Roundup: Convention delayed

The Conservative convention has officially been moved to the fall in order to give Calgary time to clean up after all of the flood damage. This does give the party more time to allow the whole Senate expenses issue to continue to fester for a while longer, but also time to cool down over the summer. It might also mean showcasing a new cabinet by the time the convention happens as well.

Paul Wells looks at Harper’s crisis of confidence within his party and caucus ranks. This as the rumour mill is saying that Harper is looking at bringing Jenni Byrne back into the PMO from her high-profile role at the party’s headquarters.

The fact that the Cluster munitions treaty ratification bill didn’t pass the Commons before the summer gives hope to its critics, who say that its language allows for Canadian Forces to participate in joint missions with the United States – a non-signatory to the treaty – forcing something of a dilemma. Given that Parliament is likely to prorogue before it returns, it means that the bill is likely to die on the Order Paper and will need to be reintroduced, possibly with new language around that issue.

The West Block took a tour of Brent Rathgeber’s riding with him, and the reaction from constituents was overwhelmingly positive, in that they were really proud of the stand he took and his decision to leave caucus on a matter of principle.

What’s that? There’s been a 15 percent increase in “information services” officers in the government, meaning that there are now some four thousand communications staff working there? At a time when the government is even less transparent and makes getting information even harder than before? You don’t say!

The Canadian Press has obtained an unpublicised speech from a few years ago by a senior member of the Communications Security Establishment, which gives a glimpse into a top-secret organisation once famed for its nerdy oddball staff. As it turns out, they’re not so much introverts as people who have advanced degrees in all manner of strange and interesting things, who speak more than one language – the more obscure the better – and that it’s a predominantly female organisation. Really interesting, actually.

Access to Information documents show that an internal briefing in the Department of Finance deflated the claims that corporations were sitting on “dead money.” Which is not surprising, given how many credible economists explained it quite easily as insurance against a future credit crunch or recession, despite what Mark Carney had to say about it.

This weekend marked the 200th anniversary of Loyalist Laura Secord’s 19-hour trek to warn the British forces of a surprise American attack.

And Scott Feschuk pokes at the Senate expenses issue in the form of a Kickstarter campaign, with guest appearances by the Ethics Commissioner, and Senators Duffy, Wallin, Harb and Brazeau.

Programming note: The Senate isn’t sitting today, but will return tomorrow evening, where I’ll ensure to have your Senate QP recap as soon as it happens.