The last sitting Monday of the year was a bit scrappy, but not to the point of rancour. All three leaders were in the House, which I am taking to be a sign that the House will rise before the week is out. Thomas Mulcair angrily read off a trio of questions about the Nexen takeover and accusing Harper of not respecting the rule of law. Harper responded by assuring him that the decisions were made under the current laws and that going forward there would be no more acquisitions by state-owned companies. Matthew Kellway was up next to ask about the leaked numbers from the KPMG audit of the F-35s and demanded an open competition. Ambrose insisted the secretariat was doing just that, and reminded him that the more years you add to the lifecycle, the higher the cost figure grows. Bob Rae pressed on about F-35s, repeating previous government statements about their necessity. Harper gave the party lines about how no money was spent on acquisition and that the CF-18s needed to be replaced. For his final question, Rae asked for the terms and conditions of the CNOOC and Petronas purchases to be made public. Harper reminded him that it was not yet the proper time to do so, as there are confidential commercial concerns.
Mulcair was back up for round two, and carried on with questions about the F-35s and the $700 million already spent on the process (Harper: We have no intention of ripping up contracts with aerospace companies in Canada, referring to subcontracts that came out of the development process). Christine Moore and Jack Harris carried on with F-35 questions and the contract process (Ambrose: Options analysis! No money spent! Seven-Point Plan™!), Hélène LeBlanc asked for the definition of “exceptional circumstances” in future foreign takeovers (Paradis: there won’t be takeovers by foreign state-owned companies), while Peter Julian brought in the Canada-China FIPA into the fray (Harper: You haven’t bothered to read anything, and the Investment Canada Act is exempt from the FIPA). John McKay returned to the F-35s and previous government statements (Ambrose: Seven-Point Plan™!), and Carolyn Bennett brought up a hunger strike by Attawapiskat Chief Teresa Spence out of frustration from government inaction (Rickford: Look at all the money we’ve spent up there, and we’re asking the Chief and council to work with us on a long-term plan). Alexandre Boulerice asked when new powers for the Chief Electoral Officer were coming (Poilievre: The lawsuit by the Council of Canadians is bogus), while Charlie Angus asked about party business (Poilievre: We ran a clean and ethical campaign).
Round three saw questions on VIA Rail cuts, Aboriginal protest over unilateral government actions, EI processing times, problems with the temporary foreign workers programme, the closure of the Buffalo visa office, housing cooperatives, and funding for youth gang prevention clubs.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James Bezan for a dark grey suit with a crisp white shirt and a metallic blue tie and pocket square, and to Kirsty Duncan for a fitted black dress with a tan and black floral side panel and matching boots. Style citations go out to Nina Grewal for a black turtleneck with a turquoise microfiber jacket, and to habitual offender Jean Rousseau for a fluorescent blue shirt and a grey suit. Dishonourable mentions go out to Alexandre Boulerice, Bev Shipley and Paul Calandra for each wearing yellow ties with black suits and white shirts.