Roundup: Carefully managed budget leaks

As is the usual order of business these days, a carefully managed pre-budget “leak” was released yesterday in the form of a private letter to caucus – the “private” being a full wink-wink-nudge-nudge, of course. This is what we call building the narrative and managing the message. In said letter, Jim Flaherty signalled that his priorities will be skills training, infrastructure and “value-added” manufacturing jobs (never mind that “value added” is a misnomer term, as “value-added” is simply labour input + capital input). Maclean’s has produced a preview guide to the budget coming down this week. Michael Den Tandt believes it’s going to be a “stay the course” budget without any transformational change.

Speaking of Jim Flaherty, he browbeat Manulife Financial over the phone to prevent them from engaging in a mortgage war when they were about to lower their mortgage rates, which seems to acknowledge that he has realised the problem of consumer debt in this country is a serious one and needs to be managed – not to mention the housing bubble that needs to be deflated.

While the federal government waits to hear if a new group will take over the operation of the Experimental Lakes Area, a federal scientist with a research grant to research nanosilver was all set to being his work in the area, but is now being forced to put said research on hold. Preventing researchers from doing their work there this summer could mean the loss of a year’s worth of critical research data.

The Speaker has ruled that Diane Finley did not mislead the House when she said there were no quotas for finding fraudulent EI claimants, but rather that it was a matter of debate since it’s not his job to determine what the truth is.

John Geddes disputes the claim that Peter Penashue was the best MP from Labrador in the history of ever, despite what Stephen Harper may have boasted during QP yesterday.

Charlie Gillis looks at the Border Security reality series and the trade-offs they made for access, and the rather one-sided look that the public will end up getting of CBSA and their activities.

Oh look – more ridiculous posturing in the Commons about the costs of answering Order Paper questions. Because gods forbid that democracy actually costs money! And speaking of Order Paper questions, it seems the government can’t provide the figures on how much it spent on RCMP, CSIS, CBSA or Corrections legal fees. Transparency!

The government has appointed an envoy for First Nations with regards to pipeline issues, as the push for the Northern Gateway continues (as evidenced by the new tanker safety regulations).

Staff at Library and Archives Canada are being trained in their new Code of Conduct – one which Heritage Minister James Moore has distanced himself from, saying this came from the department itself and not his office, and that he’s not trying to muzzle librarians and archivists.

Over in the Liberal leadership contest, the CBC has a profile of Joyce Murray, from her immigrant beginnings to her successful business and provincial political career. Meanwhile, scrutineers for the seven candidates are poring over the irregularities in the registration process, and ensuring that those who signed up as supporters are who they say they are, given the number of duplicates and people registered in multiple ridings.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, of which P&P was something of a gong show. Quite the contrast from Terry Milewski’s day behind the desk.

And Tim Harper looks at Thomas Mulcair’s first year as NDP leader.