Roundup: A mystifying new delay

It yet another attempt to throw a spanner into the workings of the legislative process trying to bring genetic privacy legislation to fruition in this country, the government has decided to hold yet more consultations while they simultaneously are attempting to gut the bill at report stage, despite the objections of the Senate (which passed the bill originally) and the Commons justice committee, which studied the bill, heard from witnesses, and gave it an all-clear.

Jody Wilson-Raybould is suddenly brandishing letters from three provinces who have “concerns” about the constitutionality of the bill, despite the fact that they never objected in the years – and I will stress years – that this bill has been wending its way through parliament, both in the previous parliament and the current one. Seven provinces indicated support, and there are legal and constitutional scholars that have testified that the mechanisms in the bill are perfectly sound and within federal jurisdiction. None of this should be in dispute, but for as much as the government professes to care about this issue, the fact that they are quick to try and gut the bill and leave it up for a patchwork of provincial laws for the insurance component of genetic discrimination – which is a very big issue – it’s mystifying. I have heard grumblings that the only kinds of bills that they favour are their own, which I get, but at the same time, this is a piece of legislation that has already withstood a great deal of scrutiny and is something that is critically needed, as we are the only western country that doesn’t have these kinds of protections. With any luck, the Liberal backbenchers are going to push back on the attempts to gut the bill and it can move ahead, but right now, the constant delay is lacking coherence.

Good reads:

  • Justin Trudeau and Rona Ambrose each went to Calgary to stump for the by-elections there, Trudeau saying Albertans are tired of being taken for granted.
  • Mind you, there are some pretty big questions about how the PM is expensing his trip for the by-election, and whether the party should pay for a campaign visit.
  • Ahmed Hussen was before a Senate committee defending the bill that would stop stripping citizenship from dual nationals who’ve committed heinous crimes.
  • The CBC “accidentally” got some classified military documents on preparations for terrorist attacks in Canada.
  • Bill Morneau’s trip to Washington is seen to be one of the factors affecting why the budget was delayed until the end of March.
  • Low results from the California-Quebec carbon credit auction could bode poorly for Ontario’s upcoming auction.
  • It looks like Republican donor Kelly Knight Craft will be the new American ambassador to Canada.
  • In fallout from Tuesday’s Conservative debate in Edmonton, we get an evaluation of some of the tactics on display, and a report on the afterparty.
  • Lisa Raitt says that seven candidates need to drop off, but won’t say which ones.
  • Andrew Coyne is alarmed at how grassroots Conservatives seem to be willing to let Kevin O’Leary phone in his leadership campaign.
  • Chantal Hébert offers a bit more insight into the allegations of shenanigans with those Liberal nomination races.
  • Paul Wells writes about the inevitable moves that Canada will have to make in response to the random event generator that is the Trumpocalypse.

Odds and ends:

Former Nova Scotia NDP Premier Darrel Dexter is now a marijuana lobbyist.