The day after a major terror bust in Canada, it was a question as to how this would play out in the Grand Inquest of the Nation. And so, when QP got underway, Thomas Mulcair began by reading off a congratulations to the RCMP and the members of the Muslim community who tipped them off. Harper got up to similarly offer his thanks and congratulations for those who helped to foil the plot. Mulcair then moved onto the testimony of the Bank of Canada at committee, where they were told that there was little else they could do to stimulate the economy, and the warnings about household debt. Harper responded by saying that they have been urging caution on debt levels and to try take what measures they can. Peggy Nash was up next, and asked a rambling question that ended up on the topic of the possible border fee the Americans are considering charging, to which Maxime Bernier assured her that they were going to vigorously oppose it. Nash was back up and returned to another rambling question that ended up on the increases in tariffs. Jim Flaherty was up to respond, and while he got sidetracked by heckles a couple of times, and pointed to the many tax hikes the NDP supported. Justin Trudeau was up next for the Liberals, and asked about the decline in youth summer employment. Harper responded that the Liberals voted against their plans to help them. And yes, Trudeau was still half-reading his questions, but could ad lib a little.
Round two started off with Glen Thibeault and Annick Papillon asking about the tariff increases (Flaherty: We are monitoring to see if the tariff cuts we made will translate to the retail price), Élaine Michaud and Jack Harris asked about the changes to danger pay for soldiers in Afghanistan (MacKay: we have ensured they won’t have to repay for this error and are asking the arm’s length bureaucrats to re-examine their decision), Guy Caron and Don Davies asked about Canada-China FIPA (Fast: You want to give special breaks for Chinese manufacturers but won’t give protection to Canadians in China), and Laurin Liu and Randall Garrison asked about the funding for Christian schools with anti-gay policies (Bernier: All accredited post-secondary institutions respect the same rules, and the outcomes of the program are what matters). Ted Hsu, Judy Sgro and Stéphane Dion asked about the loss of student summer jobs in the face of rising tuition (Finley: We increased the funding for youth employment initiatives and student grants). Closing the round, Megan Leslie and Peter Julian asked about the US EPA report on the Keystone XL pipeline and how it would increase GHG emissions (Oliver: We respect their process, and hope that Canada will be their supplier of choice).
Round three saw questions on EI for seasonal workers, the fleet separation policy, checking up on companies named in the Charbonneau Commission, the response to the Supreme Court decision on the Macintosh case, agricultural regulations that will impact on Canadian jobs, the government protecting Iran against civil suits by victims of terror, payments for healthcare for someone on reserve caught in a jurisdictional issue, the money spent on rebranding the Museum of History despite the legislative change not having been made yet, and the lack of action on Syrians trying to flee to Canada.
After QP, the Speaker handed down his ruling on the Warawa privilege motion, to which he said that he couldn’t conclude there was a prima facia breach of privilege because there wasn’t evidence that this was a systematic issue, but there was a problem overall, though as Speaker, he can’t exercise his authority in this case, and if MPs want to speak more, well they need to stand up more.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Michelle Rempel for a fitted hot pink dress with three-quarter sleeves, and to Maxime Bernier for a tailored chocolate brown suit with a light blue shirt, white pocket square and peach tie. Style citations go out to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a loud suit that looks to have recently had life as a chesterfield with a white shirt and indigo tie, and to Anne Quach for a low-cut brown sweater stitched onto a garish floral turtleneck with orange cuffs. Dishonourable mentions go out to Chris Charlton for a muted yellow jacket with a black top and trousers, and to Robert Goguen for a black suit with a yellow shirt and brown striped tie.