Roundup: Money out the door

As part of their warm-up before the House returns next week, the Conservatives have been blanketing the country with ministerial good news announcements/re-announcements, and getting the local MPs in on it (which is actually a clear violation of their roles – backbench MPs are not supposed to hand out the cash, they’re supposed to hold the government to account when they hand it out). Yesterday’s score was about $205 million.

Aboriginal Affairs minister John Duncan issues a reminder that it’s inappropriate for the GG to attend future meetings on First Nations issues. Meanwhile, reports are that the Manitoba chiefs – who have been among the most vocal and radicalised in terms of the untenable demands with regards to the unilateral demands around the GG’s participation – are considering breaking with the AFN. Here’s a look at how urban Aboriginal issues are being marginalised as the current Idle No More debate continues.

Ruh-roh! It seems like the government’s changes to the way Netfile works for your tax returns – to “simplify” things – could leave people vulnerable to identity theft or third-party mischief. Way to go on thinking that change though, CRA! And what’s that? They didn’t even bother to consult the Privacy Commissioner on these changes? Yeah, that’s not going to go over well.

Gary Goodyear wades into the F-35 costing debate and proclaims the Conservatives were right all along – but uses selective math to justify his position, which isn’t actually right.

Foreign Affairs still hasn’t decided if or how we’ll extend our aid to the situation in Mali – but the RCAF has adjusted its C-17 flight schedule for the next three months to accommodate a longer Mali mission, which is probably an indication.

It looks like the governor of Nebraska has okayed the new route for the Keystone XL pipeline, which just needs President Obama’s approval. So, while this could mean good news for oil sands production, it would also mean that it is still selling it at West Texas prices rather than world prices, meaning Alberta would continue to sell it at a significant discount until a pipeline to tidewater is built.

Here’s a look at the World Economic Forum, happening in Davos, Switzerland this week. While Harper is not attending this year, Flaherty, Baird, Fast and Paradis are, along with Mark Carney, Alison Redford and Pauline Marois.

Omar Khadr has switched up lawyers – retaining the services of his former counsel – as he prepares to sue the federal government for violating his constitutional rights.

And Elizabeth May wonders how NDP MPs can stomach being under such heavy-handed control when Thomas Mulcair won’t even let them talk to her about electoral cooperation and such.