Roundup: Attack ads and shadow MPs

The NDP are launching anti-Conservative attack ads in Quebec. Because they’re the party that wants to raise the tone of debate and end the politics of division! They’ve also declared that MP Dany Morin will act as a kind of “shadow MP” for Claude Patry’s riding, to ensure that his constituents can still get their voices hear. Um, okay – remember when people were up in arms that the Conservatives had defeated candidates as “shadow MPs” in opposition ridings? How is this any different, really?

The government is going to scale back on their Arctic operations, as well as some training operations in other environments, because of budget cuts. Also being scaled back are plans for a naval base in the North. Remember the whole “use it or lose it” mentality that the government was applying to Arctic sovereignty? Yeah, what ever happened to that?

Oh dear – Her Majesty has been taken to hospital with signs of gastroenteritis. Not that we should be too concerned, given that she’s probably got another twenty years left of the throne, but we do wish her the best regardless.

Elements of Senator Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu’s divorce proceedings have made it into the papers, and bring up his residency issues – that he’s currently living in Gatineau for the past few months rather than Sherbrooke, which the Senator says will remain his primary residence until his divorce proceedings are finalised. Never mind that the Senate’s internal economy board cleared it, Charlie Angus, the great arbiter of what is pure and good, has deemed this to be An Issue. Meanwhile, former Conservative Senator Michael Fortier bemoans his experience as a Senator and says the place should be abolished – apparently it was too partisan for his liking, never mind that he didn’t do his job and never attended Senate QP despite being a minister in charge of an important portfolio, and the fact that his appointment was made under a certain cloud, and that the Senate knew he was in it for the short term. But hey, why does context matter about anything?

After a new economic development agency was developed to assist Canada’s newest “have-not” region – Southern Ontario – it seems that Toronto got most of that money.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Food scolds Canada on our anti-poverty efforts, and part of that scolding has to do with the cancellation of the long-form census and the Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement, apparently, because of the impact on supply management and “buy local.” I can now look forward to more condemnation of him and his report by cabinet ministers in future Question Periods.

In the Liberal leadership race, the fourth debate was yesterday, and Trudeau remained the frontrunner. (My write-up is here). It was also revealed that Trudeau’s campaign has signed up at least 150,000 supporters in order to (conceivably) vote for him. That’s apparently 20,000 more than total NDP memberships in their last campaign – and that doesn’t include any of the other candidates’ supporters signed up to date. Also over the weekend, the Globe and Mail had a look at Trudeau’s inner circle, and the kind of campaign they’re helping him run.

Over in BC, reports of what could have been a caucus uprising and potential vote of non-confidence in Premier Christy Clark by cabinet turned out to be…almost nothing, except a couple of disgruntled party members and a failed Surrey mayoral candidate. While I’m not sure that everything is as hunky dory as presented, I think there is also a recognition that attempting to change leaders immediately before an election would be an invitation to be wiped out electorally. But it does make one wonder as to how it became as hyped as it was.

And Scott Feschuk gives us Senator Mike Duffy’s seven-step crisis management strategy.