QP: Queen’s Park and conspiracy theories

While Justin Trudeau was off in Strasbourg, the rest of the Commons was filtering in, ready for the grand inquest of the nation. Rona Ambrose led off, asking what half-dozen things that the government had in mind that they said could be fixed about NAFTA. Bill Morneau responded by giving some vague generalities, and said that they would talk NAFTA when it comes up. Ambrose worried that the US was cutting taxes and red tape, but Morneau assured her that our economy was still very competitive. Ambrose railed about “Kathleen Wynne’s failed policies” and carbon taxes, to which Catherine McKenna listed companies creating sustainable jobs. Denis Lebel was up next, and worried about how the dairy sector would be impacted by NAFTA renegotiations, to which Lawrence MacAulay assured him that they supported supply management. Lebel switched to English to demand if the government still supported supply management, and MacAulay assured him once again that yes, of course they did. Thomas Mulcair was up next, raising the refugee claimants crossing the border. Ahmed Hussen assured him that there was no material change on the ground. Mulcair switched to French to claim that there were smugglers near the border, and this time Marc Garneau responded in French that they were working with authorities to address the situation. Mulcair then changed topics to accusations that the Liberals were accepting larger than legal donations, at which point Karina Gould reminded him that all parties have instances of overages and all parties pay them back. Mulcair persisted, insisting that the Liberals broke the law, and Bardish Chagger got up to remind him that any questions asked by the Ethics Commissioner would be answered.

Round two and Pierre Poilievre decried carbon taxes affecting the poor (McKenna: We are taxing pollution to drive innovation), Tony Clement and David Van Kesteren gave a tale of woe about businesses hurt by hydro prices (Morneau: We are helping those in need and investing in growing the economy), and Diane Watts and Alain Rayes asked about lapsed infrastructure funds (Sohi: We have approved more than 1200 projects worth $14 billion). Tracey Ramsey worried about CETA (Goldsmith-Jones: We have made sure that this will benefit everyone), and Ruth Ellen Brosseau asked yet again about supply management (MacAulay: We love supply management). Blaine Calkins asked about the PM’s vacation, again (Chagger: He will answer any questions the Ethics Commissioner has), and Marilyn Gladu spun a strange conspiracy theory about John McCallum being named ambassador to China (Chagger: There is no hint of impropriety here). Matthew Dubé asked about repealing Bill C-51 (Holland: We are waiting for a committee report to listen to their recommendations), and Randall Garrison worried the Senate was stalling the trans rights bill (Wilson-Raybould: We want this bill passed).

Round three saw questions on danger for troops in Kuwait, the Yazidi refugee deadline, judicial appointments, the new committee for consultation on homelessness, renaming the Langevin Block, supply management, the Canadian Grain Commission surplus, carbon taxes affecting farmers, the Lac Mégantic rail by-pass, international development, and Islamophobia.

Overall, it might be because I’m sick and cranky today, but I had far less patience for some of the shenanigans than I usually do, but honestly, some of those shenanigans were worse than usual. The treating this like Queen’s Park in order to take shots at Kathleen Wynne was tiresome but not unexpected, and the daily supply management questions have become so very tiresome that I can hardly stand it anymore. Seriously, guys, there is nothing to be gained because everyone supports supply management. The exchange that took the cake, however, was Marilyn Gladu spinning a conspiracy theory that the PMO director of appointments somehow convinced the prime minister to appoint John McCallum as the new ambassador to China so that she could run for his seat. Gladu is no stranger to strange and overly melodramatic exchanges in the Commons, but this one was beyond bizarre. It would be great if we had some grown-up exchanges in QP, but this conspiracy theorizing is cartoonish and just makes her look bad, and she should be self-aware enough to know that.

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out Terry Duguid for a dark grey three-piece suit with a white shirt with a subtle grid pattern and a maroon tie, and to Jody Wilson-Raybould for a black dress with a white chain pattern and a black jacket. Style citations go out to Judy Foote for a long zebra print jacket with a black smock top, and to Robert-Falcon Outlette for a black suit with a blueberry shirt and lavender bow tie.