Roundup: Pamela Wallin’s big day

It’s the big day for Senator Pamela Wallin, as her audit gets released today. CBC’s sources say that the repayment could run over the $100,000 mark, of which she has already repaid $38,000. We’ll see what kinds of reverberations this has, and whether the full Senate will need to be recalled to deal with this.

Stephen Harper added his own voice to the condemnation of Russia’s anti-gay laws, in support of John Baird’s position. While there are concerns this may split the Conservative base, there does seem to be a grudging acceptance that we should speak up if gays and lesbians are being persecuted and murdered in countries like Russia or Uganda.

PostMedia takes another look at some of the all-encompassing social dynamics in Toronto Centre. Meanwhile, in Bourassa, there is a race between Haitian candidates with Georges Laraque running for the Greens, Emmanuel Dubourg contesting for the Liberal nomination, and Larry Rousseau, an American born of Haitian immigrants, contesting the NDP nomination (though he lives in Ottawa as the regional VP of PSAC, for what it’s worth).

After meeting with PEI Premier Robert Ghiz, Thomas Mulcair says that he’ll be depending on Ghiz’s “expertise” on healthcare funding as the opposition makes it an issue. Ghiz is co-chairing the Council of the Federation working group on healthcare.

Paul Wells looks at the funding for science research in this country, and why we’re shooting ourselves in the foot when we don’t fund basic curiosity-driven research instead of insisting on immediate commercial applications, like the current government is doing.

Now that he’s served a third of his sentence, former senator Raymond Lavigne wants to serve the rest of his term at home, and has complained about threats and extortion while in prison, and had to have his eye operated on lest he lose it. Of course, there are also concerns that he hasn’t exactly shown a lot of remorse, which could mean the parole board may not be inclined to grant him the parole.

And economist Andrew Leach looks at the rather meaningless phrase “energy security” that is being applied to the Energy East project, and tries to figure out just what it’s supposed to mean. He also notes how similar the language of Energy East is to the National Energy Programme of 1980 – despised by Albertans to this day – and also notes how the set price for oil sands bitumen established back then would have fared if it had proceeded – and it’s a pretty surprising result.