Roundup: So long, Vic Toews

As had been expected, Vic Toews has now resigned not only his post in cabinet, but also his seat as an MP. That makes six cabinet vacancies and three by-elections now on the way. Stephen Harper has been meeting with his minsters up at Harrington Lake to get them to give self-evaluations of their performance, in advance of the shuffle.

The Queen sent condolences to Lac-Mégantic regarding the tragedy there. Blame is already being thrown around for the cause of the derailment. Paul Wells notes the absurdity on the scene of the press being kept away, while a dozen politicians have been given tours so far. Andrew Leach looks at how it will affect the entire oil industry, just as the Deepwater Horizon explosion had an effect on the offshore oil industry.

Ruh-roh! It looks like Kerry-Lynne was lobbying Public Works on behalf of one of her constituents, despite being a parliamentary secretary at the time. Oh, but she did it in her capacity as an MP, and she proactively disclosed this to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, her office says. We’ll see what Mary Dawson has to say.

Kady O’Malley has the most wonk-tastic updated timeline of the whole ClusterDuff affair.

Peter MacKay announced yesterday that the Canadian Army is restoring some of its original divisional nomenclature and patches, which we operated under during the two World Wars (until amalgamation of our Forces under the Liberals in 1968 standardised said titles). A full list of restoration is here.

Also, in what could be Peter MacKay’s last hurrah as defence minister, he’ll be unveiling an Afghan memorial vigil on Parliament Hill today.

Shortly after Justin Trudeau made the plight of the middle class his leadership campaign theme, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty began getting briefings on the same topic, and how real wage growth for that quintile has been stagnant.

Justin Trudeau spent a few hours in High River on Saturday, mucking out someone’s basement. He didn’t tip off the media – though his official photographer was in tow – but it didn’t take long for the Calgary Herald to find him.

The Green Party has announced that their heretofore-ceremonial deputy leader and former hockey player Georges Laraque will contest the by-election in Bourassa.

With upcoming by-elections and the race to 2015 now getting started, the Liberals are looking at how they will set up the rules around the open nominations that Justin Trudeau has promised. Fortunately, most incumbent MPs seem to think that it’s a good idea because it makes them pay attention to their constituency associations and that they can’t take them for granted. Open nominations for the Conservatives in Alberta will be a particularly challenging event, considering the changes to electoral boundaries.

A report by Samara shows the depth of political apathy in Canada – a mere ten percent of people actually joined a party, or volunteered or donated to said parties. You know, the most fundamental part of our system – the grassroots input where candidates are chosen and policy is decided – and only one in ten Canadians can be bothered to participate. Well done, Canada. Slow clap.

And in light of everything recently, here is the list of the worst-ever Canadian disasters.