Roundup: Awaiting the Whatcott decision

It’s going to be an interesting day as the Supreme Court rules on the Whatcott trial, which will be a major ruling around hate speech laws in this country.

The police records for Senator Patrick Brazeau’s arrest warrant have been released, and all of the details are here – grabbing, punching, spitting, stair-pushing, and so on.

In other Senate news, the CBC polled Senators as to their residence, and of the 104 Senators, 17 refused to respond as to where they lived – 16 of those Conservatives (the sole Liberal being Mac Harb, who is currently under investigation). They have an interactive  chart of their responses. Meanwhile, Senator Patterson, who is also having his residency questioned, made the mistake of running away from reporters yesterday, but when they caught up to him said that he is a resident of Nunavut (he is the former premier of the NWT when they were a single territory), and that he’s cooperating fully with the audit. It has also been noticed that Harper was less strident in his defence of Senator Wallin and her repayment of undisclosed expenses yesterday. Oh, and while Charlie Angus may rail on about how the awful Senate is keeping everyone in the dark, it may be worthwhile to remember that there a) hasn’t been time to complete any of the audits, and b) that MPs’ expenses are just as opaque if not more so than those of Senators, so if he wants transparency then he can open up his own books while he’s at it.

And while we’re on the subject, the Supreme Court has denied the government’s request to limit evidence for the Senate reform reference. The government came up with some ridiculous excuse that there have been 140 years of reform ideas so there can’t possibly be any new ones. Obviously they haven’t been paying attention to any institutional scholarship in recent years.

The PBO and Treasury Board are fighting over the issue of cuts to front-line services. The PBO says that Treasury Board’s numbers say they’re happening. Treasury Board is disputing his methodology and thinks he should run his numbers past them before putting out reports – even though he had many meetings with their officials along the way. And yes, opposition MPs are licking their chops about turning this into a political issue that they can try to grab onto.

The Commissioner of the RCMP was before a Commons committee yesterday as part of their investigation into workplace harassment in the Force. And yes, the Commissioner has accepted the recommendations of the complaints commissioner as he works to address those issues.

The NDP want the Government Operations Committee to study the independence and accountability – including the appointment process – of Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General.

Over in the Liberal leadership race, Martin Cauchon tried to join the pile-on against Justin Trudeau, Joyce Murray got the endorsement of Senator Hervieux-Payette, Trudeau got Scott Brison’s endorsement, and David Bertschi challenged Marc Garneau to a one-on-one debate (and I’m sure that everyone patted him on the head for his good effort).

Here are the three things you need to see from the political shows last night, including MPs talking about the Estimates! It’s like they care about what their jobs are!

And Michael Sona, the former Conservative staffer that Sun News fingered as the culprit behind the Guelph robocalls (which he continues to deny), has written to the CRTC to deny SunTV their demanded must-carry status because of his concerns over their journalism standards.