Roundup: Who are the unreal people who don’t deserve real things?

The NDP were out first thing Monday morning to launch their pre-budget ad campaign, dubbed “Real things for real people.” No, seriously – that’s what it was. And it was all about all kinds of anti-austerity things they wanted to see – but had no costing figures to present either. Because it’s not like that’s what the first thing the media is going to ask or anything. It directs people to their website, which is full of all kinds of fun and specious dichotomies like “failed fighter jets or public transit” – because you can only have one or the other, apparently. I’m also still waiting to hear about what counts as a “real person” – clone troopers? Flesh “Gangers”? Soong-type androids? Lyekka? Cylons? How about childfree singletons that don’t live in suburbia? Yeah, genius move whoever thought up this particular gem.

Meanwhile, budget cuts at Environment Canada are getting rid of the science teams capable of doing the work necessary to measure the emissions levels that are part of their enforcement regulations. In other words, defeating the whole point of having the enforcement regulations if you can’t measure the emissions. Good job, guys. Way to go. Slow clap.

On the Peter Penashue front, it looks like he waited until the last possible day to file his changed elections paperwork before he resigned to run in a by-election. Had he waited, Elections Canada would have revoked his ability to sit in the Commons or vote there, and it wasn’t just some compliance officer coming down on him – it was the Chief Electoral Officer himself who gave him the March 4th deadline to file the corrected paperwork, and then Penashue took an additional ten days before he resigned, while he lined up a new campaign website and advertising – you know, before the writ has been dropped, so it won’t count toward his limits. Which is exactly the kind of message you want to send after you’ve been caught breaching the limits the last time.

Alberta premier Alison Redford came to Ottawa today to rip Thomas Mulcair a new one for his “betrayal” of Canadian economic interests while on his Washington trip last week. Well, okay, she was also in town to give a speech to the Economic Club of Canada and to open her province’s new representative’s office in town, but Mulcair was certainly focus of her remarks.

Greg Weston looks at the “peeved” Stephen Harper and what it means about the likely changes being announced in the budget when it comes to funding for training programmes in order to deal with the “skills mismatch” in our labour force. His take – likely not much this year, but a promise to make changes when federal-provincial funding transfer agreements come up for renewal next year. Maclean’s looked at this phenomenon of the skills mismatch in the current issue.

Minority language groups have asked for intervenor status before the Supreme Court for the Senate Reference question – which is as it should be, considering that the protection of minority languages, be it Anglophones in Quebec, or Francophones and Acadians in other provinces, was one of the founding principles of the Senate, and should be a consideration as part of any attempts to “reform” or change it are made.

While they may have been removed from the federal firearms advisory panel, the Canadian Sports Shooting Association wants provincial firearms officers replaced with a single federal overall “civilian agency,” while they agitate against things like trigger locks at gun shows.

The Conservatives and NDP tried to catch each other out yesterday with competing motions condemning the terrorism of the FLQ, after the leader of Quebec Solidaire tried to praise the FLQ member who passed away last week. Whereas the Conservatives tried to tie the NDP to Quebec Solidaire, the NDP managed to pass their own motion condemning all forms of terrorism – which may have been just what the Conservatives wanted them to do in the first place.

What’s that? There are concerns that the House committee looking into missing and murdered Aboriginal women will get politicised? You don’t say!

As it turns out, the government and not a jury will be deciding on which of the two finalists will be chosen for the new War of 1812 memorial to be placed on Parliament Hill.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, where guest host Terry Milewski was on fire, kicking ass and taking names. Also, his back-and-forth with Laura Payton on the Penashue file was excellent stuff. We need more political TV like this!

And Aaron Wherry conducts a lengthy exit interview with Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page. It does seem to me, however, that all of these concerns around how visible Page became are in large part the fault of the opposition, who would rather that he did their homework for them because he was independent and therefore “credible,” rather than his simply being a resource for them to use as they did said homework and math. But no, why would MPs want to do their own work? Math is hard, and they have a Private Member’s Bill that will never, ever see the light of day to shop around instead.