With Harper in a plane over the Atlantic, there was little chance of there being any meaningful exchanges in QP again, and it didn’t disappoint. Thomas Mulcair asked first off who Nigel Wright had spoken to in the PMO regarding the Senate expenses issue. James Moore, the designated back-up PM du jour, said that Nigel Wright acted alone. When Mulcair try to ask about the PMO engaging in partisan activities, Pierre Poilievre stood up and said that the party paid for partisan activities. For his final question, Mulcair asked if the party fund would be audited to see if Wright paid for anything else, to which Poilievre said that it is audited every year by Elections Canada. Jean Crowder was up next to note that it was the fifth anniversary of the apology to Indian Residential School survivors, and decried the government’s lack of action on First Nations files. Bernard Valcourt turned around and blamed the NDP for standing in the way of their reforms. Justin Trudeau was up next for the Liberals, and wondered if they ever gave the reason why Nigel Wright gave the cheque to Senator Duffy. James Moore hit back with his swipes at Senators Harb and Merchant, though Trudeau did respond by saying of Harb “if he’s innocent he’s in, if he’s guilty he’s out.” Moore then accused him of changing his position on the floor of the House (which he didn’t), but when pressed on Wright, Moore took a swipe at Trudeau’s speaking gigs and accused him of using MP expenses for them.
Round two started with Charlie Angus asking about Justin Trudeau’s position on Senator Harb — as though Trudeau had somehow become PM (Moore: You appointed a tax evader as your revenue critic), Alexandre Boulerice asked if Nigel Wright spoke to Jenny Byrne about the expenses issue (Moore: Wight resigned because he made the decision he did), Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe asked about the “secret” account (Poilievre: The fund is controlled by the party), Alexandrine Latendresse and Craig Scott asked where the Elections Act reform bill be tabled (Uppal: We’re taking the time to get it right), and Pat Martin gave some random outrage and directed his question to the backbenchers, as though that were the point of QP (Moore: At least our members aren’t being taken to court for libel). Carolyn Bennett asked about Eve Adams’ campaign expenses (Adams: These expenses were largely for childcare), John McKay asked about the discharge of the soldier who testified before committee (McKay: I ensured that his release will be his decision alone). Christine Moore and Jack Harris asked about search and rescue readiness (MacKay: We have introduced a number of measures to improve responses), before Harris moved onto the issue of CSE getting information for the PRISM programme in the States (MacKay: CSE doesn’t target Canadians nor do we ask our allies to do so), and Peter Stoffer returned to the same question on that soldier.
Round three saw questions on the VIA derailment report, the possibility of a paywall for Library and Archives, CSE accessing metadata, Great Lakes water levels, ending rape as a weapon of war, the EI appeals process, a bridge in Surrey, and the Quebec soccer turban ban (which the Bloc was defending, and getting boos for).
Overall, QP was pretty much beyond redemption. More puppet theatre, more script failures, more cases of repeated questions following answers given, and more theatrical grandstanding. It was curious that Trudeau bothered to respond to Moore’s taunts about Mac Harb, but overall his performance has been improving of late, though he too was a bit of a victim of the “same question in French that I just asked in English” tactic that just destroys the flow.
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Diane Ablonczy for her plum jacket and skirt, and to Maxime Bernier for a chocolate brown suit with a light blue shirt and pocket square and a dark cream striped tie. Style citations go out to Guy Caron for a black suit with a butterscotch shirt and paisley tie, and to Olivia Chow for a yellow jacket with a black dress. Special mention again goes out to Ruth Ellen Brosseau who again matched a nearby MP, this time Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, sitting behind her, as both wore white jackets with black tops.