Roundup: Political solutions to economic problems

Business groups are referring to the somewhat ham-handed way that Jason Kenney is responding to the outcry over temporary foreign workers as a political solution that will hurt the economy. And it is a political problem that is divorced from the actual problems that exist within the labour market. Tim Harper lays out the way in which the government is once again engaging in poor policy around this issue because of the way in which it has played out to its anxious base.

My scepticism about Private Members’ Bills having already been established, it doesn’t surprise me that the Conservatives have been flooding the Order Paper with questions about the costs to NDP PMBs, a lot of which have to do with removing the GST from this and that. They were given a response of $500 million for a group of four bills – though some of those figures are disputed. That said, it’s curious why nobody seems to tally up the costs of added incarcerations for all of the tough-on-crime PMBs that many Conservatives champion, and the government then signs onto supporting. (And remember the rule about how PMBs aren’t supposed to cost the treasury anything? Funny how many ways they can use the loophole of “tax rebates” to get around that rule).

Jonathan Kay continues to hold Thomas Mulcair’s feet to the fire over the Supreme Court conspiracy theory, and notes that a) there is no real doctrine of separation of powers in Canadian law, but that it’s an American import, and b) even if it were true, the only one who benefits from the revelations are the Quebec separatists in their bid to fuel the myth that the Constitution is somehow an illegitimate document forced upon them, all of which makes Kay wonder what happened to the reverence that the political left used to have for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms contained within said constitution.

The Commons finance committee has tabled a report that calls for stronger measures to combat offshore tax havens, though the opposition, predictably, says it doesn’t go far enough.

The number of veterans with mental health issues continues to increase. One does have to wonder if this is because we’re actually looking for these issues and are now treating them, rather than ignoring them (or that the veterans in question were hiding their illnesses).

Here’s a look at the delays behind why we don’t have new search and rescue planes yet, and why we may not get new ones until 2017.

Joe Oliver and Bernard Valcourt have been chosen as the two lucky ministers chosen to be grilled during Committee of the Whole proceedings in the House later this month.

The CBC has done some investigative work to have a look at the problem of illegal weapons being smuggled into this country, and the ways in which the Beyond the Border initiative might be a boon to that particular industry.

Economist Stephen Gordon writes about the legacy that Mark Carney leaves behind at the Bank of Canada, and what that means for his potential successor, whoever it might be. Carney himself made some observations while at the University of Alberta last night.

For everyone freaking out that OMG THE HARPER GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE CBC, no, they’re not. They’re looking at collective bargaining across all Crown Corporations to control staffing expenditures, and trying to “take control” of the CBC would require changing Section 64 of the Broadcasting Act, which they’re not doing. The CBC themselves explain here.

Justin Trudeau says that several Conservatives have approached him to say that they won’t be taking part in the latest round out ten percenters attacking him. I’m not entirely why we’re treating the fact that *gasp* not every Conservative is taking part is actually news, since it’s not like ten percenters are mandatory.

And here is an excellent reflection of the Auditor General’s report, how it is being spun, and how it has become symptomatic of the way that politics is being done by means of appearance over substance.