Monday afternoon, and MPs were still filtering back into Ottawa after the weekend. Thomas Mulcair started things off by reading questions on EI inspectors’ guidelines, and how the government could justify that kind of invasion of privacy. James Moore, the designated back-up PM du jour, accused Mulcair of fear-mongering. Mulcair then moved onto the specious comparison between the Senate and its “honour system” and the EI inspections. Moore pointed out that Mulcair was happy to trash people without offering any particular solutions for reform. Alexandre Boulerice was up next, and continued to decry said “honour system” (not that this has anything to do with the business of the Commons, and never mind that MPs’ books are even more opaque). Poilievre stood up to speak to Boulerice’s separatist credentials instead of answering. Bob Rae was up for the Liberals next, wondering about the government’s curious plans for dealing with slow economic growth by means of more austerity and curtailing competition. Moore instead insisted that the Liberals had no credible economic plans. Rae asked then about the EI inspections, not that Moore’s answer differed much. For his final question, Rae asked about how security clearances have become more lax under the present government. Moore insisted that the allegations against Dr. Arthur Porter had nothing to do with his time as an appointee.
Round two started with Charlie Angus repeating Boulerice’s questions in English (Poilievre: You were cited for attempted gerrymandering), Peggy Nash returned to the ludicrous conspiracy theory that independent Senator Anne Cools was the pawn of the PMO in trying to shut down the PBO (Clement: Page’s term is almost up and we are looking for a replacement), Anne-Marie Day and Chris Charlton returned to the topic of EI inspections (Finley: We want to ensure that those who paid into the system can claim the benefits they’re entitled to), and James Rafferty, Philip Toone and Robert Aubin asked about EI changes affecting the regions (Finley: We want to help people get jobs; Paradis: We are helping the regions). Stéphane Dion listed off former Conservative candidates opposed to the EI changes (Finley: EI is there to help people!), Rodger Cuzner asked about why EI inspections were now random (Finley: We are protecting the integrity of the system), and Joyce Murray asked about the UN Special Rapporteur for Food’s report (Aglukkaq: The envoy was sorely misinformed). Djaouida Sallah and Libby Davies picked up on the same question (Aglukkaq gave the same answer, but to Davies, belittled her plans for a federal sodium registry), and Malcolm Allen and Ruth Ellen Brosseau bemoaned the lack of young farmers in the country (Lemieux: We’re helping farms to thrive!)
Round three saw questions on veterans’ privacy breaches, counterfeiting agreements, immigration file processing wait times, the deadlines on the Arctic mapping plans, the Kitsilano Coast Guard station closure, the decision to sell off a federal tree-farm in Saskatchewan, changing the mission of the Museum of Civilization, closures at Canada Post, and one last kick at EI reforms.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a dark grey pinstripe suit with a white shirt and a cream tie, and to Megan Leslie for a fitted maroon dress. Style citations go out to Ruth Ellen Brosseau for a mustard sweater with a black-and-white top and black skirt, and to Harold Albrecht for a black suit with a yellow shirt and tie.