Roundup: Assessing Mulcair’s QP performance

PostMedia takes a look at Thomas Mulcair’s QP performance, and the kinds of topics that he ends to cover – in particular, that he tries to focus more on economic issues than shying away from them. That said, I’m not sure that “Why won’t the government adopt the NDP’s plan” is really a question on the economy… Included in the analysis is a critique that Mulcair doesn’t seem to have grasped the way that the Liberals could set the agenda for days while they were the Official Opposition through careful use of QP, which the NDP haven’t been able to master. Indeed, they haven’t quite mastered actual debate as they simply give the same question to several MPs in both official languages, as though there wasn’t a response given that could embarrass them down the line when they asked the very same question again and again. Also, nowhere is it mentioned that he continues to read his questions from his miniature lectern on a daily basis.

The first report of the interim Parliamentary Budget Officer shows that the government’s infrastructure spending faces delays and spends less than planned. The NDP claims it’s all a “shell game” with hidden cuts. The municipalities say they need a more streamlined process. The government said this is just because of delays in getting agreements signed, and that they will fulfil their funding commitments.

While the CEO of RBC is all remorseful over the whole temporary foreign worker/outsourcing fracas that has gripped the media of late, workers from the company that got the outsourcing contract talk about abusive practices including families being indentured back in India to keep them compliant.

What’s that? There’s only skimpy and selective evidence to prove that there’s some kind of skilled labour gap that the government is going all out in the budget to try to correct? You don’t say!

Access to Information documents show that the government skipped some of its usual due diligence when arrange to send trauma kits to Libyan rebels because the supplies available at DND included items marked as having come from Israel, and others with crosses and would have not been culturally sensitive (since they suspected there might be problems as those crosses looked too much like those that were displayed during the Crusades).

What’s that? A website put up by the public service union inviting people to caption photos of Stephen Harper was quickly pulled after it was inundated with racist and personal attacks? Who would have thought?

Kady O’Malley has a look at the seven lowest-priority resolutions at the NDP convention this weekend. On that list is one to equalise the age of consent for gay sex. John Ivison wonders if this weekend’s NDP convention will be the party’s “Tony Blair moment,” akin to when the Labour Party eliminated Clause IV and moved away from socialism and into the political mainstream. Michael Den Tandt writes about how the advent of Justin Trudeau’s leadership is going to force Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper to go on the charm offensive – which Mulcair is starting at the convention this weekend with his new ad campaign. Meanwhile, tells us that Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are ninth cousins, for what it’s worth.

Alexandre Boulerice has more or less relented in his criticism of World War I, in the face of Stephen Harper’s profound sadness. Our long national nightmare is over, etcetera, etcetera.

Over in the Labrador by-election, Peter Penashue refuses to say which project he allegedly held up for six months in order to get funding for the Labrador highway, but more importantly, the province’s premier doesn’t know either, which starts to make one wonder if Penashue didn’t make this story up to make himself look like some kind of politically inept hero doing ALL THE THINGS for Labrador. Meanwhile, Bob Rae visited the riding in order to help campaign for the Liberals, and decried that the last time around it was a “buy-election.”

Here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including a lengthy discussion from all sides on the Rehtaeh Parsons case, which also saw a strong statement by Stephen Harper.

And for those of you in Ottawa keeping score, the Canadian Olympic Committee has settled with Chris Rousakis, the freelance photographer they bumped in favour of one of the Prime Minister’s personal photographers during the London Olympics.