Being both Budget Day Eve and caucus day, the excitement was palpable. Thomas Mulcair led off QP by reading off a question about how Peter Penashue broke the law, and wondered what it said about the rest of the caucus. Harper rejected the characterisation, and touted ALL THE THINGS that Penashue did for Labrador. Mulcair then turned to the issue of Flaherty’s haranguing banks to not engage in a mortgage war when he wouldn’t regulate credit card rates. Harper insisted that mortgage rates were at the lowest rate in history, and Flaherty was trying to ensure market stability. Françoise Boivin was up next asking about the PBO’s latest report on crime legislation spending, but Rob Nicholson mostly deflected by bringing up Mulcair’s meeting with Gary Freeman while in the States. Bob Rae returned to the question of Penashue, to which Harper considered Rae’s characterisations to be negative campaigning. For his final question, Rae brought up the Competition Act with respect to Flaherty’s calls to the banks about mortgage rates, not that Harper’s answer about market stability changed.
Round two stated off with Peggy Nash demanding specific information about job cuts from the budget (Menzies: It will be tabled tomorrow but it won’t increase taxes!), Guy Caron wanted a process to find out how much tax evasion costs the government (Shea: This is an international problem and we are working with other countries), Christine Moore asked about search and rescue capacity (Ashfield: We ensure that the Coast Guard has the tools they need), Jack Harris put a Labrador spin on the same question (MacKay: The province’s capacity increased when Penashue was the minister), before he, Ryan Cleary and Carlie Angus moved onto more dedicated Penashue questions (Poilievre: Penashue did ALL THE THINGS in Labrador!). Gerry Byrne carried on with Penashue questions, worrying about Rule of Law (Poilievre: Slurs!), and Judy Foote tied in Penasahue’s on the search and rescue file (MacKay: Stop playing political games with the death of a minor). Randall Garrison and Rosane Doré Lefebvre asked about the warden in charge during Ashley Smith’s being back on the job (Toews: We directed our officials to work with the coroner’s inquest and hiring decisions are made by the department, not me), and Sadia Groguhé and Paul Dewar asked about Syrian refugee family reunification (Dykstra: The minister has spoken with Syrian Canadians, and Turkey won’t allow resettlement until the UNHCR process is complete).
Round three saw questions about surgery wait times, nickel dust levels around Quebec City, the PBO report on crime spending, offering services in both official languages, calls for an RCMP veterans settlements, OAS eligibility, the Montreal subway extension, and applying Bill 101 to areas of federal jurisdiction.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to James Bezan for a black suit with a light blue shirt, green pocket square and blue and green tie, and to Stella Ambler for a grey suit with a red patterned top. Style citations go out to Isabelle Morin for a leopard-print blouse with tan trousers, and to Jean Rousseau for a brown suit, brown shirt and cream striped tie.