Today in the Warawa/MPs’ freedom of speech file, the motion was blocked again by the committee, which means that Warawa has the final appeal to the House itself if he so chooses. Meanwhile, other MPs, including Nathan Cullen gave their responses to Warawa’s privilege motion, and most of them resorted to hockey metaphors – because we have no other form of elegant discourse in this country, apparently. Oh, and it was a bit rich for Cullen to decry the partisan attack SO31s when his own party is increasingly doing the very same, and he once again asks the Speaker to rule rather than taking any kind of agency as a party for their own centralising behaviour. The Globe and Mail reports that caucus heard that Harper was explicit during Wednesday’s caucus meeting that he would use any and all means necessary to keep the abortion issue off the table as he has pledged to the electorate. Chris Hall looks at how this is an example of abortion politics masquerading as a free speech issue. Four Liberal leadership candidates respond to the question of what they would do with this situation – and no, Justin Trudeau was not one of the responders. And if you’re curious, PostMedia gives a breakdown of the current state of abortion laws and access in this country.
During QP yesterday, Harper pledged that they would have a new bill to respond to the Chief Electoral Officer’s concerns on robocalling soon. Mind you, they’ve been saying “soon” for six months, but on the other hand, the report was just tabled…
The government’s decision to pull out of the UN convention on drought because it’s too much of a “talkfest” is a curious way to look at international diplomacy – especially since John Baird is jetting off to the Middle East to ostensibly do just that. Talk, albeit “constructively,” apparently.
Tony Clement insists that consolidating government websites is totally about efficiency and the user experience, and not at all about keeping information under tight wrap – really!
As of April 1st, MPs base salaries go up automatically to $160,000 per year, for those of you keeping score. Meanwhile, the latest round of Senate expenses have been tabled, and three out of the four Senators under investigation have cut their spending dramatically in the past quarter. The Senator whose expenses actually increased, despite the scrutiny and media attention – Senator Duffy. Try not to look surprised. (And just a reminder that we can’t see these kinds of expenses for MPs because they won’t open their own books up).
Paul Wells savages the Economic Action Plan™ – as it is not a budget – and puts it in the larger context of the Harper years in office. John Geddes talks to the author of a CIBC World Markets report on the skills shortage that the government keeps referring to, and it seems that the biggest needs – health services, engineering, and so on – require a lot of post-secondary, and it’s not just the skilled trades where the shortages are.
The Public Service Commission found that ACOA bent the rules to hire a former staffer of Peter MacKay’s to a high-level position in the organisation despite the fact that there were other, more qualified people in the running. It did not, however, find there to be any interference from either MacKay or Keith Ashfield’s offices, despite what the NDP may have claimed during QP.
Speaking of ministers’ offices, it seems that Denis Lebel’s son was working in Peter Penashue’s office, and when Penashue resigned and his Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio went to Lebel, said son had to move offices to avoid breaking the rules.
Pat Martin complains that Conservatives are “carpet bombing” his riding with partisan mailers. You know, like the NDP did in Conservative ridings beforehand.
The CBC’s David McKie writes about the challenges of getting the data he used to break his story on drug seizures in Canada.
Over in the Liberal leadership race, Joyce Murray has now overtaken Martha Hall Findlay when it comes to fundraising – though she is still nowhere close to the million dollars that Justin Trudeau has raised.
And here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including a galling display from Pierre Poilievre, Craig Scott going to great lengths to equivocate the committee decision to keep Warawa’s motion non-voteable, and pro-life Jason Kenney agreeing with that committee’s decision.