Roundup: Duffy and Brazeau are totally helping their cause

Not that it’s a big surprise, but Senator Patrick Brazeau has vowed to fight the order that he repay those living expense in the wake of that Senate audit. While he does have a point that he was cooperative and that he met all four residency requirements, unlike the other two Senators, but that doesn’t change the fact that he spent a mere ten percent of the time. Government leader in the Senate has threatened that if Senator Brazeau and Harb don’t repay their expenses – with interest – immediately, the Senate will garnish their wages, which they can do. It’s also not clear with which court they can try to challenge these audit results and the orders that the Senate itself will be voting to enforce, seeing as Parliament is actually the highest court in the land. Meanwhile, Charlie Angus wants the legal opinion that LeBreton solicited regarding Senator Mike Duffy’s eligibility to sit in the Senate based on his residency – which told LeBreton that everything was fine – made public. (As an aside, one does wonder just how many legal opinions on the Commons side are made public.) LeBreton replied that Duffy owns property and maintains a residence in the province he represents, so case closed. Ah, but perhaps not, as it was revealed last night that that there appears to have been a deal struck between Harper’s chief of staff to help Duffy with his repayment two days before he announced it, and while the PM’s spokesperson has said on the record that no taxpayer funds were used, that likely means party funds. I suppose the party may consider it fair compensation after Duffy did all of that fundraising for them, but yeah, this is totally not helping his case any more than Brazeau and Harb’s fight is helping their own. But seriously, the rest of you – the behaviour of three individual Senators is not actually indicative of the institution as a whole, and shouldn’t undo the good work that the other hundred Senators are actually doing, within the rules. The Senate’s strength as an institution is stronger than the damage caused by a couple of bad apples, and people need to be reminded of that.

That incident where partisan emails were sent to a handful of public servants is trying to blow up as the NDP are demanding an investigation. At last count there were a whole three incidents, and the rather dubious assertion by the union spokesperson that these public servants would never use their work emails to sign up for something. Colour me sceptical.

As Canada takes charge of the Arctic Council – and Leona Aglukkaq its chair – here are six issues facing it, and an interview that Aglukkaq did with Maclean’s.

It turns out that National Defence did indeed have concerns about the projected operating costs of the F-35s before the government hit the reset button on the whole procurement process. But don’t forget, this is the right plane at the right price, etcetera, etcetera…

Over in Labrador, Yvonne Jones says it was disgust with the Conservatives that fuelled her win on Monday. It probably didn’t hurt that she’s a popular local candidate and hasn’t lost an election in 17 years of provincial politics.

While the Governor General is over in Ghana on a state visit, our diplomatic officials across Africa are picketing outside of our embassies as part of their ongoing labour dispute.

Terry Milewski looks at how the Cree on the Quebec side of James Bay are thriving, unlike their counterparts on the Ontario side, and it looks like they’ve done it by getting out from under the Indian Act and taking matters into their own hands.

Anti-abortion protesters are blanketing Stephen Harper’s riding with graphic postcards featuring images of aborted foetuses in order to try and ignite the debate there, since Harper is keen to shut said debate down. Yeah, somehow I’m not sure this is going to end well for anyone.

Here’s an interesting look at the implications for Canada if a situation developed where Prince Charles became the regent for an incapacitated Queen, as our laws don’t have anything to deal with such a situation, ad it could create a constitutional problem if we do nothing.

And the BC Liberals managed to come in from behind and win another majority government, despite the polls assuring the NDP of a win. That’s yet one more poll failure – how long before we stop breathlessly listening to their every utterance?