Buckingham Palace has written back someone who wrote to appeal to the Queen on Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s behalf. The message? That the Queen, by way of the GG, acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and cabinet, so go bug them. Which is the way it should be, seeing as we have Responsible Government and everything, and the fact that the Queen isn’t magic. And the Spence supporter who wrote her? Is going to write back to complain that his letter to Harper hasn’t been responded to yet, even though it’s only been days, and responses from PMO take something on the order of six months (given the constant deluge of mail they get daily). Oh, but I’m sure his letter was of such high priority that the PMO felt compelled to drop everything and ensure he jumped to the front of the response queue. And I’m quite sure that Buckingham Palace has nothing better to do than order the PMO to ensure that his letter is priority, because he’s special.
The rumoured move to remove AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo from his position seems to be backing down. Former Prime Minister Paul Martin talks about Idle No More, and that what is really needed is a better understanding of Aboriginal issues. John Geddes looks at John Duncan’s ties to the First Nations community, including his late ex-wife and their children. Colin Horgan gives a detailed look at some of the myriad of issues in First Nations land claims and resource revenue sharing.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty broke ministerial guidelines by writing to the CRTC in support of a licence for a local radio station. The very same action that forced the resignation of cabinet minsters in the past. Oops. And the PMO shrugged it off, because the duties of a Member of Parliament, Flaherty’s lack of a role for input into CRTC decisions, and oh yeah, because the bid was unsuccessful. So, if it doesn’t go through, ethically dubious actions are pardoned. Duly noted.
So, that thing with Dean Del Mastro got interesting. First there were reports that the RCMP were being called in to investigate his 2008 election campaign, but then Del Mastro took a swipe at the reporters who wrote about the case in the first place. Or maybe he didn’t, and it was all the PMO doing the talking for him? Which is what he seems to be saying. Not that it isn’t proving the level of farce to which the affair is descending.
CBC talks to a former inmate of the women’s correctional system about the system that killed Ashley Smith.
Nathan Cullen gives his semi-annual plea for greater decorum in the Commons, and his promise to bring a “substantive package” of reforms to the Speaker. Which I’d take all the more seriously if he bothered to police his own MPs and their name-calling, rather than simply laying that policing onto the Speaker.
Meanwhile, Thomas Mulcair looks to be in the lead for “most micro-managing party leader,” as he has ordered his MPs not to respond to a letter that Elizabeth May sent out to all opposition MPs, urging electoral cooperation in the next election.
Here’s a look at Brian Mulroney’s sudden return to public life, and the speeches he’s been making lately. Apparently all has been forgiven.
As ill Senator Joyce Fairbairn retires from the Senate, here’s a look at the issues around declarations around mental incompetence in politics, and some of the frankly civically illiterate letters that people sent to Harper when news of her illness was made public.
In the court case against Edmonton MP Peter Goldring, on trial for refusing to provide a breath sample, the arresting officer said that Goldring had to be forcibly removed from his vehicle after he locked himself inside while he got increasingly belligerent in his refusal to cooperate.
NDP MP Romeo Sagansh has been named Deputy Critic for Intergovernmental Aboriginal Affairs – a portfolio that no one is quite sure what it means.
And over in the Liberal leadership contest, Marc Garneau endorses ranked ballots and severely curtailing – but not eliminating – the power of the leader to appoint candidates. (I’m not a real fan of ranked ballots since they simply artificially inflate a result to give a false 50%, and they have responsible for some spectacular failures, like when Ed Stelmach was made premier in Alberta). Pundit’s Guide looks at the rules laid out for the contest, and what they might mean strategically. Oh, and yes, they’re using a preferential ballot. The first debate is this weekend in Vancouver, with nine candidates on the stage.