Roundup: Keystone XL and carbon politics

US President Obama gave a speech yesterday about energy, and as part of that came talk about the Keystone XL pipeline, and basically said that it won’t go ahead unless it can be “carbon neutral,” leaving some to wonder what exactly that means. Over at Maclean’s, Luiza Ch. Savage and Paul Wells parse the speech for themselves, and muse about what it means for Canada, especially as carbon emissions are very much now on the table for discussion. Note that this move from Obama happens as natural resources were expected to be at the centre of Harper’s “rebooted” agenda this fall.

The Ottawa bureau of Maclean’s has a roundtable discussion on where Harper needs to go next.

In not shocking news, it was interns from the PMO who staged that protest behind Justin Trudeau’s announcement on transparency measures in front of the Centennial Flame a couple of weeks ago. More shocking is the fact that requests for information about the event to the RCMP and the department of Heritage were routed through the PMO, and that the RCMP has no explanation for why a media call was routed through PMO. Aaron Wherry says that the government should send out ministers if they want the press, not interns.

It seems that our defence attachés abroad and service personnel serving outside of the country were instructed to downplay the Auditor General’s damning report on the F-35 procurement, and to assure our allies that we still hadn’t backed down from the project. Yay political spin! Meanwhile, the Sea King helicopter replacement process has hit yet another snag, and Public Works has now hired an outside expert to determine if Sikorski can even fulfil its contract to build replacements. Not good. Oh, and two years after the Leslie Report on reducing overhead at National Defence, its bureaucracy remains as “bloated” as ever, even though there have been questions raised if they even could make the staffing reductions advocated in the report given the loss of expertise that would inevitably follow such reductions.

Sources at the Sun are saying that Vic Toews is set to retire shortly, despite his recent protests that he loved his job and planned to run again. Toews himself insists he’s not retiring, he’s touring flood damage in Alberta – today at least.

In the wake of the Southern Alberta floods, here’s a look at how climate change could render many Canadian homes uninsurable, given that we don’t cover overland flooding in this country.

Here are a few more details of AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo’s meeting with Stephen Harper last week, and his continued opposition to the government’s lack of consultation in their legislation. Laura Stone wonders if this was a full meeting conducted with little notice, or just a quick one when Atleo went to drop off his letter to the PM.

A final devolution deal has been signed with the Northwest Territories.

There are more questions about the plans by the government to ensure that security information remains secret in perpetuity.

Here’s a preview of the next batch of data due to be released from the National Household Survey, which hopes to look at labour and productivity issues, but won’t necessarily be good at figuring out where gaps in the market are given that the coding for job descriptions is at least a decade out of date.

And it has been noted how much time in Question Period is eaten up daily by unnecessary applause – something that is not necessary for the self-esteem of MPs in the UK (or even Senators here in Canada for that matter).