Roundup: Holding off on a committee investigation

The Commons transport committee met yesterday, some ninety minutes after Transport Canada handed down new rules when it comes to rail safety, based on the two letters that the Transportation Safety Board sent them last week in the wake of the Lac-Mégantic disaster. And while the NDP wanted an immediate study of the rules, the Conservatives and Liberal decided that now was not the time, with as many as nine investigations ongoing or soon to be underway, and that it could either distract or draw too many people away from the front-lines of the investigation. But yes, they would study it, just later.

What’s that? A study has found that there is little enforcement of environmental regulations in the Alberta oilsands? You don’t say! And of course, the provincial government disputes the finding.

As the ongoing foreign service worker strike continues to hurt the tourist economy and will soon impact on foreign students, Tony Clement has agreed to go to binding arbitration to resolve the dispute.

Conservative MP Joy Smith joins UK Prime Minister David Cameron in having no clue about how the Internet operates, as Cameron wants a “porn block” on all Internet service to crack down on child pornography, as though that were even remotely feasible. Jesse Brown gives some reasons why Australia’s attempt at such a block was a giant failure.

Among the topics at the premiers’ conference is the joint federal-provincial cyberbullying report, whose recommendations the federal Privacy Commissioner and some of her counterparts are reviewing, given that it includes elements of Internet surveillance like those akin to Bill C-30.

Brad Wall continues to call to abolish the Senate because it’s “impossible to reform.” I’m glad that he’s got a plan for other bodies to take up the work that the Senate does in an incredibly cost effective manner – oh, wait. He doesn’t. I suspect he doesn’t even know what the Senate actually does, which is a problem when you’re the premier of a province and you want to do away with a full third of the federal Parliament.

The Competition Bureau said that it can’t really do much about the anti-competitive behaviour of credit card companies with regards to the fees that they charge, but said that it’s an issue of government regulation – to which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has agreed to hold a special meeting of the committee that deals with said issues.

And Colby Cosh extols the virtues of having a constitutional monarchy in Canada. James Bowden looks at why swearing allegiance to the Queen is actually swearing allegiance to the country, and how you can’t actually separate the two, the way certain republican cranks would like to.