QP: Not meeting with the premiers

The day was not off to a promising start as more statements condemning David McGuinty and the Liberals continued to make the rounds during the QP warm-up, because hey, there’s a by-election four days away, and there’s nothing like cheap political hay to be made. Thomas Mulcair started off by reading a pair of questions on why Harper wasn’t attending the First Ministers’ meeting in Halifax to talk about the economy, to which Harper assured him that he meets with the premiers regularly, and he’s focused on the economy. For his last question, Mulcair asked about the court case against the Parliamentary Budget Officer, but Harper didn’t answer about that, only offered to “correct” Mulcair’s preamble aside about how job numbers weren’t really that great, and so on. Libby Davies was up next asking about child poverty rates, to which Diane Finley assured her that they were less than half of what they were under the Liberals because of the government’s good work. Bob Rae returned to the question of Harper not speaking to the premiers, and Harper said that he not only met with premiers regularly, but members of the business community and ordinary Canadians too!

Round two kicked off with Mathieu Ravignat asking about the “Conservative report” coming out of the Public Accounts committee on the F-35s (Saxton and Ambrose: We have a Seven-Point Action Plan™!), and when Christine Moore wondered whether the fighter jet procurement secretariat would be using the old, rigged Statement of Requirements, Ambrose told her that no, the process “wouldn’t be constrained by the old Statement of Requirements.” But then Matthew Kellway asked about the Statement of Requirements, and Jack Harris’s preamble said that they didn’t get an answer – which goes to show you what happens when you rely solely on your script and can’t think on your feet. Harris’ question went on to asked about the treatment of veterans and reservists (MacKay: Glad you read that report, we support veterans, etc), Alexandre Boulerice asked about strengthening the Elections Act (Poilievre: Your party accepted illegal union donations), and Charlie Angus asked questions about campaigns that have nothing to do with government operations (Poilievre: The usual nonsense). Lawrence MacAulay asked about payments for fishers’ licence retirements (Shea: We’ll clean up the mess the Liberals left behind), Wayne Easter asked about CRA records being moved to a private storage facility (Shea: Privacy will be assured at a lower cost), and Rodger Cuzner characterised tariffs on hockey equipment as a “job-killing hockey tax” (Menzies: We’ve lowered tarrifs). Don Davies asked about the CETA negotiations (Keddy: What’s wrong with rules-based trade?), Hélène Laverdière and Keddy tried to claim that they each loved Supply Management more than the other, and Hélène LeBlanc and Peter Julian bemoaned the Nexen deal and the secrecy around it (Paradis: You hate foreign investment).

Round three saw questions on the Maritime Rescue Centre, temporary foreign workers, manipulations of climate change data, spousal sponsorships for Syrian refugees, social housing, a refugee claimant dealing with cancer, a National Research Council facility closing in Quebec, cuts to archaeologists, and concerns about background radiation coming from wireless signals (which merited a response about nuclear safety).

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Blaine Calkins for a grey suit with a whit shirt and a pink and grey tie, and to Rona Ambrose, for her grey snow leopard print dress with a tailored black jacket. Style citations go out to Carole Hughes for what was reminiscent of one of those balls of multicoloured elastic bands made into jacket form, and to Jasbir Sandhu for his pale orange shirt and tie with a black suit. Dishonourable mention to Diane Ablonczy for a yellow jacket with a black top, and an orange and brown scarf.