QP: Tariffs versus carbon taxes

After yesterday’s QP excitement dropped off the news cycle because of the Boston bombings, the dynamic in the Chamber was different today, not only because Harper was off in London for tomorrow’s funeral of Baroness Thatcher, but that sense of anticipation was gone. After a couple of statements on the Boston marathon bombings, QP began with Mulcair reading a statement on the bombing and request for an update on consular assistance. James Moore, the designated back up PM du jour, gave the statement on behalf of the government and called out the “cowards” responsible. Mulcair then went onto his four questions on the Temporary Foreign Workers Programme, his tone still calm and measured, while Moore assured him that they would be investigating, and by the way, your own MPs keep asking for temporary foreign worker approvals for their ridings. Justin Trudeau was up next, and brought up the increased tariffs in the budget, which would impact the middle class. Moore reminded him that Trudeau first ran on the basis of the carbon tax known as the Green Shift. Trudeau’s performance was a little shakier today, referring to his notes on his desk more than he did yesterday, though by no means was it a Mulcair-esque reading-from-the-mini-lectern kind of performance.

Round two started off with Malcolm Allen and Ruth Ellen Brosseau asking about cuts to food safety (Ritz: There have been no cuts to food safety at CFIA, but we have found efficiencies), Guy Caron and Murray Rankin asked about the cuts to investigation services at CRA (Shea: We are closing tax loopholes and the efficiencies in the budget affect only administration and have increased investigations), Glen Thibeault and Annick Papillion returned to the increased tariffs (Menzies: You want to put in a carbon tax!), Lysanne Blanchette-Lamothe asked about how these tax increases would hurt seniors (Menzies: We took seniors off the tax rolls!), and Peggy Nash asked about the investment climate (Menzies: It’s called the Economic Action Plan™!). Judy Sgro, Denis Coderre and Ralph Goodale returned to the tariff increases (Menzies: Economic Action Plan 2013™ carries on our low-tax plan!). Jinny Sims decried that the temporary Foreign Workers Programme is keeping wages down (Finley: That’s false and we are committed to changing the programme), Linda Duncan asked about the lack of paid apprenticeships for skilled trades (Finley: We created incentive programmes and this year’s budget contains the Canada Skills Grant), and Chris Charlton and Anne-Marie Day decried reckless cuts to EI (Finley: EI is there to help them get back to work!).

Round three saw questions on the diluted chemotherapy drugs and the inspection loophole, nickel dust, a question on the Liberal opposition day motion on having a committee study the temporary foreign worker issue, legislation on electoral fraud, Métis land claims in Labrador, reductions of temporary positions in the public service, and a question on the resources for the UN convention on desertification.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Rona Ambrose for her snow leopard print dress and black jacket, and to Maxime Bernier for his black suit with a pink shirt and pocket square, with a black and pink striped tie. Style citations go out to Alex Atamanenko for a black jacket, tan trousers, pink shirt and a black tie with a forest print, and to Linda Duncan for her long orange jacket with black gear patterns across it.