QP: Equating Khadr with First Nations

Wednesday, caucus day, and not only was the prime minister in attendance, but we also saw NDP MP Guy Caron named as the party’s “parliamentary leader” in lieu of Jagmeet Singh while he remains seatless (and you can bet that I have a very big problem with this). Andrew Scheer led off, mini-lectern on desk, reading an exhortation about the proposed tax changes in French, condemning the defeat of their Supply Day motion on extending the consultations. Justin Trudeau responded with his usual points about being elected to raise taxes on the wealthy, and that they have listened to Canadians’ concerns as they move ahead with a bill. Andrew Scheer tried to turn the issue into one of touching the PM’s own family fortune, but Trudeau reiterated his talking points. Scheer insisted that the proposals would mean the wealthiest pay less while the middle class pay more — an extremely dubious claim — and Trudeau sounded a bit weary having to repeat himself about their plans to make the tax system fairer. Scheer then moved onto the topic of Omar Khadr, claiming that repatriation was his compensation and that the excuse of saving legal fees didn’t stack up in the face of the court case of that First Nations girls who needed braces. Trudeau reminded Scheer that they don’t only get to defend Canadians’ rights when it’s popular. Scheer asked again in French, and Trudeau responded with prepared points about the programme for uninsured care and that these services would be improved under the new Indigenous Services department. Guy Caron was up next to lead off for the NDP, and he asked about the Environment Commissioner’s report in French, and Trudeau responded first with congratulations to the new NDP leader and Caron’s new role, before giving a brief and bland assurance about the report. Caron asked again in English, and Trudeau gave a longer response about the environment and the economy and they have an ambitious carbon pricing plan coming in. Caron then railed about the Netflix deal and the outsourcing of Canadian culture to American companies. Trudeau assured him that they had faith in our content creators, and when Caron asked again in French, noting the condemnation of the Quebec National Assembly, Trudeau noted that they promised not to raise taxes on the middle class so they wouldn’t go ahead with additional levies.

Round two, and Maxime Bernier, Lisa Raitt, and Pierre Poilievre raised the Morneau-Shepell conspiracy theory (Trudeau: We lowered taxes on the middle class and we are looking to encourage investment). Brian Masse and Robert Aubin railed about inadequate passenger protections in the new legislation (Trudeau: We have been working to ensure that we have a Passenger Bill of Rights). Gérard Deltell, Marilyn Gladu and John Barlow worried again about the tax reforms and family farms (Trudeau: The premier of Quebec was happy to hear that we are taking these concerns in hand). Rachel Blaney demanded a national strategy on seniors (Trudeau: We increased the GIS, strengthened the CPP and have a housing strategy), and Brigitte Sansoucy railed about the Phoenix Pay system (Trudeau: We are working hard to resolve the problems that we inherited).

Round three saw a repeat of Scheer’s Khadr question, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the latest report on solitary confinement for incarcerated youth, Scheer got back up to rail about Energy East (Trudeau: The former government’s botched approach didn’t get it done but we are), a derelict vessel (Trudeau: We are waiting for the contracts to be awarded), the Phoenix pay system, Elizabeth May demanded urgency on emissions reductions (Trudeau: We now have a price on carbon, but there is more to do).

Overall, it wasn’t quite as raucous as many a Wednesday tends to be, especially now that Trudeau is taking all of the questions, but that aside, some of the lines of questions were not encouraging. Never mind the ongoing use of the Morneau-Shepell conspiracy theory, or Lisa Raitt’s melodramatics of people in tears as they have to move away because of these proposed tax changes (because if these changes are really hitting your bottom line, then you’re most likely making well in excess of $150,000 a year). No, what really got me was the fact that Andrew Scheer had the gall to equate the treatment suffered by Omar Khadr and the compensation entitled to him because his Charter rights were violated by means of torture in an American prison with dubious legal status, with a court fight (that the government won) over funding a First Nation’s girl’s braces under the uninsured health benefits programme. And then, several members of his backbench went on to repeat the question later on in QP. Are you kidding me? Did nobody vet these questions? Apparently not (because the party is becoming an omnishambles).

Sartorially speaking, snaps go out to Justin Trudeau for a tailored light grey suit with a white shirt and pink tie, and to Lisa Raitt for a grey and white patterned top with dark grey slacks and a long pink jacket. Style citations go out to Cheryl Gallant for a purple dress with a cream jacket with floral texture and hot pink running shoes, and to Larry Maguire for a dark brown jacket with tan slacks, a white shirt and an orange patterned tie. Dishonourable mention goes out to Linda Lapointe for a black dress with a mustard jacket.

One thought on “QP: Equating Khadr with First Nations

  1. For a guy kept being told was going to be all about spending time outside the ‘Ottawa Bubble,’ he’s been in Ottawa a lot this week.

    The Liberal Party was ready with attacks on Max Berner when he unexpectedly lost, but haven’t been too harsh on Jagmeet Singh to date. Maybe it will be different if their internal polling changes.

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