Roundup: The RCMP case against Brazeau

Oh dear – it seems that things are not looking so good for Senator Patrick Brazeau. The RCMP have filed a Production Order in court, and among other things, it contains interview with staff and neighbours that paint a pretty convincing picture that Brazeau’s primary residence is not Maniwake, as his father owns the house there, not him, and it details his living arrangements before and after his divorce, and when he moved in with his then-girlfriend (whom he now faces the assault charges with), and that whenever he went to Maniwake, it was as a day trip, with the occasional overnight stay – at times in a local hotel, so as not to disturb his father. They are now pursuing Breach of Trust charges, which I will remind you is an indictable offence, and would be grounds for an immediate expulsion from the Senate upon conviction.

TransCanada Pipelines made its official west-east pipeline plans be known, which now begins the regulatory process. Much of the pipeline is in place, and will simply be converted from a natural gas pipeline to one to carry crude, meaning the bulk of the work will be to replace the compressor stations with pumping stations instead. As well, a new deepwater port terminal will be created in St. John, to help get the product to tidewater. The creation of such a pipeline could be seen as part of Stephen Harper’s energy legacy – even though it’s the premiers who really did all the work.

Emmett Macfarlane takes apart the federal government’s factum on the Senate reference, and focuses on their galling arguments with regards to the question of abolition, in that the government is trying to change the amending formula of the constitution by stealth. Never mind that it should be difficult to change the rules by which we govern ourselves, but it’s one more example of how political expediency is expected to trample over the rules of democracy.

John Baird is speaking out against the “hateful” anti-gay laws in Russia, and plans to work with like-minded countries like the UK to try and end the discrimination. He also doesn’t support a boycott, and plans to get advice from human rights groups on the ground and who know the situation better, which is actually quite encouraging to hear.

The law designed to crack down on crooked immigration consultants has caught universities, meaning that they can no longer assist foreign students with visas without it being against the law. And the department refused to give them an exception, either. Um, aren’t we supposed to be encouraging foreign students? Way to go.

The NDP want to know why Diane Finley’s office was in contact with CHMC with regards to one of their private member’s bills on a national housing strategy. CHMC insists that they do this kind of consultation routinely and that there’s nothing to see – though they couldn’t provide any examples of opposition bills for which they did this previously.

A former Conservative aide was fined $7500 for unregistered lobbying, on a contract that paid him $33,900.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled that courts can’t set the rates for “friends of the court” in certain trials, but that it’s the job of the province, but the dissenting opinion warned about the problems that could be created if the province sets those rates too low, as with the Legal Aid rate that began the legal challenge.

And Maclean’s takes a look at the possible entry of Verizon into the Canadian wireless market, while Jesse Brown argues why their entry is needed into our closed marketplace.