Another hot day in the Nation’s Capital, but unlike yesterday, all party leaders were in the House. Thomas Mulcair once again began by reading questions about the improperly tracked $3.1 billion in anti-terror funds, but he was restraining himself from the kinds of wild gesticulations of yesterday. Harper stood up to assure him that the AG has indicated there was no sign that the funds were misspent, but that there were discrepancies in reporting between departments. Mulcair then turned to the topic of temporary foreign workers, and the warning that there were approvals being given in places with high unemployment. Harper assured him that while they were making changes to ensure that Canadians got first crack at those jobs, the NDP were voting against the changes and writing to ask for more approvals being granted. For the Liberals, Justin Trudeau boasted of his travels to Winnipeg, Edmonton and the Ottawa Valley over the past week, and decried the money spent on advertising as opposed to helping the struggling middle class. Harper assured him that they were moving forward on economic measures, which Harper insisted that the Liberals opposed — while Trudeau shook his head.
Round two started off with Anne Quach and Kennedy Stewart decrying cuts to research and the change to the National Research Council’s mandate to focus more on industry than pure research (Goodyear: This is an exciting day for Canadian innovation!), Charlie Angus and Alexandre Boulerice asked about the reports about Senators being required to pay back housing allowances (Van Loan: The report will be released publicly shortly), Sadia Groguhé, Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, Jinny Sims and Yvon Godin returned to the question of temporary foreign workers versus the unemployed (Finley: We made changes to programme to ensure Canadians get first crack at jobs; Kenney: More of the same). Judy Sgro and Massimo Pacetti decried the ways in which the government is making life harder for seniors (Menzies: Three provinces have just tabled legislation on Pooled Registered Pension Plans; Bernier: The labour-sponsored funds in Quebec are still available), and Scott Brison asked about cuts to student jobs (Finley: We’re trying to connect youth with jobs). Randal Garrison and Françoise Boivin asked about a BC RCMP officer being barred from testifying before a parliamentary committee (Toews: My understanding is there was no attempt to stop him from testing, but HR decisions are the responsibility of the Commissioner), before Boivin and Dan Harris turned to the Statistics Canada code of conduct preventing their employees from being critical of the loss of the long-form census (Paradis: The code of conduct was an internal matter and they aren’t prevented from speaking).
Round three saw questions on wasteful spending by the head of Library and Archives Canada (Moore: I’ll be speaking to him shortly), the lack of enforcement of National Energy Board standards, the plunging tourism figures, the closure of a wharf in the Gaspé, not doing enough to strengthen pensions, stolen cellphones, and social impact funding.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Diane Alonczy for her purple dress and lavender jacket, and to Jonathan Genest-Jourdain for a light sandy grey suit with a white shirt and light blue tie. Style citations go out to Yvon Godin for a brown chesterfield of a suit jacket with a white shirt and brown tie, and to Sadia Groguhé for a short-sleeved shift dress with a red, orange, black and white geometric patterning.