It was a frosty Monday in Ottawa, with a bitter wind blowing from the west. None of the three main party leaders were in the House, but the ranks weren’t quite sparse enough to consider it a Friday QP on a Monday. Things started off with David Christopherson angrily reading off a question about protecting pensions, to which Gary Goodyear touted the ways in which the government has improved pensions. He then moved onto the topic of the supposed “quotas” for EI and Diane Finley apparently calling EI recipients “bad guys” (even though she did not such thing, but called people who abuse EI bad guys, and hey, remember when the NDP were all in a knot about the “bald-faced lies” about the carbon tax farce? Funny how that works, no?) John Baird — apparently the back-up PM du jour — insisted that Finley never said that, and yay for stamping out fraud. Nicole Turmel was up next, asking the same questions in French, and got the same responses from Goodyear and Finley. Ralph Goodale led off for the Liberals, asking about youth unemployment and demanding a freeze on “payroll taxes.” Baird was back up, touting their Economic Action Plan™, for what it’s worth. Stéphane Dion closed the round, decrying the “job-killing EI reform” and how it would destroy seasonal industries. Small surprise, Diane Finley got up to deny that was the case.
Round two started off with Megan Leslie asking about spill mitigation measures agreed to with the Arctic Council (Rempel: We have measures in place), Peggy Nash asked about a report saying that poverty is increasing (Finley: inequality rates haven’t increased and look at our poverty reduction programmes), Anne Marie Day, Chris Charlton, Andrew Cash, Philip Toone and Yvon Godin returned to the previous EI questions including the “bad guys” misquote (Finley: I never said that, and EI is there for seasonal workers when they need it). Rodger Cuzner asked about when the missing student loan data (Finley was much more unequivocal about how much of a problem this was for the department), Scott Brison asked when there might be some action on his motion on an income inequality study (Finley: Look at how much we’ve done to reduce child poverty), and Lise St-Denis asked about child poverty (Finley gave largely the same answer). Randall Garrison asked about something Toews said — which Toews immediately denied, Rosane Doré Lefebvre asked about cuts to a programme to combat organised crime (Toews: I wish you would support our crime measures), and Sylvain Chicoine and Irene Mathyssen asked about a report on inequality faced by RCMP veterans (Blaney: You should support
Round three saw questions on Senator Mike Duffy, Jim Flaherty’s CRTC letters, the Senate reference taking so long, the funding gap for First Nations students, support for cooperatives, an expired moratorium on oil and gas exploration in George’s Bank, CFIA declaring fish with ISA virus safe for human consumption, a local decision (that the minister agreed to review), hacked Twitter passwords, and whether Arthur Porter was subjected to proper background checks.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James Bezan for a chocolate suit with a pink shirt and a light blue tie and pocket square, and to Rona Ambrose for her snow leopard dress with a fitted black jacket. Style citations go out to Candice Bergen for a yellow top with a dark grey jacket, and to Dany Morin for a fluorescent yellow shirt with a light grey suit. Dishonourable mention goes out to Linda Duncan for a giant puffy yellow and brown jacket with a quilted pattern.