Thomas Mulcair started off today’s QP by reading a question about how Harper, while over in India, spoke about how the fragility of the economic recovery, to which Mulcair wondered why Harper could only tell the truth about our economy while abroad. John Baird, yet again the back-up PM du jour rather than passing the baton to someone else along the front bench, first gave a shout out to Barack Obama’s win, and then extolled Harper’s economic leadership. Mulcair, however, decided that our economy was in crisis, and we were all headed for doom. Doom! Baird sighed and chastised Mulcair for “talking down the economy.” Rosane Doré Lefebvre was up next, demanding an apology from Vic Toews for his Ashley Smith comments yesterday, but Toews was very obviously sticking to his script, and spoke about how they were cooperating with the coroner’s inquest. Bob Rae, however, was unimpressed, and pressed on, wondering about other videos that hadn’t yet been released publicly, and whether those materials would be turned over, which eventually led to a call for a public inquiry. Baird and Toews both answered, each going back to the “cooperating” talking point, though Toews did consider the coroner’s inquiry to already be a public inquiry. Problem solved, apparently.
Round two started off with Sadia Groguhé and Nathan Cullen asking why the government wasn’t allowing more than a few hours of study on the omnibus budget bill at the various committees (Flaherty: We let you study it at more than one committee, and the world is on the brink of economic meltdown, so why are you so intransigent?), Sylvain Chicoine and Irene Mathyssen asked about funeral benefits for poor veterans (Blaney: our program covers up to $10,000 and has helped 10,000 veterans!), to which Peter Stoffer followed up and said that his mother – who was liberated by the Canadian troops in Holland – was getting angry about this treatment for veterans and nobody wanted to make his mother angry. Blaney retorted that his mother probably didn’t want to know about some of the things Stoffer voted against, but for a moment, I was afraid we were going to have a Yo Mama fight in the Commons. Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus asked about why Peter Penashue’s trips as Intergovernmental Affairs minister were mostly to his home province (Poilievre: He meets with premiers in a United Canada; Penashue: Our government has strong relationships with provincial governments), before Angus asked about Penashue’s election campaign – again, not a question for QP. Marc Garneau carried on in the same vein (Poilievre: None of these allegations are proven), Sean Casey asked again about the veterans burials (Blaney: 10,000 veterans helped!), and Roger Cuzner asked about EI wait times (Finley: It used to be ten weeks, we’ve improved it). Peter Julian asked about the Canada-China FIPA and how Chinese oil companies would be treated the same as domestic oil companies when buying oil leases (Keddy: The FIPA establishes rules – why do you hate rules? Paradis: Net benefit test includes national security), And Mathieu Ravignat and Matthew Kellway asked about the F-35s, and how apparently they’re magic (Ambrose: We have a secretariat and a Seven-Point Plan™!).
Round three saw questions on cuts to Service Canada per the PBO’s report, cuts to maritime services, Canada Post charging additional fees for housing developers, the Cohen Report on salmon stocks, cleaning up Hamilton harbour, a question on supporting someone’s private members’ bill (again, not the domain of QP), and why the government wasn’t getting tough on organised crime (Nicholson: Have you read any of our justice bills?).
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a grey pinstriped suit with a white shirt and blue paisley tie, and to Lisa Raitt for her black-and-white patterned dress. Style citations go out to Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe for a black skirt, black top with green trim, and most especially the matching green leg warmers (yes, leg warmers! In the House of Commons!), and to Raymond Côté for his fuchsia shirt with a grey suit and tie.