Roundup: Charitable travel expenses

As it happens, charities like World Vision and Engineers Without Borders have been using their funds to send MPs on trips to regions that they’re assisting. Rather than, you know, spending those thousands of dollars on their projects to help the poor and needy in developing countries. This isn’t to say that the MPs are being improper, or that they’re using the trips as some kind of vacation because let’s face it – nobody could argue that case at all. But it does remind us that there are reasons why we should give MPs travel budgets so that they can do trips like this in the service of their duties, rather than forcing charities to pay for it, or for them to take trips from foreign or corporate interests. Of course, any travel that does happen gets people like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in a big twist because OMG taxpayers’ hard earned dollars are supporting MPs on foreign travel isn’t that just horrible and awful! Erm, except that if we expect them to learn about their files and the policies they’re legislating on – and that can mean more than just the MPs on the foreign affairs committee – then we should also realise that we should be able to pay for it too.

In the run up to the release of the next batch of census data, there are questions as to how Statistics Canada will handle the loss of the mandatory long-from census, and how the quality of the data from the National Household Survey will compare to previous years’ data.

Using Access to Information laws among allied countries, the CBC tries to assess the impact of the damage caused by our naval spy, Jeffrey Delisle. Through redacted documents they have found concerns by the UK, but no specifics as to what those concerns were.

In the saga of the mysteriously expensive shipbuilding design contract, Irving Shipyards came out with numbers to prove that the costs were reasonable – except that the CBC had already taken those figures into account, and it still doesn’t explain why the contract for the design phase is so expensive.

In other procurement news, Peter MacKay has asked DND to see if the surplus presidential helicopters that the Americans are selling off could be made operational for our needs.

Industry Canada is trying to find the next great Canadian invention.

Scott Brison writes about the need for more immigrants to help grow the Nova Scotia wine industry.

In a guest post on Pundit’s Guide, professor David McGrane looks at survey data from the Liberal leadership and demonstrates why Trudeau was able to sweep the race.

PostMedia journalists Glen McGregor and Stephen Maher won more journalism awards over the weekend, not only the World Press Freedom Award, but also the Canadian Association of Journalists award for open newspapers/wire service, and a National Newspaper Award, all for their robocall reporting. Nicely done!

And Scott Feschuk imagines a speech from Pierre Poilievre where he takes aim at all –isms and the –ists that cause them.