It was a much rowdier day in the House today, as a Conservative Members’ Statement on the fictional carbon tax as being the doom of Halloween got booed down just before the action got started. Thomas Mulcair was up first, reading a pair of questions related to the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s downgrading his fiscal projections, but John Baird – once again the back-up PM du jour – didn’t so much answer as chastised the NDP for voting against the previous budget bills. A question on youth unemployment merited more of the same. Libby Davies was up next, noting the report which said that food bank use continues to be up despite the economic recovery, and while Shelly Glover answered by saying that the PBO’s report also said good things about our performance relative to the rest of the world, while Diane Finley answered the supplemental and said that they were helping those who were suffering. Scott Brison was up for the Liberals today in Bob Rae’s stead, and he asked a trio of questions about the Conservatives not going after tax havens abroad while they cut the CRA, but Baird once again didn’t so much respond as made a bunch of non sequitur attacks about how the Liberals cut healthcare back in their day and so on.
Round two kicked off with a number of questions on the changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, from Megan Leslie, Anne Minh-Thu Quach, Jean Crowder and Charlie Angus, in his typical name-calling style (Lebel: Provinces and municipalities asked us to cut the red tape with this Act!), and Hélène Laverdière and Paul Dewar asked about the Canada-China FIPA and why the government wouldn’t allow debate (Fast: You had three occasions to debate it and you didn’t). Ralph Goodale asked once more about the two Nigerian students in his riding facing deportation (Kenney: I have this CBSA report that disputes your claims, and why do you question the work of civil servants, and we don’t want foreigners working illegally to take away jobs from our youth – no, seriously, he went there), and Judy Foote wondered why they were so keen to deport these students when they dragged their feet deporting a Conservative donor (Toews: That accusation is scurrilous). Randal Garrison and Alexandre Boulerice asked about a Private Members’ bill on union donations (Glover: We said we’d amend it committee), before Boulerice and Jack Harris moved onto the donations received by Peter Penashue (Poilievre: The new Official Agent is dealing with Elections Canada and oh yeah, you support separatists). Incidentally, neither private members’ bills nor campaign contributions are domains of government operations, and should not be asked in QP. For the record.
Round three saw questions on the fighter jet procurement, food banks, the CMHC agreement on cooperative housing running out, how changes to OAS would impact provincial welfare rolls, an arts council losing its funding, and Vale Inco.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Rona Ambrose for her grey checked jacket and dark grey skirt, and to Blake Richards for his dark grey suit, white shirt and brilliant purple tie. Style citations go out to Alex Atamanenko for a greyish corduroy jacket with a terra cotta shirt and greyish striped tie, and to Judy Foote for a goldish zebra-print jacket with a black top. Dishonourable mention goes out to Rosane Doré Lefebvre for a mustard dress with a black jacket.