It was nearly a full House, which is rare for a Monday, but as is also the norm for a Monday, Harper was absent. Nevertheless, Thomas Mulcair got the ball rolling by reading a about the government missing its economic targets, to which John Baird, the designated back-up PM du jour, first congratulated the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their happy news before he moved onto approved Economic Action Plan™ talking points. When Mulcair pressed on about job numbers and temporary foreign workers, Baird kept on with the Action Plan™. Peter Julian was up next to denounce the supposed fire sale of Canadian resources to China, to which Christian Paradis assured him that they will ensure investments provide a net benefit to Canada. Bob Rae was up then for the Liberals and asked about the government’s disability tax credit and whether or not it would be made refundable. (It was Persons With Disabilities Day, for the record). Baird danced around the question with feel-good talking points about all kinds of tax credits.
Round two started off with Megan Leslie asking about climate change adaptability funding for developing countries at the Doha conference (Rempel: Look at our effective regulations on emissions!), Anne-Marie Day and Chris Charlton asked about the new social security tribunal (Finley to Day: Are you a federalist or a separatist as you contributed to Québec Solidaire? To Charlton: The process is riddled with duplication and inefficiency), Alexandre Boulerice asked about the robo-call investigations and the promised changes (Uppal: A comprehensive proposal will come shortly), while Charlie Angus banged on about party business (Poilievre: Your illegal union donations). Carolyn Bennett asked about First Nations education funding inequality (John Duncan: Look at all of the announcements I’ve made), Kevin Lamoureux asked about cuts at Immigration and the difficulty in getting information on files (Kenney: Look at the legacy of your backlog), and Sean Casey asked about cuts to Service Canada jobs as Veterans Services offices close on PEI (Kenney, for some strange reason: More services moving online and your party left an immigration backlog). Hélène Laverdière wondered why her private member’s bill got defeated (Paradis: This bill wouldn’t have done what you claimed), Paul Dewar echoed the gripe in a more hectoring tone, and Libby Davies and Djaouida Sellah asked about healthcare wait times (Aglukkaq: Look at all of the great things we’ve done for healthcare).
Round three saw questions about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the treatment of Roma refugees, the government undermining the Doha climate conference, the cluster munitions ban legislation, a report on disability programmes, long-overdue railway legislation, the need to support the aerospace industry, cuts to Library and Archives, and the government using Quebeckers’ money for programmes they oppose – in particular, the Muskrat Falls project.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to John McKay for a dark grey suit with a pink shirt and a light blue tie, and to Judy Foote for a tailored black pantsuit and top. Style citations go out to Candace Bergen for her ruffled dress that was made up of a raked leaves pattern, and to Devinder Shory for a grey suit with a butterscotch shirt and black and red tie.