On a rainy Tuesday in Ottawa, it was all hands on deck in the Commons, with all leaders present for a change. Andrew Scheer led off, noting the anniversary of D-Day, and turned it into a question on fighting ISIS. Trudeau noted the contributions that Canada was making to the fight. Scheer tried mocking Trudeau’s television interview responses about positive spaces in this fight, and Trudeau quipped back that Scheer must not be too busy as opposition leader if he was all caught up on his daytime TV. Scheer batted back that it was the only place he could find Trudeau over the past week, and then railed about new taxes on beer and wine. Trudeau responded that they cut taxes to the middle class. Scheer insisted that wasn’t true, and listed a number of penny ante issues like making Uber pay HST and carbon taxes (which are largely provincial), and Trudeau noted the difference in vision that his government offered. Scheer then veered into a question about the public sex offender registry, and Trudeau called Scheer out for politicising the wrong issues, and said that trying to insinuate the Liberals didn’t care about children and families was shameful. Up next was Thomas Mulcair, who brought up the Madeleine Meilleur nomination and stated that she confirmed in the Senate that she discussed the position with Gerald Butts and Katie Telford — which isn’t what she said. Trudeau reminded him of the open nomination process, and when Mulcair tried to insist that one f them were lying, Trudeau didn’t budge from his points. Mulcair then railed about Trudeau slamming the door on Quebec’s face on their request to discuss the constitution, and Trudeau said that he had other priorities. Mulcair gave it a second go, insisting this was a snub at Quebec alone, and Trudeau reminded him that he says the same thing in English and in French and had no interest in getting into a constitutional quagmire.
— CPAC (@CPAC_TV) June 6, 2017
Round two, and John Nater, Sylvie Boucher, and John Brassard returned to the Meilleur question (Casey: Taking part in public life should not exclude you from serving in another capacity). Rachel Blaney and Alexandre Boulerice railed about the Infrastructure Bank (Sohi: We have an ambitious infrastructure agenda). Rob Nicholson worried about a crisis in New Brunswick family courts due to a lack of judges (Wilson-Raybould: I am confident in the process we’ve put into place), and Steven Blaney and Michael Cooper worried about a public sex offender registry (Goodale: The innuendo in your question is false, the public is informed if there is any danger). Jenny Kwan worried about a refugee group losing its funding (Hussen: We are committed to helping these organisations), and Hélène Laverdière asked about nuclear disarmament talks (Freeland: We are working toward tangible results).
Rob Nicholson rails about a lack of family court judges, and says it means a loss of confidence in the *criminal* justice system. #QP
— Dale Smith (@journo_dale) June 6, 2017
Round three saw questions on the energy sector with an activist now in Carr’s office, tax rules for campgrounds, cuts at the Coast Guard dive teams and salmon education, benefits claims being denied then winning on appeal, Liberal foreign policy plans, privacy in consular cases, rail shipping measures, flight time restrictions, Quebec asking for a delay on marijuana legalisation, and the Infrastructure Bank.
Not sure that was a question from the Bloc, but Duclos of going to stand to praise the government's respect for Quebec anyway. #QP
— Dale Smith (@journo_dale) June 6, 2017
Overall, we finally got some decent exchanges between Scheer and Trudeau, where they were quippy and got in a couple of decent jabs at one another. More of this please! This having been said, Thomas Mulcair was utterly disingenuous in his questions on the Meilleur file, because she didn’t say that she discussed the Commissioner position with Butts and Telford, but rather that she told Butts that she still wanted to serve the public and he pointed her to the process, while she discussed women in politics with Telford, and furthermore, she was encouraged to apply for the position by the outgoing Commissioner, not someone in the PMO. Of course, these facts are disruptive to the narrative that the opposition has been trying to build in QP, so why not ask misleading questions instead. Meanwhile, I will give Blake Richards props for getting the revenue minister into a bit of a trap by revealing in his supplemental that his quotes came from Liberal MPs who complained to her about the issue (though Lebouthillier managed to evade fairly well by insisting that the rules they were complaining about had not actually changed, though I can’t vouch for the veracity of such an answer).
Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Maryam Monsef for a black dress with a white band along the sleeves and collar, and to Pablo Rodriguez for a navy three-piece suit with a crisp white shirt and a burnt sienna tie. Style citations go out to Stéphane Lauzon for a dark grey suit with a pale pink shirt and a silver and reddish Paisley tie, and to Karen McCrimmon for a long grey coat with a storm cloud pattern and a teal green collared shirt.