Roundup: Lisa Raitt is on the case

Two days on the job as transport minister, and Lisa Raitt paid her first visit to Lac-Mégantic to assess the scene there for herself, and to promise that yes, the federal government will assist in reconstruction. And while the NDP complained that she didn’t come with numbers in hand, it’s like they don’t understand how federal disaster assistance works – that at the end of the process, they write one big cheque that will cover something on the order of 90 percent of the costs. It just doesn’t happen up front, which is the role of the province and municipality.

The PMO is denying charges that it is stonewalling the RCMP investigation into the ClusterDuff affair, and are insisting that the RCMP simply hasn’t asked for the emails in question.

National Defence has refused to give the interim Parliamentary Budget Officer the costing details of the replacement fighter jet programme, or three other procurement projects. Apparently they’re too secret and beyond her mandate. But just remember, this is the most open and transparent government in Canadian history!

On the eve of his retirement, the departing head of the Canadian Army talks about the issue of suicide among soldiers who return from the battlefield, and how the Forces needs to continue to work on their attitude toward the problem in order to address it – which includes tracking reservists and veterans who have left the Forces.

Peter MacKay takes exception to the notion that the F-35 procurement process was a “boondoggle,” which is technically true, though it was still one giant mess.

The former Assistant Chief of Maritime Staff previews the challenges that Rob Nicholson faces as he takes over the defence file.

It has been confirmed that Jason Kenney will retain the multiculturalism file as part of his portfolio – apparently for no other reason than the Conservatives are afraid that with a new Trudeau on the landscape, immigrant communities will flock back to the Liberal banner. And while Tim Uppal is now a minister of state for multiculturalism, he still reports to Kenney.

Despite the fact that there are employers of temporary foreign workers who have been found to have made payroll violations, the blacklist on the Citizenship and Immigration website remains empty. There are new regulations on the way that will make compliance measures tougher.

Correctional Services has launched a “hire an offender” service on their website to help these former offenders to get new jobs. You know, after they went about raising the costs for pardons and making them more difficult to maintain, which created additional barriers to ensuring that former offenders are contributing to society.

At the AFN’s annual meeting in Whitehorse, former Indian Affairs minister Jim Prentice told the assembled chiefs that they can reap enormous benefits from the natural resources boom happening in the country, but they need to seize the momentum before they get left behind. Also at the meeting was Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, who said that the Harper government is deliberately sowing divisions within the First Nations communities, picking and choosing to work with those willing to sign on the dotted line and not everyone involved.

Here’s a look at some of the swag that Peter MacKay got while he was defence minister, and because the journalist got curious, he also looked at what John Baird scored during his time thus far as foreign minister.

Economist Andrew Leach looks at the effect of the Keystone XL pipeline on gas prices, and takes apart claims that the pipeline would raise those gas prices in the US Midwest.

Mike Moffatt looks at the increase in the Canadian dollar versus purchasing power, and finds that while prices haven’t equalised in part because of similar inflation targets, where Canada has benefitted is higher wages.

And Andrew Coyne gives a satirical look at the Prime Minister’s enemy list.