Roundup: The commitment to transparency in the Commons

The Procedure and House Affairs held a rare emergency meeting yesterday to declare – unanimously – that they are committed to the ongoing study of ways to increase the transparency in the Commons, and voted to ensure that the House Leader commits to keeping said committee study going once Parliament resumes, and committed to a report on the topic by December 2nd. This allows the committee clerks to start to schedule hearings and lining up expert witnesses during the prorogation – a time when the committee is technically dissolved.

The NDP are headed to Saskatoon for their two-day summer caucus retreat, a region they hope to make gains in now that electoral boundary redistribution has created actual urban ridings that would be winnable for them. The issue of the proposed Quebec “Charter of Values” also has them in a tough spot, where the party tries to solidify their gains in Quebec while still trying to build in the rest of the country, even though the rest of the country finds the proposed Quebec bill fairly awful. Michael Den Tandt looks at Mulcair’s bare cupboard when it comes to policy ideas – particularly economic ones – given the way that Mulcair is taunting Trudeau for the very same.

BC has submitted their factum to the Supreme Court on the Senate reference, and while they curiously say that the 7/50 formula is enough for abolition, they also point to the regional veto law that other provinces ignored, and pointed to a further complication – that provincial law mandates a referendum before the province can agree to any constitutional change.

On that subject, Colby Cosh reminds us of another Prime Minister who tried to convince the Supreme Court that he could unilaterally make changes to the constitution without involving the provinces and lost – Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Senator Nicole Eaton defends the work of the Upper Chamber – possibly the first time we’ve heard a Conservative voice on the topic, given that they’ve largely left the heavy lifting to people like Liberal Senator James Cowan.

While Library and Archives did manage to win the Sherbrooke collection of early papers and maps of Canada, the constant funding cuts to the collections budget has meant an erosion to our ability to get these kinds of collections before they go to auction, where we wind up scrambling and paying higher prices because we no longer have the networks and connections that we once did. Way to go, short-sighted budget cutting!

A BC Supreme Court justice has given the go-ahead for veterans to continue their class-action lawsuit against the government, under the claim that the New Veterans’ Charter contravenes the constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Here’s a look at the growing problem of using solitary confinement in North American prisons, and the detrimental affect that it has on the mental health of prisoners.

The CBC has a look at the Canadian Rangers who patrol our Arctic.

Apparently we can’t get WiFi on Canadian airlines because of a VHS/Betamax-like format dispute. Um, okay then.

And Tabatha Southey writes about Verizon’s flirtation with Canada’s telecom market as though it was a summer fling that just ended, no thanks in part to our three possessive domestic telecoms.