Roundup: Premiers support a national inquiry

In a meeting with Aboriginal leaders in advance of the full Premiers’ Meeting, most of this country’s premiers backed the call for a national inquiry on missing and murdered aboriginal women. The two premiers who were unable to attend, Alison Redford and Kathy Dunderdale, later expressed their support for the call. Of course, all that they can do is try to pressure the federal government into calling such an inquiry, but their declaration means little, unless BC wants to start their own provincial inquiry that other provinces would support. John Geddes previews the full slate of items for discussion here.

Oh, and about inter-provincial trade barriers, wine is still an issue, despite the federal law barring inter-provincial wine transportation being rescinded. But at least Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne sounds like she’s open to the discussion (which would be great if we can start getting some other Canadian wines here in Ontario).

Now that the RCMP’s ClusterDuff investigation is officially looking into the PMO, the PMO has let it be known that they are calling for cooperation by current and former staff. Does that mean that they’ve stopped stonewalling over emails? Marc Garneau thinks the RCMP should also grill Senator Irving Gerstein, who was allegedly at the meeting between Duffy and Wright, though one imagines that he is on their list.

The Senate had put out a request for proposal for a travel agency to oversee travel arrangements for Senators – but they won’t say whether this is in reaction to the issue of certain Senators allegedly abusing their travel claims. I would have some hesitation around this kind of service, however, as the anecdotal experience in the public service was that the travel service that public servants were required to use would not always provide the best fares or more convenient flights, and was difficult to use, and yet public servants had no choice but to use them.

Treasury Board and Shared Services Canada are building a “secret network” inside of Treasury Board to deal with classified information, in order to make it more secure and to eliminate the practice of transferring the data by way of USB keys the way they’re doing it currently.

Studies are showing that thanks to its carbon tax, BC not only enjoys among the lowest income taxes in the country, but it is seeing measurable greenhouse gas reductions from reduced fuel consumption. Oh, but carbon taxes will destroy our economy – right? Mark Jaccard blogs more about the results of this study here.

On his tour of BC, Justin Trudeau says that he wants marijuana legalised, so that it can be regulated and kept out of the hands of kids, in the manner of alcohol and tobacco. Legalisation was the position the party agreed to in their last policy convention.

While John Baird has made a big deal about promoting GLBT rights abroad, he’s said almost nothing about the situation in Russia where they are clamping down on even the “promotion of homosexuality,” despite the fact that they are holding the Olympics there in 2014.

Bob Rae has been named the chair of a new board of 15 BC First Nations who are implementing a pipeline deal.

Here is more about the scientist who did the nutritional experiments on First Nations youth in the forties and fifties, and the other work he did around post-war malnutrition in Canada. More of those documents are expected to be released as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into residential schools.

And Andrew Coyne looks at the hysteria around train derailments, and the rush by MPs to accuse one another of trying to politicise Lac-Mégantic, even though that’s exactly what they’re doing.