Budget Day — or Economic Action Plan 2013™ Day if you’re following the propaganda — and the House was a bit thin in the ranks. Thomas Mulcair was absent, and so Megan Leslie was up first, asking about the “witch hunt” against the unemployed. Stephen Harper assured her that EI was there for those who need it, and that they wanted to make sure it would be there for everyone who needed. For her last question, Leslie took jabs at “disgraced candidate” Peter Penashue, to which Harper said that Penashue had a record of achievement to run on. Peter Julian was up next, asking about how an oil spill response ship ran aground on the way to a photo-op. Joe Oliver was having none of it, and accused the NDP of rejecting science because they didn’t like the State Department report on the Keystone XL. Bob Rae was up for the Liberals, outlining the timeline between Elections Canada’s letter to Penashue and his resignation. Harper erroneously accused the Liberals of being against the seal hunt and Lower Churchill, and then praised ALL THE THINGS that Penashue did for Labrador. For his final question, Rae asked about Flaherty’s calls to banks about mortgage rates, to which Harper assured him that mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve ever been,
Round two started off with Anne-Marie Day, Philip Toone and Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet asking about EI “secret police” (Leitch: We’re ensuring that EI is there for people when they need it), Yvon Godin decried the lack of action on someone on a hunger strike to protest EI changes (Leitch: Same answer), Jamie Nicholls asked about the Peter Penashue (Poilievre: Not only did he do ALL THE THINGS, he also brought spring to Labrador ), Ryan Cleary asked about the vacancy at the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board (Oliver: Look at the good work this board does), Jack Harris wondered about the five-year ban on those found guilty of elections violations from running again (Poilievre: ALL THE THINGS!), and we had another round of the Charlie Angus/Peter Penashue psychodrama. Scott Sims wondered about Penashue’s government travel as he was in the process of resigning (Poilievre: ALL THE THINGS!), and Gerry Byrne and Poilievre gave more of the same. Kennedy Stewart, Laurin Liu, Anne Quach and Linda Duncan asked about cuts to the Experimental Lakes Area (Goodyear: You reject the science of the Keystone XL Pipeline).
Round three saw questions on the Border Security reality show, funds for military family resource centres, spending on partisan advertising, an investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, how Reg Bowers was miraculously turned from an inexperienced volunteer to someone who transformed the Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, assistance after a devastating snowstorm in the Outouais, the Montreal subway expansion, and an investor agreement with Benin being better than the Canada-China FIPA.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Annick Papillon for a grey jacket and skirt with a white top, and to Blake Richards for a grey suit with a light blue shirt and pocket square with a darker blue striped tie. Style citations go out to the Honourable Member for Warhammer for his grey suit with a red gingham shirt, white vest and eggplant tie, and to Olivia Chow for a black suit with a yellow top. Dishonourable mention goes out to Anne Quach for a return of the black striped turtleneck-stiched-a-purple-quasi-corset top, which, in the words of one astute viewer, “is like something you’d pull out of your closet in 1993 after drunkenly passing out while having Threesome on.” Enough said.