Roundup: Keystone XL silence

Thomas Mulcair is in Washington DC, and while he didn’t actively lobby against the Keystone XL pipeline down there, he did argue that it would cost some 40,000 Canadian jobs (though I’m not sure where that number might have come from). Joe Oliver, meanwhile, thinks that Mulcair is being hypocritical by remaining silent, since he and his party have already made their position on the pipeline clear (and I’m sure that he would like to hit back at the NDP for lobbying against Canada’s interests if that were the case).

They’ve been in government for seven years, but Peter MacKay still insists that the problems in replacing our fleet of search and rescue planes isn’t the fault of the defence department – despite all evidence to the contrary, with allegations of rigged bid processes (once again).

The government is planning on consolidating its 1500 or so websites into something closer to six. And it’s totally not about making it easier to disappear web pages with inconvenient facts or data on them – not at all!

The federal procurement ombudsman found that the Canada School of Public Service was cooking its own contracts to ensure that they went to favoured suppliers. Because that’s the way to demonstrate to future public servants how they should run their operations.

The government is doubling funding to programmes that help would-be smuggled asylum seekers get back to their country of origin after being stranded in West Africa rather than see them reach our shores.

Continued testing delays of the F-35s could put its cost out of reach for the US – never mind Canada or other partner countries. (Can we just put a stake through its heart already?)

Here is a look at some polling data on the desirability of a carbon tax in Canada, with attention paid to the language employed by said poll.

Economist Stephen Gordon looks back to the original “Dutch disease” – where resource and commodity prices affected the manufacturing sector – and finds that in fact workers were better off in the Netherlands in that period, where their buying power increased by ten percent as jobs and wages shifted. In other words, it really wasn’t the doom for its economy that it has been depicted as.

Former PM Jean Chrétien reminisces about saying no to joining the Iraq War ten years ago.

Here is the line up of speakers that the NDP has booked for their upcoming policy convention.

In his exit interview before retiring from the Senate, Bert Brown says that the Senate shouldn’t be abolished because it will create a dictatorship. Oy. Remember that Brown also asserted that Senators have are obliged to support the PM that appointed them – even though they’re not. As for his “dictatorship” argument, it is true that without the Senate, even more power would centralise in the PMO, and we would lose valuable long-term perspective, institutional memory, and valuable legislative oversight because bills that pass the Commons are often riddled with errors. But “dictatorship” is perhaps a bit too harsh of a word. And yet, his pet project of an elected Senate would also create its own share of problems, and one of them is the issue of logjam (and while yes, he proposed an override mechanism, it’s one fraught with complications of its own). And what do you suppose the response to getting around that logjam would be? Why, having the Governor in Council wielding a lot more powers in the name of expediency. So much for Brown’s argument.

Over in the Liberal leadership race, things are getting acrimonious over the request to extend the voting registration deadline for supporters by an extra week. While several campaigns have now come forward reporting problems, Joyce Murray’s campaign feels that the request for an extension is akin to gerrymandering, that the individual appeals process is sufficient for those who are having problems with their registration – or the campaigns are incompetent. Apparently about 30,000 of the supporters Trudeau signed up didn’t provide email addresses, which is part of the holdup they’re trying to address. And Martin Cauchon emerged from his time tunnel to 1995 to change his mind about agreeing to the call for an extension, and he’s now siding with Murray. Meanwhile, here’s a profile of candidate Karen McCrimmon.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including Senator Bert Brown’s inability to communicate on camera, his putative successor not really understanding how the Senate operates, and an interview with Jean Chrétien on staying out of the Iraq war ten years ago.

And Aaron Wherry muses about the Globe and Mail’s (fair) criticisms about the Jack biopic on CBC last weekend.