Roundup: Undermining accountability with dollar figures

The government has started attaching dollar figures to who much it costs to answer Order Paper questions – in this case, $1.2 million in a three-month period. Oh noes! Parliament costs money! And really, using this tactic of putting dollar figures on basic accountability is underhanded and violates the very premise of Parliament, which is to hold the government to account by means of controlling supply. To do that, Parliament needs facts and figures, quite simply. And making it seem like a costly imposition for Parliamentarians to exercise their most basic function is, in a word, despicable.

The federal and provincial finance minsters met at Meech Lake yesterday, and while they didn’t come to any consensus over boosting the CPP, they did agree to study it and come up with a report for their meeting in June.

Not that it’s any big surprise, but former assistant deputy minister of procurement at DND, Alan Williams, said the F-35 process as “corrupted” from the beginning, but the main question remains why the cabinet went along unquestioningly when the bureaucrats barrelled ahead with the sole-source contract. Meanwhile, the Americans are already looking at developing a “sixth generation” fighter jet by 2030.

The Canadian Forces are trying to protect their institutional knowledge when it comes to intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence as the department faces budget cuts. This while they’re trying to think of ways to keep the troops interested and engaged in an era where boots-on-the-ground is being seen as a last resort.

Emmett Macfarlane looks at the Supreme Court decision on anti-terrorism legislation from last week.

The court case on voter suppression and robo-calling wrapped yesterday, but a decision likely won’t be released until spring – especially because it will need to be rendered in both official languages.

Aaron Wherry looks at GHG reductions in some of the provinces, and finds that in Nova Scotia and Manitoba – both provinces with NDP governments – they are opting for the route of regulation much as the federal Conservatives are, and not for cap-and-trade like the federal NDP propose.

John Baird has written a weak sauce letter to the Governor of Montana to ask for clemency for the Canadian living on death row there.

Here is a look at the 1448-page report into why the police weren’t able to catch Robert Pickton sooner.

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney rebuts some of the allegations made in the Globe and Mail over the weekend.

Aaron Wherry has a year-ender Q&A with Bob Rae about interim leadership and party reorganisation.

Laura Stone has lunch with Parliament Hill’s perennial Miss Congeniality, NDP MP Peter Stoffer.

CBC’s Neil Macdonald gives a blunt assessment of gun culture in the States, which is a worthwhile read. Martin Patriquin at Maclean’s talks about the visceral pleasures of firing a gun, and how that has brainwashed a nation.

Here is your recap of last night’s political shows, talking CPP expansion with provincial finance ministers, plus starting the “year in review” segments.

And here is a look at the portrait of John Raulston Saul unveiled at Rideau Hall yesterday.