look at any other options than the F-35s (Ambrose: There is an options analysis taking place). Judy Sgro returned to the issue of the AG’s findings on veterans (Blaney: We’re launching a Transition Action Plan™!), Stéphane Dion warned that the Canada-China FIPA may be unconstitutional (Fast: That professor is wrong), while Wayne Easter worried that said FIPA gave an unlimited liability to the federal government (Fast: You had four opportunities to debate this treaty and didn’t). Megan Leslie wondered about what the changes to the Navigable Waters Act would mean about a plan for diverting the Muskeg River (Lebel: This Act is about navigation and transport, not the environment), and Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus asked about the Lobbying Commissioner’s report on Julie Couillard’s activities (Clement: There are issues of privacy, and there are rules around the registry).
Round three saw questions on the Petronas rejection – Peter Julian suggesting that they change the rules mid-decision as though that wouldn’t land in a court challenge, the XL Foods plant being sold, keeping Parliament in the dark over national security issues, whether there would be sanctions for Russia following the Delisle spy case (Baird: I will let them know our displeasure in no uncertain terms), a sole-source contract regarding embassies (Baird: There are guideline exceptions in cases of urgency), training food inspectors, a rusting bridge in Quebec City, and more on the Canada-China FIPA.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James Bezan for a brown suit with a whit shirt and a grey checked tie and pocket square, and to Judy Foote for a dress with descending red, black, and grey panels. Style citations go out to Cathy McLeod for a black turtleneck with a bright red jacket, and to Mike Sullivan for a fluorescent blue shirt with a black suit. Dishonourable mention goes to Anne Minh-Thu Quach for a mustard jacket with a black top and skirt.