Roundup: Taunts and regurgitated priorities

Thomas Mulcair has decided to step into the fray over prorogation, and his contribution is that prorogation is fine and good, but suspending Parliament is not, and that since Harper is avoiding Parliament, he’s a coward. Because that’s raising the tone of debate, ladies and gentlemen.

Oh, look – Harper wants the throne speech to focus on the economy and middle-class families. I wonder where I’ve heard that one before? Oh, and safe streets? Tell me more! I’ve totally never heard any of this before. Why, it’s positively game changing!

On Harper’s northern tour, he made a big deal about the mining jobs programme in the NWT. Meanwhile, a new report out by the Defence Department warns of “glaring weaknesses” in the ability to respond to Arctic emergencies, especially as the Coast Guard, the RCMP and National Defence are not always on the same page in the responses. We also don’t have enough ships to respond to maritime disasters, and have “communication voids” about the Northwest Passage, which could be a big problem once it becomes open to shipping.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police passed a resolution that says that they don’t support either decriminalisation or legalisation of marijuana, but that they would prefer it be a ticketable offence rather than one that results in criminal convictions.

While James Moore is doubling down on his plans to ensure that a new player can enter into the wireless market, the NDP wants the Industry Committee recalled to discuss the upcoming wireless spectrum auction.

The Toronto Star has been looking into Pamela Wallin’s time as consul general in New York, and finds that there were instances where she volunteered to repay the government because of the way in which she used her expense account as part of that job. All of which seems to show that the PMO did very little hard work in scrutinising Wallin when they were going through the Senate appointment process, as has borne out with the Duffy and Brazeau appointments. Oh, and Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall says that he’s “disappointed” by the Wallin expense scandal. Because this has what to do with him? Absolutely nothing. And his constant need to draw attention to his views on the Senate is starting to look a bit diva-ish.

Kady O’Malley reminds us that the Auditor General’s look into the Senate’s expenses won’t be exhaustive or forensic like the Deloitte audits – because it’s not his mandate.

In case you’d forgotten, the strike by foreign service workers continues, and now has several film festivals nervous because of the visa slowdowns.

In by-election news, the singer from Bran Van 3000 wants to also contest the NDP nomination in Bourassa, while trans activist Susan Gapka plans to contest the NDP nomination in Toronto Centre, hoping to become the first transgendered MP. Gapka used to work for Olivia Chow when she was a city councillor.

The confusion over who reports to whom on the multiculturalism file continues to be tweaked, which Kady O’Malley continues to track.

Quebec is looking at creating a “Charter of Quebec Values” which would prohibit people from donning Sikh, Jewish and Muslim headwear in the workplace. Um, good luck getting that past the Charter of Rights and Freedoms without using the Notwithstanding Clause.

Here’s an interesting look at digital data rights after an owner’s death, and how survivors have no rights to access the digital purchases (like books or music) of the deceased.

And Justin Trudeau has announced that his wife is pregnant with their third child.