Roundup: Declaring Twitter QP a “success”

It was the day that the House was supposed to resume operation, had Harper not prorogued in order to reset his moribund agenda. The Liberal caucus made a point of being back on the Hill, and arranged for a roundtable discussion on wireless issues in order to showcase how their caucus was engaged in stakeholder affairs. The NDP, however, held a couple of press conferences – one to showcase a (non-binding) opposition day motion that they would eventually table to talk about the government’s communications policies as it deals with scientists, the other to announce that they would be holding “Twitter Question Periods” by which their caucus would tweet questions to the government as though they were in Question Period. And lo and behold, they declared success for tweeting twenty-six questions and briefly making their chosen hashtag trend (though they seem to have forgotten that trending map algorithms are dependent on your followers, so if everyone on your followers lists are retweeting the same thing, your trending map will reflect this). Twenty-six questions thrown into the void – such a high bar for success. That James Moore sarcastically responded that once they have a wireless policy he’d bother debating with them raised it even further. One wonders to what measure of success they’ll consider the very same exercise later today. Oh boy.

In Richmond, BC yesterday, Stephen Harper announced that his government would move legislation to create public, online searchable databases of child sex offenders – because apparently he’s not concerned about vigilantism, and he’s not at all concerned about cases like the one about the Nova Scotia man who lost it and went on a rampage against those named in an American database, and didn’t realise that one of his victims was someone who was registered because his then-girlfriend was just under the cut-off point where that state didn’t have a close-in-age exemption. Yeah, it sounds like Harper and company have really thought this proposal through and aren’t simply playing this for cheap politics. Not at all.

Documents obtained by the CBC shows that the Canadian military’s own intelligence was lagging behind other domestic agencies in the case of Jeffrey Delisle, and that they pretty much froze the military out when it came to their observing Delisle’s activities. Yeah, that sounds like a functioning and coordinated approach to domestic intelligence concerns.

Stephen Harper may have made the ridiculous and untenable move in not putting the new Leader of the Government in the Senate, Claude Carignan in cabinet, but are we really going to begrudge his salary considering his added responsibilities? Really? Are we that petty?

Canadian Council of Chief Executives president John Manley is calling on the government to get their act in gear and to conclude the Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement as well as the Keystone XL pipeline agreement, for the sake of the economy.

After exhausting all channels, the government is abandoning its attempt to recoup some $3.3 million defrauded by a public servant in the name of a military procurement contract to a non-existent company. They were able to recover about 10 percent, but after that the trail grew cold.

Canadian telecom companies are reaffirming an agreement that allows the police and intelligence agencies to monitor calls and collect phone data for suspects. Small surprise that federal privacy officials are concerned with the lack of transparency surrounding this accord between the companies and the government.

The RCMP’s decision to stonewall media inquiries about the million-dollar price tag of destroying the long-gun registry is calling into question their ability to be transparent with some of their other high-profile investigations. The RMCP insists that their administration budget can’t be used for programming, so really theres’ nothing to see here.

And University of Ottawa law professor Carissima Mathen talks about the Quebec “Charter of Values,” and what it all means in the context of the rest of our laws and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.