It should come as little surprise that in a constitutional monarchy that an oath to the monarch was considered to be constitutional by the courts. No, seriously. This was an actual court challenge. But reading over the judgement, there are some very good things in there – things like the fact that the Queen is the embodiment of the country and its laws so swearing an oath to either instead would really still be an oath to the Queen, just indirectly. It affirmed that the Canadian Crown is a separate institution from its UK counterpart, which is an important concept that many people forget. It gave a thorough trashing of the false notion that the Canadian monarchy is a foreign imposition, but rather that because of our particular evolution as a country leading up to the constitutional patriation in 1982, the monarchy is an expression of a modern and equality-protecting Canadian democracy. It also points to the value of loyal opposition, and that nothing stops them from advocating for republicanism once they’re citizens. It’s a fantastic judgement and an affirmation of the values of a constitutional monarchy, which is what these three non-citizens are seeking to be a part of after all. Pretending that you can take the Queen out of that equation is more than a little ridiculous.
The new Parliamentary Budget Officer says that he’s not ruling out going back to court in order to try and get the information on budget cuts that the government won’t turn over – but he wants to ensure that he has thoroughly exhausted all parliamentary means first, so that the judge doesn’t throw the case out. Aaron Wherry has a Q&A with Jean-Denis Frechette, who insists that he’s not going to be complacent on the job.
Despite the fact that he’ll be in New York for a UN meeting, Stephen Harper will once again forgo addressing the General Assembly.
Sources are saying that a deal has been reached with beef and pork exports with the Canada-EU Free Trade agreement, but the deal isn’t done yet (though we’re certain that Harper would like it to be before Parliament resumes).
The Canadian Forces are consolidating their various intelligence units, which will help create more coherent and unified reporting.
The government spent $117,000 physically deporting a convicted terrorist, despite the fact that he was 70 and had health issues.
New health minister Rona Ambrose launched a broadside against her own department when she declared that she would overrule any attempt by doctors to give severely addicted heroin addicts more of the drug, even though the drug trial was for those severe addicts for whom methadone or other replacements was not effective. And because it appeared that Ambrose didn’t even know about the nature of the drug trial, she said that those addicts should be using methadone instead of more heroin. Well done.
Justin Trudeau ended up apologising to used car salesmen as a whole after making a crack about how politicians are seen as less trustworthy (as were journalists). But seriously – will the depths of our sensitive outrage never end?
A reminder that the Liberal expense postings won’t be completely detailed – but the party says they’re a good start, and await the cooperation of other parties to go further.
The final part of Amy Minsky’s look at the officers of parliament profiles Lobbying Commissioner Karen Shepherd, who as you might guess, also wants increased powers to do things like levy fines. Does anyone see a pattern emerging?
Here’s a look at the “parliamentary no man’s land” that is the job of a Parliamentary Secretary – not a minister, but also not an MP.
No real surprise, but NDP MPs continue to spout nonsense about Senate abolition, most of it utterly ridiculous or without merit in the real world.
Economist Andrew Leach compares the new US emissions regulations for coal and natural gas plants, as compared to those implemented in Canada, and finds that Canada comes out ahead mostly – which is nice to hear.
Brian Topp delivers a fairly honest assessment of the BC election campaign that he helped to organise, and then lose.
And Susan Delacourt previews the upcoming Chrystia Freeland-Linda McQuaig by-election battle in Toronto Centre, and the different styles of politics that are emerging from each camp. iPolitics has an infographic comparison between the two candidates.