Roundup: A feel-good committee for MPs

The NDP wants the Commons transport committee to meet over the summer to discuss rail safety and possibly hold a forum in Lac-Mégantic – you know, playing politics before the facts are known, drawing causal links but then quickly saying they’re not, and totally not trying to gain advantage from a tragedy. Yeah, it sounds like a brilliant idea, and one designed to simply make themselves look like they’re doing something about the tragedy. Fortunately, the Conservative chair of the committee seems to agree that such a move would be premature.

Elsewhere on the Lac-Mégantic front, Transport Canada has confirmed that they will be looking at the regulations around the use of single-person crews on trains, as part of their examination of the incident. Union responses to the incident talk about the slow response to the warnings about rail safety over the past few years. Here is the Maclean’s cover story on the disaster. Andrew Coyne crunches the numbers and finds that rail safety is getting unambiguously safer, no matter how you look at it.

The Arthur Porter saga just got stranger with the revelation that he was trying to broker a multi-million dollar gun deal while he was serving as the chair of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee.

First Vic Toews resigned, and now Janet Napolitano has announced that she too is stepping down, which leaves many questions about the state of border initiatives between Canada and the US. Speaking of that border, a Montana Democrat Senator thinks that we should bury a cable sensor system along the border to help keep track of the various comings and goings.

Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore is trying to restore the cap of $4 billion that a government could borrow without parliamentary authorisation that was in place before the Harper Government rather sneakily removed it in 2007. Moore quite correctly argues that it is a betrayal of the very tents of Responsible Government that we operate under, where Parliament and not the government has the power over the purse, despite department officials arguing that the new system is “more efficient.”

Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette suggests that Brad Wall look closer to home when it comes to spending scandals, and given some pretty major ones in his own backyard, perhaps it is the Saskatchewan legislature that needs to be abolished.

It has now been confirmed that Harper’s former chief of security is now the ambassador to Jordan.

A former citizenship and immigration minister under Jean Chrétien says that they were close to replacing the citizenship oath to take out the Queen, but that Chrétien decided against it after he thought the timing was wrong. And just as well that he decided against it because we’re a constitutional monarchy, and if you don’t like that, then you don’t have to become a citizen.

The Conservative policy convention has been rescheduled for Halloween in Calgary. Jokes about costumes have already flooded the Twitter Machine.

Stephen Harper’s friend and former campaign worker Ken Boessenkool wants you to know that Harper is really a small-c conservative – really!

Economist Stephen Gordon takes a look at those middle class income figures and tries to sort out what they mean.

And CTV says the cabinet shuffle will be Monday. I guess we’ll see.