QP: Baird backs up everyone

The morning on the Hill was a bit of a gong show — NDP MP Claude Patry crossed the floor over to the Bloc, and Conservatives everywhere were frantically distancing themselves from Stephen Harper’s former mentor and chief of staff, Tom Flanagan, after he made comments about child pornography. When QP got underway, Thomas Mulcair read a pair of questions about those sixteen Senators who didn’t tell the CBC about their residency, and doubted their ability to investigate themselves — you know, like MPs do. John Baird, the designated back-up PM du jour, responded by assuring him that the outside auditors had been called in for the four Senators in question. For his final question, Mulcair asked about the PBO’s report on the Joint Support Ship plans. Baird didn’t answer, but ridiculed Mulcair’s Private Member’s bill on the PBO, which would require Senate sign off for for a new PBO, even though his position on the Senate is abolition. Matthew Kellway was up next and asked the very same thing, but this time Rona Ambrose answered, touting the expertise that they have in place, but they would make any adjustments with the Navy and the Coast Guard going forward. Bob Rae wouldn’t let up, and demanded to know if those “adjustments” meant fewer ships or a bigger budget. For his final question, Bob Rae wondered about how the government went about trying to get a security clearance for Dr. Arthur Porter, and related it to other lapses like Bruce Carson. Vic Toews tried to summon high dudgeon for the opposition “abdicating” their responsibility in approving Porter’s appointment, apparently oblivious to his own abdication of accountability for the appointment.

Round two kicked off with Christine Moore and Jack Harris returning to the issue of the shipbuilding report (Ambrose: We have the expertise we need), Randall Garrison and Romeo Saganash asked about the expiring First Nations policing funding (Toews: You guys oppose our tough on crime measures), Anne-Marie Day, Jean Rousseau, Jonathan Genest-Jourdain, Linda Duncan, and Chris Charlton asked about EI changes (Baird: Yay hard working Canadians who pay into the system). John McKay and Denis Coderre pointed out that if the government hadn’t managed to bungle the Joint Support Ship programme we would have three ships right now instead of escalating costs on two that haven’t been built yet (Ambrose: We have expertise and we worked with the PBO). Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice asked about Senators Patterson and Harb’s residency (Poilievre to Angus: What about your attempts at gerrymandering? To Boulerice: So how about the Separatist in your caucus joining the Bloc? Are you the NDPQ?). For his final question, Boulerice asked about the PM’s judgement with Arthur Porter’s appointment (Poilievre: You donate to separatist parties).

Round three saw questions on hiring foreign pilots, VIA Rail cuts, First Nations policing, cuts to CFIA, EI changes impacting industry, the plight of young workers, and the lack of paper copies of tax returns.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Michelle Rempel for a v-necked black dress with half-sleeves, and to Blake Richards for a dark grey suit with a light purple shirt and a dark purple tie and pocket square. Style citations go out to Robert Goguen for a fluorescent blue shirt with a black suit and a brown and blue striped tie, and to Linda Duncan for an orange long jacket with a black quasi-clockwork pattern across it. Dishonourable mentions to both Bal Gosal and Bev Shipley for black suits with yellow shirts and ties.