QP: Senators and zombies

Despite it being caucus day, where most MPs are present and the energy level is high as they get pumped up before QP. Well, today it wasn’t terribly raucous, with one or two minor exceptions. Thomas Mulcair led off with reading a condemnation about Senator Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses, but Harper, not surprisingly, rejected the characterisation, and said that her travel costs were in line with other parliamentarians from that region. When Mulcair brought Brazeau up, Harper reminded him that the NDP played a part in inviting him to be on the floor of the Commons for the residential schools apology. For his final supplemental, Mulcair read a question about the Human Rights Watch report on the abuse of Aboriginal women and girls by RCMP officers, and Harper said that he was aware of the report and asked that anyone with more information come forward. Niki Ashton picked up that question — but insisted on standing in front of her desk rather than behind it for some reason— to which Vic Toews said that the RCMP Public Complaints Commission was going to look into it. Bob Rae was up next, and wondered why it would go to the complaints commission and not have another police force investigate it like would happen in a criminal complaint. Harper rather bizarrely returned to his point about people with information about these crimes giving that information to the appropriate bodies.

Round two started off with Christine Moore asking about the improper costing of the shipbuilding strategy (Ambrose: Yay shipyard investment!), Matthew Kellway asked about assist audits for defence contractors (Ambrose: We are not cutting these audits, which help our industry), Françoise Boivin and Charlie Angus went after Senators Brazeau and Wallin (Van Loan: The Senate is looking into these allegations, and the professor who said Wallin should be removed is a former NDP staffer), Alexandrine Latendresse asked about the progress on the motion to strengthen the Chief Electoral Officer’s powers with regards to robo-calls (Uppal: New legislation will be coming in due course). John McCallum asked about the inflation estimates of shipbuilding contracts (Ambrose: These figures are from the military and have been audited), and Judy Foote and Lise St-Denis asked about cuts to services (Clement: Read the estimates). Randall Garrison and Rosane Doré Lefebvre asked about lapsed funding for police recruitment (Toews: You opposed that fund when we proposed it, policing is a provincial and municipal matter), and Murray Rankin asked about tax avoidance (Shea: We aggressively pursue all of the information we receive).

Round three saw questions on EI reform affecting seasonal workers, the pensions of seasonal workers, assistance for manufacturing jobs, delayed CWB approvals in order to pay farmers’ their cheques, abortion, Pat Martin cited a CDC training tool and asked about working with the Americans on preventing a zombie invasion (no, seriously — apparently we have nothing better to talk about. Baird assured him that Canada would not be a safe haven for zombies), and the release of dangerous offenders.

Sartorially speaking, snaps to out to Randy Kamp for a black suit with a pink shirt and striped pink tie, and to Michelle Rempel for a black striped dress with a black jacket. Style citations go out to Candice Bergen for a dress the colour of autumn leaf mulch, and to Bal Gosal for a grey suit with a beige-and-blue striped shirt with a clashing brown and grey striped tie. Dishonourable mention goes out to Ruth Ellen Brosseau for her black jacket and skirt with a bright yellow shirt, and to Maxime Bernier for a charcoal suit with a yellow shirt and pocket square with a brown striped tie. I also noticed a few Métis sashes on a few MPs today.