Roundup: Mulcair’s PMB on the PBO

It seems that Thomas Mulcair will be putting forward a Private Member’s Bill after all – relating to strengthening the mandate of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. Of course, Peggy Nash already has a similar bill tabled, so Mulcair’s will either have to be significantly different in order to meet the rules, or Nash will have to either withdraw hers or transfer it over to Mulcair (possibly by means of unanimous consent). They say that Mulcair’s will be different enough, but we’ll have to see what the committee in charge of these things says.

Well this is very interesting. It seems that the government approved two different sets of messages around its environmental reforms – one for First Nations, and another for industry, and no, they haven’t explained why there is that difference yet.

AFN Chief Shawn Atleo is pressing Vic Toews to renew some $30 million in funding for Aboriginal policing, saying that it would be quite the double-standard if the “tough on crime” government doesn’t treat First Nations policing the same as the rest of the country.

The Conservatives dispute the low ranking their government has received regarding freedom of information – and yet it took five months to release the four-page document outlining the rebuttal by means of an Access to Information request. Oh, the irony.

The Toronto Star has a look at the “fuzzy” and “antiquated” Senate rules around residency for Senators. It seems now that the Conservatives are going to claim that Mike Duffy’s cottage on PEI is enough to qualify him to sit in the Sente on behalf of PEI, because “number of days” isn’t in the constitution. I do wonder if the Senate as a whole will feel the same way.

Meanwhile, here is a look at the top ten spenders in the Senate in various categories. Some of them are fairly justified, like Senator McCoy, because she’s an independent with no caucus funds for things like research, but others, like why Senator Duffy would have the second-highest in office expenses and hospitality, is a bit mystifying.

And Colin Horgan looks at the problem of Thomas Mulcair’s lack of national profile.