After a series of Members’ Statements on the occasion of Earth Day, one might have wondered what particular Earth Day shtick would lead off QP, or if we would be back to Canada-China FIPA histrionics, as there is a vote on it tonight. But no, Thomas Mulcair began by reading off a litany of sins that the government has committed against the environment. Stephen Harper, in response, listed off the many ways in which his government has protected the environment, with such things as national parks and protected marine areas. Mulcair then moved onto the issue of soldiers having their hardship and hazard pay being clawed back, to which Harper explained that this was an administrative error, and they wouldn’t force those soldiers to repay those funds. Justin Trudeau was up next, and after paying mention to the tariff issue, he switched to the issue of youth unemployment. Harper answered solely about tariffs and didn’t mention the youth unemployment. Trudeau was reading a little more obviously today than he was at the beginning of last week — but still not as obviously as Mulcair does with his mini-lectern.
Round two started off with Megan Leslie picking up the Earth Day theme, and demanded effective regulations for the oil and gas sector (Kent: We are committed to strengthening regulations while developing resources and we launched our oil sands monitoring Internet portal today), Anne Quach and Brian Masse asked about the rumoured proposed US border fee (Obhrai: We are vigorously protesting this move), Françoise Boivin and Paul Dewar asked about whether Canada would join a ballistic missile defence programme (MacKay: We’ve opposed this in the past and we continue to monitor the security situation), Élaine Michaud asked about health cuts to Canadian Forces (MacKay: Look at how we’ve increased the health budgets for our men and women in uniform), and Jack Harris asked again about the cuts to danger pay (MacKay: This didn’t actually happen). Rodger Cuzner, Kevin Lamoureux and Scott Brison returned to the issue of youth unemployment (Finley: Look at all the great things we’re doing for young people!). Glen Thibeault, Annick Papillon, Pierre Dionne Labelle and John Rafferty all asked about the tariff hikes in the budget (Menzies: Look at how many tariff reductions are in the budget).
Round three saw questions on EI for seasonal workers, the demands for a compensation fund for fallen firefighters, the “war on the environment,” a rash of suicides in a remote Northern First Nations community, the federal court decision on the PBO’s mandate, public transit on the Champlain Bridge, and the West-East pipeline proposal. Closing off the day, Bruce Hyer asked Justin Trudeau about proportional representation — which is completely out of line because the whole point of QP is to ask the government questions to hold them to account, not opposition leaders (though questions to committee chairs are allowed, which we also saw today). But seriously, Hyer? Really?
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Blake Richards for a dark grey suit with a white striped shirt and a purple tie and pocket square, and to Cathy McLeod for a black and white patterned top with a black suit jacket. Style citations go out to Isabelle Morin for a mustard top with tan trousers, and to Mike Sullivan for a black suit with a salmon shirt and a brownish-red tie.