It seems that in the wake of the Speaker’s ruling on members’ statements, the restless Conservative backbenches have backed off of their support of the Liberal opposition day motion on making Members’ Statements alphabetical in distribution. The feeling seems to be that the Speaker’s advice that if they want to stand up and be heard, that it was enough for them. Um, okay. We’ll see if that actually happens, especially considering that the delicate balance of party allotments are also in play during both Members’ Statements and Question Period in general, but it seems to me that this becomes a case of everyone being contended with half-measures, rather than any genuine reform. Sure, Warawa might have been surprised to learn that the lists are mere suggestions for the Speaker, but that doesn’t mean that MPs – or Canadians – should be satisfied by this ruling. Rather, it should be the springboard to the restoration of our Parliament to the way it should act – without lists or scripts, where MPs are engaged in the debates, actively participating, capable of delivering actual back-and-forth exchanges with spontaneity and class, rather than the dull recitations into the record that we’re now seeing.
The government has decided that they will rush ahead with new legislation to combat cyberbullying in order to get it passed before the House rises at the end of June. Pardon me for being cynical, but they had a chance to address this when Hedy Fry had a bill on the topic and they defeated it rather than take it seriously and try to amend it to address any flaws. I’m also reminded of the political truism that high profile cases make for bad laws, and I am getting that tingling spidey sense that the government is about to legislate a hammer with the willing participation of the opposition, who are eager to look like they’re doing something to combat this modern-day “scourge” rather than getting police and prosecutors to apply existing laws more effectively.
In completely unsurprising news, VIA Rail is reviewing its security after the foiled terror plot on their lines.
The anti-terror bill passed the Commons yesterday with the NDP dissenting. Since it was introduced in the Senate, it’s headed for Royal Assent shortly.
Peter MacKay continues to blame the military itself for the planned reductions in danger pay, while casting himself as the hero who overturned the decision.
It looks like the plans to create a defence headquarters hub at the old Nortel campus are now stalled after costly renovations are adding up and the Canadian Forces continue to reorganise in the new fiscal reality.
The province of Ontario has stepped up to help save the Experimental Lakes Area along with the Freshwater Institute, in order to keep the research facility running.
There have been more than three thousand data and privacy breaches by the government in the past ten years, which should really come as no surprise given the lack of a culture of personal responsibility for this kind of material that exists within the civil service (and I speak from the experience of working in records management at a federal department in my pre-press gallery days).
Over in the Labrador by-election, Peter Penashue tried to deflect from his own ethical record and accused Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones of “double-dipping” and “robbing” the public treasury and having her wages garnished. Jones accused him of lying, and while there was an incident a number of years ago involving a number of provincial MHAs, Jones says nothing untoward occurred and the money was paid back.
John Geddes looks at the new Trudeau ads and notes that they have forgone the Narnia option (like Ignatieff tried) and are more disarming than counter-punching. Jonathan Kay praises the tone of the ad, but takes issue with the algebra on the chalkboard in the background. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are rolling out a bunch of new ten-percenters built around their Trudeau attack ads – because it totally looks like they’re not feeling threatened by him. Also, what’s up with trying to make him look effeminate and/or gay? How does that help you win the coveted suburban female demographic?
Economist Stephen Gordon looks at how popular tax hikes – as in those on everyone else, like rich people and corporations – don’t actually translate into new revenues.
And here are the three things you need to see from last night’s political shows, including Joe Oliver defending his comments criticising the former NASA climate scientist.