As Wednesdays are caucus days, the MPs tend to be fired up, and QP a little more boisterous. Today was about average when it comes to energy levels and decorum, for what it’s worth. QP got underway with Thomas Mulcair reading off questions about youth unemployment costing the economy $21 billion. Harper responded that job creation and economic prosperity was his government’s top priority and look at all of the jobs that have been created. Mulcair ended by asking pretty much the exact same question on First Nations education as the previous two days, to which Harper touted the 250 newly-built and renovated schools on reserves. Jean Crowder was up next to ask about releasing documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Residential Schools, to which John Duncan said that they were reviewing the court decision on documents but intended to comply with the spirit of it. Bob Rae asked about low First Nation graduation rates, and why their issues weren’t mentioned in his caucus speech that morning. Harper said that their commitment to economic prosperity was to all Canadians. Rae moved onto the issue of EI and those without public transport, quoting Diane Finley’s explanation for why she bills for limo service as there is no transit in her riding, so why not that single mother in PEI. While Finley had a good laugh, Harper assured Rae that EI will always available to those who need it. For his final question, Rae turned his attention to the replacement of the PBO, and Harper replied that the office will be there to provide non-partisan advice (which really does seem to be quite the insinuation against Kevin Page).
Round two kicked off with Peggy Nash and Guy Caron asking about household debt (Menzies: Equifax has reported that credit card debt is actually down), before they both moved onto the issue of the PBO (Clement: There is a process underway to find a credible replacement). Andrew Cash and Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe asked about fees charged for paper bills (Paradis: There is a voluntary code of conduct), and Alexandre Boulerice and Charlie Angus asked about Flaherty’s letter to the CRTC (Van Loan: I have another letter from an NDP MP to the CRTC, conveniently forgetting the distinction between MPs and ministers). Scott Brison asked about the crisis in youth unemployment (Finley: You voted against our youth employment strategy), and Stéphane Dion asked about the problem of cutting Quebec in half in terms of search and rescue responsibility (Ashfield: The changes will have no negative impact). Hélène LeBlanc and Peter Julian asked about the “net benefit” test for foreign takeovers (Paradis: We have a balanced approach), and Denis Bevington asked about devolution of certain areas of jurisdiction to the NWT (John Duncan: We’re working with the NWT to create a framework for devolution).
Round three saw questions on food packaging regulations, the lost student loan data, disability benefits for RCMP veterans, EI changes, maritime rescue centre closures, family farm failures, and cracking down on drunk drivers.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Blake Richards for a grey suit with a white checked shirt and a purple tie and pocket square, and to Judy Foote for a tailored black jacket with a white top. Style citations go out to Djaouida Sellah for a black jacket with an orange and tan circle pattern, and to Colin Carrie for a dusky rose shirt with a dark brown suit and tie. Dishonourable mentions to Bev Shipley for a black suit with a yellow shirt, and to Hélène LeBlanc for a mustard turtleneck with a grey suit jacket with half sleeves that simply make it look ill-fitting.