The Auditor General released a report yesterday, and it was a bit of a doozy, at least with regards to the revelation that some $3.1 billion in anti-terror funding is not properly accounted for. Not that it’s actually been misspent, but the recordkeeping is a bit sloppy, and some of it was victim to a “whole of government approach,” according to Tony Clement. Among other issues the AG cited – that our search and rescue infrastructure is headed for total systems failure, that they need to crack down on EI overpayments, problems with expense claims by the Old Port of Montreal, and that there are problems with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as it is beset by conflict with other federal departments over documents. John Ivison says the report is like ‘manna’ for the NDP, and I can hardly wait for the number of times that Thomas Mulcair gets to say “failure of good public administration” over the next several days.
Elections Canada also released a report yesterday which cited a large number of problems with their current election monitoring, be it with paperwork that isn’t being filled out properly, and a lot of it has to do with improperly trained volunteers. The Etobicoke Centre court challenge was a big wakeup call for Elections Canada – and justifiably so, as was the Chief Justice’s concerns that at what level we find it acceptable to let the paperwork slide in the interests of not disenfranchising anyone. One of the suggestions to help improve things is a live online voter registration database that will make verification easier, and give the ability to use a different polling station if necessary. They’ve also dropped their online voting experiment, which is just as well because it goes against the kinds of safeguards into secret ballots that we’ve put into place over the past 140 years or so.
One of the changes in the budget implementation bill are measures which gives cabinet more control over the collective bargaining and terms of the working conditions of Crown Corporations like the CBC. I’m not sure how this affects their arm’s length status, or how much of this is supposed to be a means of controlling their spending on things like staffing.
It seems that during QP yesterday, one of the “rogue” backbenchers, Leon Benoit, stood out of turn and got recognised by the Speaker. And so it begins. Elizabeth May continues to stand and try to get recognised, but the Speaker seems resolutely unwilling to give her an extra question slot outside of the single Independent slot at the end of QP every day.
On the issue of Thomas Mulcair’s ongoing Supreme Court conspiracy theorizing, Stéphane Dion wrote a scathing letter that forcefully rebuffed the NDP’s attempt to get support for their attempt to bully the court into turning over more documents, and had a few choice words for the NDP in the process. Jonathan Kay, meanwhile, writes that Thomas Mulcair’s parochial focus on Quebec politics – including this Supreme Court conspiracy – is becoming a liability to his party and an embarrassment to federalism, while Michael Den Tandt considers him “crazy like a fox” which may yet wind up serving him well in other parts of the country. Martin Patriquin wonders why Mulcair is sabotaging his own charm-offensive makeover (and uses the great phrase “Hulkair sees, and Hulkair smashes”).
The first of nine new Hero-class Coast Guard vessels launched yesterday. Meanwhile, our submarine HMCS Windsor is back is put on restricted duty because a broken diesel generator has hobbled its capabilities, and may take months to replace.
Economist Stephen Gordon reminds Dean Del Mastro – and any other Conservative – that yes, emissions regulations do have costs, and that those costs can be far more opaque than other forms of carbon pricing.
Rona Ambrose got all choked up and shed a few tears yesterday during an announcement about a new programme to combat cyberbullying.
Here is a look at the new polymer $5 and $10 banknotes. The new fives celebrate our contributions to space exploration, while the tens celebrate our east-west rail link. As with any new banknotes, there comes a group of bizarre focus testing responses to go with them.
Another conspiracy theory falls flat when a simple phone call confirms that the Liberals did indeed pay to use the Degrassi High set in their latest ad, unlike the suggestions that its use was an “inappropriate gift.”
Here is a look at the investiture of the new Dutch king, Willem-Alexander.
And Conservative MPs gave Stephen Harper an Economic Action Cake™ for his birthday. Awww!