While Thomas Mulcair was back in the Commons today, Harper was off meeting the President-elect of Mexico, who is currently visiting Ottawa. So while Mulcair opened QP by reading off a trio of questions on whether or not the government had any contingency plans for another fiscal downturn, it was Jason Kenney’s turn to be back-up PM du jour, and he responded that there was a line in each budget for unexpected expenses. Oh, and the NDP would raise taxes. Peggy Nash then asked what the government was going to cut in order to meet its election promises, to which Ted Menzies batted back about the fictional “carbon tax” and reiterated their intention to get the budget in balance within the current parliament. Bob Rae demanded an apology from the Conservatives for their engaging Campaign Research for their reprehensible calls into Irwin Cotler’s riding, to which Peter Van Loan (correctly) pointed out that this wasn’t about government business, before he went on to say that the Speaker had already settled this issue.
Round two started off with Megan Leslie asking about the incoming “car tax” of increased costs for cars under the new emissions regulations (Kent: these regulations will save money over the life of new cars), Jack Harris and Christine Moore asked about the obfuscation at defence committee on Supplementary Estimates B (MacKay: I’ve been before committee numerous times, and the committee decides what is in and out of order), before Moore moved onto the topic of the new fighter jet statement of requirements (Ambrose: The Secretariat has been instructed to set the old one aside), Ming the Merciless – err, Matthew Kellway wondered who was in charge of defence policy these days (Ambrose: My department procures equipment, DND gives us the statement of requirements), and Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus took turns asking about the allegations against Senator Housakos in the Quebec corruption inquiry (Poilievre delivered his usual bafflegab), and Angus took one last crack at “voter fraud” allegations – not that party business is government business (Poilievre: Your illegal union donations!). Ralph Goodale wondered about cuts to vital services (Clement: A total non sequitur about the Economic Action Plan™), Rodger Cuzner asked about missing EI delivery targets (Lietch: Service Canada continues to improve), and Carolyn Bennett asked about cuts to aboriginal programming (John Duncan: Made some changes to the budgetary process because we’re prudent managers). Hélène Laverdière asked about her private member’s bill on reforming CAMR – not that PMBs are the domain of government business (Paradis: This bill won’t actually help those it claims to), and moved onto a question on Middle East peace negotiations and the vote on observer status for Palestine at the UN, which Paul Dewar echoed (Baird: Told both parties to stop negotiating about negotiating, and we’re working with our allies).
Round three saw questions on the Nexen takeover, jobs cuts in Atlantic Canada, the constitutionality of the recent omnibus crime bill, a local airport not having adequate customs services, the coming demographic crunch for small businesses as their owners retire (Bernier: we’re lowering taxes), the lost productivity from a lack of rules around “digital wallets,” the approval of generic OxyContin, and concrete aggregate damage.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Maxime Bernier for his tailored brown suit, lavender shirt, and brown and peach tie, and to Rona Ambrose for her fitted grey top with three-quarter sleeves and a keyhole neckline, and a black skirt. Style citations go out once again to Christine Moore for a purple ruffled jacket and skirt, and to Brent Rathgeber for a tan suit with a bright yellow shirt and brown tie. Dishonourable mention goes out to the Honourable Member for Warhammer for a black suit with a pale yellow shirt and tie.