The real news item that everyone largely ignored yesterday was the release of a Senate committee report that looked into the safety of transporting hydrocarbons by rail, pipeline and tanker. (Note: It made A1 of the Globe and Mail today, but in venues like the political shows yesterday, it was ignored entirely). While it didn’t delve too deeply into the Lac-Mégantic disaster, given that those investigations are still ongoing and that it happened as the committee was wrapping up its work, it nevertheless remained a relevant point to the recommendations that they were making, especially with respect to the fact that there can be all of the regulations in the world, but if companies don’t have a safety culture in place, it’s likely all for naught. (I’ll have more on this over at Blacklocks.ca in the next couple of days.
But the story that everyone focused on yesterday instead, because apparently we have nothing better to talk about (not true), everyone decided to make a big deal about the fact that in an interview, Justin Trudeau admitted to smoking pot since he’s been an MP – and when asked about the interview, Trudeau said he’s not sorry either! Trudeau later joked that he was sorry for being so open and transparent, given all of the abuse he was getting for admitting in the same interview that he doesn’t drink coffee.
The Justice Department has asked for thirty of its tax lawyers to take voluntary retirement – just as the government is looking to up its fight against tax evasion. Can someone tell me how this makes any sense?
After his retreat in Wakefield, Jim Flaherty says he’s still cautious about the economy. Um, okay. Isn’t this the same thing you’ve said for the last three years?
Oh dear – it seems that a German company that DND paid a million dollars to for submarine technology may not in fact exist after all, and that they appear to have taken the money and run. Way to go, due diligence!
The cost of a potential purchase of a fleet of F-35 fighters could soon run into the “spending cap” of $9 billion for strict fighter acquisition, and the department has even lowered its contingency figures in order to stay within that cap, never mind that they can’t really reduce the number of planes that they would purchase given that they need a minimum of 65 just to meet the country’s needs.
The new head of the Mounties in Saskatchewan is an Aboriginal woman – Chief Superintendant Brenda Butterworth-Carr. It’s a Canadian first, and hopefully the sign of more to come.
The new Saskatchewan electoral boundaries are now submitted, and for the first time in the province’s history, it will have actual urban ridings. It has long been a problem that the “rurban” riding distorted the output and the representation, given that the much larger rural portions of the riding would swamp the urban portion, giving short-shift to urban concerns and voters.
Refugee advocates are concerned about the renewed zeal with which the government has been pursuing deportations, especially since the changes in the legislation came into effect around “safe” designated countries of origin. Apparently there have been deportations to countries where they are supposed to be suspended – though some of those may have been inadmissible due to criminality – and others who being pursued for deportation despite health conditions that they are being treated for.
The Senate won’t elaborate on which of the “subject to review” charges that it insisted that Senator Wallin repay – they’ve only released the total dollar figure.
And a life-sized statue of Jack Layton was unveiled in Toronto yesterday, on the second anniversary of his death.