QP: Detailing a nightmare scenario

After some increasingly partisan sniping during Members’ Statements (and seriously, knock it off all of you), Thomas Mulcair started off QP by reading off a question on when the government was going to offer clarity on its Net Benefit test for foreign investment, to which Harper reminded him that they’ve already made changes to the Investment Canada Act when it comes to things like national security. Mulcair then turned his attention to the Canada-China FIPA, and detailed this nightmare scenario when the government of China would sue the Canadian government if the government of Alberta refused to sell them all of their undeveloped natural resources – to which Harper called the whole premise wrong and said that the FIPA was about protecting our investments under the rule of law – something Canadian investors don’t necessarily enjoy in China. Peggy Nash wondered about the omnibus budget bill going to the various committees, to which Shelly Glover made a dig about the Liberals voting against a motion related to the study, and then Nash turned to the topic of late night “bizarre moves” by the government when it comes to their decision-making, but she left herself wide open to Ted Menzies decrying the “bizarre move” of the NDP voting against their budget measures. Bob Rae was up for the Liberals, first asking about that disturbing Ashley Smith video, to which Harper said that it was a “terrible tragedy,” and that there was an inquest underway that he wasn’t about to get involved in. For his final question, Rae asked if Harper would allow various committees to meet over the break week to study the budget bill, but Harper noted that committees are the masters of their own destinies, and that he hoped MPs could work expeditiously.

Round two started with Chris Charlton and Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet asking about Service Canada processing and wait times with EI claims (Finley: We’ve made progress in reducing the backlog and we add additional staff when needed), Peter Julian said that Joe Oliver admitted to not knowing energy issues which is why they needed hearings on the Nexen file (Paradis: This deal is under scrutiny; Oliver: I get briefings, you just obstruct things), and Craig Scott and Alexandre Boulerice asked about the latest Michael Sona revelations – questions which didn’t belong in QP because they weren’t the business of government operations (Poilievre: We ran a clean, ethical campaign). Lawrence MacAulay asked about the recommendations in the Cohen Report on salmon stocks (Shea: Our common sense changes were necessary, but we’re studying the report), Judy Foote asked about that Conservative donor’s deportation order (Goguen: He was arrested the day after the warrant was issued), and Stéphane Dion tried to shoehorn a Michael Sona question as one to the minister of state for democratic reform (Poilievre: We ran a clean and ethical campaign). Robert Chisholm asked a pair of questions on the Cohen Report (Shea: We’re carefully reviewing it), and Megan Leslie asked about the Navigable Waters changes, using the unfortunate descriptor of “cronies’ lakes” to describe the protected areas in Conservative ridings (Lebel: Navigation deals with boats on the water, fish habitat deals with fish in the water – even though that’s not exactly the case).

Round three saw more questions on the Ashley Smith video, adverse drug reactions, missing and murdered Aboriginal women, the Jeffrey Delisle spy case, commute times, visitor visas for Afghans, the Vale-Inco job losses, museum funding, and the Canada-China FIPA.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Blaine Calkins for his grey suit with a light purple checked shirt and a lilac tie, and to Kirsty Duncan for her fitted black dress with a beige patterned side panel. Style citations go out to Isabelle Morin for her white jacket with a black and gold floral pattern, and to Stephen Woodworth for a black suit with a bright red shirt and brownish-striped tie.