Despite the previous afternoon’s tensions, the bulk of the Members’ Statements prior to QP were in recognition of the École Polytechnique massacre 23 years ago, followed by a minute of silence, and that kept the mood somber and tempers restrained. When QP began, Thomas Mulcair read off a question about a story in the Toronto Star that the government may be looking to weaken gun control laws further. Harper assured him that wasn’t the case, and the prohibited weapons category existed for a reason – namely public safety. Mulcair then read the same question in French, and got the same response. And then Françoise Boivin asked a pair of questions on the very same thing, to which Vic Toews assured her that no, they weren’t going to weaken the regulations. (Note: this is what happens when you stick to scripted questions and can’t think on your feet and actually debate like you’re supposed to). When Bob Rae got up for the Liberals to ask if Harper would consider adding the Chiefs of Police and the perspectives of domestic violence and suicide prevention groups to the firearms advisory council. Harper told him that he would take it under advisement because it is such a serious issue. For his final question, Rae asked if the government would table the KPMG report on the F-35s before the House rises for the winter break. Harper talked around the answer, and didn’t make such a commitment.
Round two kicked off with Niki Ashton asking about Status of Women programming (Ambrose: We are funding programmes to combat violence against women to its highest levels), and moving onto missing and murdered Aboriginal women along with Rosane Doré Lefebvre (Findlay: Look at all of the work we’ve done on this file), before Doré Lefebvre moved onto asking about making violence against women a public safety issue (Bergen: Together we want to take action on this). Jean Crowder and Carole Hughes asked about Aboriginal women’s shelters (John Duncan: We’re working with First Nations to ensure that services are provided), Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet asked about housing for women fleeing domestic violence (Finley: We’re investing in thousands of housing units every year), Ève Péclet asked about women’s equality abroad (Fantino: Newborn and child health is a priority in the “needy world”), Sana Hassainia asked about Ambrose voting for the previous abortion-related motion (Nicholson: If you’re so concerned about violence against women, why don’t you vote for our crime measures?). Judy Sgro, Dominic LeBlanc and Scott Brison asked about cuts to services (Finley: We make sure seniors are taken care of; Clement: We’ve protected core services). Hélène LeBlanc and Peter Julian closed the round by asking about consultations on the Nexen takeover and foreign investment in general (Paradis: Your party is against foreign investment).
Round three saw questions on the F-35 report, rail service, generic OxyContin heading into the States, asbestos being added to the Rotterdam Convention (Paradis: We stopped opposing this months ago), the situation in Syria – especially with regards to chemical weapons, the Arctic Council chair’s duties, EI reforms, and when Harper was last briefed on the climate change crisis (Harper: Look at the green Muskrat Falls project we’re assisting).
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Lois Brown for a mottled brown jacket and skirt with a black top, and to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a tailored grey pinstripe suit with a white shirt, and a creamy light grey tie. Style citations go out to Gary Goodyear for a black suit with a yellow shirt and brown tie, and to Cathy McLeod for a snakeskin jacket with a black turtleneck. Dishonourable mentions to Rosane Doré Lefebvre for a mustard dress with a black jacket, and to Christine Moore for black-and-white striped leg warmers.