Roundup: Launching a new Action Plan™

Stephen Harper launched a new Action Plan™ in Montreal yesterday – the Venture Capital Action Plan™, to create Jobs & Growth™ as part of our Fragile Economic Recovery™. Economist Stephen Gordon wonders how this jives with Harper’s reluctance for government control in any industry, or how it benefits anyone other than consultants and lobbyists.

AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo has been ordered by his doctor to take time off because of exhaustion, which given the events of the past couple of weeks is no real surprise. Meanwhile, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence still refuses to end her liquid diet.

Here is a look at some of the projected costs of implementing the new safe drinking water legislation for First Nations reserves, and whether or not the government will fully fund it. Thomas Mulcair has taken to criticizing Harper’s approach to natural resource development, which he says is behind the Aboriginal unrest, and that Harper needs to sit down with the provincial premiers, as they are the key to resource revenue sharing with the First Nations.

Ruh-roh! Despite constant assurances that people wouldn’t have their EI benefits cut off if there was no work in the area, a woman in PEI has had just that happen, and was told to go on provincial welfare because she doesn’t have a car and there’s no public transportation.

A BC court struck down the human smuggling laws for being too broad, seeing as how it could inadvertently affect aid workers trying to get legitimate refugee claimants out of dangerous situations. Expect Jason Kenney to denounce activist judges, and for this to head to the Supreme Court.

The Information Commissioner warns about backsliding in terms of federal Access to Information request timelines, and disputes Tony Clement’s assertion that this is the most open and transparent government in history.

We’re sending a C-17 transport plane for logistical support for our allies in Mali, but Harper insists that we won’t have any direct military involvement. Former diplomat Robert Fowler warns of the “absolute chaos” in Mali if the violence is allowed to continue.

Elections Canada looks set to interview Conservative campaign workers in connection to the alleged voter suppression calls from the last election.

Aaron Wherry talks to Elizabeth May about hunger strikes (as she is a veteran of one), and the feeling of invulnerability that starts to creep in, which can be dangerous.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver revealed that he underwent heart bypass surgery last week. That makes three cabinet ministers with heart trouble in the past year or so – including John Duncan and Keith Ashfield.

Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber blogs about party discipline, and correctly identifies that it is both necessary in a Westminster system, and that the real problems are the ability for a leader to sign-off on the nomination papers of any candidate.

Over in the Liberal leadership race, Martha Hall Findlay explains her position on the GST/HST and possible increases. Chantal Hébert wonders if Martin Cauchon hasn’t entered the leadership race too late, and why. Andrew Coyne looks at the field of candidates, and the shift of attention westward.

And provincial NDP leaders from around the country are coming to Ottawa to meet with Thomas Mulcair, as the party tries to reinvigorate their western grassroots (and deepen their Quebec ones, one would assume) – not that Mulcair’s talk of manufacturing or “Dutch Disease” has helped him out any.