Roundup: Pat Martin vs. the spirit of the law

It has been revealed that Pat Martin’s legal defence fund for his defamation suit by RackNine was paid for by a loan from the NDP, and is being repaid by donations from unions. All of which is of course legal in the Conflict of Interest Code because he doesn’t actually see that money, but with corporate and union donations banned, it does set up a system that looks to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Doubly ironic is that it’s happening to Pat Martin, and there are fewer MPs who are holier-than-thou and will rage with fire and brimstone about the ethical lapses of other MPs – and that he’s the one who helped create the Code with the Accountability Act back in 2006. And as one Liberal commenter said, by getting other people to settle his debts, Martin can no longer criticise Mike Duffy. Somehow, though, I suspect he’ll rationalise it all and keep up his moral outrage, one way or another.

Omar Khadr was in court in Edmonton yesterday, looking quite cheerful and smiley as it was reported. The judge, however, has reserved judgement on whether Khadr should be transferred to a provincial facility, even though those tend to be reserved for those serving less than two years, and he still have five years on his sentence. The fact that he remains in maximum security affects his chances for parole, which he was technically eligible for in July, but he didn’t bother applying because he knew he didn’t have a chance – which was reinforced when Stephen Harper made comments about fighting to ensure that Khadr’s sentence not be reduced. Here’s a reminder of Khadr’s journey in the Canadian justice system to date.

The Prime Minister of Italy was in town yesterday to talk trade with Harper. Up today, it’s the Prime Minister of Japan!

The list of bidders for the next wireless spectrum auction has been released, and of the 15 participants, none of the major US carriers are planning on making a bid.

Jim Flaherty named the figure of $660 million that the federal government will be giving to Toronto for their subway plans – you know, despite the deficit that he’s trying to pay down. And you can bet that ever other big city mayor is going to come calling for transit funds of their own.

The military was privately furious that they weren’t allowed to prosecute Navy spy Jeffry Delisle in a military trial, and that it was turned over to civilian court instead.

Economist Stephen Gordon picks up on the issue of Canadian vs. American corporate tax rates, and the need to understand the broader tax ecosystem when it comes to those rates, and how the American example is somewhat singular in how it is able to compete, whereas raising our rates closer to theirs will be a costly way to raise very little new revenue.

Maclean’s Econowatch looks at how Angela Merkel’s re-election in Germany means more of the same for the Eurozone economy, and how that can negatively impact on Canada.

Here is a further exploration of the revelation that Parks Canada paid CBC for their Franklin Expedition coverage, and whether it really was cost-sharing or trying to find loopholes in the CBC’s own journalistic standards.

Aaron Wherry has acquired the speaking notes from Brent Rathgeber’s “Broken Democracy” tour, in which he says some very important things about the nature of Responsible Government, and how we are straying from that model the more our House of Commons becomes a mock US Electoral College for the executive.

PostMedia previews the forthcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hint: It’s real.

The Museum of Civilization (soon to be Museum of History) has the Royal Proclamation of 1763 on display, which is an important historical document with respect to our relationship with First Nations.

Here is a preview of what is on the docket at the Supreme Court his fall.

Oh, look – more revelations from Michael Ignatieff’s forthcoming book, which includes talk of why he back out of the coalition agreement in 2008.

And Brian Mulroney’s Montreal mansion is up for sale for a mere $8 million. And dear gods, whoever thought that garish interior décor looked good needs to have their head examined.