With Harper still away, now in Colombia, and Justin Trudeau on an Atlantic Canada mall food court tour, and Thomas Mulcair, well, elsewhere, it was only Elizabeth May as the sole party leader in the House. That left it up to David Christopherson to kick off QP on behalf of the NDP by shouting out his script about Senator Duffy’s primary residency. James Moore, the designated back-up PM du jour, assured him that new questions had been raised which was why the report was being re-evaluated. Christopherson and then Françoise Boivin tried to then press about the knowledge in the PMO of the payment from Nigel Wright to the Senator, of any documents, but Moore repeated the PM’s long-distance assurances that he didn’t know anything about the deal until it was in the media. Ralph Goodale was up next, asking why it took so long for the PM to act about the revelation of Wright’s involvement, and offer a reminder of the Criminal Code sanctions for such a payment. Moore simply repeated the official denial of knowledge of what happened.
Round two started off with Charlie Angus returning to the issue of Duffy’s residency and the interference of Senators Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen in the final version of the report (Moore: The Ethics Commissioner, the Senate Ethics Offer and the Senate committee are all looking into this), Alexandre Boulerice insisted that Ray Novak also must have known something about this deal (Moore: same response), Lysane Blachette-Lamothe demanded to know who else was involved (Moore: It was Nigel Wight alone — he said so), and Craig Scott and Nathan Cullen hectored on Wright’s “honourable” motives (Moore: What Nigel Wight did was wrong, and the Prime Minister was clear on that). Marc Garneau wondered how Senators Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen could still enjoy the PM’s confidence if they didn’t get the report right and the PM was upset with the situation (Moore: There is a new process in place with Liberal senators involved, and you shouldn’t throw stones in your large glass house), and moved onto asking if the RCMP has approached the PMO about documents in their possession as they have with the Senate (Moore: No, unlike when your party was in government). Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, Chris Charlton, Linda Duncan and Ève Péclet asked about the selection of the new Social Security Tribunal (Van Loan: It’s a rigorous and merit-based process; Clement: Look at our leadership in open government).
Round three saw questions on that misreported $3.1 billion in anti-terror funds, the lack of adequate time for committee scrutiny, the retroactive iPod tariff (which Menzies denied existing), Economic Action Plan™ ads, more about the knowledge in the PMO of the Wright deal, bilingual search and rescue services, that dubious ACOA staffing decision, the lack of documents on First Nations children being turned over to a court case, and the plans for a national securities regulator.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Lisa Raitt for a white ruffled top with a black jacket with white piping, and to Bernard Valcourt for a black suit with a lavender shirt and purple tie. Style citations go out to Maxime Bernier for a black suit with a pale yellow shirt and pocket square with a yellow and black striped tie, and to Christine Moore for a light blue patterned skirt, a royal blue top and a cream bolero jacket. Seriously — just say no to bolero jackets.