QP: Vague tax replies to disingenuous questions

While Justin Trudeau jetted off to Europe, other leaders were present for caucus day and most of the desks were full for QP. Rona Ambrose led off, worrying about the PM raising taxes while the Americans plan to lower them — a dubious premise at best. Bill Morneau responded by reminding her of tax cuts they made and the Canada Child Benefit to help families. Ambrose wanted an example of a fiscal policy changed with the dawn of the Trumpocalypse, and Morneau responded by talking about meetings they’ve had with American counterparts. Ambrose gave some vague concern about the deficit, to which Morneau noted the importance of making investments in the economy and the number of jobs created since. Ambrose decried the movement of the immigration case processing centre in Vegreville as an “attack on rural Canada,” to which Ahmed Hussen reiterated assurances that the relocation would allow for the creation of new jobs in the province. Ambrose noted that it would impact the entire town, but Hussen repeated his points. Thomas Mulcair was up next, decrying that the Liberals didn’t bring up Trump’s “hateful” policies on their trip and that they were doing nothing about things like people being turned away at the border, and Ralph Goodale stood up to assure the House that Mulcair was wrong, and that they were collecting data that could be used to deal with Homeland Security regarding these individual instances being reported at the border. When Mulcair asked again in French, Goodale retorted that repeating a falsehood didn’t make it true. Mulcair went back to English to raise that Muslim student turned away at the border but veered into ethics issues, and Chagger reminded him that the PM would answer all questions posed by the Ethics Commissioner. Mulcair wondered what their response would have been if Harper had been so accused, but Chagger didn’t change her answer.

Round two, and Denis Lebel worried about what was on the table for NAFTA renegotiations (Leslie: The US trade representative hasn’t been confirmed), Dan Albas worried about raising user fees (Morneau: We lowed taxes), Rachael Harder worried about RESPs (Morneau: We will work to improve Canadians’ situation), Gérard Deltell worried that he wasn’t getting clear answers (Morneau: Look at these measures we took to help the middle class). Tracey Ramsey worried about the investor-state dispute mechanisms in CETA (Goldsmith-Jones: We are happy that the EU ratified this agreement), and Ruth Ellen Brosseau worried about supply management — yet again (Poissant: We support supply management). Blaine Calkins, Jacques Gourde, and Candice Bergen asked about ethics investigations (Chagger: The PM will answer the Commissioner’s questions). Don Davies and Brigitte Sansoucy worried about healthcare funding (Philpott: We have them an offer based on their shared priorities).

Round three saw questions on supply weapons to Ukraine, danger pay for troops in Kuwait, Laurie Hawn resigning as an honorary colonel, a rail bypass for Lac Mégantic, the death of a veteran, migrants crossing improperly, judicial vacancies and court delays, the Phoenix pay system, Saskatchewan grasslands management, when Minister Gould got her mandate letter, and a missing person DNA database.

Overall, it was not a terribly edifying day, but Ralph Goodale’s no-holds barred responses to Thomas Mulcair we probably the best exchanges of the day. I will also add that not only were the disingenuous Conservative questions around taxes continuing, but for them to also bellyache that they’re not getting answers to specific budget-related questions in advance of the budget release is yet more nonsense gamesmanship because they know full well that you don’t tip your hand about what’s in the budget until it’s released, not to mention that they were complete vanguards when it came to non sequitur non-answers in Question Period during their time in office. I know they’re trying to fear-monger in advance of the budget release, but come on – let’s at least pretend to be grown-ups here.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Nicola Di Iorio for a dark grey three-piece suit with a white shirt and a royal blue tie, and to Michelle Rempel for a fitted black dress with lace sleeves. Style citations go out to Cheryl Gallant for a maroon drew with a grey-green embroidered jacket, and to Robert Sopuck for his much hated brown corduroy jacket with a taupe waistcoat, dark blue shirt and gold and brown striped tie. Dishonourable mention goes out to Jody Wilson-Raybould for a lemon yellow jacket with a black dress, and to Martin Shields for a black suit and shirt with a bright yellow tie.

2 thoughts on “QP: Vague tax replies to disingenuous questions

  1. This is the problem with our Opposition this constant referral to the USA. The super power is 10 times our size and cannot be compared to Canada but nonetheless, it is always use for comparison. This is truly tiresome and silly and not helpful for some Canadians who are easily confused. As for Mulcair I have lost all respect for him, he sounds more and more like a childish irresponsible person with his idea of giving lessons to everyone. What a petty arrogant man he is. As for Vegreville did you know that even in the 1990’s CIC was already thinking of moving the centre to Edmonton because we could not find staff to work there, no one wanted to move to Vegreville. There were also many other problems on the management side, so moving to Edmonton is by far long overdue.

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