Roundup: Apparently successful pipeline lobbying

Access to Information documents have shown that the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association was pushing for the changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act that went through in the fall omnibudget bill. They note, however, that the provisions strengthen the environmental protections because they’re all under one review now, rather than spread out.

Service Canada employees around the country have made random house calls to EI recipients to personally invite them to EI interviews – a move that is being called “intimidation.” I suspect this will be conflated and rolled into the false “bad guys” quote and make the rounds during QP next week.

Well this is rather inconvenient – NDP MP Andrew Cash gets paid for every new episode of Dragon’s Den that airs on CBC thanks to music that he provided for the show. He wrote to the Ethics Commissioner, who told him fine, but you can’t debate or vote on CBC funding issues. Except that he has been. Oops. This means that either we need to abolish the Commons, or the Prime Minister has to kick him out of Parliament, right? That’s how this game works, or am I mistaken?

Because this government never misses the opportunity to be crassly partisan, it seems that opposition MPs were dropped from the invite lists for the Prime Minister’s volunteer awards after groups in their ridings were awarded. And the rationalisations are pretty laughable. But all kidding aside, this is one more example of why awards should come from the Governor General as chancellor of the honours system, representing the Queen as the fount of honours. Otherwise it gets political, partisan, and nonsense like this happens.

Tony Clement has finally released figures on public sector job cuts, including the regional breakdowns.

Maverick Conservative MP Brent Rathgetber is moving from the Justice committee to Aboriginal Affairs – not because he’s being punished for being outspoken, but because he wants to actually know what’s going on with that file. It almost sounds novel.

The Information Commissioner has been asked to look into the practice of “muzzling” government scientists, after a report was released detailing the practice, and how these scientists are barred from talking to the media and the public.

Senate audits are showing that more work needs to be done when it comes to its contracting practices, including those for office staff.

Over in the Liberal leadership camp, Martha Hall Findlay says that the Liberals need more than a celebrity leader, and implies that she has more substance and experience than Justin Trudeau does.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including John Baird’s rather curious assertion that once you have religious freedom, other freedoms take care of themselves. Um, really? You may need to rethink that one.

And Jen Gerson has a wonderfully wonky look at the Alberta fiscal situation, which is actually quite an interesting read.