Roundup: Historical outrage and undermining the Court

A new book claims that then-Chief Justice Bora Laskin kept political leaders informed as to the status of the patriation reference in the days of the patriation negotiations with London, and now the Quebec government is calling it an erosion of the legitimacy of the court and wants the Prime Minister to turn over all of the records from the period. PMO says no, and the Supreme Court said it’ll investigate the allegations. But seriously – trying to undermine a branch of government for narrow partisan gain? Way to go, guys. Slow clap. Martin Patriquin puts this into perspective with the rest of the Quebec perpetual outrage machine.

Revenue minister Gail Shea wants the CBC to hand over its documents on the 450 Canadians with offshore accounts – and CBC says no thanks, we’re not an arm of the government, thank you very much. The NDP’s revenue critic wants Shea to come before committee to explain the cuts to her department – no matter how many times she’s explained it in QP and in public. Meanwhile, it appears that Senator Pana Merchant, whose husband was reported to have an off-shore tax haven, has had tax issues of her own, going to Tax Court over disputes about unreported income (which she has blamed on accounting errors and a complicated investment portfolio).

Remember that memo where Julian Fantino apparently requested all his sign-off documentation in English? His office said the leaked memo was altered – by they won’t provide the originals “for privacy reasons.” The source says it’s untouched. If Fantino’s office wants to prove they’re right, I think it’s up to them to pony up evidence.

The whole “iPod tax” confusion gets even more confusing after it seems that CBSA is looking to collect a bunch of back-tariffs from Sony over imports to Canada thanks to changes to the tariff codes. Yeah, this is getting more and more embarrassing for the government as every day goes by (and given some of the back-and-forth on this file, it’s one wonders how they’ll be able to keep denying it).

Access to Information documents show the extent to which HRSDC went to search for that missing drive full of student loan data. And while they did search high and low, it wasn’t found, and should serve as a reminder of what a lax culture of responsibility for records management nets you.

Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are getting a reduction in their danger pay, allegedly because the country isn’t as dangerous as it used to be.

Despite the fact that it was only supposed to have a lifespan of five years, it seems that Radarsat-1 is finally giving up the ghost after 17. Not bad for a bit of Canadian engineering.

Maclean’s talks to Alison Redford while in Washington.

OH NOES! A Conservative backbencher plans to screen an anti-abortion film on the Hill. I can’t wait for Niki Ashton to stand up in the House to demand that the Prime Minister clamp down on this kind of backbencher behaviour lest it prove he has a hidden agenda on abortion! And then they’ll go back to ridiculing the Conservatives about muzzles – because they can have it both ways!

Susan Delacourt has an intriguing blog post about another Justin Trudeau-Brian Mulroney connection, which also features Mulroney stirring the “united right” pot just a bit as part of his recollections of Margaret Thatcher.

And in unsurprising news, Stephen Harper and Brian Mulroney will be part of the Canadian delegation to Thatcher’s funeral. Here’s another conversation with Mulroney about Thatcher, which was an amusing read.

Here is a look at the breakdown of the panels to discuss the policy resolutions for the NDP convention this weekend. Colin Horgan looks at the romance with high-speed rail in the policy resolutions, and the reality of that romance.

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including some unsubtle and possibly hysterical rhetoric on the temporary foreign workers programme which mashed a whole bunch of numbers together without any regard for context and set MPs on it like fresh meat. Oh, television.

And Google Street View’s trolley-sized version toured Parliament Hill yesterday, capturing the Commons, the Senate, the Library of Parliament, and even the PM’s office, making those images now searchable on their service.